Royal aid denies bribe claim

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A top official in the Royal household has denied accepting bribes of more than £100,000 in exchange for contracts at royal palaces.

Ron Harper, from Glemsford, held the title of deputy property manager from 1994 until his suspension in 2014.

It is alleged that between 2006 and 2011, a number of company directors bribed the 62-year-old in return for him awarding them large working contracts.

Harper is said to have accepted in excess of £100,000 from Christopher Murphy, Aseai Zlaoui, David Woodhams, Bernard Gackowski and Steven Thompson, the directors of three companies which were, during the same period, each awarded contracts for various work.

It is alleged that two of the three companies also received Royal warrants.

Harper appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Friday when he denied four counts of conspiracy to give and receive corrupt payments.

He appeared alongside six other men and a woman, who also denied a series of related charges, including conspiracy to make corrupt payments and fraud by abuse of position.

Harper’s trial is expected to take place in May 2015. He was released on conditional bail until then.