LONDON: Lord Nazir Ahmed’s defence lawyers set out before the Sheffield Crown Court the full history of how Lord Nazir and his two brothers were accused of sexual allegations.
Lord Ahmed faced allegations dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. The court heard that how the police service had failed to carry out a proper inquiry into the allegations. The allegations against Lord Nazir and his two brothers were made by a male and a female plaintiff, who happen to be his close relatives.
This correspondent has seen court papers which show that Lord Nazir’s legal team argued that the whole process of investigation was abused to deprive Lord Nazir of a fair trial. Sheffield Crown Court Judge Jeremy Richardson QC accepted that and said in his ruling that the crown prosecution was responsible for the lamentable failures.
Lord Nazir’s team told the court that there were delays, procedures were manipulated, the crown prosecution had failed to investigate properly and disclose key information, evidence was contaminated, and the defendant was subjected to one-sided media scrutiny.
It emerged during the trial that the complainant was a real first cousin of Lord Nazir and as children their families lived together in Sheffield. The accuser, an Equality & Human Rights Consultant since 2002 and has a Masters of Law degree as well as a PhD in Gender Equality and Family, alleged the first incident had taken place when she was five years old in 1973 —- almost 50 years ago -– and Lord Nazir was only 16 at that time. The complainant, a British-Pakistani-Kashmir, told the police in her interview she was not aware of when, where and how the incident had taken place. During an interview in 2016, she told the police there was an actual rape but then said that she was “pretty sure” that Lord Nazir had attempted to rape her more than once. The court heard that there are no independent and credible witnesses to what had happened if anything and questions were asked as to how come a top law professional like herself could take over four decades to make a complaint.
The court heard that the complainant’s evidence was based on her conversations with her partner, who is a British national of Indian origin, close friends and family and how she shared her allegations with various people starting from 1986, including similar allegations against Lord Nazir’s brother by the complainant’s brother.
The court heard that the complainant was very close to Lord Nazir’s three grown-up children and reported Lord Nazir to the police in 2016 after Ahmar Nazir reconciled with his father and “that she was going to lose contact with the children she adored”. The defence said that there was an unjustifiable delay in the reporting by the accuser to the police and that she had deliberately chosen when and how to report.
The defence said that the complainant used her training and knowledge as a lawyer to obtain information that she should not be entitled to “such that the defendants cannot have a fair trial,” including making direct calls to prosecution seeking information; the investigators sharing information with the accuser that the police should not have; failure to give all mobile phones to the police for investigation; the male complainant told the police he didn’t have a social media profile but it emerged he had one. The defence team told the court that the complainant hated Lord Nazir and had a vindictive nature to the extent that she reported her brother to the police when he attended her home address with his daughters simply to visit her and reported as well as several other family members and friends who would not support her case.
The court was informed that the complainant and her brother had not spoken to each other for two decades and then they had an emotional call which was recorded.
Lord Nazir’s lawyers alleged that the police officer Involved encouraged the complainant to record the telephone conversation. The police had this conversation but didn’t disclose it to Lord Nazir.
Lord Nazir’s defence team said from the outset that inheritance from their mother (who died in 2013) and financial gain were motives behind these false allegations. It also emerged that the female complainant and her brothers met each other after making the complaint and discussed their evidence and defence which they should not have done while the case was on.
The defence told the judge that the prosecution was selective in its approach and didn’t take witness statements or interviews from the family members of Lord Nazir which could have helped him —- and instead focussed on those who were against Lord Nazir.
The lawyers told the court that the police had failed to ensure that the two main complainants/witnesses were not warned to speak/contact each other. They further alleged that the police had failed to interview adult witnesses who were alive at the time of the incident and have since died, including during the course of the investigation; failure to retain a call the female complainant had made in 2014 and the police failure to examine the electronic devices that were actually used by both the complainants from the date of reporting. The defence told the court that there was so much abuse in the case that it had deprived the defence of a legitimate legal argument that the case should be stopped and the judge is duty bound to stop the case, as there has been a loss of evidence and contamination of evidence.
The trial has collapsed, the jury was discharged half way through, there was no verdict on the allegation, as the judge decided to permanently stay the trial due to failures and the crown prosecution has appealed.
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