CPS race discrimination case hots up

A senior crown prosecutor whose application for a junior management post was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service has been deemed fit by an independent board to take up a post five levels higher.

Delhi-born Maria Bamieh, 40, is taking her case against the CPS to an employment tribunal for racial discrimination over her interview last March for the job of prosecution team leader (PTL).

After being rejected by the PTL panel, she applied for the post of chief crown prosecutor.

The independent interview panel – consisting of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a judge, a QC and the chief executive of the CPS and Civil Services Commissioner – recently informed her that she is eligible for the promotion.

Bamieh, who is based at Wood Green, London, says: “It's really a Cinderella situation. It's such a huge jump. It never happens in normal circumstances.

“It's ridiculous that I was deemed unfit for a junior management post by the CPS and yet deemed fit for a post five grades higher by an independent board.”

Born to an Indian mother and a father of Turkish/Arab descent, Bamieh has worked at the CPS since 1987 but claims she has not had a single promotion in all that time. She qualified as a barrister in 1983 and says she turned down a tenancy to take the CPS post.

Bamieh was due to give her final summary to the employment tribunal last week. The CPS refused to comment on an on-going case.

A CPS spokeswoman says the CCP and PTL posts are very different, the former being more strategic, the latter more operational.