PracticeConsultingEuropean Court appeal for Gerald James

European Court appeal for Gerald James

The former chairman of Astra, one of the companies at the heart of the arms to Iraq affair, has said he intends to take the issue of his expulsion from the English ICA to the European Court.

Gerald James lost his appeal against the decision to oust him from the Institute after being found responsible for creating a false invoice for almost £240,000.

The Joint Disciplinary Scheme – the senior watchdog for chartered accountants – yesterday refused to allow James’ appeal against three complaints which included issuing the false invoice, and false accounting as a result, failing to cooperate with DTI investigators, and failing to cooperate with the JDS.

After a short recess this morning the appeal tribunal chairman Sir Oliver Popplewell announced: ‘We propose to dismiss appeals against all three complaints.’

He said reasons for rejecting the appeal would follow in a written statement sometime in the near future.

The tribunal has yet to rule on costs to be imposed on James but an earlier tribunal had ordered that he pay £200,000, a figure his defence lawyer said would effectively ‘bankrupt’ him.

After the hearing James indicated that he could now take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

‘I will have to see what the position is but I am told that I have a very good case,’ he told AccountancyAge.com.

This latest hearing brings to an end the JDS action against James whose company, Astra, was implicated in the arms to Iraq affair.

However, the complaints he faced related to the production of an invoice for £240,000 dated March 1986.

In August the previous year James had forecast Astra would make pre-tax profits of £300,000 prior to efforts to have the company listed.

The contention is that Astra made a little over £100,000 and that James manufactured a false invoice to make up the shortfall.

James has always maintained his innocence.

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