To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking in relation to Customs and Excise following the most recent developments in the London City Bond and Operation Puma cases, with particular reference to its prosecution function; what steps he is taking in relation to the disclosure of information by HM Customs and Excise to the Butterfield Inquiry into this matter; and if he will make a statement.
As I announced in written statements of
Mr. Justice Butterfield received total co-operation from Customs officers, as he recognised in his report. In the course of its review of London City Bond-related convictions last year Customs continued to trawl all areas of the Department for any material of potential relevance both to ongoing appeals against conviction and to the issues examined by Mr. Justice Butterfield. Further disclosable material that was uncovered was passed directly to the Metropolitan Police to assist their investigation into the circumstances of the collapse of the London City Bond cases and to Mr. Justice Butterfield for his consideration. Although Customs had already indicated that it would not be contesting their appeals, Customs also disclosed that material to all the appellants in the Operation Puma case on