Clause 297 - Forfeiture

Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 10 Ionawr 2002.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Amendment made: No. 333, page 172, line 16, leave out subsections (4) and (5).—[Mr. Bob Ainsworth.]

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I beg to move amendment No. 334, in page 172, line 29, leave out subsection (6).

This is a drafting amendment. On reflection, it is clear that subsection (6) is unnecessary. If the court considers that cash is not recoverable property, it cannot forfeit it under subsection (2) and must, therefore, release it. Amendment No. 334 deletes a redundant provision.

Amendment agreed to.

Question proposed, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, Lewes

Subsection (1)(b) relates to forfeiture in Scotland. I understand that the procurator fiscal detains the cash under clause 294, and Scottish Ministers can then order forfeiture of the money. Why are the two handled separately? Why do Scottish Ministers not undertake both detention and forfeiture of cash?

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

There needs to be some co-ordination. It is no good the hon. Gentleman turning

up late on a Thursday afternoon and trying to replace the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael). I am being unfair.

In the first instance, there is always the question of criminal pursuit, so that is obviously an issue. I do not wish to go over what we discussed this morning. The procurator fiscal is involved because criminal pursuit is possible. We need to amend the Bill, which was accepted when we considered the matter this morning. I intend to do that to provide that when the procurator fiscal has dropped out of proceedings because the chance of criminal pursuit has been considered and does not apply, Scottish Ministers should deal with a subsequent case because it would be a civil matter. We discussed that in greater detail this morning. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman could not be present, but that is the reason why two sets of people are involved.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, Lewes

I am grateful to the Minister and wish him a happy new year also. I discussed the matter with my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland, who attended this morning's sitting. He was unhappy with the explanation that was given and asked me to pursue the point this afternoon. There is co-ordination among members of the Committee.

I am sure that if I had raised a point that was out of order, you, Mr. McWilliam, would have told me so.

Photo of Mr John McWilliam Mr John McWilliam Llafur, Blaydon 2:45, 10 Ionawr 2002

Order. The point was not out of order. I am advised that the matter was discussed at length this morning, so should not be discussed again. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) could not be present this morning, but that does not excuse him from raising a matter that was discussed at length.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 297, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 298 and 299 ordered to stand part of the Bill.