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An innocent man accused of a £50,000 dirty money plot was cleared when legal experts proved he hadn’t acted criminally.

Mr Z was set to borrow cash from a friend to help purchase a council house when he was arrested and charged with conspiring to transfer criminal property.

Prosecutors claimed the Iraqi businessman was part of a wider money laundering bid – but their evidence was circumstantial and related solely to mobile calls, texts and phone signal mapping.

But Mr Z, who was never in possession of the money, instructed lawyers at Stuart Miller Solicitors to prove his innocence.

A jury at Harrow Crown Court, in north London, unanimously cleared him of wrongdoing in May 2018.

A spokesman for Stuart Miller Solicitors said: “The prosecution relied on telephone and phone signal evidence to show there was an agreement to meet and transfer criminal property.

“But the case against Mr Z was entirely grounded on circumstantial evidence – the cash seized at the scene was not in Mr Z’s possession and never was.

“His arrangement to collect the cash was totally innocent. He was collecting this money on the instructions of his friend, as his friend had agreed to lend him some money for him to buy his council property.”

Prosecutors claimed that notes and screenshots on Mr Z’s phone displayed evidence that his had been involved in other money laundering attempts.

But his legal team proved the messages related to legitimate business he had with his mother in Iraq. She gave evidence via video link via Skype to jurors, along with other significant witnesses.

The firm’s spokesman said: “It was necessary for us to call the witness in Iraq to give evidence on the legitimate business to prove that it existed, that Mr Z’s mother had an interest in the business, and that these messages were for the information of his mother.

“Skype was set up in the courtroom and after some difficulties, the defence persevered in setting the live link up, to allow this witness to give this important evidence.”

During the trial, evidence emerged which cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, including how forensics tests revealed Mr Z had no contact with the seized cash.

The spokesman added: “We looked at the CCTV of the scene to identify anything that would implicate our client or a potential witness who had provided a statement, in the event that we decided to call them.

“There were also other witnesses who had provided significant statements in support of the defence. Strategically, it was decided that it was necessary to call them to give evidence.

“Mr Z was unanimously acquitted by the jury.”


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