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High Court judgment in R v Evans and others

14 November, 2014 | News Releases

The High Court has today refused an application by the Serious Fraud Office for a Voluntary Bill of Indictment in the matter of R v Evans, Whiteley, Bodman, Davies, Walters and Humphreys. We accept the court’s judgment, which now brings the prosecution to an end.

Notes for editors:

  1. The SFO brought charges in January 2013 against six people, including two former Directors of Celtic Energy Ltd. The SFO alleged they conspired to defraud three local authorities in Wales and the Coal Authority.
  2. Mr Justice Hickinbottom dismissed the case in February 2014 after successful applications by the defendants, who argued that the Public Authorities and the Coal Authority have no duties, rights, or obligations that are capable of being prejudiced by the scheme operated by the defendants.
  3. There is no provision in law which incorporates a right of appeal for the Crown. The only procedure available to the Crown is by way of a ‘voluntary bill of indictment’. This is an exceptional procedure by which the Crown can apply to the High Court for a voluntary bill of indictment. If the High Court consents to the application, the Crown is able to resurrect criminal proceedings against the parties, notwithstanding the earlier ruling in the Crown Court.
  4. The SFO considered it right to seek a voluntary bill of indictment in this case.

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