Academy chief facing fraud charges
The founder and principal of a flagship free school has been charged with fraud and other offences.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Sajid Hussain Raza has been charged with offences which relate to his involvement with the Kings Science Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Raza was arrested last year following an investigation into the school, which was visited by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012.
The CPS said it had authorised West Yorkshire Police to charge him with three offences of fraud by abuse of position, three offences of false accounting, two offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and one offence of fraud by false representation.
Julian Briggs, reviewing lawyer at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside's c omplex casework unit, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with West Yorkshire Police in connection with this case.
"Having carefully considered all of the evidence presented to us, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge Sajid Hussain Raza (principal) with a range of offences relating to his involvement with the Kings Science Academy, Bradford, and that it is in the public interest to do so.
"Accordingly, I have today authorised West Yorkshire Police to charge Sajid Hussain Raza with three offences of fraud by abuse of position, three offences of false accounting, two offences of obtaining a money transfer by deception, and one offence of fraud by false representation. He will first appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court shortly.
"This defendant has now been charged with serious criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."
The academy was one of the first free schools to open in September 2011. It was set up by Mr Raza and pr aised by Mr Cameron on his visit in March 2012.
West Yorkshire Police said Raza, 42, of Spring Gardens Road, Bradford, has been released on bail and will appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court on a date yet to be fixed.
The force said the charges relate to financial matters at the school between April and August 2011.