Financier Guy Hands, who accuses a onetime friend at Citigroup Inc of lying to him about bids for EMI music company, sparred in court on Friday under cross-examination about why he did not call the banker to clear the air.

Hands, the head of European private equity firm Terra Firma, sued Citigroup and banker David Wormsley for fraud last year. He is seeking $8 billion in damages at a trial being heard by nine jurors in U.S. District Court in New York.

The bank provided 2.6 billion pounds ($4 billion) in loans for Terra Firma's 4 billion pound ($6.4 billion) deal in 2007 for EMI, which is struggling under the weight of its debt. The company that recorded the music of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and scores of other stars, could be handed to creditor bank Citigroup if Hands loses the trial.

"You're accusing your good friend of 10 years of lying and defrauding you and at no time did you pick up the phone and tell him you thought he had misled you?" Citigroup trial lawyer Ted Wells asked Hands.

"That's correct, my understanding is that would be inappropriate," replied Hands, 51, who spent hours on the witness stand on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. He is expected to finish his testimony on Monday morning.

Wormsley, 50, is expected to tell his side of the story to the jury starting on Monday. Hands and Wormsley remained friends and business associates following the bid for EMI in May 2007, attending dinner parties and other events.

The trial, featuring two high-profile lawyers in Wells and Hands's counsel David Boies, is expected to last three weeks.

Hands testified that, in the days leading up to the deadline for bids on EMI, Wormsley told him in three phone conversations that rival private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP was ready to bid 262 pence per share.

Hands said Wormsley, whose bank had longtime business ties with both Terra Firma and EMI, also told him the bid deadline had been brought forward two days to May 21, 2007 at the request of another bidder, presumably Cerberus.

Terra Firma "scrambled" to get financing to offer 265 pence per share, Hands said. He said that, had the firm known the Cerberus bid was nonexistent, it would have taken much more time to negotiate a lower price for EMI, a company he had coveted for about 16 years.

The case is Terra Firma et al v Citigroup et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 09-10459.