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Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Judge 'urged lover to run away'
Roselane Driza
Ms Driza claimed judge I urged her to leave the country
A judge urged his Brazilian lover to flee the country after she was arrested for allegedly blackmailing him, the Old Bailey has heard.

Cleaner Roselane Driza, 37, told the court she would not leave because she would be "committing a crime" by breaching bail conditions.

Ms Driza denies stealing videos and threatening the two immigration judges for employing her illegally.

She has admitted asking the female judge for 20,000, for compensation.

After she was arrested and bailed for blackmail charges, she contacted one judge, identified in court only as Judge I, with whom she had been living.

'I was innocent'

She began living with him after being sacked as a cleaner by another judge, a woman known as Judge J.

The judges were former lovers and the court heard an "emotional triangle" began to form between the three parties.

Ms Driza said: "I was innocent and I told him if I had to go down then I would go down innocent. By running away I would be agreeing I was guilty. I had not done anything."

One video showed the Judge J allegedly snorting cocaine, while another is said to have showed Judge I in bed with another woman.

Ms Driza told the court she had destroyed a video showing Judge J taking cocaine and the judges in bed together, because she wanted to protect Judge I.

"It would damage him," she said.

You were obsessed with getting back at J
Prosecutor David Markham

She denied threatening to show the tape to Judge J, and told the court she felt Judge I was being pressured by his former lover.

Prosecutor David Markham suggested Ms Driza had pursued a revenge campaign against Judge J and that money was a priority.

"You were obsessed with getting back at J," he told her.

'Pressure on me'

But the Brazilian denied this, saying: "She has called me all these names."

Ms Driza said she would not have first written to J asking for an explanation if she was simply interested in money.

Mr Markham asked Ms Driza if she knew that by mid-2005 Judge J was ill and off work.

She responded: "I had problems and had no-one to help me at all. I would get up and cry, go to work and cry... finish and cry."

She denied putting pressure on Judge J, saying: "If there was pressure, it was on me. I am here in this court. I am not British. I have nothing to answer for. The world may think I am guilty. I have nothing to hide and God knows I am not guilty."

Ms Driza said she intended to give back the tape she was alleged to have stolen, but that Judge I had said it was "too late".

The prosecution said at "no stage" had she offered its return and had kept hold of it for blackmail purposes.

The trial continues.




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