Tycoon's estranged wife denies paying 'murder plot' money

A woman has told a divorce court judge in England that she did not pay a man money with a "view to getting rid of" her estranged property tycoon husband.

Tania Richardson-Ruhan, 49, said she had been questioned voluntarily by police investigating a "plot to murder" Andy Ruhan, 55.

But she told Mr Justice Mostyn that police "didn't accuse me of anything".

Detail of the alleged plot emerged today as Mr Justice Mostyn oversaw a money battle between Mr Ruhan and Mrs Richardson-Ruhan at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

The judge was told Cheshire Police investigated the plot in 2016.

He heard that a number of men were arrested but no-one was charged with any offence.

Barrister Martin Pointer QC, who is leading Mr Ruhan's legal team, told the court of a "plot to murder Mr Ruhan".

Tania Richardson-Ruhan.

He asked Mrs Richardson-Ruhan: "Did you pay any money to (a man) with a view to getting rid of Mr Ruhan?"

Mrs Richardson-Ruhan replied: "No."

She said a friend told her of the "plot" in a text while she was on holiday abroad.

Mrs Richardson-Ruhan said the word "assassinate" was used.

She said the text suggested she might be arrested when she returned to Britain.

Mrs Richardson-Ruhan said she approached the police and volunteered to be questioned.

She said officers had asked questions but she told Mr Justice Mostyn: "They didn't accuse me of anything."

Barrister Sally Harrison QC, who is leading Mrs Richardson-Ruhan's legal team, told the judge that police had made arrests but she said no-one had been charged.

Mr Justice Mostyn has heard how Mr Ruhan had been involved in property development in a number of countries over many years.

The couple had married two decades ago and lived in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire.

Andy Ruhan.

Miss Harrison has told the judge that Mr Ruhan had once netted £87 million after investing £6 million.

The judge has been told of two yachts - Lady K II and Babylon - and expensive cars with personalised number plates and has heard how Mr Ruhan was badly hurt in a helicopter crash 15 years ago.

But Miss Harrison says Mr Ruhan is now ''pleading poverty''.

She told the judge: ''You will have to decide whether the husband, who on any account has been a phenomenally successful entrepreneur, has fallen spectacularly from grace so that now he has nothing.''

Miss Harrison indicated it would be ''almost impossible'' for Mrs Richardson-Ruhan, who still lives in Chalfont St Peter, to quantify how much her husband was worth and has suggested that Mr Ruhan has failed to give ''full and frank disclosure'' about how much money he has.

Mr Justice Mostyn says he may make ''findings of fact'' relating to available assets before making any decisions about how the marital pot should be split.

The hearing continues and is expected to run into next week.

Mr Justice Mostyn has heard that Mr Ruhan and Mrs Richardson-Ruhan have run up lawyers' bills of around £1.5 million.

Mr Pointer told the judge that Mrs Richardson-Ruhan's costs were more than £950,000 and Mr Ruhan's more than £500,000.

Mrs Richardson-Ruhan said she had borrowed money to pay lawyers.

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