Saunders conviction to stand
Sunday 15 December 1996
On Tuesday the Strasbourg court will decide whether Mr Saunders was deprived of a fair trial six years ago for illegal share-ramping in Guinness's 1986 bid for Distillers.
He is also claiming pounds 5m compensation, which government lawyers called "dishonest" at the Court hearing in February.
At issue are Department of Trade and Industry powers to compel evidence in company frauds and its use in trials.
In 1994, the European Commission on Human Rights voted 14-1 that use of the evidence violated Article 6 of the European Convention.
Government sources expect that, if it does not overturn the ruling outright, the Court may rule the use of evidence unfair, but still find the conviction safe.
In any event, it has no power to quash the conviction.
Official sources say it would fall to Home Secretary Michael Howard to decide whether to refer the case back for the third time to the UK Court of Appeal.
In 1995, however, the Appeal Court found decisively against Mr Saunders - and his three co-defendants, business tycoon Gerald Ronson, stockbroker Tony Parnes and financier Jack Lyons - on the same arguments made in Strasbourg.
A pardon, alternatively, is out of the question. "You won't find anyone here who will say they are sorry Ernest Saunders was prosecuted," one official source said.
Any ruling in his favour would be an embarrassing blow, however. The other three are also preparing appeals, if he wins.
His five-year sentence was halved on his first appeal in 1991. He was released early after claiming he had Alzheimer's Disease, but has since made an amazing - and unique - recovery.
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 4 Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# Web d...