Government and Institutions

SFO fail to meet standards expected in a global financial centre


In the Media

Christopher Snowdon appears on talkTV

In the Media

Christopher Snowdon writes in Spiked

James Forder writes in City AM

IEA Academic and Research Director James Forder has written in City AM discussing his new paper which highlights the woeful record of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and stresses the need to reform it.

James wrote:

“Part – and only part – of the problem arises from the growing complexity of fraud cases. For example, there are literally millions or tens of millions of documents and electronic materials that might need to be disclosed by the prosecutor. Errors in this area can and do result in the failure of cases. 

“As I discuss in a recent report for the Institute of Economic Affairs, these are only part of the problem. Essential as these reforms are, none should divert attention from the recurrent failures of competence and propriety on the part of the SFO. Difficulties over disclosure do not excuse the losing of documents in the BAE Systems case, or the improper copying of potentially privileged ones to prosecutors, as happened in the case against Polly Peck.

“The SFO was actually in cahoots with the defence lawyer for mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation to ‘put the wind up’ his client, apparently so that the lawyer could extract more fees, while the SFO benefited from his leaks about the subject of the investigation.

“That is not the way law enforcement conducts itself in a global financial centre.”

Read James’ full article here.