MPs hint at Maxwell pensions conspiracy
The all-party social security committee has recently cancelled a series of public hearings in which it had planned to take evidence on the Maxwell pensions scandal.
In a special progress report, the select committee explained that it had taken the advice of the Serious Fraud Office and suspended all future hearings at which public evidence would have been taken from witnesses in legal proceedings, possibly until all action had cleared the courts.
The MPs said they had considered taking evidence in private, which would have been protected from publicity by the threat of proceedings for contempt of Parliament, but ruled it out because it could have opened the way to 'deliberately contrived' rumour and speculation, designed to affect legal proceedings.
Underlining that point, the report added that the committee had noted publicity from other, unidentified sources, 'which it believes has been intended to influence those proceedings, favourably to the defendants'. Because any explanation of that sentence - or identification of the defendants the MPs had in mind - would create the same potential assistance for Maxwell pensions fraud defendants, the report did not spell it out further, and members of the committee were unable to comment.
Cases relating to the fraud have already excited considerable publicity, and it will undoubtedly be argued that the defendants' chances of fair trial have thereby been prejudiced.
Yesterday's report said: 'In the light of the representations from the Serious Fraud Office and because of the House's own sub judice resolution, we believe that it is right for the committee not to examine any of those witnesses who are going to be called to give evidence in the impending criminal and civil proceedings.'
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says 'they messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...