After three weeks of legal argument and defence submissions by Garden Court Chambers counsel and other advocates, the Crown has offered no evidence against all nine defendants in an alleged £40m fraud case.
The prosecution was brought by the National Crime Agency (NCA), the UK equivalent of the FBI. The trial subsequently collapsed on 24 July 2015 and all of the defendants have been acquitted. The defendants were accused of money laundering over £40million and sending the proceeds to Hong Kong. Four of the defendants were represented by Keir Monteith, Clare Wade, Nerida Harford-Bell and Shahida Begum of Garden Court Chambers.
There had been 16 defendants and the trial had been split in two. In the first case in 2014, Keir Monteith represented another defendant who was first on the indictment and faced the same allegation. The NCA had applied for an adjournment mid-trial, however after legal arguments put forward by the defence, the Crown offered no evidence and the trial collapsed. The collapse of the trial was reported in the Guardian.
Keir Monteith was instructed by Guven Ates of Morgan Has, Clare Wade was instructed by Moshin Ariff of Lloyds PR, Nerida Hartford-Bell was instructed by Imran Khan & Partners and Shahida Begum was instructed by Satwinder Basi of Basi & Co. Keir Monteith, Clare Wade, Nerida Harford-Bell and Shahida Begum are members of the Garden Court Crime Team.