The process is the punishment

The Serious Fraud Office warned Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz that a high-profile investigation into their activities could drag on for “five to 10 years” if they didn’t come to a financial settlement.

As a purely personal opinion it wouldn\’t surprise me at all to find that there had been something \”interesting\” bout the financing of the property empire.

However, that\’s something for the SFO to prove under the law as it stnds and that they ain\’t managed to do. To the point of haing judges shouting at them for lying misleading them about the evidence presented to gain search warrants.

But then to say, come on, cough up £50 million to charity or we spend 5 years investigating you. Umm, no maties, fuck off.

Perhaps we do have a system where the process itself is the punishment but we most certainly should not have such a system. Whichever civil servant suggested this repellent idea should be hung with the intestines of whoever approved it.

9 thoughts on “The process is the punishment”

  1. This is the sort of thing that happens in countries like the one these brothers come from. It’s repellent and unBritish.

  2. It’s also what happenbs in the “ism” industry; look at Cranmer and his issues with the ASA…

  3. “Justice delayed is justice denied”, goes the quote. I would add that justice dragged out is also justice denied. HMRC aren’t the only offenders; our criminal justice system moves at a glacial pace too. Last summer’s London rioters were still being sentenced as recently as March.

  4. 50 million would purchase a lot of investigation into the SFO and its officers. Who knows what skeletons might turn up. Also it could pay for a lot of investigations into other groups of UK police not directly involved in this matter. That way all the pestered plods would know that their troubles were the result of the SFO’s blowhard threats.

  5. There would have been a certain poetic justice if the brothers’ had agreed and then donated the money to all sorts of controversial causes/charities, say climate skeptic researchers, Opus Dei, abstinence councillors etc, etc.

  6. Andrew M, @ 4, anecdote of minor note: I was told a couple of years ago, but someone who would know, that Snaresbrook Crown Court, which is the largest criminal court in the country, had a longer backlog of cases than did every (*) Crown Court in Wales combined.

    *In fact there is only one Crown Court, which happens to sit at dozens of locations across England and Wales, but let that pass.

  7. What would happen if the brothers offered double or quits?

    Of course, it would be a fair bet if the investigating officers could merely pass on the risk to the tax-payer.


  8. Very courageous of the SFO, bearing in mind it’s dealing with Jewish/Iraqi/Iranians and the GBP50 mil it wants comes out at 167K per SFOer, way over the going rate.

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