Lobbying for release of tax evader
Sir, – Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath has lobbied for the release of his constituent Dr Bassam Naser ,who was convicted and jailed for blatant tax evasion on a large scale (“Minister defends lobbying for release of doctor jailed for not paying tax”, July 25th).
In Ireland, there still remains too much tolerance for white-collar crime. There is a reluctance to accept that the middle classes should serve time in jail for crimes for which this is the punishment laid down in law.
If the middle classes do not wish to go to prison, they should refrain from such crime.
Mr McGrath asks how does Dr Naser’s jailing serve anyone. It serves society as it is a deterrent to others.
Such laws will lose this power if they need not be observed by the more affluent members of society.
Mr McGrath suggests Dr Naser’s crime was “more an accident”, while the evidence in court showed his actions were deliberate.
Mr McGrath is making a serious error of judgement in lobbying the Minister for Justice for Dr Naser’s release.
Freedom in a democracy requires a clear separation between politics and law. Politicians make laws and independent judges enforce them. That basic principle is a fundamental protection against arbitrary and oppressive rule in our society. – Yours, etc,