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court clerk becomes first person charged under Bribery Act

10 October 2011

A magistrates’ court clerk has become the first person to be charged with an offence under the Bribery Act 2010. Munir Patel has been charged with requesting and receiving a bribe to improperly perform his functions. It is alleged that Mr Patel agreed to influence the outcome of criminal proceedings in relation to a motoring offence, in exchange for £500. The prosecution was brought after an investigation by the Sun.

Although this first prosecution is not the Act’s dramatic debut that we had perhaps expected, it is of course necessary that if a public official is found to be corrupt, then punishment should follow. However once the regulator has completed a first prosecution under the Act, we expect them to become more confident about prosecuting more complicated business cases.

The approach of the Courts will become clearer on 14 October 2011, when Mr Patel appears before Southwark Crown Court.

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