Prince Charles named in £81m Chelsea Barracks court battle
The Candy brothers, property developers for the super-rich, want to call the Prince of Wales as a witness in an £81m case in which they are suing the Qatari royal family over the collapse of their plans to build Britain’s most expensive residential block.
Nick and Christian Candy claim it was Charles’s outburst against the venture to Qatar’s rulers that wrecked their scheme for London’s Chelsea Barracks.
The plan to build the most expensive apartments in London where, The Times reports, a one bedroom flat would sell for £20 million has been thwarted, the Candy brothers allege, by Prince Charles having a cup of tea with his mates in the Qatar Royal family. The Times notes… “The brothers’ lawyers will want to ask the prince what was said during an afternoon tea with the ruler of Qatar when he visited Britain to open a gas terminal in May.”
Prince Charles, noted for his enthusiasm for building in the style of times past, has previous. He objected to an extension to the National Gallery in London describing Lord Rogers’ work as a ‘monstrous carbuncle’. If Prince Charles is summoned, the Candys would have the right to cross-examine him. The Times notes: “He would be the first royal to appear as a witness in court since the future Edward VII gave evidence in a gambling case in 1890. In 2002 the Princess Royal, Charles’s sister, appeared in court to be fined £500 by magistrates after one of her dogs attacked two children.”
The Iraq Inquiry has, thus far, proved fascinating and the cause of considerable embarrassment, it is believed, to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Independent has a wonderful story under the headline…
Iraq: The war was illegal
The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will consider a letter from Lord Goldsmith, then Mr Blair’s top law officer, advising him that deposing Saddam would be in breach of international law, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday.
But Mr Blair refused to accept Lord Goldsmith’s advice and instead issued instructions for his long-term friend to be “gagged” and barred from cabinet meetings, the newspaper claimed. Lord Goldsmith apparently lost three stone, and complained he was “more or less pinned to the wall” in a No 10 showdown with two of Mr Blair’s most loyal aides, Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan. Mr Blair also allegedly failed to inform the Cabinet of the warning, fearing an “anti-war revolt”.
The description of Lord Goldsmith being ‘more or less pinned to the wall by Lord Falconer and others is surreal but Goldsmith did appear to go through some fairly extensive letter writing at the time by all accounts.
Legal advice given to Tony Blair by the attorney general prior to the Iraq war was fundamentally “flawed,” a former law lord has claimed.
Lord Bingham said Lord Goldsmith had given Mr Blair “no hard evidence” that Iraq had defied UN resolutions “in a manner justifying resort to force”.
Therefore, the action by the UK and US was “a serious violation of international law,” Lord Bingham added.
The Independent has a list of quotes which may trouble Blair who is believed to be concerned that his reputation is being ‘shredded’. I am rather more concerned for those whose lives have been shredded by the death, military and civilian on both sides of loved ones caused by and during this war.
Critical evidence from key figures to Chilcot inquiry
Sir Peter Ricketts “We quite clearly distanced ourselves from talk of regime change… that was not something we thought there would be any legal base for.”
Sir William Patey “We were aware of those drumbeats from Washington [about regime change]. Our policy was to stay away from that end of the spectrum.”
Sir Michael Wood “[Establishing no-fly zones over Iraq] was very controversial … The US government was very careful to avoid taking any real position on the law.”
Sir William Ehrman “We did, on 10 March, get a report that chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and Saddam hadn’t yet ordered their assembly.”
Sir Christopher Meyer “Suddenly, because of the unforgiving nature of the military timetable, we found ourselves scrabbling for the smoking gun.”
Sir Jeremy Greenstock “I regarded our participation in the military action against Iraq in March 2003 as legal, but of questionable legitimacy.”