Socialist Worker

Cop who told of Lawrence case corruption in perjury probe

Issue No. 2720

Stephen Lawrence (left) and his brother Stuart

Stephen Lawrence (left) and his brother Stuart


A corrupt detective turned supergrass whose claims against Scotland Yard led to the second Stephen Lawrence inquiry is being probed for perjury.

Neil Putnam is being investigated by the National Crime Agency, which is believed to be preparing evidence for prosecutors.

Last month, Scotland Yard closed its investigation into Stephen’s killing, 27 years after he died in a racially‑motivated attack.

The original probe failed to convict the murderers.

They are Gary Dobson and David Norris, Neil and Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight.

Putnam claimed another officer on the case, John Davidson, had confessed to being paid by Norris’s father Clifford.

He said in 1998 that he told anti-corruption detectives, who were secretly keeping him up to date with the Macpherson inquiry, of the admission.

Failures

But his claims were not fully given to the inquiry, which found the Met to be “institutionally racist” and said there were systemic failures in the probe.

Leaked police papers in 2012 gave light to his claims about former detective sergeant Davidson. The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed Putnam had made allegations about Davidson to anti-corruption police in 1998, which brought about the inquiry into police corruption.

During a review by Mark Ellison QC, the barrister said in 2014 there were “reasonable grounds” to suggest Davidson’s relationship with Clifford amounted to corruption.

He said Scotland Yard had reason to believe the detective could have been corrupt, but the evidence was not handed to the Macpherson inquiry in full.

His review also said Putnam’s claims were not properly looked into, which led to an NCA investigation for the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

But last summer the watchdog said there was “no indication of corruption on the part of Davidson relating to the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation”.

The Met destroyed documents and police could not find “material evidence” of corruption, making any prosecution difficult.

It now looks like the last prosecution in the case will be of a cop who revealed corruption.


Jet set tax avoidance

Oleg Tinkov is a Russian billionaire who likes private jets and luxury homes that bear his name, just like the online bank he founded.

He also likes the Isle of Man.

In February, Tinkov’s family flew a £43 million plane between three countries in one day while celebrating his son Roman’s 17th birthday.

While Tinkov has been accused of tax fraud in the US, he’s been able to save millions legally in the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency.

Tinkov established an opaque jet leasing structure that enabled him to avoid tax payments on three private jets reportedly worth around £85 million.

He effectively leased the jets to himself through anonymous offshore companies. He thereby qualified for tax exemptions that would not apply if he had simply purchased the planes.

Tinkov’s scheme was first made public in 2017 with the publication of the Paradise Papers.

Britain, the ‘world’s greatest enabler’ of corporate tax avoidance
Britain, the ‘world’s greatest enabler’ of corporate tax avoidance
  Read More

In 2018 the European Commission called for Britain to clamp down on what it called “abusive tax practices in the Isle of Man”.

A BBC investigation had found that authorities there refunded more than £790 million to 231 aircraft leasing companies.

British authorities launched an inquiry, but concluded that there was “no evidence of aircraft VAT avoidance in the Isle of Man”.

Now, a fresh leak of bank documents from a branch of the Cayman National bank on the Isle of Man shows at least 12 other jet owners used similar schemes to Tinkov’s.

Since October 2011, almost 300 applications to the island’s customs authority for a total exemption from VAT for importing a plane have been given the green light.

An analysis by Global Witness found this saved the owners almost

£1 billion—equivalent to the Isle of Man government’s entire budget for 2020.


A Tory MP asked for nine pence in expenses for a car journey of 330 yards. Records show Alex Stafford put in another six mileage claims for journeys that set him back less than £1 within four months of being elected in December.

The Tory MP for Rother Valley also claimed £97 for a rail ticket for his wife Natalie to travel from their former home in London to the South Yorks seat.


Priti Patel’s Home Office has been forced to delete an anti-refugee video from Twitter after outcry from lawyers.

Tories’ racist migrant plan is a death sentence for refugees
Tories’ racist migrant plan is a death sentence for refugees
  Read More

But while the department confirmed it “should not have been posted”, it has so far refused to explain why it was.

The 21-second clip claimed “activist lawyers” are taking advantage of EU rules to frustrate their policy of deporting migrants with no right to remain.


Culture secretary backs slaver statue

A senior government minister intervened to tell an east London museum not to remove the statue of a notorious slave trader.

The museum went through with the decision to keep the statue despite a consultation finding that most people wanted it taken down.

The director of The Museum of the Home feared being “extremely compromised” by an intervention from the culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

He had suggested leaving up the statue of slaver Sir Robert Geffrye.

Dowden wrote in a letter to the museum that “removing statues, artwork and other historical objects is not the right approach” in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

He added, “Historical objects were created by previous generations, who often had different perspectives and different understandings of right and wrong.”

The campaign to remove Geffrye’s statue continues.


Sick cops rest and recuperate on full pay

Around one in 12 police officers are doing “restrictive and recuperative” work.

Many are restricted to desk‑based tasks, such as filling in forms or answering phones.

Cops on recuperative duties can work reduced hours on full pay.

The 10,466 total counted at the start of the financial year is up from 7,020 in 2018.


A West Yorkshire Police Community Support Officer has been sentenced to ten months in prison after admitting two online sexual offences.

David Mallard, who was based at the Leeds North West Neighbourhood Policing Team, admitted two offences at Bradford Magistrates Court last month,

He attempted to cause a female aged 13 or over to engage in sexual activity and attempted to engage in sexual communication with a child.


The things they say...

‘If the left gains power, they will demolish the suburbs, confiscate your guns’

US President Donald Trump on the election trail

‘We have to wake up and smell the coffee’

New Lib Dem leader Ed Davey tell his supporters they are not that popular

‘Anything that sends a message out that it’s not safe in the corridor means that it can’t be safe in the classroom and we’re on a slippery slope’

Tory MP Huw Merriman says children shouldn’t wear masks in schools

‘They consciously allowed the disease to spread’

Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser, says there may be up to 50,000 unnecessary deaths

‘A scaredy-cat nation of masked hypochondriacs’

The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh complains “health fascism” is stopping a return to work


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