Next week Lutfur Rahman will face a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) disciplinary tribunal after being charged by them with damaging the reputation of the legal profession as a result of being found personally guilty and guilty by his agents of illegal and corrupt practices due to the Election Court.
However it seems quite possible that he will get off scot-free.
The SRA allegations are that as a solicitor Rahman failed to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice, failed to act with integrity and failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in him and in the provision of legal services.
The same charges also apply to the evidence he gave to the Election Court according to The Law Society Gazette which also reports that “This evidence attracted adverse criticism in the judgment. Rahman was described in the 200-page judgment as someone who ‘has made a successful career by ignoring or flouting the law and has relied on silencing his critics by accusations of racism and Islamophobia”.
Yep, that sounds about right.
Will Rahman get off scot-free once more?
Love Wapping was delighted to receive an email recently from Janet Digby-Baker OBE, one of the many people in Tower Hamlets working together to ensure Lutfur Rahman faces justice. Janet points out that there is every chance of Lutfur escaping any serious sanction from the SRA disciplinary tribunal thanks to the Metropolitan Police.
Letter from Janet Digby-Baker OBE
“Since the Election Court I have kept an eye on this persons work status. At the end of the Hearing and in view of comments made by Election Commissioner Mawrey there was an expectation that he would be struck off the Solicitors list. Many are surprised to hear that this has never happened.
He was referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and I understand suspended from practicing as a Solicitor.
On 3 August 2015 The SRA made a decision to refer the matter to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal [SDT].
On 7 March 2017 the matter is listed for a four day substantial hearing at the offices of The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Currently this hearing is open to the public to attend. I am advised that anyone interested in attending should check with the SDT the day before as it may become a closed hearing. The Hearing will take place at theSolicitors Disciplinary Tribunal 1 Farringdon Street EC4M 7LG Tel: 020 7329 4808
In view of the fact that Lutfur Rahman has never been found guilty of any crime it may well be that he will be reinstated to The Solicitors Register and thus be allowed to return to practice.
Janet Digby-Baker OBE”
Many thanks to Janet for pointing this out to us.
If you do go along – and why not? – please let us know what happens. The Wapping Mole may attend but then he may be busy digging away at something else.
Simple fact is that because the Metropolitan Police did not do their duty and carry out a full and proper criminal investigation into Rahman’s activities he has never been found guilty in a criminal court.
As a result of the police failure to do their job the SRA can only consider the evidence they have which does include him being found guilty of corruption in a civil court – the Electoral Petition process.
*What’s with the mop?
Both new readers may be puzzled by the photograph of a rather handsome mop instead of a photo of Lutfur Rahman. The simple reason for using a mop photo is that during Rahman’s tenure as Executive Mayor his photograph was everywhere. It was not possible to move around Tower Hamlets without being assailed by his grin. And heartily sick of it we all became.
So to even things out a little we now use a nice photograph of a mop. Simples!