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05 June 2013

Judge 'astonished' by SFO request in Tchenguiz case

A senior judge has expressed shock and surprise following a request by the UK's fraud watchdog to receive special treatment in order to saver the taxpayer money.

By James Barnes

The Financial Times reports that that Serious Fraud Office made the request in connection with its on-going legal tussle with property magnate brothers Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz.
In yesterday’s hearing to decide whether the fraud agency could withdraw a previous admission of trespassing on property belonging to the brothers, Mr Justice Eder said the fact that the potential damages would be paid from the public purse was irrelevant.


The judge added that the suggestion that a government agency should be treated differently to another party is ‘something which it seems to me astonishing that counsel managed to sign’.
The SFO’s case against the Tchenguiz brothers collapsed last year after the agency admitted to a wave of mistakes, leading to Vincent and Robert filing claims for damages totalling £200m and £100m, respectively.

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