Hatton case 'rests on evidence'

THE JURY in the Derek Hatton fraud trial was yesterday told to decide the case on the evidence - not on any previous knowledge of the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council.

In his closing speech, Rodney Klevan QC, for the defence, told Mold Crown Court in north Wales that a 'massive inquiry' had led to the prosecution. 'Half the Amazon forest has gone into preparation for this case. It is now neatly bundled in files of papers.'

But the case rested on evidence from Mr Hatton's diary, he said.

Also on trial are John Nelson and Hanna Folan, former Labour councillors, and John Monk, a businessman. Mr Hatton, Ms Folan and Mr Monk deny conspiring to defraud Liverpool council by arranging for Mr Monk to be leased land for less than its market value. Mr Hatton, Mr Monk and Mr Nelson deny a similar charge in relation to land at Manesty's Lane in the city centre.

The trial continues today.