Yesterday, Nicholas van Hoogstraten was released from prison. It had been found by the High Court that he had no case to answer in the alledged manslaughter of business associate Mohammed Raja.
In July 1999, following a long-running dispute with Mr Raja, van Hoogstraten allegedly sent two henchmen to Mr Raja’s home with a loaded firearm, with, it is claimed, the intention to scare Mr Raja. These two men shot and killed Mr Raja on his doorstep.
In his ruling yesterday, Sir Stephen Mitchell agreed with the defence team:
But, because there was no evidence that Hoogstraten foresaw that the two men would have deliberately turned the gun on Mr Raja, he could not be prosecuted for manslaughter.
If, however, Mr Raja had been killed accidentally by Hoogstraten’s two alleged henchmen, he could have been convicted of manslaughter.
Now, I’m not a lawyer and have no legal training, but doesn’t it seem to you that the law is just plain wrong in this regard? The Court was satisfied that van Hoogstraten sent these men, and that he knew they would carry a firearm. Surely that is enough for some sort of conviction?
I think there must be several people around who have already packed their bags and left the country.