THE JURY in the Nat Fraser murder trial were sent home today without hearing any evidence.
Farmer Hector Dick was expected to be faced with further questions from advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, about the disappearance of Elgin mum Arlene Fraser (33), in April 1998.
Fruit and veg wholesaler Fraser (53), claims his former friend, Mr Dick ( 56), of Mosstowie, Elgin, could be Arlene's killer, a claim he denies.
Instead the jury took their seats at the High Court in Edinburgh to be told by judge Lord Bracadale that a problem had prevented the trial going ahead before Tuesday.
"An administrative matter has arisen which must be resolved before we can continue with evidence," the judge told them.
"As dealing with this is going to take some time I have come to the view that it will not be possible to hear any further evidence today."
The judge also repeated his warning to jurors that they should not discuss the case with any outsiders and concentrate on what they heard in court rather than anything they read or saw in the media.
Fraser denies attacking wife Arlene 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 mum-of-two 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.
The trial continues on Tuesday - Monday is a public holiday in Edinburgh.