BRITAIN: In the Arena

The Crown vs. Jeremy Thorpe

Well-tailored and wan, Jeremy Thorpe, 49, former leader of Britain's genteel Liberal Party, sat quietly in the red-brick Somerset courthouse, taking occasional notes with a gold ballpoint pen. Despite his pallor, Thorpe looked more like the practicing barrister he once was than the principal defendant in what London's hard-breathing Daily Mail is calling "the case of the century."

The charges outlined against Thorpe were certainly bizarre. According to the prosecution, Thorpe had conspired to murder a former homosexual lover, a down-and-out male model named Norman Scott, 37; Thorpe...

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