Diary: Robertson reveals a history of notorious clients

Patrick Robertson, the man who has been called in to turn around perceptions of that nice General Pinochet, is no stranger to controversy.

Patrick Robertson, the man who has been called in to turn around

perceptions of that nice General Pinochet, is no stranger to

controversy.



Three years ago Robertson was at the centre of a storm involving his

then client, ex-chief secretary to the treasury, Jonathan Aitken. A fax

which was supposed to reach Aitken, at the time caught up in the arms to

Iran scandal, went awry and was released to the press.



Since then Robertson has kept his head down. But the founder of

right-wing Euro-sceptics the Bruges Group and former adviser to the

enlightened Sir James Goldsmith, continues to pick some colourful

clients. Earlier this year he represented Chechen president Aslan

Maskhadov during his visit to the UK to meet with families of hostages

detained in Chechnya.



The parallels between Maskhadov and Pinochet are unnerving. During his

visit he too dined with Baronness Thatcher when she held a diner in his

honour at the Ritz and, like Pinochet, has been accused in some quarters

of presiding over a country where crime and bloodshed are rife.



But Maskhadov is committed to restoring peace to Chechnya and is

respected by some as an able and fair politician. He was presumably an

easier client than Pinochet then.



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