Goldberg cleared of misconduct

The Bar Council's disciplinary tribunal has dropped its charges of professional misconduct against the leading defence counsel in the Roger Levitt fraud trial nearly two years after they were made.

The charges related to Jonathan Goldberg QC's opening speech in the trial, which senior prosecuting counsel David Cocks QC maintained had misled the jury.

The trial led to uproar in November 1993 after Levitt received a 180-hour community sentence on a specimen charge. This summer, Parliament's Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee expressed concerns over the “bungled” prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office and Cocks.

A Bar Council spokesman said: “All charges against Jonathan Goldberg were dismissed.”

Goldberg said he was “greatly relieved” that the allegations were shown to be unfounded.

“It has been an appalling two years. Nobody should have to endure the wait I have had to go through to be cleared.”

Cocks alleged that Goldberg, having obtained a ruling that details of how Levitt had obtained certain funds should not be cited in evidence, then misled the jury in statements by allegedly referring to these.

A complaint by trial judge Mr Justice Laws had already been dismissed.

The Bar Council is to consider two complaints against Cocks for allegedly misleading Parliament over how the plea bargaining was handled.