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Fraud trial cop accused of lying

PUBLISHED: 18:30 22 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK Detective has been summoned to appear at court on a charge of perjury in relation to a collapsed court case against an Anglo-Italian entrepreneur.

A SUFFOLK Detective has been summoned to appear at court on a charge of perjury in relation to a collapsed court case against an Anglo-Italian entrepreneur.

DS Kevin Hegarty, of Suffolk Constabulary, is due to appear at magistrates court in Ipswich for a private prosecution next month.

The case has been brought to court by Rome based businessman Giovanni di Stefano.

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

A fraud case against the businessman, who claims to have links with Slobodan Milosovic and Saddam Hussein, was thrown out of Southend Crown Court by a judge in June.

It is alleged that during proceedings DS Hegarty made a statement that he knew to be false.

The summons states that the alleged offence was committed on July 8, 1994 - seven years before the trial finally reached court.

It was issued at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on Monday and DS Hegarty is set to appear at the same court on October 23.

Mr di Stefano, who currently has an address in Rome, was extradited from the Italian capital to Suffolk on fraud charges relating to his business interests when he ran a hotel in the county a decade ago.

He spent six months in Norwich prison plus time in an Italian jail awaiting trial on the charges.

Judge Frank Lockhart dismissed the case after Mr di Stefano's defence argued there had been "an abuse of process" in bringing the businessman to court.

The charges related to a period between January 1991 and February 1992 when the entrepreneur ran hotels in Suffolk, Norfolk and Leicestershire.

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

Last year Mr di Stefano, who used to live in Brandon, near Thetford, was extradited from Italy to Ipswich where he appeared before magistrates who remanded him in custody.

It is believed the collapsed case cost the British taxpayer an estimated £3 million.

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