Inquiry into Nadir bribe claims ruled out

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The Independent Online
A PUBLIC inquiry into the Serious Fraud Office and the alleged plot to bribe the judge who was to try the fugitive businessman Asil Nadir has been ruled out by the Attorney-General, writes Alex Renton.

On Tuesday, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it had found 'no credible evidence to support the allegations' that an attempt to bribe the judge, Mr Justice Tucker, had been made.

Michael Mates MP, and Nadir's defence counsel, Anthony Scrivener QC, a former chairman of the Bar Council, demanded an inquiry after a 13-month police investigation found no evidence of a bribery plot.

Mr Mates resigned as a Northern Ireland minister in June, and in his resignation speech accused the SFO of putting improper pressure on the trial judge.

The police had warned Mr Justice Tucker that an attempt to bribe him might be made and suggested he might wish to stand down.

A fortnight ago the Independent interviewed two people who claimed to have made up the story about the alleged bribery attempt.

At the time of Mr Mates's speech the Attorney-General, Sir Nicholas Lyell, said there was no justification for an independent inquiry. Last night, a spokesman for the Attorney-General said: 'Nothing has changed since he made his statement to the House of Commons.'

Nadir, who still faces charges of theft and false accounting involving more than pounds 30m, insists he will be taking legal action against the Attorney-General, the SFO, Scotland Yard, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the CPS.