HC Deb 18 July 1969 vol 787 cc205-6W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General whether he will give the kinds of exceptional circumstances which delay civilian and criminal trials for periods of 12 months; and to what extent these circumstances apply in the case of alleged company frauds and in the particular case, the details of which have been supplied to him.

The Attorney-General

The exceptional circumstances to which I referred in my reply to my hon. Friend on 14th July, 1969, include, in civil cases, instances where there was difficulty in obtaining a fixture for a very long case, and,; in criminal cases, instances where trials are postponed because a defendant fails to surrender to bail, or is seriously ill, or the defence request postponement for further time to prepare their case. Company fraud cases usually involve lengthy and complex evidence which may lead to such requests by the defence but, in other respects, ordinary considerations apply. My hon. Friend has referred me to the Rolls Razor case. The committal proceedings were completed in January, 1969, and the trial is likely to start on 24th September, which is within the 12-month period to which my hon. Friend refers.