Former Royal Household official from Suffolk to stand trial over allegations of accepting bribes of more than £100,000

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- Credit: PA

A top Royal Household official from Suffolk is to stand trial accused of accepting bribes of more than £100,000 to give companies contracts for work on royal palaces.

Ronald Harper, 62, pleaded not guilty to four charges of conspiracy to make corrupt payments when he appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London today alongside eight other men and a woman.

Harper, of Glemsford, worked as deputy property manager at the Royal Household from 1994 until he was suspended in 2012.

He is accused of accepting payments or gifts from the directors of four companies, who were then given large contracts for maintenance of the historic buildings paid for by the then Civil List, now called the Sovereign Grant.

Several other defendants, including three men from Essex, also entered pleas to several charges.

Aseai Zlaoui, 39, and Christopher Murphy, 54, both directors of BSI Nordale and from Witham both pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

Alan Rollinson, 65, of Leigh-on-Sea, pleaded not guilty to three charges of converting or transferring criminal property.