LibDem Donor Michael Brown is up before Southwark Crown Court tomorrow in the first stage of a criminal prosecution. Brown gave the LibDems £2.4 million before the last election and was arrested in Majorca in April on suspicion of forgery.
The hearing starts at 9.45am in Court number 1, should you wish to be there. He's charged with 53 (!) counts of forgery. The hearing is held for him to enter a plea and to fix the trial date and various disclosures to be arranged.
Police have reportedly sezied £10 million of his assets police seized £10m of his assets in Majorca including five properties, a £400k yacht, a Porsche and a Bentley. So far they have not knocked on the door of 4 Cowley Street (just my little joke).
Personally, I'd like to know what he disclosed to the LibDems about his UK business operations and what checks they made on his status.
Perhaps a lawyer who is reading this could clear something up for me. Under what circumstances would the LibDems be forced to repay the donation? Most of us might think there was a moral obligation on them to do so if indeed it is proved that his UK companies were not trading at the time of the loan (see HERE). But what is the legal precedent for somone having to hand back a donation to a third party which at the time was in no position to give it. My suspicion is that HSBC are the key here. They are the ones bringing the charges against Brown and they are the ones who may well try to demand the money back from the LibDems.
The trial date is expected to be set for the autumn.