The man then left a mobile phone number, asking for the royal to ring him. In , the then future king Edward VII discussed with his solicitor paying off two prostitutes he frequented in return for letters he had written to them. The Old Bailey jury was told that the aide was a former boyfriend of Sean McGuigan, one of the two men accused of trying to blackmail the royal. Property developer Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, appeared at a London magistrates' court on September 13 each charged with one count of blackmail.
In further calls, one man was said to have claimed that the tapes showed an aide snorting cocaine, and guaranteed nobody would ever see the tapes because they were safe in his flat. Strachan, 31, and McGuigan, 41, used the tapes to demand money from A, but in court they have admitted that the gay sex allegations were untrue in their mind. The secrecy surrounding the trial was described as a "charade" by Jerome Lynch QC, defending Strachan - since the name of the royal involved could easily be discovered. Related Articles Ian Strachan profile 02 May It was the first case of royal blackmail for more than a century, but the expensive trial was described as an "overreaction". The Queen's nephew Viscount Linley, the son of the late Princess Margaret, cannot be identified in Britain, but has been named on websites and newspapers elsewhere, including Australia and on US television. By then a detective had been attached to the royal's staff and contacted the gang to arrange the Hilton meeting. The source said that a senior legal adviser to the royal agreed with one of the men that he would see the tape before handing over the cash. The two men were arrested on September The tapes claimed that the married member of the royal family, witness A, performed a sex act on the male aide at a party and took cocaine with him. Scotland Yard yesterday confirmed that two men are in custody, having been charged with blackmail last month. The men in custody, aged 30 and 40, were reported to have been arrested last month in what was reported to have been an undercover sting after the royal contacted police. Buckingham Palace has refused to discuss the case, saying it is a police matter. Giovanni di Stefano, a high-profile lawyer whose previous clients include executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, is representing Strachan. British newspapers have contacted year-old Linley, who has likewise refused to comment. Large numbers of anti-terrorist officers were diverted from their duty to investigate the blackmail because the Royal protection squad do not have an investigative arm. The meeting - described by a defence barrister as an "abject failure" on the part of police - was recorded on high-tech hidden camera equipment. Witness C contacted police and set up the meeting between the two alleged blackmailers and the undercover policeman, which led to their arrest. Huge resources were devoted to the case because of the identity of the alleged victim, it was claimed. The Old Bailey jury was told that the aide was a former boyfriend of Sean McGuigan, one of the two men accused of trying to blackmail the royal. Linley did not appear on the tape. They were also alleged to have claimed that they had footage of the aide snorting cocaine and evidence suggesting the royal had supplied the aide with an envelope containing the drug. The Crown Prosecution Service also successfully applied for the September hearing to be held in camera, but it is not yet known whether lawyers will seek similar treatment when the defendants appear at the Old Bailey in December, a CPS spokeswoman said. Witness C said he initially spoke to Mr McGuigan, 41, who said they did not want money and wanted only to "befriend" the royal. Property developer Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, appeared at a London magistrates' court on September 13 each charged with one count of blackmail. The royal cannot be identified because of reporting restrictions imposed under section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act. Although he dismissed the "sensational" claims as untrue, he said he realised they could potentially be very damaging for the royal, referred to as Witness A.
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