Mystery surrounds the future of Southwark Crown Court, after reports broke last week from unnamed Ministry of Justice “officials” that it could be sold off and closed.
The story was first broken by The Times newspaper, which published on May 26 that the 1980s civil and criminal law centre could be sold off.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice told the News the government “would not comment” on what it called “speculation” about the court’s future.
But the Ministry of Justice did confirm in February its plans to shut 86 courts and tribunals across England and Wales, including Pocock Street Tribunal Hearing Centre in SE1, and Woolwich County Court.
Southwark Crown Court was opened in 1983, and houses cases brought by the Serious Fraud Office. It has recently played host to the hearings of Rolf Harris, Max Clifford, as well as the five former Barclays bankers who stood accused in the Libor-rigging scandal.
The Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The decision to close a court is never taken lightly and any proposals to close courts or tribunals would be subject to public consultation.”