Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Politicians and hitmen

Jeffrey Archer says he is to appeal against his conviction for perjury and we must, of course, believe him.

The BBC reports that the basis of his appeal is that allegations made against him before his trial were not disclosed to the defence. Chief among them was the claim that he had ordered a prosecution witness, his ex-employee Angela Peppiatt, to be killed and the television presenter Jill Dando was murdered by mistake. She lived close to Ms Peppiatt and drove a similar car.

No doubt this claim is nonsense, but misunderstandings can occur with hitmen. The last case in which there were allegations of a British politician hiring one was that involving Jeremy Thorpe and Norman Scott.

Then it was alleged in court that Andrew Newton (who shot Scott's dog Rinka) had been told he could find Scott in Barnstaple but had misheard and originally gone to Dunstable instead.

Lawyer's note: Mr Thorpe was acquitted without a stain on his character.

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