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Subject British Royal family member in sex and cocaine blackmail plot
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Original Message Royal in 'sex and cocaine blackmail video plot'
by GLEN OWEN - Last updated at 10:55am on 28th October 2007

Mail on Sunday

Scotland Yard have arrested two men in connection with blackmailing a member of the royal family

Scotland Yard is today investigating an alleged sex and drugs blackmail plot against a member of the Royal Family.

The extraordinary plot was uncovered when the Royal – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – called in police after allegedly being approached by two men in August demanding £50,000 not to publicise a video which they claimed showed the Royal engaged in a sex act.

Detectives from Scotland Yard's kidnap and blackmail unit set up a sting operation at the Hilton hotel in London's Park Lane and claim to have arrested the two men as they played the footage.

The suspects thought they were showing the film to a member of the Royal's private staff.

The men are also said to have phoned the Royal's office claiming to have video evidence that the Royal had supplied an aide with an envelope containing cocaine.

Following a secret hearing before City of Westminster magistrates on September 13, two men aged 30 and 40 have been remanded to appear at the Old Bailey on December 20.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said today the hearing before magistrates had been held "in camera", meaning in private.

She said reporting restrictions had been imposed which prevent the publication of anything which would lead to the identification of the victims or witnesses.

Nothing is known about what was said at the hearing.

The alleged new blackmail attempt began on August 2 when one of the accused allegedly called the Royal's office claiming to possess an envelope, embossed with the Royal's personal insignia, which contained cocaine.

It is alleged he then said that he had a videotape showing an aide giving someone – who he suggested was the Royal – oral sex.

It was claimed last night that one of the Royal's legal advisers had arranged with the caller to view the video before handing over the money.

A detective, posing as a member of the Royal's staff, then arranged the meeting in the Hilton suite on September 11, which was secretly filmed from an adjoining room.

A gagging order was issued preventing the identity of any victims or witnesses from being disclosed.

The move is often employed in blackmail cases to protect the victim from exposure.

Under Crown Prosecution Service guidance, courts should only exercise the power to hear cases in secret when the public's presence "would genuinely frustrate the administration of justice".

Because it goes against the basic British legal principle of open justice, any decision to sit "in camera" is not justified merely to save embarrassment.

In this case it is understood that the CPS made the application for the hearing to be held secretly.

Last night a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "A 30-year-old man and a 40-year-old man appeared at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on September 13 charged with one count of blackmail.

"They have both been remanded in custody to reappear at the Central Criminal Court on December 20.

"The entire hearing was held in camera.

"There are strict reporting restrictions in place banning the publication of anything that would lead to any victims, witnesses or companies involved being identified."
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