Sir: I am amazed that the Official Solicitor, Peter Harris, is legally entitled to "sell" evidence acquired in the course of a prosecution by the Crown ("Fred West's life story sold off by government lawyer", 19 October). Surely this material is the property of the taxpayers whose security is being served by public officials of the law, and any evidence is either the public property of all or withheld on proper grounds.
That he should regard it as his "duty" to engage in a streetwise commercial deal on behalf of the family of the accused is a grotesque misinterpretation of his office. It may be an interpretation so bizarre that it does not actually fall outside his permitted activities, but Peter Harris should be prevented from carrying out this deal, and personally I should like to see him removed from office. An effective administrator needs to understand the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
19 OctoberReuse content