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Sheridan says he was 'victim of conspiracy'

FORMER MSP Tommy Sheridan has launched a fresh bid to clear his name, claiming the public will be shocked when a conspiracy against him is finally revealed.

HITTING OUT: Lawyer Gordon Dangerfield and Tommy Sheridan at the SCCRC. Picture: Jamie Simpson
HITTING OUT: Lawyer Gordon Dangerfield and Tommy Sheridan at the SCCRC. Picture: Jamie Simpson

The ex-politician handed over documents to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) yesterday that he believes will lead to the overturning of his perjury conviction.

Sheridan said his 2010 trial, which ended with him being jailed for three years, involved "poisoned fruit" from a "poisoned tree" to secure his conviction.

His lawyer, Gordon Dangerfield, claimed the alleged conspiracy against Sheridan was far-reaching.

Speaking outside the SCCRC offices in Glasgow beforehand, Sheridan said: "We are about to submit an appeal that my lawyer has been working on for the best part of a year and a half - a dossier that we are very confident is going to lead eventually to the quashing of my criminal conviction for perjury in 2010."

He also said that it would also "expose... (a) criminal conspiracy to conceal evidence during that trial and effectively undermine my ability to conduct a reasonable defence".

He added: "This is the culmination of a long process of collecting all of the evidence and I'm confident it's going to be the start of the journey to clear my name."

Sheridan successfully sued the now-defunct News Of The World for defamation in 2006 after it printed allegations about his private life, including claims he visited a swingers' club and cheated on his wife.

He was awarded £200,000 in the case, but was later accused of lying during the proceedings and ended up on trial at the High Court in Glasgow for perjury.

He was convicted and jailed for three years in January 2011, but has always maintained his innocence.

Mr Dangerfield said the Review Commission application focuses on two grounds of appeal - evidence being withheld during the perjury trial and new evidence that has come to light since then.

The solicitor added: "We believe we have uncovered a very ­widespread, very extensive conspiracy against Tommy Sheridan and against the course of justice in the civil trial, the criminal trial and, in fact, ongoing to this day.

"There are two main areas that the appeal covers - the wrongful exclusion of evidence that stopped this conspiracy from coming to light and, irrespective of that wrongful exclusion, there is now a huge amount of further information uncovered."

Mr Dangerfield said he does not expect an answer from the commission for several months because there are "thousands of documents to consider".

Socialist Sheridan was refused an appeal at the High Court in 2011, leaving an application to the SCCRC his only option.

The SCCRC will firstly have to decide whether to accept the ­application before determining if there has been a miscarriage of justice.

If it concludes there may have been, the case will then be referred back to the High Court.

Sheridan was accused of lying on oath during the 2006 defamation action about a Scottish Socialist Party meeting where he said he had an extramarital affair with a former News Of The World columnist, Anvir Khan, and visiting the sex club, and of lying about another affair with a former SSP activist, Katrine Trolle.

Jurors found him guilty on five of the allegations, but found him not guilty in relation to the allegation concerning Ms Khan.

The trial made legal history as the longest perjury trial in Scotland, with more than 60 witnesses. Delays were caused when Sheridan sacked his QC, Maggie Scott, leaving him to cross-examine witnesses and present his own case.

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