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Belfast developer criticises tycoons' behaviour

Belfast-born property developer Paddy McKillen has criticised the way two of the UK's best-known businessmen approached a legal battle over control of three top London hotels.

McKillen invited a London High Court judge to draw "adverse inferences" when assessing decisions made by Sir Frederick Barclay and his twin brother Sir David.

A lawyer representing Mr McKillen told Mr Justice David Richards that Sir Frederick "chose not to give evidence because he did not consider that his account would survive cross-examination".

And Philip Marshall QC suggested Sir David "chose not to give evidence" because it would have been "unhelpful" or "exposed as untrue on cross-examination".

All three businessmen were investors in Coroin - the company which owns Claridge's, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels, the judge has heard at a High Court trial in London which started in March. Dublin-based Mr McKillen says "company affairs" were conducted in a "manner unfairly prejudicial to his interests".

He says the Barclay brothers "engaged in a scheme" to take control and claims to have been a victim of "unlawfulness" and "unfairly prejudicial conduct".

The Barclay brothers deny Mr McKillen's allegations.