ERKIN GUNEY has branded the High Court judge who awarded ownership of Brookwood Cemetery to his father’s Knaphill-based former lover a ‘lunatic’.
The death of his father, Ramadan Guney in 2006 sparked a bitter battle for the UK’s largest cemetery between Ramadan’s six children and his ex-girlfriend Diane Holliday.
Judge Lindsey Kushner QC awarded ownership of the remembrance grounds – valued between £700,000 and £1.2million – to Miss Holliday.
The courts also ruled Miss Holliday should receive £60,000 a year for her and her son by Ramadan, Houssein.
But Erkin lashed out ahead of a potential appeal to overturn the decision in July and is adamant the family will not give up the cemetery his father acquired in 1985 without a fight.
Speaking exclusively to the News & Mail from Cyprus where he is gathering capital for an attempt to overturn the court’s ruling, he said: “My immediate thought is the judge is a lunatic.I’ve had huge support from the Turkish community and I’ve managed to borrow quite a lot of money. The appeal has been lodged, we’ve got new evidence and justice will prevail
“To award our estate to a complete outsider, who had no relationship with the family and leave us with a debt, it smells a little bit.
“Diane Holliday has incured a debt of £1.2m against us the siblings – as the administrator – and she has been awarded £1.6m out of an estate valued at £1.2m.
“They’ve frozen my accounts, my children’s accounts, my sister’s accounts, my wife’s accounts to pay Dianne Holliday’s costs. How does that work?
“I’ve had huge support from the Turkish community and I’ve managed to borrow quite a lot of money. The appeal has been lodged, we’ve got new evidence and justice will prevail.”
Miss Holliday claimed that, because she was the mother to one of Ramadan’s sons and that they had been together for eight years, she is entitled to ‘reasonable provision’ from his estate.
But when the rich Turkish Cypriot passed away aged 74, his children argued their father’s lover did not deserve a financial windfall and a bitter court dispute ensued.
The family claimed Ramadan had a vasectomy some 30 years before the birth of Miss Holliday’s son and could not have fathered the child.
Erkin was cleared of taking out a hit on Miss Holliday at the Old Bailey, and in 2008 the siblings decided to have his body exhumed believing their father had been murdered.
It is thought Mr Guney died of a heart attack in Northern Cyprus in November 2006.
But after a judge waved away the Guney’s claim that, because their father had been living and died abroad the English court was powerless to award the widow any sort of windfall, Miss Holliday won the right to make an inheritance bid at the Court of Appeal in 2010.
Miss Holliday gained notoriety in 1998 when she claimed that Dodi Fayed, who had been killed in a car crash with Diana, Princess of Wales the year before, was the father of her two-year-old daughter.
She is understood to have met Ramadan Guney when she attended Mr Fayed’s funeral at Brookwood Cemetery.