Chris Huhne's ex-wife Vicky Pryce told the press she took his speeding points in a bid to "nail him" and destroy his career in revenge for him leaving her for another woman, a court has heard.
Former Lib Dem energy secretary Huhne was clocked speeding in March 2003 and persuaded his then wife Pryce to take his points so he could avoid losing his licence. The news later emerged in national newspapers, sparking a lengthy investigation which, until Monday, Huhne denied.
Pryce is standing trial accused of perverting the course of justice after Huhne dramatically changed his plea to guilty, ending his political career.
Pryce, 60, denies the charge of perverting the course of justice but has adopted a defence of marital coercion, saying Huhne persuaded her to take the points.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told the jury at Southwark Crown Court in London the points-swapping only came to light in 2010/2011 when Pryce told several newspapers in a bid to ruin her former husband's career after he left her for his former press adviser Carina Trimingham.
The jury was read emails between Pryce and Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott - who is due to appear as a prosecution witness on Thursday - in which they discussed how the story could be published and end Huhne's career.
They also heard four calls Pryce made to Huhne around April 2011, which were recorded with Ms Oakeshott's help in an unsuccessful bid to get some proof for the story.
Mr Edis told the jury of eight women and four men they would have to decide whether Pryce, an economist and senior civil servant, was "weak-minded" and forced by Huhne into accepting the points or was a "strong-minded and manipulative" woman acting of her own free will.
"Focus not on whether she was persuaded but whether she was in a situation where she had a choice," he said.
Huhne has been made steward and bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds - the traditional mechanism by which MPs formally stand down. The 58-year-old's exit from Parliament sparks a by-election in marginal Eastleigh that could test coalition relations to the limit. Pryce's trial will continue on Thursday.