Royal blackmail accused followed a lavish lifestyle

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London, Oct 30 (UNI) The accused in the blackmailing of a member of the British Royal family in sex and drug abuse followed a flamboyant lifestyle.

According to an aquaintance, ''Ian Strachan from Chelsea always behaved as though he is the son of a wealthy businessman while McGuigan of Battersea exuded the atmosphere of someone who got through life without ever doing a day's work but drives a Rolls or Bentley.'' Ian Strachan, originally from Aberdeen, is said to be a well-known figure on London's club scene and claimed to socialise with Princes William and Harry, Daily Mail newspaper reported.

He became embedded enough in London society to have been a guest at a Christmas party given for staff, friends and acquaintances by the Royal figure involved in the alleged blackmail.

Strachan is being represented by lawyer Giovanni di Stefano, of London and Rome.

Dubbed the ''devil's advocate'', he has a client list which includes executed Iraq president Saddam Hussein, Harold Shipman, Moors murderer Ian Brady and M25 killer Kenneth Noye.

McGuigan is believed to have spend his days drinking and nights partying.

Groups of friends regularly visited his flat and listened to loud music into the early hours, neighbours reported.

The men had allegedly demanded 50,000 pounds to hand over the tape, shot on a mobile phone.

They are said to have been caught in an undercover sting operation by Scotland Yard culminating in a meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, and are on remand in custody following a secret court hearing last month.

The British media is forbidden by a court order from revealing the name or even the gender of the Royal Family member at the centre of the blackmail case.


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