Police 'lied' to secure conviction in Nat Fraser case, appeal court told
POLICE lied to the chief prosecutor in the Nat Fraser murder trial in order to secure a conviction, it was claimed yesterday. Picture: Jane Barlow
Published Date: 16 November 2007
POLICE lied to the chief prosecutor in the Nat Fraser murder trial in order to secure a conviction, it was claimed yesterday.
The Court of Appeal in Edinburgh was told that two police constables who said they had seen Arlene Fraser's rings in her house the night she disappeared in 1998 had been "hung out to dry" because their evidence would have weakened the case against her husband.
Peter Gray, the defence advocate, said the officers' sightings of the engagement, wedding and eternity rings had been "extremely inconvenient" to the police and the procurator-fiscal service.
Summing up, he said that Nat Fraser had suffered a miscarriage of justice because of mistakes by the Crown.
Fraser, 48, of Elgin, Moray, is appealing against his conviction for hiring a hitman to kill his wife, on the grounds that the defence was not made aware of the evidence of constables Neil Lynch and Julie Clark.
Alan Turnbull, QC, who prosecuted the case and is now a High Court judge, also gave a statement as part of a Crown Office inquiry last year.
Reading from the statement, Mr Gray said: "I have a clear recollection of being firmly reassured that the officer concerned had made a mistake and the impression that was left was that he himself acknowledged that."
Mr Gray added: "One way or another, lies were being told and they were being told to the advocate depute who had the responsibility to prosecute this case in the public interest and fairly.
"There is a reek about the conduct of the police, and two police constables appear to be being hung out to dry to protect a conviction," he said.