December 13, 2019

UK: Grenfell Towers public inquiry may be delayed if Corporate Manslaughter charges are filed

0
0



Pin It

From WN

The investigation into the fire is in danger of being suspended for a lengthy period of time if prosecutors decide to pursue corporate manslaughter charges, The Guardian reported.

Last week, police officials identified Kensington and Chelsea council and the organization managing the tower as suspects which creates a potential conflict with Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s public inquiry into the devastation, the report said.

The pace of the police investigation raises question about which inquiry should take priority, the report said. Legal opinion is divided but the majority of people believe the criminal investigation should take priority — a decision with repercussions for the official Grenfell Towers fire inquiry.

The inquiry is aware of the issue and is exploring various options such as radically refocusing its approach or possibly delay its hearing for a period of time, the report said. It will send its recommendations about its terms of reference to Prime Minister Theresa May as early as next week.

“The inquiry is currently consulting on its terms of reference,” a spokesman said. “Once these are finalized by the prime minister, we will assess how our work relates to other inquiries and investigations relating to the Grenfell Tower fire.”

The Crown Prosecution already gave detectives preliminary legal advice on the corporate manslaughter charges, the report said. However, officers have not submitted documentation for formal charges.

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organization may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter, under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007,” police officials wrote in a letter sent to survivors and families.

The inquiry will proceed with evidence-gathering once the remit is approved by the prime minister’s office and will only evaluate the extent of its work or consider if it needs to alter its submission if Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders decides to file formal charges, the report said.

Scotland Yard warned its investigation “will take a considerable time to complete.”

When asked if the criminal investigation should take precedent over the public investigation, police officials said “this will ultimately be determined by the inquiry’s terms of reference, which have not yet been set.”

Consultant solicitor and expert in inquests and inquiries asked the government to offer compensation to witnesses providing evidence to the inquiry.

She said corporate manslaughter charges only result in fines and would not lead to the discovery of why the fire claimed so many lives.

Justice4Grenfell official said people in the community are concerned the public inquiry could be hindered by the criminal process.

“People will be very angry,” she said. “Many members of the community are putting a lot of work into submissions under the consultation process [for the inquiry’s terms of reference]. If it is put back or limited it will be a complete disaster. It’s a car crash waiting to happen.”

Labour Party member for Kensington Emma Dent Coad said there was “widespread lack of confidence in the inquiry as currently instituted.”

A potential delay will only be seen as a positive “if it leads subsequently to the arrest of those who many feel are responsible for this humanitarian disaster,” she added.

WN.com,

For more on this story go to: https://article.wn.com/view/2017/07/31/Grenfell_Towers_Public_Inquiry_May_Be_Delayed_If_Corporate_M/

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*