29 May 2019

Andrew Smith comments on Boris Johnson to face a preliminary hearing and then a criminal trial in Bloomberg

A London judge recently ruled that Boris Johnson must attend court to face allegations of misconduct in public office. Johnson will face a preliminary hearing and then a criminal trial, District Judge Margot Coleman said today. Johnson will be required to answer accusations that he made false claims about British spending on the European Union, she said.

“Whether the prosecution ultimately succeeds against Mr. Johnson is perhaps less important than the symbolic value of today’s events,” Andrew Smith, a lawyer at Corker Binning, said in an email. “Any person, whether holding high office or not, can rapidly become a defendant in a criminal prosecution.”

Smith said that private prosecutions have increased in the last decade because of the low threshold of evidence needed to get a summons.

The judge’s decision can be reviewed by the High Court, Corker Binning’s Smith said. The public prosecutor also has the option of taking over the case, and shutting it down should its officials find there’s no case to answer.

Read the full article in Bloomberg here