Royal Household bribery case: Seven men and woman deny charges

Hampton Court Palace Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Nine men and a woman face charges over alleged fraud concerning the Royal Palaces

A top official in the Royal Household has pleaded not guilty to receiving payments of more than £100,000 to award contracts for work at royal palaces.

Ron Harper, 62, from Glemsford, Suffolk, worked as a property manager from 1994 until suspension in 2012.

It is alleged a number of company directors bribed Mr Harper in return for him awarding them contracts.

Six other men and a woman have also denied related charges. The trial is due to take place in May 2016.

Bernard Gackowski, 62, of Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to make corrupt payments and fraud by abuse of position.

Others who all denied conspiracy to make corrupt payments were: David Woodhams, 46, of Stanmer Village, Brighton; Aseai Zlaoui, 39, and Christopher Murphy, 54, both from Witham, Essex; and Harry Howard, 80, of Chadderton, Greater Manchester.

Alan Rollinson, 65, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, pleaded not guilty to three charges of money laundering.

Matthew Neath, 35, of Melton Mowbray, charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by abuse of position, is yet to enter a plea.

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