HC Deb 14 June 1982 vol 25 cc605-6
26. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Attorney-General whether any prosecutions have yet been brought as a result of the renewed Operation Countryman investigation.

The Attorney-General (Sir Michael Havers)

I am not aware of any renewed Countryman investigation.

Mr. Price

Can the Attorney-General tell us what usefulness he attaches to "supergrasses" in investigations of this nature? Has the Attorney-General noticed that when "supergrasses" are discovered by the regional crime squad they tend to produce information that is useful to Operation Countryman, but when they are discovered by the Metropolitan Police they tend to be individuals who bring allegations against others, who sometimes become hostile witnesses later? Finally, can the Attorney-General inform the House when we can expect a decision on whether prosecutions will take place in the six to eight investigations mentioned by Sir Peter Matthews in his evidence to the Home Office Select Committee?

The Attorney-General

On the hon. Gentleman's last point, the evidence that was reported in the press today was given in March to the Select Committee. There are no further matters before the Director of Public Prosecutions other than the current ones arising from the Countryman investigations. As regards "supergrasses", there is at least one case of which I know where a "supergrass" may be a witness. It is, therefore, better that I do not comment on what he says or on how good or bad "supergrasses" may be.