Nilgun Canver jury must be "absolutely sure" to give guilty verdict

The jury in the trial of a politician accused of lying to the police have been told they must be “absolutely sure” she did so to give a guilty verdict.

Former Haringey Borough Council cabinet member Councillor Nilgun Canver is accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice by claiming she was driver of the family's BMW after her son Burak crashed the car on January 24, 2013.

He was later convicted of taking the vehicle without consent, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.

During the closing statements, defence barrister Marguerite Russell told jurors it was up to the prosecution to prove what had happened, not Cllr Canver.

According to Stavros Oikonomou, who claims the car hit him, Cllr Canver told him she had been the driver even though he had seen her son get out after the crash.

When Mr Oikonomou confronted her and said it was a man driving the vehicle, he claims she offered him money to not call the police, telling him “have mercy brother”.

His brother Sotirius, who was also present at the conversation, claimed this was correct and true.

PC Tutton, the first officer to arrive at the scene, also said Cllr Canver told him she was the driver and only admitted her son was involved after he forced the information from her.

The officer told the court he was “quite frustrated” Cllr Canver was trying to obstruct the investigation.

Cllr Canver has accused the police and the two witnesses of lying and said she made a momentary mistake.

Ms Russell said: “Mrs Canver is a woman in her 50s, of good character. I’ll concede that she was not falling over herself to give evidence against son but what mother would.”

She added: “This is quite a serious matter and you have to be absolutely sure – beyond reasonable doubt – before giving a guilty verdict.”

Prosecutor Brendon Morris said it does not matter that the attempt to pervert the course of justice failed or that it was found out, all that matters is that she tried.

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