The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has today referred Hanif Patel’s conviction for an offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007 to the Court of Appeal.
In July 2014 Mr Patel was convicted by a jury at Preston Crown Court of helping to set up a company in Poland to be used for criminal ends. Some months after the company was set up, it was used to launder £5 million worth of property stolen in a cyber-attack on the Carbon Credits Registry in Prague.
The prosecution did not allege that Mr Patel had any role in the actual theft or in the disposal of the proceeds. Three co-defendants pleaded guilty to the charge.
In September 2014 Mr Patel was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Mr Patel’s application for leave to appeal against his conviction was rejected by the Court of Appeal in November 2015. In April 2020 Mr Patel applied to the CCRC for a review of his conviction.
The CCRC believes there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will quash Mr Patel’s conviction, on the grounds that the judge’s instructions to the jury did not include some important guidance. This was needed due to legal issues associated with Poland, where the company was set up, which is outside the normal jurisdiction of the British courts.
The CCRC has therefore referred the conviction to the Court of Appeal.
A date at the Court of Appeal is yet to be set.
Notes to editors
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on 0121 232 0900 or by email email@example.com. For news releases visit: https://ccrc.gov.uk/press-releases/
- The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The Commission usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
- The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate