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Detective on perjury charge

PUBLISHED: 01:01 25 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK detective is to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on a charge of perjury following the collapse of a fraud case which cost the public £3 million.

A SUFFOLK detective is to appear before Ipswich Crown Court on a charge of perjury following the collapse of a fraud case which cost the public £3 million.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Hegarty is facing a private prosecution by Anglo-Italian entrepreneur Giovanni di Stefano.

Mr di Stefano alleges that DS Hegarty committed perjury at a trial earlier this year.

The trial was a fraud case brought against the Rome-based businessman in relation to his business interests while he ran hotels in Suffolk, Norfolk and Leicestershire ten years ago.

It is alleged that DS Hegarty made a statement he knew to be false and relied on this during Mr di Stefano's trial.

The summons sent to DS Hegarty states that the alleged offence was committed on July 8 1994- seven years before the trial actually reached court.

The trial was thrown out by Judge Frank Lockhart after his defence argued an abuse of process in bringing the businessman to court.

Mr di Stefano, who claims to have links with Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussain spent six months in Norwich prison, as well as time in an Italian prison while awaiting trial.

A warrant was issued in 1994 in connection with alleged fraudulent trading worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but only executed five years later in Italy.

The trial is estimated to have cost the public purse £3 million

DS Hegarty appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates yesterday and was sent to Crown Court for the case to be heard on November 1 under section one of the Perjury Act.

He was released on unconditional bail until this date.

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