British police investigate lawmakers' expenses
British police said Friday that lawmakers would face criminal investigations into their expenses claims, in the latest twist of a scandal that has rocked the country's politics.
Scotland Yard said a panel of senior detectives and prosecutors had decided that full inquiries were necessary for a "small number" of lawmakers and peers, or members of parliament's upper House of Lords.
Police enquiries were expected to focus on politicians accused of deliberately misleading the authorities or claiming repayments for "phantom mortgages."
A spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police said: "After consideration by the joint Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service assessment panel, the Met has decided to launch an investigation into the alleged misuse of expenses by a small number of MPs and peers."
The announcement follows weeks of leaks in The Daily Telegraph newspaper showing lawmakers had claimed for everything from a duck island to cleaning a moat at a country home.
But the most serious abuses involved claims for mortgage payments on second homes.
While the police did not reveal any names, the BBC and Sky News television reported that two lawmakers from the governing Labour Party, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, were under scrutiny.