|Former UK minister faces jail after changing plea
Former British minister Chris Huhne faces jail after he pleaded guilty on Monday to perverting the course of justice over claims his ex-wife took speeding points for him a decade ago.
The plea came as a surprise because Huhne, the former minister for energy and climate change, had stood down from the cabinet last year in a bid to clear his name and just a week ago he had pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing, AFP reports.
But as he and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce went on trial in London, his defence lawyer asked the charge to be put to him again and on this occasion he pleaded guilty.
The admission almost certainly ends the political career of 58-year-old Huhne, a former financial journalist who was considered one of the leading lights of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in the coalition government.
The charge relates to an incident in March 2003 when Huhne's car was allegedly caught by a speed camera as he travelled between Stansted Airport near London and the capital.
The prosecution alleges that Pryce, 60, falsely informed police that she was driving the car at the time of the speeding offence so Huhne could avoid prosecution.
It was not immediately clear if the trial of Pryce, a Greek-born economist who frequently commentates in the media, could go ahead.
The allegations emerged in 2011 after Huhne's 26-year marriage to Pryce ended when he admitted an affair with public relations advisor Carina Trimingham, who was in the public gallery in court on Monday.