Clause 171 - Provision of information by defendant

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:30 pm ar 11 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Nick Hawkins Mr Nick Hawkins Ceidwadwyr, Surrey Heath 12:30, 11 Rhagfyr 2001

The hon. Gentleman has touched on the reason why my hon. Friends and I did not table a specific amendment. We did not want to provide a get-out, and we were not sure that there was an easy way of doing this. As he is aware, we do not have the drafting resources that are available to Ministers. However, we wanted to alert the Government to our concerns, which is why I am doing that on clause stand part. Whenever I try to think about how one might amend the clause to protect the middle-ranking person who might properly be before the court, who might be a criminal, but who might be subject to threats from people higher up the terrorist-controlled racketeering organisation, it occurs to me that, whatever amendment one tables, one might open a loophole.

The hon. Gentleman has therefore identified my concern precisely. We could not frame a suitable amendment, but we wanted to alert the Government to the risk, and ask whether, with their much greater drafting resources, they had thought about the matter. If they had not, we wanted to ask whether they would do so, and if they had, we wanted to ask what their response would be.