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Former Tory council leader Ezekiel guilty on four counts of misconduct

PUBLISHED: 13:58 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:47 01 March 2013

Former Conservative Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel

Former Conservative Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel

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Crown Court jury returns unanimous verdicts

Former Conservative Thanet District Council leader Sandy Ezekiel has been found guilty of four counts of misconduct in public office concerning the purchase of property.

The 59-year-old, of Crow Hill, Broadstairs, was found to have committed the offences between September 22, 2009, and February 24, 2011.

The jury at Maidstone Crown Court reached a unanimous verdict today (Friday, March 1) on all charges.

Also in court was Philip Emanuel, 64, of Laleham Gardens, Margate, who faced one charge of aiding and abetting the alleged offences.He was found guilty of this, also unanimously.

The charges concerned two adjacent properties in Margate’s Old Town, close to the seafront.

One, 12a King Street, is a derelict shop, while the other is council-owned 12b King Street, a Grade II-listed two-bedroom semi-detached house.

Ezekiel, charged under his first name of Maurice, faced four charges:

* That he willfully misconducted himself while in public office by the improper use of confidential council information in respect of the sale of 12b to manipulate the purchase price to his own advantage.

* That he improperly and dishonestly bought the property using Philip Emanuel as a ‘front’ and failed to disclose that he was the true purchaser.

* That he asked that enforcement proceedings be brought against the owner of 12a, Alan Douglas, to persuade him to sell the property.

* That he failed to disclose his interest in 12b to the council or Mr Douglas until after the sale was agreed.

Both defendants had denied all charges.

Sentencing is expected this afternoon.

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