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Tuesday, 21 December, 1999, 15:47 GMT
War of words in Hamilton libel case

Neil and Christine Hamilton Neil and Christine Hamilton face the media

When Neil Hamilton's libel suit against Harrods boss Mohamed al-Fayed when to trial, the scene was set for a rousing court battle. It included a host of colourful comments....

Libel Trial
George Carman QC "Mr Hamilton already had a general bad reputation as a corrupt MP who was willing to exploit that position to make money and whose name was linked forever with the word sleaze."

Desmond Browne QC "Mr al-Fayed is a classic Jekyll and Hyde figure - a man with a jovial side, a man with a thoroughly evil side."

Mr Carman "What Neil and Christine Hamilton did in their six days at The Ritz draws back the curtain on their character and attitude to life because it's a story of uncontrolled greed and unbridled extravagance ... no Big Macs or chicken sandwiches."

Mr Browne "Mr Fayed is a habitual liar - a man for whom lying has become a sickness."

Mr al-Fayed "Let Prince Philip sue me. Let MI5 and MI6 sue me ... they know they are above the law."

Neil Hamilton: "It was a pack of lies from start to finish."

Mr al-Fayed "No, I am not the king - I am the doorman of Harrods."

Mr al-Fayed's former secretary, Alison Bozek: "I can remember to this day Neil Hamilton's name scrawled on the envelope."

Mr Hamilton on the stay at the Paris Ritz "I don't think that `greedy' even now is a word I would attach - but I think we went over the top a bit."

Mr al-Fayed "I'm describing bundles of 2,500 - I don't need to describe how beautiful it looks."

Mr Hamilton "It is because I was ultra-scrupulous that I am in this pickle today."

Christine Hamilton: "If he had had it, he'd have given it to me, because I empty his pockets of change every night. He just wouldn't have known what to do with it."

Mr al-Fayed on Mr Hamilton "He is someone who would sell his mother for money."

Mrs Hamilton "When in Jekyll mode, Mr al-Fayed is charming, and he told me Harrods had its own sausage making factory over the road ... I told him I'd never had, to my knowledge, a Harrods sausage."

Former al-Fayed bodyguard Brian Dodd: "Mr Fayed is the biggest bloody crook in this town."

Mr Carman on Mr Hamilton: "You are a desperate man with, in your view, nothing to lose. Truth and honesty have all been sacrificed on the altar of self preservation."

Mr Browne on Mr al-Fayed: "If there were Olympic medals for lying, Mr al-Fayed would be a prime contender for a gold one."

Mr Justice Morland on Mr al-Fayed: "All these matters mean, you may think, that Mr al-Fayed's appreciation of what is fact and what is fiction and what is truth and what is fantasy is warped."

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See also:
21 Dec 99 |  UK
Hamilton loses libel case
21 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Profile: Neil Hamilton
21 Dec 99 |  UK
Profile: Mohamed al-Fayed
21 Dec 99 |  UK
Desmond Browne QC: A cutting 'silk'
21 Dec 99 |  UK
George Carman: King of the court

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