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Krishna Maharaj

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make representations to the Florida state hearings on Krishna Maharaj that he be granted a clemency hearing or a new trial. (139180)

Mr. Maharaj has a part-hearing scheduled today before the aides to the Florida Clemency Board. A second part of the hearing will be heard in August when Mr. Maharaj’s lawyer will put forward his case. An official from our consulate in Orlando will be attending that later hearing. Consular officials only attend court hearings in exceptional circumstances such as these. I have written to the Governor of Florida in support of Mr. Maharaj’s clemency plea.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many times officials from her Department have (a) met and (b) made representations on behalf of Krishna Maharaj. (139181)

Officials from our consulate in Orlando have met with Mr. Maharaj on several occasions since 2002 when he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment. The most recent of these visits was made by our consul on 19 January. Mr. Maharaj and his wife are in frequent contact with our consular officials in Orlando both by letter and telephone.

Since 2002, we have submitted three amicus curiae briefs to the US courts on a point of international law in Mr. Maharaj’s case. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office both here and overseas are following this case very closely, and representations at official level are made at every appropriate opportunity. We continue to monitor the case in consultation with Mr. Maharaj’s legal representatives in the US and UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information she has on the date of the next hearing on the application for clemency on behalf of Krishna Maharaj; and if she will arrange for a representative of her Department to be present at the hearing. (139182)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a Minister from her Department last spoke with Paul Lomas of Freshfields and the hon. Member for Worthing, West concerning the applications for a clemency hearing or a new trial of Krishna Maharaj (139183)

I met the hon. Member and members of the law firm, Freshfields, on 2 October 2006 to discuss supporting Mr. Maharaj’s plea for clemency.