A father and son blackmailed a company boss with compromising pictures of his married business colleague being straddled by a half-naked woman in a Dubai hotel room after a £180 million per month oil deal turned sour, a court heard today.
They demanded £35,000 to prevent the images being plastered all over the internet - damaging the international company's reputation - and shown to the subject's wife the Isleworth Crown Court jury were told.
Karim Ashikali, 57, (pic.bottom) and Mohamedraza Ashikali, 26, (pic.top) both of Dean Drive, Stanmore claim the blackmail complaint was invented to cut them out of the lucrative oil deal and maintain Mohamedraza - known as Mo - is owed £35,000 in wages by the company.
They have pleaded not guilty to making an unwarranted demand, with menaces, against the businessman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between November 6 and November 20, last year.
The businessman and the Ashikali's had a meeting at the company's HQ in South Kensington on November 6 after a fruitless investment trip by both defendant's to Dubai resulted in Mohamedraza parting company with the consulting firm.
The jury heard the company boss's colleague - identified as Mr. B - was photographed stripped to the waist in a Dubai hotel room with a half-naked mystery woman on top of him, wearing only a bra and knickers.
"When they came in Mo held his phone up and showed me the pictures.
"They were of Mr. B with a woman sitting astride him, taken from two different angles," explained the businessman. "The only reason the Ashikali's came to me was to discredit him."
Mohamedraza also allegedly threatened to tell Mr. B's wife her husband was enjoying a fling with an attractive young female member of staff at the company and had a recording of the employee confirming the affair.
"He said he was going to post the images on the internet.
"He was never owed any outstanding salary. That is money he wanted to keep quiet, to not tell Mr. B's wife."
The Ashikali's failed to find investors for the company while in Dubai, but Karim claimed the Saudi Arabian consul-general could allocate them three million barrels of oil a month - a deal that would generate huge profits.
However, the businessman says the deal was flawed and Mr. B agreed with him, denying there was any motivation to "cut out" the Ashikali's.
With the consul-general demanding nine-tenths of the commission the businessman told the court: "It would have been illegal. Totally illegal."
He also told the court his company "lost complete faith" in the Ashikali's efforts to source investment in the middle-east.
"Some of those investors were not investors at all. They were trying to take our money."
The businessman said he reported the Ashikali's after cash demands were made following the meeting when the compromising pictures were revealed.
"We discussed it after receiving an email saying Karim wanted money and then we went to the police. We took it as a demand."
He said Karim emailed him claiming time was running out to stop his son going public, warning: 'I don't think I can hold him (Mo) off much longer!!'
The trial continues………