The head of the Crown Prosecution Service in West Yorkshire is to undergo “training” in the wake of an employment tribunal that saw a Muslim solicitor awarded a record £600,000 payout for racial discrimination.
Chief Prosecutor Neil Franklin is among a number of senior managers involved in the case who will be given “further guidance and training.”
Halima Aziz was suspended from work by the CPS after joking at Bradford Magistrates’ Court that she was a friend of Osama bin Laden. Earlier this month, an employment tribunal found that there was “not a shred of evidence” to support the treatment of Miss Aziz by the CPS.
The lawyer was working at Bradford Magistrates in October 2001 – a month after 9/11 – when she was accused of blaming the terror attacks in the US on “Jews”. Miss Aziz denied making that comment, saying that she joked, as she was going through a security check at the court, that she was being treated like a friend of Bin Laden.
She was suspended from duty while a complaint from the court was investigated and she was cleared of all allegations in 2002.
The Employment Tribunal found that senior officials at the CPS were guilty of racial discrimination for the way they handled her case and that a previous inquiry run by chief executive Peter Lewis was a “whitewash”. And it identified Mr Franklin as one of the “principal discriminators”.
The CPS said it accepted the recommendations in the judgement and has now revealed that it will provide further guidance and training for the managers involved.
But the CPS does not accept certain elements of the judgement and is seeking a review and appeal on those.
The CPS said the specific elements it was appealing against were the references to the CPS withholding material from the Tribunal, the Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
e-mail: will.kilner @telegraphandargus.co.uk