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The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred the conviction of Adekunle Akanbi-Akinlade back to the Court of Appeal in light of new evidence which could prove his innocence.
Correna Platt, appeals Partner at Stephensons Solicitors LLP represents Mr Akanbi-Akinlade. She has made submissions on his behalf to the CCRC. She said: “After preparing a new submission to the CCRC in 2010 regarding the credibility of a key witness involved in this case, we are pleased that they have taken the decision to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal.”
Mr Akanbi-Akinlade, from London, was convicted on 2nd May 2007 at Isleworth Crown Court of being knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of goods contrary to Section 170(2)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
Mr Akanbi-Akinlade was stopped at London Heathrow Airport as he returned on a flight from Nigeria. The handles of his suitcases were found to contain cocaine.
In a press release announcing the referral, the CCRC said that following investigations, they have decided to refer Mr Akanbi-Akinlade’s conviction because new evidence undermining the credibility of a key prosecution witness gives rise to the real possibility that they Court of Appeal will quash the conviction.
Of the 1,000 applications for reviews considered by the CCRC each year, only approximately 4% are ever referred to the Court of Appeal. No date has yet been set for the appeal to be heard.
Notes to editors:
- Stephensons’ appeals team deals with serious and complex crimes and has a national reputation for investigating and challenging miscarriages of justice. The team has succeeded in persuading the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer more than 20 cases back to the Court of Appeal.
- Stephensons has 29 Partners and around 350 staff across a network of seven offices in Manchester, Wigan, Bolton, Leigh and St Helens.
Media information: Lianne Tracey
Stephensons Solicitors LLP
T: 01942 774225