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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 March, 2005, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Dando death claim in Archer case
Mary and Jeffrey Archer
Mrs Archer says false claims were made to undermine her husband
Disgraced peer Lord Archer is to appeal against his perjury conviction, citing evidence including a claim that he was responsible for Jill Dando's death.

He says the verdict should be quashed as some evidence - such as the baseless claim - was not shared at his trial, his wife has told the Mail on Sunday.

Police were told Ms Dando was killed by mistake after the former Tory peer ordered a prosecution witness's death.

His ex-employee Angela Peppiatt lived in the same road as the TV presenter.

'Preposterous claim'

The former deputy Tory chairman was jailed for four years in 2001, and was released in 2003.

Archer's wife Mary said that her husband was preparing his appeal, but could not say how long it might take before it reached court.

His argument will hinge on claims that certain allegations against him were not divulged.

These include the charge that he ordered Ms Peppiatt to be killed.

The claim was that television presenter Jill Dando - who lived very close to Ms Peppiatt and drove a similar car - was murdered in 1999 by mistake.

Speaking on her husband's behalf, Mary Archer told the newspaper: "I have long known false allegations were made to the police to assist the prosecution and undermine Jeffrey's defence.

Jill Dando
Jill Dando was murdered by Barry George in 1999

"I am astonished that the police did not make known to us, as the law requires they should have done, the preposterous claim that Jeffrey commissioned the murder of Angela Peppiatt.

"We believe that some of this material was included in the successful applications by the prosecution to the trial judge to withhold material from the defence on the grounds of public interest immunity," Mrs Archer said.

She added the failure to disclose all of the information "fatally undermines the fairness of Jeffrey's trial".

'Reparations'

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said it would not comment about a case ahead of a possible appeal.

"If an appeal is launched then we will deal with it in the normal way and deal with the Court of Appeal in the normal way," he said.

Barry George was jailed for life in July 2001 after being convicted of Ms Dando's murder.

Jeffrey Archer has served a five-year ban from the Conservative Party, and in February Conservative Party co-chairman Dr Liam Fox hinted the party would consider his return.

"I'm sure that in line with people having served their sentence and having done some reparations for what they did wrong, we would look at that sympathetically," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Art from behind prison bars
06 Aug 04 |  Entertainment
Lady Archer runs for charity
18 Sep 03 |  Cambridgeshire
Archer a victim of 'injustice'
12 May 03 |  Politics
Archer's life in pictures
18 Jul 03 |  In Pictures
Dando killer's appeal rejected
29 Jul 02 |  Latest News
Dando killer jailed for life
02 Jul 01 |  UK News


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