On December 3rd as part of our coverage of an emissions standards trial, we linked to a full and unabridged copy of Klarius’ statement following the end of the trial.
The statement contained the words: “In his ruling the Judge referred to individuals from two competitor companies who sought to make commercial gain from the situation”. While the judge did refer to individuals from two competitors in his ruling, there was no suggestion explicit or implied that they sought any commercial gain. CAT’s reporting was therefore inaccurate in this respect and CAT apologises for reporting that statement.
Further, CAT is content to clarify that the trial was halted due to disclosure failures of unused material by the prosecution, and not as a result of the prosecution’s evidence against the defendants, which had yet to be tested in court. As previously reported by CAT, DVSA and DfT were disappointed that the evidence they had was not heard.
Statement as issued:
Crown Court Judge acquits Klarius Directors
03.12.2019. Today at Manchester Crown Court five current and past directors and managers of Klarius Products Ltd were 100% cleared of any criminal activities – as claimed by competitors and investigated by the Department for Transport. All were formally acquitted and found ‘not guilty’, without a trial even starting. The Crown Court Judge referred to a “shambolic failure” and ruled that no member of the team should stand trial.
Klarius self-reported problems in 2014 and worked with the VCA through to the end of 2015 to rectify production and administrative issues. The VCA found no intentional misconduct and praised Klarius for its co-operation, openness and unfettered access at all levels. In his ruling the Judge referred to individuals from two competitor companies who sought to make commercial gain from the situation.
The Department for Transport indicated that it could not pursue the case and invited the Judge to acquit all five defendants.
Paul Schofield, solicitor acting for Tony Wilson commented “Today’s ruling marks the end of a case we have always maintained was completely misguided, unfair and inappropriate.”
Anthony Barnfather, a leading Manchester lawyer, also instructed in the case commented “This is one of the most unjust prosecutions I have ever come across. After years of being wrongly accused the directors can now get back to business without a stain on their characters.”
Further reactions and personal statements from those involved will be provided over coming days.