Chris Huhne ordered to pay £78000 costs for speeding points case
Former Lib Dem Cabinet minister argued that £25,000 was a reasonable sum, but judge had no hesitation in overruling him.
The former cabinet minister Chris Huhne has been ordered to pay £77,750 for the costs of his prosecution for passing speeding points to his then wife, the economist Vicky Pryce. The sum is three times the £25,000 that the former energy secretary argued was a reasonable figure.
But Huhne, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire until he resigned in February 2013 when his trial began, was successful in his application he that should not be charged for the £31,000 police investigation into barrister Constance Briscoe, who was to have been a key prosecution witness against him and Pryce.
Briscoe was dropped as a “witness of truth” after Huhne’s lawyers discovered she had lied to police in a witness statement and was part of a campaign with Pryce, by then his ex-wife, to “bring down” the politician.
The prosecution had sought £108,541.15 from Huhne, 59, who pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice on the first day of his trial.
“The prosecution underlined that, despite his many protestations to the contrary, Mr Huhne must have known all along he was guilty,” said Mr Justice Sweeney in the costs judgment.
As part of his defence preparations, Huhne had obtained court orders to force the Mail on Sunday to disclose emails which showed Briscoe, 56, a part-time judge and friend of Pryce’s, was talking to the Mail on Sunday and had lied in her witness statement.