A story broke earlier this month alleging that the nephew of Sir Frederick Barclay, Alistair Barclay, was caught on CCTV ‘handling a bugging device’ at the Ritz hotel in London. The CCTV footage is now at the centre of a large legal battle between the families of the billionaire Barclay twins.
Sir David Barclay’s sons (Alistair, Aidan and Howard), Aidan’s son Andrew and, a board director of the Barclay group, Philip Peters, are being sued by the elder twin, Sir Frederick, and his daughter Amanda for invasion of privacy and breach of confidence and data protection laws.
The CCTV footage of Alistair Barclay shows him handling what is thought to be listening device concealed inside a plug adaptor. Mr Barclay is then seen to insert the adaptor into a plug socket. A device like this could be able to remain active for an indefinite length of time due to having a constant power source through the wall socket.
The alleged listening device was planted in the Ritz hotel’s conservatory. At the time, the hotel was owned by the Barclay brothers, and Sir Frederick liked to conduct business meetings in the conservatory. Court documents lodged by Sir Frederick and Amanda Barclay claim that more than 1,000 separate conversations were captured by the alleged bug, resulting in 94 hours of recordings. The father and daughter have said that the recordings amount to ‘commercial espionage on a vast scale’.
The court declined to order the release of the footage to public, however Sir Frederick has now publicly released the CCTV footage.
In a statement Sir Frederick Barclay said:
“The decision to release this video of this deliberate and premeditated invasion of my privacy is in the public interest. I do not want anyone else to go through the awful experience of having their personal and private conversations listened to by scores of strangers. It is surely in everyone’s interests for the law to be changed to prevent people outside the authorities using sophisticated spying devices that have such an intrusive impact.”
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