Friday, April 1, 2011

Can you imagine B. Old Bailey?

Jim Devine, 57, a former Labour MP, went before a judge yesterday for making false expense claims account for 8,385 pounds (about 10 thousand euro) and has been directly sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. The Old Bailey, as it's called the Criminal Court of London, no joke. There are no discounts to anyone, least of all parliamentarians.

Indeed, the parliamentary pay more, because in addition to the offense committed must also account for the outrage to the good name of the institution. Same Old Bailey, an austere building surmounted by a dome on which stands the statue of Justice with a sword in one hand and the balance on the other, intimidates and inspires respect and Upper Court judges are called again with the old Titles My Lord and My Lady.

So Jim Devine yesterday we started walking sadly to be judge and was charged for asking for the reimbursement of renovation and repainting never executed. It 's the fourth to be sentenced under the parliamentary scandal on expense reports that last year had shaken Westminster. David Chraytor, 61, is serving 18 months for 22 thousand pounds, Eric illseley, 55, was sent to prison last year produced 14,500 pounds of rimbrosi "dishonestly" and the conservative Lord Taylor of Warwick, 58, is in awaiting trial for fraud on 11 thousand pounds.

In trouble were over 381 other MPs as "dishonest" in the newspapers asking for reimbursement of personal expenses. Labour, Conservative and liberaldemocatici, regardless of political color, were all caught red-handed. Who had brought on behalf of the cage of the parrot, who receipt of food for the cat, the hi-fi, the new broom, cleaning lady, the pruning of plants in the garden.

Most things just a little damage to the state treasury, but terrible for those accustomed to English law, that "Theft Act that punishes thieves and crooks, but especially condemns those who violate the political morality. The process was being initiated "in the public interest" and British newspapers for weeks had thundered with words that you never hear on the banks of the Thames: Parliament rotten, lists of shame, indecency in the palaces of British democracy, the scandal at Westminster.

The acts took place between 2005 and 2009. For Devine, in particular, the expense was related to the period between July 2008 and May 2009. More about that process, end up in jail in Italy with a final conviction after a year could be considered a process for summary. For almost everyone else, the case was closed with the restitution of stolen goods, a total of one million and 200 thousand pounds.

Interesting because of the condemnation of Devine, from the beginning in a state court for presenting the worst ever known to costs involved (then double Ford). All compounded by the fact that he lied in court during the trial, trying to blame his administrator and has pursued in the scam despite the press were already full of news about the scandal and it was clear public sentiment of condemnation and shame to those behavior.

Read the British newspapers this morning and imagine the Italian prime minister forced to cross the gate of the Old Bailey and to the court with a "My Lord" is a thought that I could not drive.

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