Karren Brady, West Ham United's vice-chairman, had her mobile telephone records "unlawfully obtained by subterfuge" at the height of the ill-tempered contest last year with Tottenham Hotspur to win the tenancy to the Olympic Stadium, a judge said yesterday.
In a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Coulson said that Brady's records had ended up in the hands of PKF, a London-based firm of forensic accountants, who have accepted they were "wrongfully obtained". Mr Justice Coulson also stated that PKF were "engaged by Tottenham Hotspur to carry out investigations in some way related to the bid for the Olympic Stadium".
Tottenham have vigorously denied they employed PKF to carry out any form of spying or illegal practice on Brady, other employees of West Ham or board members of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the body charged with determining the future of the £500m Olympic Stadium.
Matthew Nicklin, QC for Tottenham, yesterday also denied that Tottenham had received any copies of Brady's telephone records until they were informed of the proceedings West Ham were bringing against PKF. West Ham want PKF to reveal the identity of the person who obtained Brady's records.
Nicklin, in asking for an adjournment, said that the "insinuations" in Brady's witness statement that "blagging" her records was "done on instruction of Tottenham Hotspur was a very serious allegation and completely false". He added again that no one at the club had been given copies.
Nicklin also underlined the club's response to allegations last week by Baroness Ford, chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, that all 14 of her board members had been put under "surveillance" by Spurs last year.
Last week a 29-year-old man was arrested in Sussex and later bailed without charge on suspicion of fraud. A second arrest in connection with the case was made last night, with a 39-year-old man from Surrey later being bailed pending further Metropolitan Police enquiries.