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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 14:49 GMT
Arlene witness: 'I'm no killer'
Arlene Fraser
Arlene Fraser was last seen alive in 1998
The main prosecution witness in the Arlene Fraser murder trial has denied that he was the real killer.

Hector Dick had told the High Court in Edinburgh that Nat Fraser had hired a hitman to kill his wife.

But the defence argued that Mr Dick had been involved in the death and disappearance of the Elgin mother-of-two.

Hector Dick
Hector Dick denied killing Mrs Fraser
There has been no trace of 33-year-old Mrs Fraser since she disappeared from her home in Smith Street, New Elgin, on the morning of 28 April, 1998.

Her 43-year-old husband has denied conspiring to murder her and defeat the ends of justice by disposing of her body.

Mr Dick had also originally faced the same charge.

However, the charges against him were dropped last week and Mr Dick began giving evidence for the prosecution on Monday.

The 46-year-old farmer said Mr Fraser told him he had arranged for his estranged wife to be killed and then got rid of her body by grinding it up and burying it.

Questioned by detectives

Mr Dick admitted he had burned and crushed an old Ford Fiesta at his farm because he thought it was linked to Arlene's disappearance.

Paul McBride QC, defending Mr Fraser, accused Mr Dick of being "a habitual liar, a serial liar" when he was being questioned by detectives.

The farmer admitted that he had told lies to police, saying: "My loyalty was to Nat at that time."

Nat Fraser
Nat Fraser: Denies charges
Asked by Mr McBride if he killed Mrs Fraser, Mr Dick replied: "I did not."

Asked if he helped someone kill Mrs Fraser, he replied: "I did not."

Asked if he was involved in abducting Mrs Fraser, he replied: "I was not."

And asked if he was involved in any way in luring Mrs Fraser from her house, he replied: "I was not."

Mr Dick told the court he had visited Mrs Fraser's house the week before she disappeared because her husband had asked him to pick up some rubbish from the garden and dump it.

'A pack of lies'

On Tuesday the trial was told that police had suggested it was "a reconnaissance visit with the purpose of coming back at some later date and taking part in the murder of Arlene Fraser".

Mr McBride put it to Mr Dick that the police had been correct.

"Your explanation to the ladies and gentlemen of this jury about your visit to Arlene Fraser's house the week before she disappeared is preposterous, unbelievable and a pack of lies," he said.

Mr Dick replied: "I have no problem with my visit to the house that day."

The trial also heard that Mr Dick tried to hang himself after intense police questioning.

Suicide bid

He was asked by Mr McBride what he did on 20 June, 2001.

"Attempted suicide," Mr Dick told the lawyer. "I just went on a downer."

He spoke of being with the police in Elgin and said that on the way back to Inverness they started talking about "odd stuff, jewellery and things".

Mr Dick said: "Then back at Inverness, later on at night I just went on a downward spiral."

Asked how he tried to commit suicide, Mr Dick said: "I hung myself."

He agreed with Mr McBride that it was a genuine attempt, not a cry for help.

The trial continues.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  BBC Scotland's Craig Anderson
"Mr Dick admitted he had lied to police on several occasions"
  BBC Scotland's Morag Kinniburgh
"Lawyer Paul McBride questioned Hector Dick's version of events"
See also:

20 Jan 03 | Scotland
14 Jan 03 | Scotland
10 Jan 03 | Scotland
09 Jan 03 | Scotland
08 Jan 03 | Scotland
06 Jan 03 | Scotland
07 Jan 03 | Scotland
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