Scotland Yard forwards four MPs' expenses files to prosecutors

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London, Nov. 24 (ANI): Scotland Yard has forward four cases of MPs and peers facing criminal charges of fraud over their expenses claims to prosecutors ccording to The Telegraph, those facing prosecution are Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, and peers Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.

Four of the case files have been passed to the CPS, with a further two expected to follow within weeks.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer is expected to decide whether to prosecute the politicians before a general election.

Starmer will determine whether the politicians face court on counts of fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, or false accounting, for which the maximum penalty is seven years.

Police and criminal lawyers are confident that charges will be brought.

A spokesman for the Met police said: "We have delivered four main files of evidence relating to parliamentary expenses to the Crown Prosecution Service. The files relate to four people, from both the House of Lords and the House of Commons and will now be subject to CPS consideration on whether there should be any charges".

Police have been liasing with Sir Thomas Legg, who is carrying out an audit of MPs' expenses, and are believed to have taken witness statements from senior civil servants and members of the Fees Office who processed the suspected claims.

Witnesses, including constituency workers and banking officials, have also been interviewed as detectives build up a file of evidence.

There are fears at Westminster than any potential charges would overshadow an election campaign, although both Gordon Brown and David Cameron have said they expect prosecutions.

Even if the MPs and peers are charged in January, it is unlikely that any trial would start before 2011. (ANI)

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