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 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Kate Upton nude pictures leak: Model's representatives 'looking into' authenticity of naked images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...