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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Legal Fees

Mrs. Blair is back in the news. New details of Mrs. Blair’s involvement in the Oram’s case have been uncovered, please read below for more details.

We are paying Mrs. Blair gbp 200,000.
Getting her on the Turkish side...
(The Mail on Sunday Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
Cherie Blair was last night at the centre of a fresh row over her business affairs after a Mail on Sunday investigation uncovered new details about her latest high profile legal case.

More from Jean Christou on this developing story below:

REPORTS in a British newspaper that the Turkish government is paying part of Cherie Blair’s £200,000 Sterling fee to defend the Orams shows that the case has political significance despite protest to the contrary by Downing Street, the government said yesterday. 
Britain’s Mail on Sunday went undercover to investigate the case of Linda and David Orams, who are attempting to justify their possession of land in the north belonging to Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides. 
The British Prime Minster Tony Blair’s barrister wife is taking part in the defence of the couple, who are appealing a Nicosia court decision ordering them to demolish the £160,000 villa they built on Apostolides’ property in Lapithos. 
As the Nicosia court cannot enforce its decisions in the north, the case has been accepted by the UK courts. 
Cherie Blair’s law firm Matrix, was brought in by the Orams’ Turkish Cypriot lawyer Hassan Vahib, 44, a property developer and former Labour councillor in London, who is also one of the parties paying the couple’s legal costs. 
Downing Street has insisted that Blair is acting in her professional capacity as a lawyer but a reporter from the Mail on Sunday discovered otherwise while posing as someone interested in buying property in the north. 
The paper said it spoke to the operations manager of Vahib’s property firm Troy Lake UK (Cyprus) Ltd, Firtac Ortac, who confirmed the firm was contributing to Cherie Blair's costs and that the reason for hiring her was because of her political influence. 
“At a meeting with an undercover Mail on Sunday reporter he said: 'We are paying her more than £200,000. The clients are not paying. We are. We can afford it and we have much ourselves to gain. When Mrs Blair wins, it will set a precedent and the market will rocket.' 
“Ortac also said that the hiring of the Prime Minister's wife was, for them, a political act, the paper said: “We have about 25 lawyers working for us, so there is no shortage of legal brains. But you see the North-South dispute is also very political. 
“They (the Greek Cypriots) have made it political, so now we get political too. What can be better than getting the wife of the British Prime Minister on our team? She is a noted human rights lawyer too, so simply getting her involved and on the Turkish side is fantastic,” he added.
Ortac claimed that the Turkish government was also paying Blair because they were 'playing a political game' and boasted that Vahib was in regular contact with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the paper said. 
Blair agreed to take the case following hush-hush meetings with Vahib and the Orams in Istanbul last May. “Cherie Blair spent three days in the city, during which she was a guest of the British consulate. However, she demanded that the reason for her trip be kept confidential,” it added. 
Another property developer, several of whom are involved in financing the case, said they were hoping she could use her political influence in the case. “What can be better than getting the wife of the British Prime Minister on our team?” said one. “When Mrs Blair wins, it will set a precedent and the market will rocket.” 
Government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said it was obvious from the report that those who hired Blair hired her specifically in order to exploit her politically as the wife of the British Prime Minister. 
“What is particularly important is that someone appears to admit that the Turkish Government will pay all of part of the fees of Mrs Blair,” he said. 
“Perhaps they believe by hiring her they might be able to influence the course of British justice. Is the impression not created that by accepting such a politically loaded case, Mrs Blair has given insufficient weight to her position as the wife of the British Prime Minister?” 
Chrysostomides said it should also be borne in mind that the British Foreign Ministry has on many occasions published warnings to Britons about the legal minefield of purchasing property in the north. “It seems Mrs Blair has not taken these warnings into consideration,” he said. 
The Orams told the Mail on Sunday that they had agreed with their legal team not to speak until after the conclusion of the case. 
“All I can say to you now is that we are extremely confident of winning,” Linda Orams said. 

My personal opinion: How can Mrs B-liar, sorry I mean Mrs Booth, not now withdraw from this case?

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