Legal challenge launched by Newcastle United following HMRC raid

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Newcastle United Football Club have launched a legal challenge over documents seized by HM Revenue and Customs officials as part of a tax probe.

Newcastle’s St James’ Park and West Ham United’s ground were both raided earlier this year by HRMC, as part of a £5m National Insurance fraud investigation.

A ruling passed by a High Court judge means that members of the HMRC investigative team will be unable to examine items taken in the April raid without permission from the club.

A number of people, including Newcastle United’s managing director Lee Charnley, were arrested before being released without charge.

Mr Justice Supperstone said that the ban would continue to be enforced until there had been resolution of Newcastle United’s application for a judicial review against HMRC.

The judge continued, directing that any of the materials in the possession of HRMC that are considered to be attracting legal professional privilege must be given back to the club.

Mr Justice Supperston also directed that legal action involving the newly-promoted side must return to court on June 22.

The club are believed to be required to show their case on this date, in order to force a full judicial review hearing.

During the hearing, there were no details of the potential grounds for the challenge revealed in court, and the club’s lawyers refused to respond to any requests for detailed information surrounding the case.

Lawyers for HMRC said they were unable to provide any information on the matter.

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