I am deeply concerned that a taxi driver was able to skip bail and flee the country before his conviction.
Sultan Amari, 46, was facing conviction at Warrington Crown Court for rape but sent an email saying that he had no intention of returning.
He boarded a flight to Istanbul on Sunday but was convicted in his absence. The last time Sultan Amari attended court was on Friday when he was giving evidence.
A warrant has been issued for Amari’s arrest and police enquiries to trace his whereabouts are ongoing.
He has been sentenced to 11 years in jail after being found guilty of raping a student twice following a night out.
I will be raising his concerns with the Secretary of State for Justice. The law is quite clear under the Bail Act 1976 that the police have the powers to withhold the travel documents if they believe the defendant is likely to try and abscond justice. It is unclear why Amari’s documents were not withheld. Moreover, the Bail Act 1976 gives the courts the power to refuse bail to people who are suspected of committing some of the heinous crimes such as murder and rape.
I will be writing to the Justice Secretary as this failing has made a mockery of our justice system. The judge on this case, Tina Landale, has also ordered an investigation into how Amari managed to breach his bail conditions and leave the country. I want the Secretary of State to investigate this case and explain why these failings happened.
A victim of one of the most despicable crimes has been refused the justice she deserves. Our justice system should be designed with the victim in mind. In this case this was not achieved.
My work on the House of Commons Justice Select Committee means that I am focused on holding the Government to account on its approach to justice issues. This is a prime example where questions need to be answered by the Government.