The trial of former leader of the British Liberal Party, Mr. Jeremy Thorpe, on a?
The trial of former leader of the British Liberal Party, Mr. Jeremy Thorpe, on a charge of conspiracy to murder. The case which is the most serious to be brought against a British politician this century has opened in London. Three other men are also standing trial with Mr. Thorpe, accused of the same conspiracy to murder charge. The case is expected to take two months to complete.
SYNOPSIS: Outside the court building, London's old Bailey, there were the security precautions, that are now commonplace, before the arrival of Mr. Thorpe on Tuesday (8 May) the first day of the trial. The case, labelled as the most sensational British trial this century, has attracted much publicity both inside Britain and abroad.
Mr. Thorpe has pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy to murder charge and he also denies a further charge of incitement to murder. The decision to send Mr. Thorpe and the three others for trial was made last December after a preliminary hearing before magistrates in Minehead, south west England.
Mr. Norman scott, a former male model, is alleged to have been the intended victim of the murder plot. Mr. Thorpe denies heaving had a homosexual relationship with Mr. Scott.
The court is expected to hear how an airline pilot, Andrew Newton, claims to have been hired for GBP10,000 as a 'hit man'.
Despite the charges against him Mr. Thorpe decided to stand as candidate in last week's General Election for the Parliamentary seat he had held for the past 29 years. The old Bailey trial was postponed for a week so he could take part in election campaigning, in his North Devon constituency.
The result of the election though, saw Mr. Thorpe, leader of the Liberal Party for nine years, from 1967 to 1976, losing his seat to the Conservative candidate, Mr. Norman Speller.
The election result was seen by some political observers as a humiliating defeat for the 50-year old politician...but he gave the audience this promise