On Monday the SKWAWKBOX published the letter sent by highly-regarded barrister David Wolchover to Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The letter asked Commissioner Dick to initiate proceedings in what Wolchover considered a legally-straightforward case of ‘grave’ and criminal ‘Misconduct in a Public Office’ involving abuse of parliamentary and constitutional procedure by Theresa May and Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Although he had written personally to Cressida Dick, Mr Wolchover received only what he termed a ‘perfunctory’ reply from a Met Police commander. The Met’s response to a formal press enquiry by the SKWAWKBOX could best be termed non-committal. It seems unlikely that the police – and therefore the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will take the matter further, in spite of its legal simplicity and allegedly obvious ‘grave’ criminality.
However, another avenue is available in the right circumstances – and Wolchover has taken it. He has written personally to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, asking her to intervene and conduct the criminal case herself.
Wolchover’s letter – available in full at the end of this article – outlines the case against May, Davis and others, including their alleged ‘wilful and knowing’ misleading of Parliament in the Brexit process. He then reminds Ms Saunders of her duty to pursue the case personally:
The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 puts a duty, an obligation, on the DPP to bypass the usual police/CPS route to prosecution in cases of special importance, in order to personally ‘conduct’ criminal proceedings in important or difficult cases – and as Wolchover points out to Ms Saunders, a case involving the Prime Minister and a Secretary of State would certainly qualify in both regards and would render the police unlikely to pursue it.
Mr Wolchover concludes his letter with a reminder to Ms Saunders of her duty under the Act, the clarity of its importance and the legal simplicity that means it should not be left for the police to ‘fight shy’ of pursuing it:
The case is certainly not difficult in legal terms and its importance goes without saying. However, the political implications may cause the police to fight shy of becoming involved, which is precisely why I would invite you to assume the proactive role envisaged by s.3(2)(b).
The letter was delivered to Ms Saunders’ office and signed for at 07.47 hrs this morning and has so far only been disclosed to the SKWAWKBOX. Ms Saunders’ office has been contacted for comment.
In spite of the allegedly clear case, Mrs May’s and Mr Davis’ guilt cannot of course be presumed. But the information provided is self-evidently enough – and its subject matter of sufficient, indeed overwhelming, importance – to demand that the case be properly pursued.
The prominent positions of those involved cannot be allowed to prevent that. In fact, they make proper – and public – proceedings more essential.
The full letter is available for download here: DW letter to DPP Saunders
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