‘Insufficient evidence’ is a common response these days to claims for due and proper investigation of high-profile misdemeanours, two magic words that have the power to open the doors to impunity.
We heard them in the cash-for-honours fiasco; we heard them used in several other affairs and now we hear them again with reference to the Gaul case.
Recently, the Treasury Solicitor himself made use of this ‘get-out’ formula when he advised the Department for Transport on the possibility of re-examining the shameful outcome of the 2004 Gaul Investigation.
The Treasury Solicitor, who, during the 2004 RFI, prepared and presented the case under directions from Lord Goldsmith, is now charged with assessing our criticisms of that investigation (published online for all to see).
When asked to justify his pronouncement, he simply told us that our evidence ‘as seen’ did not provide grounds for re-opening the investigation. Fullstop.
Evidence ‘as seen’…?! What could the meaning of this be? Why so inexplicit? Did he think that, if understood, his words would loose their mystical power; or was it just his way of reminding us that the government is too far above the law to have a clear vision of their tasks?