To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 14 June concerning recent acquittals in the case of perverting the Court of Justice in relation to the Hillsborough disaster (HL Deb, cols 1668–71), whether they have discussed with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) the reasons for not bringing charges in relation to misconduct in public office; and whether they have asked the DPP to publish those reasons.
The CPS carefully considered the available evidence against a wide range of suspects but the Code for Crown Prosecutors only permits the CPS to commence a prosecution where there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and where it is in the public interests to do so. The CPS brought prosecutions where the Code Test was met. The CPS makes prosecution decisions independently from Government.
In June 2017, the CPS published a public statement following the decision to charge the three individuals with perverting the course of justice alongside other suspects referred for a charging decision at the same time.
On 15 June, the DPP appeared before the Justice Select Committee and outlined the reasons why the CPS did not pursue misconduct in public office charges. Charges of misconduct in public office would only have been available against two of the three defendants and, the CPS assessed that perverting the course of justice was the correct charge against all three. The conduct alleged would have been identical whatever the charge selected. The DPP’s evidence is publicly available on the Justice Select Committee website.