The former justice minister reiterated his defense of former Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan, arguing that the disgraced politician had not received a “fair trial”.

Reigate MP Crispin Blunt removed the message from his website and Twitter feed last month in which he was claimed that Mr. Khan was the victim of a “terrible judicial error”.

A former Wakefield MP was convicted of sexual assault on a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

Earlier, Mr Blunt withdrew his initial statement and said: “I do not tolerate any form of abuse and firmly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system.”

He also offered to resign as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APG) on LGBT issues following protests by deputies against his comments.

But in a new interview with BBC One Politics South East, he backed his previous defense of Mr Khan, who was expelled from the Conservative Party after the verdict and later resigned.

Reflecting on his initial statement, Mr Blunt said: “I didn’t know Imran – I met him in the first weeks of 2019 and 2020 and really enjoyed his company and could understand why he would be a great parliamentarian with a huge amount to contribute .

“And so this question arises in me … his conviction. And I don’t want to … I saw what happened (in court). I remain completely convinced.”

“Victims of sexual violence took my statement very seriously”

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Mr. Khan is officially appealing the verdict

Mr Blunt admitted that he was not present at the whole trial, adding: “I know what decisions were made in the trial, which meant that, in my opinion, he did not get a fair trial or something like that.”

Asked if he believed in it now, he replied: “Yes, I do.”

Mr Blunt also said he did not attend witness testimony in court.

He was then asked if he thought he knew more than the jury.

He replied: “So inevitable, because quite a few trials took place without the presence of a jury.”

He added that he believes he saw a “serious miscarriage of justice”.

Mr Blunt said: “Of course, the justice process is not over because … Imran has the opportunity to appeal the verdict.

“And I remain very confident that a justice system worthy of that name will return its good name.

“Victims … who have been victims of sexual violence have obviously taken my statement very seriously. But perhaps it is (in) the nature of some of my politicians … to look for arguments … for people whom others do not want. ».

Earlier this month, Mr Blunt has announced that he will step down in the next election.

It took the jury in the Crown Court Southwark about five hours to decide that 48-year-old Khan was guilty of sexual assault on a teenage boy.

Mr. Khan is officially appealing the verdict.

He is due to be sentenced on May 23.

https://news.sky.com/story/crispin160blunt-reiterates-defence-of-ex-tory-mp-imran-ahmad-khan-as-he-claims-sex-offender-did-not-get-fair-trial-12618859

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