Lutfur Rahman: Metropolitan Police ups its game (at last)

It seems the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has finally realised that they might well have made a serious error by not following up the judgement of the Electoral Court with a proper criminal investigation.

This may well have something to do with the formal request by the GLA Police & Crime Committee for an investigation into the Met’s handling – or not handling if you will – of a criminal investigation into the dubious activities of Rahman and the rest of Tower Hamlets First exposed by the Election Court.

The MPS has made an application to be ‘re-joined’ (PDF) to the latest of Lutfur Rahman’s many legal challenges against being found guilty of corruption in 2015, a judicial review.

Not a conspiracy, just a legal thing

While those who always prefer a tenuous conspiracy theory to the solid facts might think there is something odd about this move it would seem to be a routine legal procedure that will allow the MPS to be formally involved in Rahman’s judicial review, the strategy of which can be at best described as ‘interesting’.

It seems that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (the legal entity, not a specific person) was originally named as an ‘Interested Party’ by Rahman when he previously attempted to overturn the Election Court ruling with a judicial review. . However as a judicial review is mainly concerned with any possible procedural errors in law and nothing else, the Commissioner asked to be removed as an Interested Party and this was ordered by Mr. Justice Ouseley on 9th October 2015.

On 26 January 2016 the Divisional Court refused Rahman permission to seek a judicial review except on the issue of using ‘spiritual influence’ to get votes. Even if this one aspect of the original Election Court is overturned this will not mean Rahman’s ban on standing for public office will be quashed.

The most important part of the MPS document asking to be able to join in the latest legal episode seen by LW is paragraph 21 which we reproduce below with the extracted text.

Extract from MPS LR JR document



21. Mr Rahman’s new argument, however, does concern the Commissioner [of the Metropolitan Police]. If correct, Mr Rahman’s argument would appear to entail that in every case in the which the DPP decided not to prosecute a person due to lack of evidence, any preceding decision of an Election Court as to the personal guilt of such a person would have to quashed, or at least liable to be set aside. The Commissioner considers, respectfully, that Mr Justice Ouseley was right to doubt the arguability of such a proposition.

Huh? That was one of the clearer paragraphs of the document, which, while no doubt a model of clarity and concise argument for those in the legal profession, it is completely opaque to ordinary people like wot we iz.

Here is our take on it.

Paragraph 21 says that Lutfur Rahman’s legal team have come up with this weird idea that in every case where the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) decided to not prosecute someone due to a lack of evidence that means that the guilty judgement of that person for the same circumstances in the Election Court does not count.

Exactly. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Would be nice for Lutfur and associates if it did though.

The good thing for everyone apart from Lutfur is that it seems the MPS is now back in the game and is taking a more proactive approach to Rahman.

Stay tuned.


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