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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 17:45 GMT
Witness denies 'scandalous perjury'
Arlene Fraser
Arlene Fraser went missing almost five years ago
A prosecution witness in the Arlene Fraser murder trial has been accused of lying to save his own skin.

Advocate Paul McBride QC alleged that Hector Dick had committed "the most breathtaking and scandalous perjury".

However, the claim was rejected by the 46-year-old farmer.

Hector Dick
Hector Dick denied lying in court
Mr McBride is defending Mrs Fraser's husband Nat, who has denied conspiring to murder his wife and defeat the ends of justice by disposing of her body.

Similar charges against Mr Dick and another man were dropped last week.

On Monday he told the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh that 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.

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

Held back

There has been no trace of the 33-year-old mother-of-two since she disappeared from her home in Smith Street, New Elgin, on the morning of 28 April, 1998.

The court heard that Mr Dick had spent seven hours talking to police the evening before his acquittal.

He gave them information which he said he had previously held back on the advice of his lawyer.

Nat Fraser
Nat Fraser: Denies charges
Mr McBride suggested that the account Mr Dick had then given in court was "the most breathtaking and scandalous perjury".

"That is not right," replied Mr Dick.

"And you have done so to save your own skin. Is that not right?" asked Mr McBride.

Mr Dick again replied: "That is not right."

He also rejected an accusation that he had put words into Mr Fraser's mouth to "slither" out of a murder charge.

Crown Jewels

Mr Dick said Mr Fraser had spoken of burning his wife's body using charcoal and told him that the hitman came from "down south".

Asked if he knew any other details, Mr Dick told the court: "That is Nat's Crown Jewels, his knowledge."

He also said it was "never particularly true" that he and Mr Fraser were best friends.

"We would enjoy each other's company for an hour at a time but he wasn't interested in pigs and I wasn't interested in bananas," he said.

The trial continues.

See also:

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