Giving a client a false alibi to escape a crime is certainly a crime itself, as Conveyancing solicitor Shahid Pervez from Glasgow found out today, being jailed for 5 years by Lord Hardie.
Quoting the Herald news report, Lord Hardie told Pervez ""The public public is entitled to have the highest standard of integrity and honesty from lawyers, and you have betrayed that trust and besmirched the good name of solicitors." chuff chuff ... but do they get it ?
Read on for the rest .. and don't forget this ex lawyer testified for the Crown in a case involving a Police Officer alleged to have bribed a witness at a fugitives trial with a £50,000 bribe. The Policeman was found not guilty, and the Crown Office still haven't come up with an explanation for that one .. .over to the Justice Secretary to shake a few worms loose in Chambers Street ?
Please remember - it's still acceptable for lawyers to give lawyers alibis when it comes to those colleagues facing client complaints etc ... so maybe the Law Society could learn something from Lord Hardie's comments ...
The Herald reports :
A lawyer who provided a "serious criminal" with a false alibi for his High Court trial has been jailed for five years.
Conveyancing solicitor Shahid Pervez, 39, was branded by the judge, Lord Hardie, as a disgrace to his profession, his family and the Asian community.
He told Pervez: "You have pled guilty to an offence which strikes at the heart of justice by committing perjury in support of a false alibi for someone charged with a serious offence for whom a trrial was fixed.
"As a result the trial was adjourned for investigation and the accused was allowed bail and is now a fugitive from justice."
"The public public is entitled to have the highest standard of integrity and honesty from lawyers, and you have betrayed that trust and besmirched the good name of solicitors."
Pervez, of 8 Langhaul Place, Crookston, Glasgow, admitted attempting to pervert justice by providing the man who was accused of abduction and extortion, with a false alibi in 2005.
You have pled guilty to an offence which strikes at the heart of justice
In a sworn statement the lawyer said the accused man was in his office discussing an insurance claim at the time the crime was committed.
Paul McBride QC, defending, described the man who was given the alibi who cannot be named for legal reasons as a "significant player" who inspired fear amongst criminals.
He said that terrified Pervez agreed to provide the false alibi because the criminal threatened his life and the lives of his family.
Mr McBride's remark that it was an an "absolute tragedy" for the lawyer prompted a remark from Lord Hardie: "It is also an absolute tragedy for the course of justice."
He said that after he was threatened Pervez should have reported the matter to police and he told Mr McBride that if the rule of law was ignored the courts would be governed by criminals.
Said Lord Hardie: "The rule of law is greater than any of us and in this case it hasn't prevailed because there is a fugitive from justice as a result of Pervez's actions"
Pervez has since resigned from his practice at the firm of Belton Pervez at 430 Victoria Road, Glasgow, and is no longer a solicitor.
Lord Hardie told Pervez that in sentencing him he was taking into account the fact that he had given evidence for the Crown in the trial of a Glasgow policeman.
The officer, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly tried to buy a witness's silence, in the fugitive's trial with a £50,000 bribe.
The constable was found not guilty.