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Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 02:41 GMT
Guinness convictions go to appeal
courts generic graphic
The case centred on Guinness shares during a takeover battle
Three businessmen convicted in the Guinness fraud trial more than 10 years ago have had their cases referred back to the Court of Appeal.

The cases of Anthony Parnes, Ernest Saunders and Gerald Ronson, who have been fighting to clear their names, will be heard by three appeal judges later this year.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has already sent the conviction of Jack Lyons back to the Court of Appeal.

The four men were convicted in 1990 of involvement in a conspiracy to drive up the price of Guinness shares during a takeover battle.

European Court ruling

The European Court of Human Rights has already ruled the men had an unfair trial because they were compelled to provide details to Department of Trade and Industry inspectors, which was then used against them as primary evidence in the trial.

The four cases will be heard together after a judge said at a hearing last week they should be "consolidated".

Mr Parnes' solicitor, Keith Oliver, said on Monday that he welcomed the decision.

He said: "We will be co-operating fully with a view to ensuring that the appeal comes onto hearing as soon as possible in accordance with the wishes of the court."

Mr Parnes was convicted of four counts of false accounting and two counts of theft and had his original sentence of two and a half years reduced to 21 months on appeal in May 1991.

Mr Saunders was convicted of eight counts of false accounting, two counts of theft, and of conspiracy to contravene the Prevention of Fraud Act 1958.

He was jailed for a total of five years but in May 1991 the Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to two and half years.

Mr Ronson was sentenced to 12 months and fined 5m after being convicted of two counts of false accounting, one count of theft, and of conspiracy to contravene the Prevention of Fraud Act 1958.

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