Attorney General ‘Careful Considering’ Colston Case Referring to Court of Appeals

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That attorney general is considering referring the case in which four men were cleared for tearing down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston to a court of appeal.

Suella Braverman said the decision is causing “confusion” and she is “considering carefully” whether to use the powers that allow her review to allow senior judges to “clarify the law for future cases”. get a chance to do it.

Ryan Graham, 30, Milo Ponsford, 26, Sage Willoughby, 22, and Jake Skuse, 33, are on trial for pulling down a statue during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June 2020 in Bristol, while a large crowd is present Was.

He was acquitted by a jury at the city’s Crown Court on Wednesday.

Without affecting the outcome of this case, as Attorney General I may refer cases to the Court of Appeal to give senior judges an opportunity to clarify the law for future cases.

The verdict prompted a debate about the criminal justice system after defendants – dubbed the Colston Four – opted to prosecute before a jury and did not deny involvement in the incident, instead claiming the statue’s presence as an abomination. was an offense and it was therefore not a crime to remove it.

But prosecutors said it was “irrelevant” to who Colston was and that the case was outright criminal damage.

The acquittal cannot be reversed and the defendants cannot be tried again without new evidence.

Ms Braverman said on Twitter: “Trial by jury is an important custodian of liberty and should not be underestimated. However, the decision in the Colston statue case is causing confusion.

“Without affecting the outcome of this case, as Attorney General I may refer cases to the Court of Appeal to give senior judges an opportunity to clarify the law for future cases. I am considering it carefully.” whether to do so or not.”

Section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972 allows the Attorney General, after a submission to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to ask a High Court to clarify a point of law, but that does not affect the outcome of an individual case. There is no means to change. ,

A spokesman for the CPS said: “The decision to make the allegation was made after detailed consideration of the evidence in accordance with our legal examination.

“We are considering the outcome of the case, but under the law the prosecution cannot appeal the jury’s acquittal.”

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