The recent collapse of the Serious Fraud Office’s prosecution of three former Tesco PLC managers has led many commentators to denounce the deferred prosecution agreement regime as unfit for purpose. It is asserted that there is a legal incoherence when individuals are acquitted in their trials but identified as seemingly complicit in criminality in a DPA judgment and/or a statement of facts. To understand why this criticism is flawed, it is necessary to compare the different lenses through which a prosecutor and a judge examine the evidence in a DPA.
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