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Nat Fraser Criminal Appeal Hearing Set For 8 June

An appeal hearing deciding on a potential retrial of Scottish businessman Nat Fraser convicted of murdering his wife has been adjourned until 8 June 2011.

A businessman from Elgin, 52 year old Nat Fraser was imprisoned in 2003 following a criminal trial in which he was found guilty of ordering a hitman to kill his wife, Arlene Fraser, despite her body never having been discovered.

Last week, the UK Supreme Court unanimously allowed an appeal by Fraser’s lawyers, remitting the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to consider whether to grant authority for a new prosecution and, then, having considered that point, to quash the conviction. Thus, Fraser could be set free or released on bail if a new trial is ordered.

The appeal comes as Fraser’s solicitors argued that there had been a miscarriage of justice and, specifically, a breach of his right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, following claims that the evidence for the initial trial had been tampered with and that prosecutors had not been provided with all relevant facts.

Lord Hope said: “I very much regret any further delay that this decision may lead to in the final disposal of the case. I regret too the distress that it will cause to Arlene Fraser’s relatives, who were present in court throughout the hearing of the appeal.

But it has to be recognised that the appellant was entitled to a fair trial. Any unfairness at the trial may be put right at the stage of an appeal. But for that to be achieved the right tests must be applied, so that the appeal too is fair. The conclusion that I would reach as to what these tests lead to leaves us with no alternative but to make the orders which I have proposed.”

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Monday, 06 April 2020

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