By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 01 February 2022 • 14:17
A celebrity lawyer has told LBC that he believes fines and convictions that may be issued over PartyGate will not stand up in court, that people will be able get these squashed as he doesn’t believe they will stand up in court.
Nick Freeman, famed for defending a number of high-profile names who have faced potential driving bans by finding loopholes, has apparently told aides working for the PM, who face fines of up to £10,000 that his “hotline is open”.
He told LBC that just like for driving offences, there is a statute of limitations for breaches of the Covid rules of six months.
Mr Freeman told LBC: “My hotline is open. These regulations were there. They changed all the time as Coronavirus developed. They were carefully thought out.
“What’s interesting here is the limitation period and who knew about it. What’s also interesting is the six months is an absolute time from when the prosecutor says: ‘I had enough knowledge to know there could be a successful prosecution’. That is absolute.
“That clock is already ticking very sharply, isn’t it? The prosecution must be aware now, because the prosecutor will already have had access to the Sue Gray report, and I anticipate the prosecution must have known some time back what was going on.”
Mr Freeman believes that police guarding Downing Street would have raised suspicions that parties were taking place with their superiors, who in turn would have contacted the CPS for legal advice.
If that happened, he said, then the time-limit for a successful prosecution would have already expired.
He added aides might want to challenge any Fixed Penalty Notice in court: “If you felt: ‘Look, we were told this is alright to go to these parties, we were given the green light’.
“You would say: ‘It’s not fair, I’ve been told it was alright. It’s now not alright and so if someone has told me I was alright to attend, I am going to hold them accountable’. The benefit of that of course is you would not be liable, you would not be criminally culpable and you would not be convicted.
“It will be hugely embarrassing to all concerned. It will be a wide net and there will be many heads cast in it.”
If what Mr Freeman says is true then it is likely that anyone who is found guilty of breaking the rules will indeed be able have their convictions squashed, particularly in light of the earlier news reported today that the Health Minister’s brother was involved in the police decision not to investigate the so called “PartyGate”.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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