Michael Brown goes on trial

by Stephen Tall on November 10, 2008

The Press Association reports:

One of the Liberal Democrats’ biggest donors is due to stand trial accused of fraud. Michael Brown, 42, who gave £2.4m to the party in the run-up to the 2005 General Election, faces 16 offences.

Apart from fraud-related allegations, the Glasgow-born businessman is charged with money laundering, theft and perverting the course of justice. The case will be heard at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

As Lib Dem Voice never tires of reminding readers – to even up the fact that the rest of the media can’t be bothered to report all the facts – this was the verdict of the independent Electoral Commission on the Lib Dems’ probity in this matter:

The Electoral Commission has previously made clear its view that it was reasonable for the Liberal Democrats – based on the information available to them at the time – to regard the donations they received from 5th Avenue Partners Ltd in 2005, totalling just over £2.4m, as permissible.

“It remains the Commission’s view that the Liberal Democrats acted in good faith at that time, and the Commission is not re-opening the question of whether the party or its officers failed to carry out sufficient checks into the permissibility of the donations.”