You could not make it up. If you wrote it as fiction, the book would be panned for stretching credulity.
But no, it's true. The once fugitive multi-millionaire businessman Asil Nadir returns to Britain from Northern Cyprus to clear his name, and is found guilty at precisely the same time as his former-MP friend, and one-time comforter Michael Mates, seeks election as a Police and Crime Commissioner.
Had the jury decided differently this week, no doubt Mr Mates would have taken it as the most tremendous vindication, with a consequent boost to his campaign. But as his friend begins 10 years at Her Majesty's Pleasure, is it really the best time for Mr Mates to seek 3 1/2 years of further service in a role overseeing policing and crime?
Not everyone thinks so. Twitter has a number of people ready to say it – though those of you searching for references to Michael Mates better be prepared to wade through lots of mentions of other people called Michael and their mates.
One account is called NO2MATES4PCC – not perhaps the most subtle, but the Conservatives also now find themselves up against a new challenger, former Police Authority Chair and former Conservative Councillor Simon Hayes, standing as an Independent.
Is Hampshire going to have an informal instance therefore of the sort of primary election I referred to back in March, as two de facto Conservatives battle it out in the first round of the PCC election count to see who should be the preferred Conservative candidate?
Should the Conservative party not be looking to put in place a candidate untainted by these difficulties? They had several possibilities, including a runner-up less than half the age of Mr Mates, who is seeking election at 78.
And perhaps the party should be looking at how on earth it got here in the first place. Had the party delivered proper primary elections, not meetings that are subject to being predetermined when packed by arrangement, but real postal elections as many thought had been promised, then perhaps they would not be at this point. Instead the Conservatives allowed ad hoc committees not elected by the membership for this purpose to decide the peculiar form of selection to be used locally, and unsurprisingly the forms chosen have on occasion favoured some otherwise inexplicable results.
Had they gone back to one of the architects of Police and Crime Commissioners, Douglas Carswell, now the MP for Clacton, who this week celebrated 10 years since publishing a paper advocating what has become PCCs, they would have found him a strong advocate of open primaries as the preferred method of selection.
This approach may also have prevented another unofficial primary election in Surrey, where Conservative candidate Julie Iles finds herself up against Independent candidate Kevin Hurley. They faced each other before, when Mr Hurley sought the Conservative nomination. His explanation on Twitter has been that a series of polls show the public have a clear preference (he says 94% to 6%) for candidates with the police experience that he brings to the role, and seeing a pattern of such experience being rejected by the party makes him think that the electorate should still have the choice the party has denied.
Even a postal ballot of party members may have resolved these issues. Had they resulted in exactly the same candidates as have now been chosen at least the participants may have felt they had a fair crack of the whip, but the Conservatives have let Labour steal the lead on this, granting a legitimacy to the final part of the Labour selection process that the first part of it would otherwise have denied.
And so the Conservative party, in 2 counties at least, faces the prospect of reaching its own nadir in unofficial primary elections that are practically of its own making, but without being able to take any credit for the innovation.