Plain wrong

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:

The test is not whether Mr Hoogstraten was a party to an unlawful and dangerous act, he plainly was. The very act of going to Mr Raja’s home with a loaded firearm which was to be discharged was an unlawful and dangerous act even before any discharge of the firearm.

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.

BBC News profile of van Hoogstraten.
BBC News report of the court case.
Telegraph detailed report of the court case.
Telegraph detailed profile of van Hoogstraten.

Hoogstraten "will sue" over court case.

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