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Artwork case to proceed to hearing of evidence

A STRUCK-OFF solicitor's bid to sue a Scottish aristocrat for £4.25m over the return of a stolen artwork is to go to a hearing of evidence after a judge rejected a bid to dismiss the action.

Marshall Ronald, 57 of Upholland, Lancashire is seeking the payout from the tenth Duke of Buccleuch following the recovery of Leonardo da Vinci's "Madonna of the Yarnwinder" which was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle, near Thornhill, in Dumfriesshire in 2003.

Mr Ronald was at the offices of a Glasgow law firm with others, including undercover police officer John Craig who was posing as a risk management expert, in 2007 when the masterpiece was handed over. He was subsequently acquitted at the High Court in Edinburgh on a not proven verdict of conspiracy to extort or attempted extortion in 2010.

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