ENTERTAINMENT

Sir Frederick Barclay's nephew "is caught using video surveillance while installing a listening device" at the Hotel Ritz


The billionaire Sir Fredrick Barclay has released exceptional recordings of his own nephew, who is said to have installed a bugging device at the Ritz hotel, which he claims was used as part of his bitter feud with his brother's family to overhear his private business meetings.

Sir Frederick, 85, released the video, which he claims was part of an "intentional and willful breach" of his privacy.

The businessman is embroiled in a bitter fight at the Supreme Court with three sons of his twin brother, Sir David, who have kept secret records for several months over 94 hours, as part of what his lawyers call "large-scale commercial espionage."

CCTV recordings from January are to show how Alistair Barclay places a listening device in the winter garden of the Ritz Hotel in London

The billionaire media mogul Sir Frederick Barclay (right) was secretly recorded by the son of his identical twin brother Sir David, who had eavesdropped on the winter garden at The Ritz hotel, a court heard

The billionaire media mogul Sir Frederick Barclay (right) was secretly recorded by the son of his identical twin brother Sir David, who had eavesdropped on the winter garden at The Ritz hotel, as a court heard

The footage, released Monday morning, appears to be showing Sir Frederick's nephew Alistair on January 13 of this year, shortly after 11 p.m., how he deals with a listening device that is said to have recorded more than 1,000 separate conversations.

In a statement, Sir Frederick said: “I don't want anyone else to have the terrible experience of having their personal and private conversations heard by dozens of strangers.

"It is certainly in everyone's interest that the law be changed to prevent people outside of the authorities from using sophisticated spyware that has such an intrusive impact."

He added, "I am presenting this video as a graphical demonstration of how easy it is to spy on people in public places and legislate to prevent such harmful intrusion."

Sir Frederick and his daughter Amanda sue Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, Aidan's son Andrew and Philip Peters – a director of a number of family businesses – after the "sophisticated system of covert recording" came to light in January.

Howard and Aidan Barclay are said to have listened to private talks from their uncle Sir Frederick

Howard and Aidan Barclay are said to have listened to private talks from their uncle Sir Frederick

Sir Frederick released the footage and described it as "a graphical demonstration of how easy it is to spy on people in public places".

Sir Frederick released the footage and described it as "a graphical demonstration of how easy it is to spy on people in public places".

Sir Frederick Barclay released the footage today. It is believed that a recording device was set up in the conservatory that recorded more than 90 hours of entertainment

Sir Frederick Barclay released the footage today. It is believed that a recording device was set up in the conservatory that recorded more than 90 hours of entertainment

At a High Court hearing in early May, the couple's lawyers allegedly sold the Ritz at "half the market price" after talks between Sir Frederick and a Saudi investor who offered £ 1.3 billion for the London landmark had been recorded.

Hefin Rees QC, representatives of Sir Frederick and Amanda, said the recordings had "recorded over 1,000 separate calls over a period of months," including discussions with their lawyers and "bankers and business people".

He said that "a separate Wi-Fi error was also used", which was supplied by the private investigation firm Quest, which "took 405 hours of its time to listen to and transcribe the records," the transcripts later " were shared among the accused and others "& # 39 ;.

The court was informed that Sir Frederick, who had "given Aidan and Howard Barclay great confidence" to run his and his brother's business empire, must now "think about the" betrayal "of his nephews.

Mr. Rees said the accused had "heard Sir Frederick's talks with Sidra Capital, who had made an initial offer of around £ 1.3 billion to acquire the Ritz hotel at that time."

He added, “Nevertheless, the defendants sold the Ritz hotel to another buyer from Qatar at what appears to be half the market price. You have to speculate why. & # 39;

Sir Frederick Barclay and his daughter Amanda claim that a listening device was played at the Ritz Hotel in London

Sir Frederick Barclay and his daughter Amanda claim that a listening device was played at the Ritz Hotel in London

A London-based high court judge was informed in January that the "sophisticated covert recording system" only came to light last month when Alistair was filmed "Handling the Beetle in the Ritz Conservatory".

Desmond Browne QC, who represented Sir Frederick and Amanda, said: "We all remember Tolstoy saying," Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. "

"Sir Frederick and Sir David's children were at odds here … about family trust, and unfortunately cousin was put up against cousin."

He said to Justice Warby, "It is alleged that the accused have secretly taped Sir Frederick and daughter Amanda's conversations about themselves and others over a period of months."

Sir Frederick and his daughter Amanda sue Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, Aidan's son Andrew and Philip Peters

Sir Frederick and his daughter Amanda sue Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, Aidan's son Andrew and Philip Peters

Mr. Rees argued that the records allowed the accused to anticipate each step of the applicants in advance, tailoring their business strategy to it, including knowing what legal advice the applicants were looking for, and at that crucial time when their business and personal relationships were interrupted and the respective interests of the applicant and the accused were in conflict. & # 39;

Heather Rogers QC, who represented all five of the accused, accepted that "the applicants were recorded without their consent or knowledge" and added, "It is true that the accused shared some of the transcripts.

But Ms. Rogers said, "This is not a case where private information has been obtained and then widely distributed – it is not at all."

A formal defense against the High Court's lawsuit has not yet been filed, and legal proceedings are due to take place at a later date.

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