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