The court case of a vicar found guilty of officiating a “matrimonial conveyor belt” of fake weddings has been cancelled after the judge accused immigration personnel of lying on oath.
55 year old Rev Nathan Ntege was alleged to have married almost 500 fake couples at a church in the south-eastern part of London.
But the judge stopped the court case stating “bad faith and serious wrongdoing on the part of tribunal”
The trial against six people accused in addition to Mr. Ntege has also been stopped.
The Vicar who hails from Thornton Heath was being prosecuted at Inner London Cron Court on 14 counts of assisting a violation of immigration law and one count of scam.
The prosecution alleged that immigration personnel became suspicious because of the “unusual number” of weddings that were holding at the parish church. It had risen from six annually to six daily.
According to a report by Channel 4 News when immigration personnel were interogated in the witness box, it looked as if evidence had been corrupted or hidden, maybe ruined. Video clips had disappeared, and an investigation record had been forged”
The Judge Nic Madge stated that the wrongdoing started when two of the suspects were apprehended in June 2011, and “has continued throughout the proceedings of this court case”.
He said that he was convinced that this was a court trial in which there had been both bad faith and serious wrongdoing on the part of the tribunal. He was equally convinced that personnel at the centre of this prosecution have purposely hidden vital evidence and lied on oath”.
Judge Madge stated that if the court case was allowed to go on, there was a real threat that public trust in the criminal justice procedure would decline.
It was a case in which the tribunal should not be allowed to gain advantage from the dangerous misbehavior of the officer in the case or the disclosure officer.
The judge stated that pictures taken at the vicarage and video shot at the church from June 2011 had not been provided to the defence.
Elaborating further, the officer in the court case and/or the disclosure officer had means to ensure that the pictures and videos were not shown and that they had also not told the truth about it on oath.
Judge Madge also stated that the availability of entries on an investigation record from July 2012 to December 2012 had been hidden and lied on oath by the personnel.
The Crown Prosecution Service has said in a statement that they had accepted the judge’s decision.
According to them, they took the remarks very seriously and that they would now be embarking on a full investigation into the custodianship of disclosure and other incidence throughout the court case.
The Home Office stated that the failure of this court case was an extremely unsatisfactory conclusion to a long investigation.
For them, they expected the topmost standards from all their personnel and that they were definitely treating the judge’s decision that their personnel behaved in bad faith with the highest seriousness.
The other six suspects were 81 year old Brian Miller and 67 year old Maudlyn Riviere who hailed from Thornton Heath; 51 year old Galina Petkova who resided at Shrubbery Road, Enfield; 34 year old Georgia Forteath who hailed from South Norwood; 34 year old Innocent Odoh who resided at Brownhill Road, Hither Green; and 54 year old Angela Palachie who resided at Florida Road, Croydon.