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The BBC's John Andrew
"The plot against the former Tory minister was uncovered a week before his release"
 real 28k

The BBC's John Andrew
"The inmates behind the plot have also been transferred"
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 08:43 GMT
Aitken prison plot foiled

Aitken: Told about the plot on return to prison after Christmas


Jailed former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken has been moved to a new prison after a plot by inmates to drug him and photograph him naked with another prisoner was uncovered.

Three of the ex-MP's fellow prisoners planned to sell the photographs of Aitken in an apparent homosexual tryst to a tabloid newspaper.

Staff at Standford Hill open prison in Sheppey, Kent, got wind of the plot from overheard telephone calls and tip-offs from inmates friendly with Aitken.

The Prison Service said Aitken - who is due to be released from prison on 7 January - had been moved to Elmley Prison, also on Sheppey, a more secure category C prison, for his own safety.

The inmates behind the plot - who face an investigation by the Prison Service - have also been transferred to a high security prison.

'Home curfew'

Aitken was told about the plot after returning to prison after a six-day Christmas leave on Thursday.

He spent the holiday with his family at his Georgian home in Westminster, central London.

The 57-year-old will be released from jail under a "home curfew" scheme after serving seven months of his 18-month sentence.

He was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice after his failed libel action against The Guardian newspaper.

He will have to wear an electronic tag for two more months on his release and must abide by a 1900 GMT to 0700 GMT curfew at his home.

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See also:
30 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Aitken returns to prison
25 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Christmas mass for Aitken and family
08 Jun 99 |  UK Politics
Aitken: A glittering career cut short
09 Jun 99 |  UK Politics
Aitken's 'eternal shame' about lies
08 Jun 99 |  UK Politics
Jail sentence for Aitken

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