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Chris Huhne's wife revealed she had taken his speeding points to the press in revenge for his affair with another woman, a court has heard.
Vicky Pryce was warned by a journalist that the revelation would inflict "maximum and perhaps fatal damage" on the senior Liberal Democrat.
But the economist and mother-of-three replied: "I have no doubt as I definitely want to nail him. More than ever actually and want to do it soon."
The declaration was contained in an e-mail between Ms Pryce and Isabel Oakeshott, a reporter for The Sunday Times.
Their exchanges before the story broke emerged on the first day of Ms Pryce's trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.
The case went ahead 24 hours after Huhne pleaded guilty to lying to police about the speeding offence, which was committed in 2003.
After repeated denials, the former energy secretary finally admitted his then wife had taken the points for him so he could avoid prosecution.
Huhne, who resigned as Eastleigh MP after switching his plea to guilty, was warned he faces a likely prison sentence.
Ms Pryce denies perverting the course of justice, claiming she was coerced into taking the points, and is now being tried alone.
Opening the case against her, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said the points swap only came to light a decade later because she wanted to ruin her former husband's career.
The pair had been married for 26 years when Huhne left her in 2010 for PR consultant Carina Trimingham after his affair was rumbled by the press.
Ms Pryce was told the bombshell news at half-time as she watched a World Cup football match, with Huhne saying they had "30 minutes to kill the story".
He later left his wife for Ms Trimingham, who had run his attempt to win the party leadership in 2007 and had previously been in a civil partnership.
(c) Sky News 2013