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Judge refuses to bar journalists

A High Court judge refused to bar reporters today from a hearing at which a businessman has been accused of manipulating his financial affairs so as to ''do down'' his estranged wife.

Scot Young, 51, and his estranged wife Michelle, 49, are fighting over money at trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

The hearing has been staged in private but judge Mr Justice Moor has allowed journalists to report proceedings.

Lawyer Stephen Jones - who was an associate of Mr Young - asked Mr Justice Moor to order that reporters should not attend during his evidence. He said he wanted to protect the confidentiality of clients.

But Mr Justice Moor refused to order journalists to leave the court after they argued that Mr Jones should be treated in the same way as other witnesses.

The judge said he would hear Mr Jones's evidence then decide whether journalists should be prevented from reporting any aspect of it.

He ruled that all of Mr Jones's evidence could be reported and a barrister representing Mr Jones raised no objection.

Mrs Young says Mr Young is worth ''a few billion at least'' and says ''there was a vast fortune hidden''.

She says she is a victim of fraud because Mr Young has manipulated his affairs to do her down and she wants her fair share.

Mr Young disputes Mrs Young's claims.

He says he is penniless and bankrupt and has debts which add up to £28 million.

Mr Jones was asked detailed questions about business deals involving Mr Young by a lawyer representing Mrs Young.

During questioning it emerged that Mr Young set up an entity called the "Scot Young Re-Finance Foundation". Mr Jones said the foundation was a "basis for paying off various creditors".

The hearing continues.


From Belfast Telegraph