MP will not face bribery charges

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The Independent Online
ALLEGATIONS of bribery against Harry Greenway, the Conservative MP, have been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Greenway, MP for Ealing North, was accused of accepting gifts, including foreign holidays, in return for using parliamentary influence to help gain British Rail contracts for the Plasser Railway Machinery company.

He had been due to stand trial at the Old Bailey, but following the collapse last week because of insufficient evidence of a related trial involving the Plasser company, the prosecution will formally abandon the case next week.

Barbara Mills, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has concluded there was no longer 'a realistic prospect of convictions'.

After the announcement, Mr Greenway, 58, a former teacher, who has always denied the allegations, said: 'This has been an extraordinarily long ordeal but I always knew I would be vindicated.'

The MP had at one stage sought to argue that he should be tried by his fellow MPs.

John Nutting, his QC, had invoked the 1689 Bill of Rights to maintain that the court had no jurisdiction to try the bribery allegations against Greenway - said to be the first MP to be prosecuted for corruption. 'In principle, MPs are subject to the ordinary criminal law. But in my submission, in their parliamentary capacity, MPs are only answerable to Parliament' he said.

But Mr Justice Buckley rejected Mr Nutting's application, after hearing from the prosecution that those who framed the Bill did not intend to preclude the proper prosecution of MPs accused of corruption.

The others who were acquitted on the directions of the judge last week, were Plasser executives, Norbert Jurasek, 49, of Wargrave, Berkshire and Michael Brooks, 62, of Ringwood, Hampshire, and David Currie, 64, a former British Rail director of Tylers Green, Buckinghamshire.

Kingsley Napley, solicitors for Plasser Railway Machinery, Mr Jurasek and Mr Brooks, welcomed the DPP's 'responsible' decision. The defendants had endured a delay of more than four years with the allegations hanging over them.