THE mysterious disappearance of Pauline Holgate will not prevent her husband from getting a fair trial, the District Court ruled yesterday. Defence lawyer Alexander King asked Judge Surman last Friday to halt Clive Holgate's corruption trial on the grounds the former civil servant's wife was an essential witness. It would be unjust to go on without her testimony, Mr King said. Prosecutor Bernard Ryan, in his counter-attack yesterday, said there was no evidence to indicate Mrs Holgate was a 'material witness'. 'It is no more likely she would have assisted the defence than she would have assisted the prosecution,' he said. 'Her evidence may in fact have been detrimental to the defence. We just don't know.' Judge Surman rejected the defence lawyer's bid to stop the trial, concluding that continuation would not represent an abuse of process. Earlier, Mr King had said Mrs Holgate, 40, who vanished in January 1992, was the only person who could back her husband's claim he had not received $1.6 million in corrupt payments. Holgate, 53, a former surveyor with the Buildings and Lands Department, denies maintaining a standard of living above that commensurate with his earnings. The former civil servant claimed his wife had poured money into his bank and credit card accounts without telling him where the cash came from. Holgate was also said to have bought a boat with money found in his wife's handbag. The court heard earlier that Mrs Holgate had duped her secret lover Nick Demuth, 70, out of more than $1 million by convincing him he was the father of her child. Mr King said Mrs Holgate might have used the same technique to con a string of lovers into showering her with cash. Pauline Holgate was also involved in a series of shady property deals, the court heard earlier. Mr Ryan and Mr King will begin their final submissions tomorrow.