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Geoconsult to fight Appeal Court decision

NEWS

AUSTRIAN TUNNELLING consultant Geoconsult is to challenge the Appeal Court's refusal this week to allow an appeal over its conviction for endangering lives during the 1994 Heathrow Express tunnel collapse.

Geoconsult chairman Professor Johann Golser said: 'We are disappointed and will appeal further for leave to appeal against the conviction.'

Lawyers for Geoconsult said an Appeal Court judge had granted leave to appeal against the £500,000 fine it received in February (NCE 18 February). Reasons for the decision have not been disclosed.

Since its conviction Geoconsult has argued that the Health & Safety Executive prosecution was 'grossly unfair'. It claimed the HSE had improperly influenced its expert witness and refused to disclose crucial documents.

Campbell Hooper solicitor David Gillies acting for Geoconsult said: 'If this had happened in a prosecution by any other prosecuting agency it would have been thrown out. We don't see why the HSE should be treated any differently from the police.'

The appeal against the fine is expected to be heard before the end of the legal term in July.

The HSE said it was not prepared to comment.

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