Judge hears of subterfuge in Olympic Stadium row

BY foxsports • November 17, 2011

Investigators working for English Premier League club Tottenham illegally obtained the phone records of a rival club's executive, a London court heard on Thursday.

Judge Peter Coulson said West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady's telephone records were ''unlawfully obtained by subterfuge'' during the dispute over the future use of the 2012 Olympic Stadium, which the clubs were bidding for.

The High Court hearing began in London as police arrested a second person on suspicion of fraud in connection with the ''unlawful obtaining of information'' following allegations by West Ham and the company which is deciding the future tenant of the 486 million-pound ($781 million) stadium after the Olympics.

Police said the unidentified 39-year-old was released later Thursday on bail until February.

Tottenham was accused of ordering surveillance on all 14 members of the Olympic Park Legacy Company's board during the stadium bidding process by its chair, Margaret Ford, during a London Assembly committee hearing this month. Tottenham denied the allegations.

The Metropolitan Police announced hours after that hearing that an unidentified 29-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of fraud in relation to the illegal procurement of information.

Separately, Brady is taking legal action in an attempt to discover details of the ''wrongdoers responsible'' for the alleged obtaining of phone records, according to West Ham.

''At the height of the dispute about the use of the Olympic Stadium, Ms. Brady's telephone records were unlawfully obtained by subterfuge,'' Judge Peter Coulson said in court. ''(Accountancy firm) PKF was engaged by Tottenham Hotspur to carry out an investigation that was in some way connected with the Olympic Stadium.

''PKF have, in the last few days, said they do have copies of the wrongfully obtained telephone records.''

The judge was told that Tottenham had been given copies of the records by PKF. But lawyers for Tottenham said no one at the club had the records prior to the start of legal proceedings. Tottenham deny any allegations of spying or the illegal obtaining of information.

Coulson is due to hear more details about the case at a further hearing next Wednesday.

The wrangling over the future of the stadium led to West Ham's bid being scrapped last month and a new search for a long-term tenant after the 2012 Olympics.

While West Ham will bid again, Tottenham will not due to the requirement to retain the running track.

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