Royal aide saga described as “classic blackmail”

Adam Lake April 30, 2008
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Prosecutor Mark Ellison QC has accused Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan of “classic blackmail” in court today.

Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan are accused tried to extort the money from the royal after failing to sell “potentially damaging” video recordings to newspapers.

Mr Strachan defended allegedly attempting to sell the story to a tabloid newspaper. Yesterday he told the jury:

“Character D (the royal aide) was planning on going to the press himself and I thought we would steal his thunder,”

“Exposing him in the way he was thinking about exposing A (alleged blackmail victim) and other members of the royal family in a much more sensational way.”

Since The Sunday Times broke the story in October there has been widespread speculation as to the identity of the Royal Family member who is the victim of the alleged blackmail.

Ellison told jurors at the Old Bailey today that Strachan’s claim that he had not asked for money for the material were untrue.

“A demand with menaces can be made in many different ways other than by writing a note saying ‘I hereby demand X, or else'” he told the court.

“We have, if one stands back, a pretty clear, pretty classic example of blackmail.

“Whatever they might say about their reasons for doing so, the defendants together gathered hours and hours of recordings of D, who was often intoxicated, much of which featured, without any doubt, salacious and potentially damaging allegations about A, his business, his personal life, and his relatives in the royal family, as well as film of D apparently snorting cocaine, and one or two snippets referring to sexual conduct.”

The trial continues.

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