My instinct is that leaving aside the morality of taking and keeping stolen money, the Tories could well be in breach of the Proceeds of Crime Act, for accepting, keeping and not reporting the possession of potentially stolen money, and that a party which is in or aspires to be in charge of public justice should be held to the highest principles.
So why have the police decided to let Grant Shapps and his friends keep the cash? Is it because they is innocent. Not quite…
the SFO has concluded that the cost to the taxpayer would be too high.So there you have it. If you steal 6 bottles of water during the London riots, you'll get six months in jail. If you profit from theft to the tune of £400,000, you get a get-out-of-jail free card. I don't quite see why this crime is so difficult to prove. The administrators' report and letter to the Conservative Party made it clear that the money is stolen. The Tories still have it.
The stubs of six cheques totalling £365,000 made out to the Conservative Industrial Fund, had been discovered during SFO raids on Nadir's Mayfair address in 1993. The payments had not been authorised by Polly Peck's board, according to administrators.Therefore they're guilty. There's no mystery at the heart of it. More importantly: a crime is a crime. Justice shouldn't be a matter of profit and loss - though we all know it is.
The Tories have told me to get lost: their defence is that the cash was accepted 'in good faith', which isn't a defence in law of any sort. Asil Nadir's bankruptcy trustee has written asking for it back - no reply. The police aren't going to help, and I doubt any moral pressure will either, but let's give it a go. Ask your local Conservative Party representative why it's OK to hold on to money stolen from the employees of a bankrupt company.