FOLLOW ON FROM PAUL MALPAS
Robert Green’s blog:
Scottish Legal Aid Board
“The initial legal advice I received after my arrest in 2010 indicated that the complexities of my case were such that I would require an extremely high-calibre defence team. As I am by no stretch of the imagination a wealthy man, I applied for Legal Aid which was was duly awarded. I was then able to assemble a defence team which comprised Gerry Sweeney (human rights lawyer), John McLaughlin (junior counsel) and Donald Findlay QC (senior counsel).
In January 2011 the Crown Office dropped the original charges against myself and replaced them with new charges. This change required me to re-apply for Legal Aid. I was advised by several people at the time that, although the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) is technically completely independent of the Crown Office, this situation looked as if it had been engineered to deny me Legal Aid and deprive me of the services of my high-calibre legal team.
So it proved that my initial application was refused and now my appeal has been turned down as well.
I find it hard to believe how I could be refused when it has recently been reported that both parties in a £10million divorce dispute have been awarded Legal Aid”.
It has also been pointed out to me that a senior SLAB employee, Douglas Haggarty, faced criminal charges in 2009 after being arrested with a rent boy in a shopping centre toilet. In this case the Procurator Fiscal decided to scrap court proceedings in favour of a “direct measure”. It was never disclosed what this “direct measure” was, Haggarty did not face any professional sanctions from the Law Society of Scotland and he remains employed by SLAB. He was defended by Paul McBride QC, a member of the SLAB board who has been tipped to be the next Lord Advocate.