Lawyer: Royal blackmail case a 'farce'

May 1, 2008 at 4:37 PM

LONDON, May 1 (UPI) -- The case against two men charged with trying to blackmail a minor British royal is "insubstantial, insignificant and incomplete," a lawyer said Thursday.

Ronald Thwaites, in his closing argument, said his client, Sean McGuigan, was "unwise in his friendships," especially in his friendship with his co-defendant, Ian Strachan, The Guardian reported. He described Strachan as someone with "Walter Mitty" dreams.

Strachan and McGuigan are charged with trying to shake down an unnamed member of the royal family, demanding 50,000 pounds ($100,000) for a tape of an employee describing the man as a homosexual. They were arrested after a meeting at a hotel with a police officer posing as a royal aide.

Thwaites said the prosecution case is a "farce" and a "joke."

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