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U.K. Supreme Court To Rule on Expense-Fraud Case Against Three Lawmakers

Three U.K. politicians charged with false accounting will challenge their prosecution at the U.K.’s highest court in October.

At a hearing today at the Court of Appeal in London, Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge stated a question for the Supreme Court to consider. The ruling allows former lawmakers Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine to seek an appeal at the Supreme Court, Judge said.

The men haven’t been convicted and all deny wrongdoing. Their lawyers have argued that the rule of “Parliamentary Privilege,” means they can only be tried by their counterparts in the legislature, not a normal criminal court.

The men, all former Labour Party members of parliament, have pleaded not guilty to making fraudulent expenses claims to the House of Commons. Two courts have already ruled they can be tried in a normal criminal court.

The question the Supreme Court should consider is whether the Bill of Rights of 1688 and the rule of the exclusive jurisdiction of parliament bars the criminal prosecution of an allegedly dishonest expense claim by a lawmaker, Judge said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Lumley in London at jlumley1@bloomberg.net.

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