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Chris Huhne: Paying the Pryce for the Perversion of Justice

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Just over two weeks ago, Chris Huhne (MP for Eastleigh) finally admitted to perverting the course of justice, after just ten years of constantly and vehemently denying that he had done so.

He had received driving license penalty points in 2003, which his now ex-wife claimed on his behalf. From that moment, up until their acrimonious separation in the summer of 2010, they both kept it as their little secret.

A few months after their separation, Huhne's ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, spilled the beans. Huhne denied that he had ever asked anybody to claim his penalty points, and continued to deny it (and thus continued to pervert to course of justice) right up until his guilty plea on 4 February this year.

And now he has resigned as an MP and it looks like he's probably going to be sent to prison for a while, to have a good think about what he's done.

It has since been suggested that Vicky Pryce only decided to reveal his wrongdoing in order to get revenge on the man who'd had an affair and then announced he was leaving her after 26 years of marriage.

Having listened to her irritating mannerisms and grating voice on the recently released phone calls between the two, many people may wonder how Huhne managed to last for so long without feeling compelled to leave her... anyway, that's beside the point.

Although Pryce wasn't the one who committed the original offence, she was complicit in hiding the truth (and thus perverting the course of justice) for so many years. And for that reason I believe that she ought to receive a similar sentence to Huhne, although many would disagree and claim that she's less guilty and committed less wrongdoing that him.

I would maybe have more sympathy with this approach, were it not for the fact that it seems to me her actions are so clearly motivated by self-interest, and not at all motivated by a desire to see justice being done.

I doubt that she has been desperate to reveal Huhne's deceit all along - I imagine she would have kept up the lie for years and decades to come, if she'd wanted to.

I would argue that Pryce's motivation for revealing the perversion of justice is clearly an act of pure revenge. Fair enough, she can get her revenge, and I'm sure many wouldn't blame her - but I don't think she should be held any less accountable for the crime that her and Huhne both committed for a whole decade.

Revealing their crime to the world doesn't absolve her of her wrongdoing - and since it seems to me that she's motivated by her own self-interest, I feel even less inclined to make any such exception for her.

This afternoon, the jury in Vicky Pryce's trial were dismissed, having failed to reach a verdict after four days of trying. It has been determined that Huhne will not receive his sentence until Pryce's trial has concluded.

It seems that Chris Huhne's sentence is already a foregone conclusion; he is almost definitely going to receive a custodial sentence. The fate of Vicky Pryce, however, for now remains uncertain.