A high-profile barrister and judge is being investigated by police for allegedly lying about her involvement in leaking the Chris Huhne speeding points story to the press, a court heard today.
Constance Briscoe, a friend of Vicky Pryce, was arrested after telling police she had not been in contact with the media about the story, when it later appeared that she had, Pryce's retrial heard on Tuesday.
Constance Briscoe was arrested
Pryce, 60, denies perverting the course of justice, claiming Huhne coerced her into taking three points for him in 2003.
On Wednesday a jury failed to reach a verdict in Pryce's trial, prompting a retrial at Southwark Crown Court which started yesterday.
The court has heard Pryce, helped by Briscoe, told journalists about the story to get revenge on Huhne after he left her for PR adviser Carina Trimingham in June 2010.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC read jurors a statement from Detective Inspector Martin Passmore explaining why certain people had not been called as witnesses in the case.
"Ms Briscoe has provided statements to the police in this case but during the investigation it became apparent that she may have lied about her involvement with the press and that she denied having any contact with the Mail on Sunday or any other media organisation in relation to this story," his statement said.
"Ms Pryce has not been arrested or interviewed in relation to that allegation.
"For this reason Ms Briscoe has been arrested and is currently under investigation by the police.
"Ms Briscoe could therefore no longer be relied upon as a witness of truth and on October 2, 2012 the Crown Prosecution
Service took the decision not to call Ms Briscoe to give evidence in the case."
On Monday Edis told the court Briscoe was a friend and neighbour of Pryce.
"She was a neighbour of Vicky Pryce in those days and I think she had also had a difficulty in her marriage and they appear to have got closer to each other," he said.
"The two of them appear to have cooked up a plan to go and see the press about Huhne and taking points.
"They started it together by approaching a man called Andrew Alderson."
Alderson was a freelance journalist working to provide the story to the Mail on Sunday, the court heard.
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