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Crime: Public Interest Immunity

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Answer by the Minister of State at the Home Office, Mr Michael, on 25 June 1998 (HoC Deb, cols. 589–90) on public interest immunity documents, whether they will review the answers to parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of that Question. [HL1215]

The Questions referred to asked my predecessor to comment on aspects of an individual case that are a matter for the police and the courts, not for Ministers. I understand that the documents referred to were the subject of a court order made in the course of a criminal prosecution. Following the House of Lords judgment in the case of Taylor and Others v Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Others, mentioned by my predecessor, a person who provides information to the police in confidence is guaranteed immunity from suit in respect of that information. Under the circumstances, and having particular regard to the House of Lords judgment, it would not be appropriate for me to take any further action, particularly given the considerable passage of time since the events in question.