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A Rogue's Gallery
IAN STRACHAN was jailed for blackmailing a member of the Royal Family over allegations of a sex and drugs ‘scandal’. But a media blackout ensured that little of the substance of the case was reported.
Jason O'Toole, 06 May 2009
That’s correct (laughs). They only granted anonymity to every member of the Royal Family and they actually ran out of letters of the alphabet. These were all people who were involved in the tapes. They were either members who were spoken of or appeared in the tapes.
How did you react when you received a five year sentence?
Initially, I kind of thought I was going to get more. I was advised to brace myself for an 8 to 10. But I don’t think we should have been convicted. I don’t think there was enough evidence. The prosecution ‘created’ a scenario and they created a picture of us through clever manipulation of the British media. We were really charged on Fleet Street. We were found guilty before the trial even began.
How did Giovanni Di Stefano end up representing you?
I actually called Giovanni two days before I was arrested. I thought he would be able to offer advice to me. Unfortunately, he was busy in Iraq. And after I was arrested, I got somebody to contact Giovanni. I knew people who’d used him in the past. He was recommended to me.
In court you were branded a “fantasist” and a liar, whose fertile imagination meant that you were “incapable of deciphering fact from fiction”.
That came from Sean McGuigan’s QC. I think it was a ridiculous statement to make. But I’ve said a few things in court about McGuigan and that was their attack on me. The quotes you see in the press was a rough summary drawn up by the CPS and passed by the judge to release to the press. In my opinion, that was biased. It was censored – it was stripped down.
Why the hell did even your own counsel, summing up to the jury, describe you as a “twit”?
No, it wasn’t actually my counsel who called me a twit, it was McGuigan’s counsel. His angle was he was trying to make us look like a pair of jokers – that we wouldn’t be capable of doing something like this. That was a very stupid angle to take.
Are you still on speaking terms with Sean McGuigan?