Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Claims in court that Judge made mistake in Fraser trial

The Nat Fraser appeal has heard claims the judge in the trial made a mistake which allegedly made it harder for the Crown to seal a conviction ...

The Herald reports :

Judge made mistake, appeal court hears


The judge in the Nat Fraser trial made a mistake which made it harder for the Crown to seal a conviction, the appeal court heard yesterday.

The Crown argues that even if there was a misdirection to the jury there was no miscarriage of justice in the outcome of the case.

John Beckett QC, for the Crown, said Lord Mackay of Drumadoon had misdirected jurors by telling them they could only find Fraser guilty if they believed he had put his wife Arlene's rings back in her house after she went missing.

"This introduced an extra hurdle that the Crown had to overcome in order to prove its case," said Mr Beckett.

"In my submission, that direction can only be seen as favourable to the appellant."

But he added: "I would not accept that even if we have a misdirection we have a miscarriage of justice". The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh is hearing the eighth day in Fraser's appeal against his murder conviction.

His defence claims he suffered a miscarriage of justice because the advocate-depute in the trial made the rings the "cornerstone" of his case.

Evidence has since emerged that two police officers may have seen the rings in her house the night she disappeared, which neither the Crown or defence knew at the time.

The appeal continues.

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