Rebuttal to the TCI Sun Newspaper’s article
The Sun Newspaper has recently published an article by its editor Hayden Boyce with the Title “Where is Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick”
Throughout the course of this investigation the SIPT has not commented upon media reports, save to correct obvious inaccuracies and misstatements. It does not comment on matters that are in front of the court, or confidential.
1. The role of Special Prosecutor does not require Helen Garlick to be in court every day. In this respect the role is equivalent to that of a Case Controller or Assistant Director at the Serious Fraud Office, or of a senior lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Office in the United Kingdom. In an equivalent case in the United Kingdom the instructing prosecutor would not attend each and every day of the trial. The prosecution case in the trial of Mc Allister Hanchell, Michael Misick and others is being presented by a team of barristers, lead by Andrew Mitchell QC, instructed by Ms Garlick. All the evidence and Case papers are held electronically. On every day that court sits Mrs Garlick receives a live note of the evidence from junior counsel and is able to follow the proceedings as they take place. She is also available to the Case Team every day and speaks to a senior officer and or counsel at least once a day.
2. Mrs Garlick has not been paid a retainer, contrary to the report in the Sun article. Neither has Andrew Mitchell QC. She is paid a daily rate for her work as SP. Accordingly when she is not in the TCI, this results in a saving of public funds.
3. Claims by the Sun that Mrs Garlick travels extensively when she is not in the TCI are untrue. Any other foreign travel undertaken by Ms Garlick has either been for personal reasons and at her own expense, or for the occasional pro bono (free) services that she has provided for international anti corruption bodies.
4. The report also states that Mrs Garlick is simultaneously working for Fulcrum Chambers. Since the time of her appointment as Special Prosecutor in 2009, apart from one small assignment in 2013, Ms Garlick has undertaken no other paid work. There is no contractual arrangement between the TCIG and Fulcrum Chambers.
5. Mrs Garlick was a director of West End Property Management Company. The company exists for the sole purpose of maintaining the block of flats where she lives.
6. Ms Garlick is not involved in any aspect of the security arrangements at court or for the SIPT. She has never personally asked for or made a case for bodyguards.
7. The decision of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office to discontinue the BAE investigation was considered in detail by the House of Lords in 2008 and the judgement is available for anyone to read. The House of Lords made no criticism either of the conduct of the investigation, or the decision to discontinue it. This is a matter of public record.
8. The quoted criticism of the Public Accounts Committee was levelled at the former Director of the Serious Fraud Office personally. It was unrelated to the conduct of any particular case.
9. The SIPT is committed to treating the public with courtesy and respect and to ensuring that the trial process is conducted properly until its conclusion.