Published 16th September 2015, 12:42pm
This Office is not permitted to comment publicly in relation to the contents of a file arising from a criminal complaint. Further it is not the usual practice of the Office to comment on specific cases. However given that the complainant as captioned has made a public statement in this matter, in these unusual circumstances we feel compelled to make the following observations.
In the referenced matter, this Office received a full ruling file in May 2015, some 2 years after the individual against whom the allegations had been made had left the jurisdiction. As with all rulings, careful consideration was given to the circumstances of the case and any unusual features were taken into account.
In general terms when considering whether to bring a criminal prosecution, this Office is duty bound to examine all the circumstances. The facts and circumstances of each case will be different and the competing interests which need to be considered are never the same. Such factors may include evidential and public interest matters for example:-
i. any unexplainable delays between the making of the original complaint and the provision of material in support of it;
ii. any discrepancies between the original complaint and the material subsequently provided to the police in support of the complaint;
iii. the conduct of the complainant prior to and subsequent to the making of a complaint.
iv. the fact of restitution, the extent of such restitution, and its impact on the overall harm sustained by the complainant;
v. any other actions taken by the complainant / accused at the time of making of a complaint or thereafter;
vi. the sufficiency or insufficiency of any evidence contained in the file provided to this office;
vii. the potential for legal arguments arising from issues such as those set out above;
viii. the whereabouts of the accused and the potential cost at public expense of any extradition proceedings;
ix. the potential outcome of any criminal prosecution (in terms of case disposal in light of the particular circumstances of the case);
x. whether, in light of these and other factors, to embark upon a criminal prosecution at this time is proportionate; and
xi. any other significant factor.
In keeping with our ongoing duty, should any of the circumstances giving rise to a decision not to prosecute change, then the decision may be revisited.