NAT Fraser’s alibi for the time his wife vanished from her Elgin home was "contrived" and "obvious" a jury was told today.
The High Court in Edinburgh has heard how the fruit and veg wholesaler paused on his delivery rounds to phone Fochabers wife Hazel Walker, 43, that morning - and never called her again.
In his closing speech, advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, also suggested the jury should discount claims that farmer Hector Dick, 56, was the murderer.
Mr Dick had no motive, said the prosecutor - dismissing suggestions that the farmer might have been sexually attracted to Arlene, or that she was threatening to expose his bootlegging business.
Mr Prentice said there were strange aspects to the case, such as Mr Dick sitting in his parked car outside Arlene’s Smith Street home, which had "spooked her."
But, he said, Fraser knew about this.
Mr Prentice continued: "Is it just coincidence that at that time, in the midst of this turmoil of matrimonial dispute leading to the break-up of the marriage, in the midst of all that, it just so happens that Hector Dick comes along ... kills her and goes away again.
"I suggest, ladies and gentlemen, that is just not feasible. You should discount that."
Mr Dick also had an alibi - although not a "robust" one.
Mr Prentice also told the jury that Mr Dick was not someone he would buy a used car from, or invite to dinner.
"He is a liar. He is deceitful. He hampered a serious inquiry for some time.
"He is all these things and it is open to you to reject his evidence in its entirety," said Mr Prentice.
"Or, you could believe everything he said in the witness box without reservation."
The prosecutor also condemned Fraser’s statements to police about money missing from the Smith Street house.
"I suggest that is a quite despicable lie by him to make it look as if Arlene Fraser had been killed in the course of a robbery."
Mr Prentice continued: "It is a cynical attempt by Nat Fraser to leave a false trail."
And he began to list the reasons why, he said, the jury should convict Fraser of murder.
Fraser, he said, knew the finger of guilt would be pointing at him - before anyone else suspected him of any crime.
At the time Fraser was simply telling others that his wife had left him, said Mr Prentice, who recalled the evidence of Fraser’s assistant, Grant Fraser (32) who is no relation.
Grant Fraser told how they were making deliveries the day after mum-of-two Arlene disappeared from her Elgin home, more than 14 years ago.
"Nat Fraser said he knew the finger would be pointing straight at him," the former lorry boy told the trial.
"Why would Nat Fraser make such a comment the morning after Arlene Fraser was missing?" asked Mr Prentice. "What was there to point the finger at, if no crime had been committed to his knowledge."
The comment "speaks volumes" Mr Prentice told jurors. He claimed there were 30 pieces of evidence which pointed to Fraser’s guilt - but he did not intend to rehearse them all.
The court has heard that the mysterious appearance of Arlene’s rings in her bathroom - nine days after she disappeared - has previously been described as the cornerstone of the case against Fraser.
Mr Prentice told the jury that police officers Julie Clark (43) and Neil Lynch (49) were "truthful" when they said they saw the rings there the night she was reported missing.
The rings had disappeared before specialist police searchers examined the Smith Street house the following day. Fraser could have taken them, said Mr Prentice.
He had a reason to do so, access to the house and "a perfect excuse" if he had been caught there.
Mr Prentice invited the jury to "analyse, probe, test, challenge and test again the Crown case."
He continued: "Once you have done that you will find justice requires one outcome and I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, to find Nat Fraser guilty of the murder of Arlene Fraser."
Fraser denies attacking wife Arlene (33) between April 28 and May 7 1998 at the home they once shared in Smith Street, New Elgin, or elsewhere in Scotland.
It is alleged that he strangled her or murdered her "by other means to the prosecutor unknown."
The indictment against Fraser says he knew Arlene had seen a solicitor about divorcing him and getting a cash pay-off.
Fraser has lodged papers in court claiming that 14 years ago on April 28 he left the address in Burnside Road, Lhanbryde, where he was staying at about 7.30am. and spent the day making van deliveries to hotels, restaurants and shops - pausing to make a phone call just after 9am.
Fraser also claims that if Arlene was murdered, as prosecutors claim, the man responsible could be Hector Dick of Mosstowie, Elgin.
The jury has heard that there had been an earlier trial in 2003 when Hector Dick had been one of three men accused of murdering Arlene, but had left the dock and given evidence for the prosecution.
Another man on trial then, Glenn Lucas, was now dead. The third man was Fraser.
On Monday it will be the turn of defence QC John Scott to make his closing speech on behalf of Fraser.
The trial continues and a verdict is expected next week.