Two being tried for blackmailing a British royal

April 15th, 2008 - 11:56 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 15 (DPA) Two men went on trial in Britain Tuesday, charged with blackmailing a member of the royal family with an audio recording featuring claims that he had performed a gay sex act. The two men deny they made “unwarranted demands” of up to 50,000 pounds ($100,000) from the unidentified junior royal, known in court as Witness A.

The alleged victim, who is married with children, has been questioned by the police but denied all the allegations made in the video.

The Crown Prosecution Service has blocked moves to require the royal at the centre of the allegations having to appear at the Old Bailey trial, scheduled to last three weeks.

When the two men were arrested last September, the identity of the royal was published on American television and the Internet, a move that had “hugely damaged” the victim, the court heard.

It is the first blackmail case involving a member of the royal family in more than a century.

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