Section 70: Penalty and prosecution for offence under section 69
236.Subsection (1) provides that the maximum penalty for a person found guilty of the offence under section 69 is (a) on conviction on indictment, two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both; or (b) on summary conviction, 12 months, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both. Under the transitional provision in paragraph 7 of Schedule 13, the period of 12 months is reduced to 6 months pending commencement in England and Wales and Scotland of provisions referred to in that paragraph. Subsection (2) provides that in England and Wales prosecutions for such an offence may only be begun with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutors or, in the case of revenue and customs information disclosed by Revenue and Customs, by the Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions (established by section 34 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005). Subsection (3) makes provision for prosecutions in Northern Ireland which are similar to those in England and Wales. Subsection (4) extends liability to certain officers of a body corporate and partners and senior officers of a partnership where the offence in section 69 is committed by a body corporate or a partnership (as the case may be). Subsection (5) reduces the maximum penalty for summary conviction of the offence in Northern Ireland from 12 months to 6 months. Subsection (6) defines terms used in the section.