LETTER : The Attorney General was totally careless of the truth

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The Independent Online
NICK Cohen's piece on the Attorney General ("I do not accept that he was not at fault", 18 February) was first class. He omitted one important point. The Attorney General has the power to stop prosecutions. It is just and honourable to stop a case to preserve important state secrets or to prevent secrecy prejudicing a fair trial.

The former attorney halted the Supergun case after Sir Hal Miller stood up in the Commons and proved that the Government knew about it. When your friends are in MI5 there is no one to stand up. Paul Grecian and his Ordtec colleagues were convicted when Public Interest Immunity Certificates destroyed their defence. The attorney may claim ignorance over Ordtec but Michael Heseltine told him that documents should be revealed in Matrix Churchill. He should have stopped that trial.

The classic definition of a fraudulent misstatement is one made knowingly without belief in its truth or recklessly careless whether it be true or false. Sir Nicholas Lyell has been cleared of doing things "knowingly". He was totally careless of the truth which Mr Heseltine told him and this was a fraud upon justice itself.

H D Edmunds

Monmouth, Gwent

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