Jury dismissed for wife of disgraced UK minister

AP News
Posted: Feb 20, 2013 10:15 AM
Jury dismissed for wife of disgraced UK minister

LONDON (AP) — A British jury was dismissed Wednesday after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of Vicky Pryce, the ex-wife of a former U.K. cabinet minister who resigned after lying for years about a speeding ticket.

Pryce had pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice for taking the penalty for a speeding violation by her then-husband, Chris Huhne, in 2003. She claims he coerced her.

Huhne — who had repeatedly denied wrongdoing — entered a last-minute guilty plea to the same charge just before his trial was due to start earlier this month. The case shattered his political career: he resigned as a U.K. lawmaker the same day he pleaded guilty.

The judge in Pryce's trial at London's Southwark Crown Court discharged the jury Wednesday after jurors said it was "highly unlikely" they could reach even a majority verdict.

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Pryce, an economist who has worked as a senior adviser in both the private sector and in government, will now face a retrial, expected to start Monday.

The details of her case riveted Britain, as deeply personal and embarrassing revelations about the powerful couple's 25-year marriage emerged.

Pryce and Huhne split in 2010 after his affair with his public relations adviser was revealed.