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The BBC's Catherine Hamilton
"There've been many dramatic scenes in court 13 and Tuesday was no exception"
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Tuesday, 14 December, 1999, 16:28 GMT
Fayed called 'biggest crook in town'

Mohamed al-Fayed Mohamed al-Fayed denies libel

A former bodyguard of Mohamed al-Fayed has branded the Harrods owner "the biggest bloody crook in town" during the Neil Hamilton libel case.

"Up to 15 people a week" were being paid off by Mr al-Fayed, one-time SAS man Brian Dodd told the High Court before the judge ejected him from the witness box for repeatedly talking over lawyers.

Libel Trial
"I have got to leave this court a tainted man by Mr Fayed, who's the biggest bloody crook in this town," he said.

Mr Dodd was testifying on behalf of former Tory MP Neil Hamilton, who is suing Mr al-Fayed over allegations he made on a television programme that he gave the MP money to ask questions in parliament.

As the jury was swiftly ushered out of Court 13, a defiant Mr Dodd shouted: "I apologise Mr Hamilton - I do not think I have done your case any good."

Documents burned

The bodyguard, who worked for Mr al-Fayed for more than two years before being sacked for gross misconduct, described the tactics he was ordered to use by the Egyptian-born owner of the luxury London department store.

The former head of security said on one occasion, Mr al-Fayed told him to throw a tenant living at one of his posh Park Lane apartments "on the effing skip".

"He said: 'You kill him, you do what you effing like with him. Get him out of that flat'."

Mr Dodd added he would have "gone to hell and back" for Mr al-Fayed when he worked for him.

He said that another of his duties had been to help the multi-millionaire to dispose of papers.

I apologise Mr Hamilton - I do not think I have done your case any good
Brian Dodd
"In 1986, I burned 40 sacks of documents from Mr Fayed's office that he wanted to hide - 40 - it took me four hours, on a bonfire," Mr Dodd said.

Evidence in the case is now complete after weeks of claims and counter-claims by Mr Hamilton, Mr al-Fayed and various witnesses.

The jury is now expected to be sent out to consider its verdict on Monday after submissions to the judge on Wednesday and closing speeches by both sides.

On Monday, Mr Hamilton's wife Christine broke down in tears in the dock as she gave evidence.

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See also:
13 Dec 99 |  UK
Christine Hamilton in tears
10 Dec 99 |  UK
Hamilton 'paid 10,000 to change Bill'
10 Dec 99 |  UK
Hamilton denies deceiving MPs
09 Dec 99 |  UK
Hamilton admits Ritz 'shame'
06 Dec 99 |  UK
Hamilton 'asked firm for cash'

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