31 January 2006

William E. Colby on tradecraft exhibits

William Egan Colby, ex Director of the CIA, was approached for his advice about how Michael John Smith's defence team might handle their case. In particular he was asked about the so-called “tradecraft” notes that had been found at my home, and which the prosecution claimed were undeniable evidence that the Russian intelligence services were involved. Below are the two replies that Bill Colby sent to my lawyers.

From: William E. Colby
Law Offices of Donovan Leisure, Rogovin, Huge & Schiller
1250 Twenty-fourth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-1124

April 29 1993

To: Gary Summers

Dear Mr Summers,
I have reviewed the material you sent to me by Fax and I have consulted two friends who are qualified in this field (without identifying you or your client). Perhaps the best way for me to communicate my conclusions would be by following the points in your paragraph 7:

(i) The notes are consistent with tradecraft in the intelligence profession, although I would hardly term them any kind of conclusive “evidence”. As the Crown states (your para. 4), the various practices outlined in the six areas stated have been used is espionage tradecraft, but they are really generic in character and would be and have been used by any persons wishing to maintain a relationship but conceal it from others (embezzlers, adulterers, price fixers, kidnappers and other criminals and conspirators for whatever cause or reason). In other words, intelligence tradecraft is not sui generis, but adopts some of the practices and habits of life generally to carry on its secret relationships.

(ii) From the above, it is apparent that the notes are hardly evidence of KGB tradecraft, since they reflect arrangements which could have been made by any intelligence service, or even for other purposes than intelligence. It is true that the KGB has used such arrangements, but so have others. Such arrangements as setting meeting places, dead drops, etc., in suburban areas so that counter surveillance can be detected, writing quite vague and anodyne notes such as the one included in your Fax. Or arranging for casual signals of the Coke can or the flower pot in the window (or not) variety are quite normal. Of course, your client’s case would be assisted if he could provide some benign explanation of the notes and arrangements.

(iii) The KGB has certainly used the procedures outlined in your para 4, but these have also been used by others.

(iv) One of the basic rules of intelligence tradecraft is not to make a record which can be read by others (e.g. marking a map, keeping telephone numbers or addresses of contacts or of course outlining provisions for emergency contact or re-establishing contact). I also am somewhat surprised at the specific references to times and days of re-contact, as, for instance, in my own work I always arranged that a reference to a specific time or date for a future meeting really referred to a time somewhat ahead and different from the time stated - so that if overheard and an attempt made to intercept, the meeting would have already transpired.

In your para. 6, you repeat several other Crown statements which bear examination:
  1. As I stated above, such signals are generic, and can hardly be limited to the SVR and KGB. The Crown might argue that in the circumstances of the case (in Britain, for example, that it is unlikely that any other service would be conducting such operations), but since such signals are generic they could be used by any other service active in Britain, e.g. the Iranians or the IRA.
  2. They could stem from such instruction, but this is hardly evidence that they did.
  3. This contention depends on what other explanation Smith might have for the notes. They could have reflected an intelligence relationship but they might stem from any other secret relationship.

Returning to your para. 7:

(v) These signs and symbols may have been used by the KGB, but they have no monopoly on the techniques. As said above, they are an adaptation of the processes of normal life to pass secret messages, and are not exclusive to intelligence or the KGB.

(vi) Other intelligence services certainly use comparable tradecraft practices, as I did myself during some of my operational days. One can hardly conduct intelligence operations without them.

(vii) Several publications might help to understand KGB practices:


William Hood: MOLE


Ron Kessler: SPY VS. SPY

William Johnson: Stonehill Press Pubs

These may be obtained from The National Intelligence Book Center, Lock Box Mail Unit 18757, Washington DC 20077-6308 (or let me try to find them for you)


Hodder & Stoughton, London

Frank Cass, London, Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence

(viii) Other than the above, I know of none that would be helpful. Of course, fiction is full of such tradecraft, stemming from the imagination of authors (which is how most of the official practices originate).

(ix) As indicated above, industrial espionage uses many of the same procedures as official espionage, as an obvious off shoot of the general human ingenuity trying to conceal contacts or whatever purpose.

(x) There is considerable literature on the subject of how to counter industrial espionage against companies, but most of it repeats fairly obvious lessons about control of access to sensitive information, developing internal security controls, etc. I doubt that they would be helpful to you.

Please feel free to ask any further questions which might occur to you and I will try to respond to them. Thank you for consulting me.

William E. Colby

After further correspondence William Colby replied with the following letter:

From: William E. Colby
Law Offices of Donovan Leisure, Rogovin, Huge & Schiller
1250 Twenty-fourth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-1124

May 5 1993

To: Gary Summers

Dear Mr Summers,
Thank you for your Fax which I now have in its entirety (pesky sticking paper!). I do have some reluctance in officially appearing as a witness against the British Crown, with which I have always had the best of relations. I have given some thought to who might best serve your purpose, however.

As I understand the theory of the case, the Crown is attempting to prove its accusation against Mr Smith by asserting that the notes found in his possession demonstrate that he clearly was engaged in an act of espionage. The papers so far seen by me do not indicate that it has any other evidence, although I would assume it must exist in the form of surveillance of actual meetings prior to arrest or other more direct proof. If that is the case the notes become merely additional evidence of the main case, but if no more evidence does exist, it would strike me that your defense would focus on the point that the notes are not conclusive since they are consistent with other behaviour than espionage.

This gets to the essence of who might be of use to you to make this point. Obviously the accused might proffer some explanation of his own, but you may not wish to put him on the witness stand. In such a situation it seems to me that you do not want an expert on the KGB, because he would only be able to reinforce the Crown’s contention that the notes are consistent with KGB practice. Instead, it seems to me that you would be better served by witnesses who could make the point that the notes are consistent with other forms of secret relationships, thus reducing their probative value to the Crown and making its “beyond a reasonable doubt” requirement harder to reach. I am sure you could find appropriate investigators in Britain who could say that such arrangements are consistent with cases of embezzlement, adultery, industrial espionage between companies, etc. Part of your strategy might be provided by a witness who could indeed say that the notes are equally consistent with the arrangements other intelligence services have used, and thus are not conclusive of a KGB connection. I would think that you could find such an individual among some of the intelligence retirees in Britain but if you cannot, I suggest that you might want to ask the help of my friend David Whipple, who is the Executive Director of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers here in the U.S., with whom I gather you have already been in touch. His numbers are 703 790 0320 and Fax 703 790 0264.

Following my line of reasoning, I have not yet ordered the American books I suggested for you, as I doubt that they would be that helpful to you. If you would nonetheless want them, however, please advise.

These thoughts may be of less value to you than you might have hoped from me, but they are about all I can offer at this point. Good luck on the trial.

William E. Colby

30 January 2006

Oleg Kalugin - arrest at Heathrow (Georgi Markov)

One of my key defence witnesses, Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB General and former Head of Soviet Counter Intelligence, was arrested at Heathrow on Saturday 30 October 1993 as he arrived from Moscow. It was reported that he was coming to the UK to take part in a BBC Panorama television programme, about the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service, but it was not disclosed he was also coming at that time because he was due to testify on behalf of the defence at my trial.

Kalugin was questioned all the following day by Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Bird, operational head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch. The reason given for this interrogation concerned the murder of dissident Bulgarian playwright Georgi Markov - the so-called umbrella murder in September 1978. Markov had defected to London and taken up the post of journalist at the BBC’s Bulgarian Service, but it was clear that the then Bulgarian leadership wanted him dead. There had been allegations that Oleg Kalugin played a role in planning this murder, but following his police interrogation, Kalugin was later released without charge.

The Markov murder involved a tiny pellet, containing a small amount of lethal ricin poison, which was fired into Mr Markov’s thigh as he stood on Waterloo Bridge. Although it was generally thought the ricin pellet had been fired from the tip of an umbrella, Mr Kalugin said the pellet had actually been shot from a special pen. The Bulgarians later admitted that Markov’s assassination had been ordered by their former leader Todor Zhivkov, and KGB officers admitted in 1991 to having supplied the ricin, which is a highly toxic substance obtained from castor oil seeds.

The apparent reason for Oleg Kalugin’s arrest was an interview he gave to the Mail on Sunday in April 1993, during which he discussed the Markov murder. Kalugin had been present at a meeting in the spring of 1978, between Yuri Andropov (the KGB chief) and Vladimir Kryuchkov (head of intelligence), at which a plan to murder Markov was approved. The police quickly leaked the story of Kalugin’s arrest to the press, and the adverse publicity soon spread over that weekend. I remember hearing news about the arrest on a radio, the evening the story broke, and I had the instant impression that this arrest had been done deliberately to weaken my defence. Consequently, by the Monday morning, my lawyers said it would not be a good idea to bring Oleg Kalugin into the witness box, as there was bound to be concern that his credibility had been damaged by the Heathrow arrest. Therefore, Oleg Kalugin took no part in my trial.

Oleg Kalugin accused the police of arresting him to discredit him, but I cannot imagine that the police would have admitted to that. Clearly, there was no thought that Kalugin had actually been a party to the decision to kill Georgi Markov, as was confirmed by a Foreign Office spokesman, who said “I don't think there was a direct thought that he was responsible”.

If the police were so sure of their case against me, why did they need to eliminate a key defence witness? Kalugin’s evidence would have supported the view held by Mr P (the ex CIA officer), and Kalugin was going to confirm that my case was not a KGB operation. Kalugin’s high ranking position would have undermined Oleg Gordievsky’s opinions (a defector tainted by his association with MI6), and Kalugin’s evidence could have swung the jury towards an acquittal.

In this post I used some material from press reports at the time, including:
“KGB man questioned about umbrella killing / Former KGB man held at Heathrow” (The Times, 1 November 1993 - Louise Hidalgo, and Anatol Lieven in Moscow)

“Former KGB chief meets his match” (Sunday Times, 7 November 1993 - Matthew Campbell, Moscow)

29 January 2006

Justice Blofeld, a fair judge, a noble judge

I felt I was being sarcastic in my last post. I am the first to admit that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. I even thought about editing my post to make it more sympathetic to the way judges administer justice. However, I am attacking nobody in particular; those were the words I thought best expressed the way I felt.

I suppose it is quite funny to see experts arguing over the sensitivity of various documents, when the MoD’s own classification system should already have provided the necessary guidelines and answers. So I expect I have indulged in a little mockery of what those prosecution experts said - but what the hell - the sarcasm comes from printing the list of official classifications, so you can see just how sensitive a RESTRICTED document really is.

In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, a play in which I acted in 1966 as a member of the Thurrock Youth Theatre, there is a dramatic scene when Shylock pleads his case to the judge Portia (Act 4, Scene 1). It was the task of us young and inexperienced actors to create that unfolding drama, which led to Portia’s famous speech: “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. …”

There is more than a little irony in the way Shylock uses the words that he believes will win favour with the judge, being so very complementary: “O wise young judge, how I do honour thee … you are a worthy judge: you know the law … O noble judge … O wise and upright judge … most rightful judge … most learned judge …”. It is wise to curry favour with those who will help us to receive what we desire, even chimpanzees adopt such behaviour.

A total of 23 witnesses and experts were called by the prosecution to give evidence about the scientific exhibits involved in my case, and this procession of witnesses stretched over a period of 3 weeks (15 working days). Compare this with the one scientific expert called by the defence, Dr Eamonn Francis Maher, who gave evidence for just 3 working days of the trial. Although the prosecution had presented detail ad nauseam about the exhibits - to the most trivial degree - the judge had generally allowed this to continue without undue interruption from himself.

However, the situation seemed to change when Dr Maher was in the witness box, because the judge made numerous interruptions to the flow of Dr Maher’s testimony, and at one point accused the defence of “trying to bamboozle us with science”. This would have given the jury the impression that the defence did not have a good case, and were trying to use an unfair tactic. Such a conclusion was far from the truth, as Dr Maher was for the most part giving details about the enormous amount of material he had found in the public domain, which demonstrated that the exhibits were less valuable to a Russian than sources like technical libraries and online databases.

I mentioned above that the judge had not interrupted intrusively in the evidence given by most of the prosecution witnesses. I thought it noticeable, therefore, that the judge appeared to significantly step up his verbal exchanges when Dr Meirion Francis Lewis arrived in the witness box on 7 October 1993. I was amazed, indeed astounded, at how much technical detail the judge now seemed to want to know, and at certain points I had the impression this was a three horse race, with the judge and prosecution against the defence.

What interested me, about the questions Justice Blofeld asked, was they showed he was quite knowledgeable about the subjects Dr Lewis was talking about, and I thought as I listened to this: what a remarkable judge that he can just think up these questions without having had a technical training in this field. I am quite observant in this area of technical conversation myself; although I may not be familiar with all the precise technical detail of a subject, my experience as an electronics engineer and a quality auditor mean I usually grasp where technical arguments are leading. I was starting to think that Justice Blofeld must be some sort of superhuman to be making sense of Dr Lewis’s testimony, as it was all being said live.

One point I found interesting, about Justice Blofeld’s grasp of technical knowledge, was the way he was able discuss with Dr Lewis about issues in his testimony that had not even been disclosed to the defence team. Where had that come from, I wondered? This gave me quite an unsettling feeling, because the judge had earlier told the jury how important it was, when dealing with technical experts, that both prosecution and defence had to disclose their evidence to the other side, in order to allow them to properly prepare for the trial.

The sudden presentation of undisclosed evidence caused the adjournment of Dr Lewis ‘s cross-examination, but when he returned on 11 October he came back with yet more undisclosed evidence. I found it strange that the judge did not make more of this apparent failure of the prosecution to disclose their case to the defence. Such is the wisdom of a worthy judge who knows the law.

I complained to my legal team that I thought the judge had been unduly intrusive in the manner in which he kept interrupting the testimony of my expert Dr Maher. However, I was surprised to be told that this was common practice by judges, and it was a point unlikely to win an appeal. I wouldn’t have minded so much if Dr Lewis’s testimony had gone through the normal stage of disclosure, and the defence had been given the opportunity to find an expert capable of challenging some of the contentious issues. Unfortunately this never happened, and I am still trying to find those answers and get to the truth.

In the end justice is about truth, and truth leads to justice. Justice Blofeld is the custodian of the truth in this case, and I say to him: “most noble judge … most upright judge … how I do honour thee.”

28 January 2006

Secret classified documents & Justice Blofeld

The most highly classified documents in the Regina versus Michael John Smith case were those marked with a “restricted” classification. The other documents were either unclassified, had markings that indicated they were commercial or company documents, or they simply had no markings on them at all.

There were contradictory messages from the judge and some witnesses as to whether it mattered if documents were classified or not. It was even claimed that unclassified documents could be very sensitive, and this was clearly a manoeuvre to steer the jury away from two important points: that only one classified document was involved, and; I did not have access to sensitive material at GEC.

During MI5 witness Mrs C’s testimony, for example, she stressed that almost any seemingly innocent piece of unclassified information could turn out to be the vital piece in a much larger jig saw puzzle. It is almost impossible to argue against such a sweeping generalisation, and it leads to the ridiculous situation that almost any source of information is liable to be covered by the Official Secrets Act. Therefore, be cautious if you are leaving a library with some technical book, because if you happen to bump into a Russian, then you could be accused of supplying that missing link to enable an enemy to undermine the UK’s defences!

The argument about whether information was classified, unclassified (but sensitive), or in the public domain, was never sufficiently resolved at my trial to enable the jury to know where the line should be drawn. It was obvious that the material in my case could be no more than borderline, rather than one of high sensitivity; otherwise it would have been unnecessary to spend so much time discussing how to decide where to draw the line. The jury could only have been confused by the arguments put before them about document classification and the public domain.

The judge, Justice Blofeld, did not help matters when he showed the way he was interpreting the evidence: ‘Consequently the jury would be entitled to draw the inference that, for a period prior to 8th August, the date of Mr Smith's arrest, Mr Smith had been in contact with Russians for the purpose of giving or intending to give them secret information that he thought was secret.’ This approach was nonsensical, going way over the top, as there could be no assumption I had given “Russians” either “secret information” or “information that [I] thought was secret”, since I knew I had lost my clearance to “secret” level back in 1978. Therefore, it would have been quite obvious to me, and everyone else at HRC, that I had not had access to “secret” material. My managers at Hirst Research Centre - Dennis Barlow and Trevor Elson - confirmed this point in their testimony from the witness box and in their witness statements.

After the presentation of a mass of conflicting technical evidence, and confusing arguments about what may or may not be covered by the Official Secrets Act, it became apparent that the Crown’s key argument revolved around that one Marconi “restricted” document, the document that Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP has asked a question about in the House of Commons. This was the only classified document in the whole of the exhibits that was focused on to indicate why the jury should find me “guilty”. The document was dated 8 January 1982 and marked as RESTRICTED, which is the lowest classification, and not even rated as “damaging” in the classification hierarchy. For those readers who do not know the meaning of the various terms used in classifying documents, then this is the explanation given at my trial:

TOP SECRET: Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would cause exceptionally grave damage to the nation.

SECRET: Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would cause serious injury to the nation.

CONFIDENTIAL: Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would be damaging to the interests of the nation.

RESTRICTED: Information and material the unauthorised disclosure of which would be undesirable in the interests of the nation.

UNCLASSIFIED: Non sensitive information.

Most of the documents were identified with a “privacy marking”, such as “commercial in confidence” or “company confidential”. This marking indicates documents for commercial non-military use, whose loss would not harm the nation. However, in my case the Crown appear not to understand the fact that these documents had previously been considered non-sensitive.

Although it was recognised that only one significant RESTRICTED document had been found, the learned judge said after my conviction, in respect of charge 4: ‘having regard to the whole of the evidence [I sentence] ... on the basis that the documents were in parts of considerable importance and of great sensitivity ... with substantial prejudice to this country’.

This estimation of the documents has grossly overrated their value.

It has often been said that a judge gets a bit of a buzz out of giving a judgement at the end of a trial, and that very likely he may end up with a penile erection when announcing the sentence. Undoubtedly, after a long trial, the judgement must come as a sort of high point - a bit like a sexual climax … and in those last minutes, as the courtroom drama reached its awful conclusion, Blofeld seemed to step up a gear as he ejaculated some quite venomous phrases at me. Such a demonstration of raw judicial power is enough to give anyone the horn.

It is at times like these that I recollect the comic genius of Peter Cook, who certainly had the caricature of a British judge perfected, and he had a way of peeling back the veneer in his portrayal of judges to reveal how ridiculous they really are. I must admit, as I sat in that courtroom of the Old Bailey, I had a different vision of Justice Blofeld, as I couldn’t get out of my mind that scene in Lindsay Anderson’s film “
O Lucky Man!” where the judge indulges in a little sadomasochism in his private room, with the help of the court usher. Perhaps there’s a little too much of the public school upbringing in this old school of judges. Nevertheless, with a name like Blofeld, I can’t help thinking it would be more appropriate to imagine him stroking a white pussy, under his red robes, as he mercilessly administered justice.

The classification of documents is there for a reason, and it is up to the people who understand what those documents mean to decide on the appropriate classification. For the MoD, the Ministry of Deceit, to come along and claim that classification was not important, but what the witnesses said about the documents should be what the jury had to consider, is making nonsense of the whole classification system.

For example, a Defence Standard that was contemporaneous with the so-called ALARM “restricted” document can be found
here. This also indicates that there are other markings that can appear on documents, but which do not necessarily indicate that they are sensitive in the military sense.

In this blog I am not saying “listen to me, I am right!” What I am saying is: there is a classification system laid down; there are rules to be applied; the people who stamp the official security markings on documents, with whatever classification, must know what they are doing; the people who approve, store, distribute and control classified documents are all responsible for ensuring the system is working. The MoD witnesses, through the judge, told the jury that the classification of the documents was not a criterion they should use when considering their verdicts.

Codename Parellic

I was asked why I have used the name Parellic in my e-mail address and as a name for this blog. Well, Parellic was the codename allocated to me by MI5 in the so-called Operation Billiards. Apparently MI5 like to add a little mystery to their work by giving the subject of their surveillance a strange name.

Who makes up such codenames seems to be a puzzle, but there is probably a little department in the basement of Thames House where a geriatric MI5 officer sits bent over dusty volumes of the complete Oxford English Dictionary, searching for unusual or unique words to identify their subjects - get up to date you guys, you can get it online here now! I am probably underestimating the ingenuity of MI5, as they must actually have some sort of enigma code machine, to create fresh codenames which pop out in sealed manila envelopes when a button is pressed.

We know so little about such goings on in these intelligence agencies, and perhaps an insider like Richard Tomlinson or David Shayler will enlighten us as to how codename allocation is determined?

27 January 2006

Unemployed? … We will make you unemployable!

I didn’t expect it was going to be easy when I was released from prison on 22 November 2002. Incidentally, this was an anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which will be an interesting co-incidence for all you conspiracy theorists.

Are all so-called conspiracies just co-incidences, I wonder? It would make life simpler if they were. For example, who decided that the judge at my trial should be Justice John Blofeld? This co-incidence becomes even more bizarre when we learn that Ian Fleming used the name Blofeld as his super villain in the James Bond spy books, because Fleming went to school with Justice Blofeld’s father. What did Ian Fleming know about the Blofeld family that caused him to conjure up a vision of villainy in association with that name? Could this be some sort of sick joke by the Criminal Prosecution Service, or was Justice Blofeld really the best man for the job? Enough of this line of thought - these coincidences do not amount to a conspiracy, and I shouldn’t put such ideas into your mind.

One of the first things a person (the offender) must do, when released on parole from prison, is to attend their local probation office. The conditions of my parole licence were that I must attend their office between November 2002 and August 2007- a few mere months I hear you say - and in signing the licence I was accepting certain rules. I will not go into all the details, as they are rather mundane, but below are some of the points I found rather important, which will give you a flavour of the restrictions imposed:

1. … You will be under the supervision of a probation officer … and must comply with the conditions of this licence. The objectives of this supervision are to (a) protect the public, (b) prevent re-offending and (c) achieve your successful re-integration into the community.

5. While under supervision you must:

iv undertake only such employment as your supervising officer reasonably approves and notify him or her in advance of any proposed change in employment or occupation

v not travel outside the United Kingdom without obtaining the prior permission of your supervising officer (which will be given in exceptional circumstances only).

vi be of good behaviour, not commit any offence and not take any action which would jeopardise the objectives of your supervision, namely to protect the public, prevent you from re-offending and secure your successful re-integration into the community.

Well, in accordance with the spirit of the licence, I did tell my probation officer on 10 January 2006 that I was considering starting a blog about my case, so they can’t say I didn’t warn them.

Parole Licence page 1

Parole Licence page 2

I faced several problems after release from prison, principally finding a job, because that is a necessary prerequisite to get me back into society and on with my life. I expected to encounter some difficulties, but then I had some positive qualities to offer: for example I have 2 university degrees, over 21 years of useful experience in industry, and I was armed with skills that I believe are in demand in the workplace.

Unfortunately, my optimism that a job would soon be offered to me was a little premature. In the past 3 years I have applied for well over a thousand vacancies, but no organisation seems willing to employ me in my chosen field of quality assurance. It is a little disconcerting to see jobs advertised, in which I know I could easily perform well, but be turned down by one line emails telling me I am not suitable. An issue that often comes up is that I have not worked for so long - well, how could I?

When I was first moved to Full Sutton prison I asked if I could do some quality assurance work with local companies, but this was turned down because of “security” issues. Obviously security was more important than helping me to secure my future, and it is easy to see how first time offenders might quickly turn into career criminals, when there is no chance to get a job. I believe the prison system has effectively made me unemployable, by preventing me doing any work that would convince an employer I still have the skills I possessed before I was arrested.

Shortly after I was released I met my probation officer, and he told me the Home Office had contacted him and told him to keep a very close eye on me. Apparently the Home Office was worried about what I might do - visit the Russian Embassy maybe? Why the probation officer should disclose that information to me I have no idea - perhaps it was such an unusual incident that it surprised him - but I am sure the Home Office did not intend me to find out what they were thinking. Possibly, this Home Office instruction appeared inconsistent in the probation officer’s mind, with that other detail he knew: that I was considered a “low risk” - it was assessed there was little danger I would “re-offend”.

I quickly learned that the Probation Service could not help me re-integrate into society, and they certainly would not help me find a job. In fact, I was amazed they had no apparent plan about how to deal with me, or what we were meant to discuss, and it was often left to me to set an agenda. I was given no targets, and so how could they assess my achievements? Various probation officers have told me their main function is “surveillance” - they are there to watch me, to ensure I don’t go off the rails - so Probation is not there to help me but to observe and control me. With my background in quality assurance, this situation astounded me, and I couldn’t believe how ineffective and unprofessional this probation system really is; it amounted to a waste of public money, and my time it seemed.

Things started to turn nasty when I was offered a job abroad, in Greece, at the end of 2003. I thought this was an ideal opportunity to make some money, buy a property abroad, and get my life back into order. If I had been allowed to go abroad I would have just got on with my life, and possibly not even bothered to continue challenging the basis of my conviction. However, as I stated above, one of the rules was not to leave the UK. This issue caused an enormous rift between me and the probation officers; they wanted me to remain in the UK, a country that had apparently rejected me, and I would have to remain unemployed and live off taxpayer funded benefits.

I took what action I could through the appeal procedures and got nowhere. As so often happens, the official replies of the ministry automatons began to appear:

From: Emma Blunden
Early Release and Recall Section
Home Office

09 August 2004

To: Carolyn Butlin
Probation Officer
Essex Probation

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Travel Abroad Request for Mr Michael Smith

Thank you for your report dated 07 July 2004 concerning Mr Smith’s request to travel to Greece.

The request has been considered by the Parole Board and has unfortunately been refused. The panel’s reason for refusal is:

“Mr Smith does not fit the criteria for resettlement outside the United Kingdom set out in the relevant Probation Circular that is, he has no close family or residential ties in Greece and there are no compassionate or compelling reasons for resettlement.

Neither does Mr Smith meet the criteria for temporary travel outside the United Kingdom; there are no compelling compassionate reasons for him to do so.

The purpose of the licence is to monitor and manage Mr Smith’s risk. Were he to relocate abroad this would not be possible. There are no grounds for authorising the request.”

Yours sincerely,
Emma Blunden

Emma Blunden Letter

Another letter copied to me was this one:

From: Simon Holmes
Early Release and Recall Section
Home Office

8 September 2004

To: Robin Brennan
Assistant Chief Officer
Essex Probation

Dear Mr Brennan

Re: Michael John Smith

You have requested the view of the Parole Board on Mr Smith’s wish to travel to Greece to take up employment, and Essex Probation’s decision to refuse this request.

Policy on this matter is set out in Probation Circular 52/97. Before a request to travel or resettle outside of the UK may be considered, it is necessary that a period on licence be served of sufficient duration that the offender’s response to being at liberty in the community may be assessed. No period is specified. Temporary travel abroad while on licence is generally prohibited; the Circular stating that it shall “only be permitted in exceptional compassionate circumstances and not for the purposes of a holiday, business or recreation”.

However, it would appear that Mr Smith is seeking permanent resettlement abroad. In the first instance a request to resettle outside of the UK would be considered by the supervising officer, who would consider: whether the offender has close family or residential ties in the place he wishes to resettle, and is so; whether the protection of the public, reduction in the risk of re-offending and rehabilitation of the offender would not be undermined by such resettlement, or; whether there are compassionate or other compelling reasons. If the supervising officer is satisfied that resettlement is appropriate then a recommendation should be made to the Chief Probation Officer.

The licence itself would remain in place for the duration of the licence period and, should the offender return to the UK in this period, they should contact the Probation Area holding the licence without delay. Failure to do so could result in the licence being revoked.

Turning to Mr Smith’s case, it does not appear that he meets the criteria for resettlement abroad to be appropriate. He does not have close family or residential ties in Greece, and there are no exceptional or compassionate circumstances beyond his difficulties in securing employment. Therefore I would support the view that his request should not be granted.

Yours sincerely,
Simon Holmes

Simon Holmes Letter page 1

Simon Holmes Letter page 2

As I said earlier, I was told I am a “low risk”, and there are muggers and other dangerous offenders on probation who have much shorter periods of licence than me, but who I would suggest pose a far greater risk to the public. When I have challenged probation officers to tell me what risk I do actually pose, it is odd that they cannot tell me. Which leaves me puzzling that, if they cannot quantify the risk factors, how on earth can they monitor to check if I am meeting their criteria? Obviously the monitoring comes first, regardless of what they are monitoring, and even if it prevents me getting a job and re-integrating back into the community.

Then I began to compare my treatment to that of other prisoners I had known at Full Sutton prison; men who came from the Czech Republic, Holland and Portugal. The foreign nationals in UK prisons are usually deported at the half-way point in their sentences, without the need for a parole licence. The 3 people I am thinking of all returned to their home countries after release, and they all went home with no licence or probation conditions to comply with. These foreign nationals can come and go as they please, visit any country they choose, and the Portuguese man has even returned to the UK and walked the streets of Britain without the need for a licence. I remember the time when even dogs needed a licence to walk down a British street.

This contradictory state of affairs demonstrates, yet again, that good old British custom of double standards, but then Britain appears to be the home of the double standard. Whatever way you look at it, it would seem I am being persecuted because I am British. It might be hard to comprehend this, but the facts are plain to see: I am being treated differently because I am British and living in Britain.

In these days when the nations comprising the European Union are striving to bring their disparate laws and systems into some more common standard, and to set a fair constitution for human rights, my human rights are apparently less than if I were Czech, Dutch, or Portuguese. It is a funny old world when, because I am British, I have to suffer more severe restrictions than if I were a citizen of another EU country.

As I am unemployed I have to attend the local Job Centre (who can’t find me a suitable job), and they suggested I should consider going after jobs like warehouse work, presumably because I am physically fit enough to lift and carry boxes around, and place them on shelves. Well, as an intellectual, I would find it difficult to accept the challenges of not using my brain. Now this is the sort of 1984 scenario that Winston Smith would have faced, I thought.

I should be working in a job that stretches my intellect, and earns me a decent living; instead I am sitting idly at home, with little money to pursue interests that might distract me from the situation I find myself in. It just did not seem right that I was prevented from getting on with my life, and forced to live off meagre benefits. Inevitably I started to think more and more about my legal case.

Last week I felt acutely this virtual straightjacket I was in, where I cannot work, I have no money, I cannot leave the country, and I have endless time to think about it all. What could I do I thought? Well, I could start that blog, which is what I did last week. I could start talking about my situation, which I am doing now. I can start to kick some arse ... watch this space!

And then those conspiracy theories flickered back from my subconscious - maybe this was all planned! The authorities do know exactly what they are doing, because they are rigidly working to the system as set out in the rules and regulations. They must want me to go down this road, because the officials in the Probation Service and Home Office have put all the signposts there to guide me. Why else would they prefer me to be unemployed in the UK, when I could have been out of their hair, out of the country, and working in Greece? Now that really would be a conspiracy, if true. I didn’t think these bureaucrat guys were smart enough to think that one up, but then ants don’t need much intelligence to organise their societies either.

26 January 2006

Similarities with the ABC trial of 1978

I print below an interesting comment I have received from one of my readers Sal ibn Hari. It takes me back a few years, but I actually remember reading about this ABC trial as it unfolded. The story had been covered in the Timeout magazine, which I used to see most weeks, and I believe mere mention of the details of the case seemed to cause great alarm amongst the authorities. If memory serves me correctly, I think there were heated arguments about what could or could not be published in the press - ultra secret stuff was apparently involved - but this turned into another of those fairy stories the security services like to dream up.

Anyway, this is what Sal ibn Hari has to say:

I have read your blog from start to today. What an interesting account of a less than known spy story. I was interested in the mention of Dr Meirion Francis Lewis and the *accuracy* of his evidence.

I must admit to not knowing much about the various DEFSTANS used but I do like a good spy story. Yours, in the aftermath of your actions is all the more interesting for this.

When I read of Dr Meirion Francis Lewis, a man I have never heard of, I immediately remembered another trial, which on immediate reflection seemed far from your case, but on second thoughts was a lot nearer.

In February 1977 a conversation occurred between two journalists and an ex-corporal who was involved with the interception of radio transmissions. The reason for this conversation, in which Britain’s Signals Intelligence was discussed, was due to the ex-corporal’s disillusionment with his work there. Well the two journalists and the specop involved were arrested by Special Branch and charged with offences under S1 OSA as normally reserved for foreign spies.

The reason for my recollection was due to the included phrase, -- ‘technical issues surrounding the one important exhibit - the “restricted” document.’

The case to which I refer above is the so called ABC case. The restricted document phrase reminded me of one exhibit within the case that was presented by the prosecution, a photograph of the Post Office Tower [Now BT Tower] near Goodge Street London W1.

The actual image showed the tower from the base looking up and almost to the centre, at the point of interest, could be seen the three antenna galleries holding a variety of dishes and parabolic reflectors.

Apart from standard telecommunications links the tower was also part of “Backbone” designed to allow a continuation of communications should nuclear war erupt. As documented in a variety of books such as “War Plan UK” Duncan Campbell, [see here for a taster] and “Beneath the City Streets,” Peter Laurie. There may well have been a mention in Duncan Campbell’s “Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: American Military Power in Britain” as well.

This photographic evidence was discounted on the production of a souvenir postcard bearing the same image.

The mention of Dr Meirion Francis Lewis and his evidence reminded me of “Colonel B” in this case [actually Colonel HA Johnstone] the main prosecution witness who received protests of his anonymity on 18th November 1977. He was, apparently, overall head of British army sigint and part of the intelligence staff at the MoD in London. But the trial judge, Mr Justice Willis had been a member of the Royal Corps of Signals too.

No doubt, that due to some of the evidence to be used by the prosecution, some members of the Jury expressed doubts about their signing of the OSA in connection with their jobs. The defence asked for some signs as to why and it became evident that three individuals would not view the trial sympathetically, and certainly not impartially. One had worked in the civil service, another a squadron security clerk in the army but the last had served in the SAS for some years. This ex SAS officer was the Foreman of the Jury having volunteered himself for the job. According to Crispin Aubrey’s account in “Who’s Watching You?” this ex SAS juror had made it clear that he had no doubt of the guilt of the defendants and spent much of his time persuading the other jurors around to his view.

The Trial referred to as the ABC trial after the commencing letters of the three defendants surnames ended with all receiving minor non-custodial sentences under S2 OSA on 17 November 1978.

More info via “Who’s Watching You?” Crispin Aubrey Penguin books 1981.

I wish you the best of luck with your quest.

Sal ibn Hari 260106

Many thanks to Sal ibn Hari for providing this comment, and if you want to contact him his e-mail address is: mukhabarat2003@yahoo.co.uk

I note that all the books mentioned about appear to be available on the Amazon website.

Security Commission report Cm2930

I noticed today that the Security Commission's report about my case is available on the Amazon website here if anybody is interested.

Richard Tomlinson contacts British MPs and MEPs

After Richard Tomlinson had kindly assisted my solicitor in identifying that MI5 had double standards - a public and private view about my case - I was anxious to see if he had any more information that might help me. Unfortunately Mr Tomlinson could not help me further, and I expect my case would have been quite insignificant in the other work he was doing at the time of my arrest and trial. Nevertheless, Mr Tomlinson did try to raise the profile of my case and put his points to Britain’s MPs and Euro MEPs:

From: Richard Tomlinson
(a secret location)

Monday, August 09, 1999

To: Michael John Smith
H.M.P Full Sutton, York

Dear Mr Smith,

I received a copy of the letter that you sent to my solicitor. I am sorry to bring the disappointing news that I really do not know anything more than I have previously said in my letters to your solicitor. Whilst I suspect that you are correct in many of the points that you make in your letter, I really do not have any specific knowledge or evidence that could support your case.

I really feel desperately sorry for you as you clearly have been made a victim of the intelligence services desperate desire to protect their own interests and the mythology that is attached to their work. The sentence that you have received is ludicrously disproportionate, and reflects very poorly on British democracy.

I have sent the attached email to every British and Euro MP, but I fear that there are not many who have the courage to take on the intelligence services.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Tomlinson

The content of Richard Tomlinson’s email to MPs and MEPs is printed below:

Dear Sir/Madame,

I would like to draw your attention to the unfortunate case of Michael John Smith.

Mr Smith is a former Marconi engineer who in 1993 was convicted of breaking the 1911 Official Secrets Act, and was sentenced to twenty five years in prison [the sentence passed at the trial, but reduced to 20 years on appeal].

In my opinion this sentence was ridiculously and disproportionately large. Mr Smith supplied minor defence “secrets” to a Russian intelligence officer in an entrapment operation set up by MI5 and MI6. If such an entrapment operation had been set up by the police, the case would have been thrown out of court. But because it was set up by the intelligence services and was deemed important to “national security”, the evidence was deemed admissible. Moreover, the information that Mr Smith passed to the Russian officer was by no means important. While serving in MI6 at the time of Mr Smith’s arrest, I saw a classified internal MI5 document which concluded that Mr Smith’s acts had not caused any harm to Britain’s defence interests, as the information was all low level and out of date. Of course, Mr Smith’s defence lawyers were never appraised of this document and at his trial prosecution witnesses (all MI5 officers or Russian traitor Mr Oleg Gordievsky) grossly exaggerated the importance of the information passed over by Mr Smith.

Mr Smith has not committed a crime that merits twenty five years imprisonment. Such a disproportionate sentence reflects very poorly on Britain’s intelligence services. By way of illustration, today ten Briton’s in Yemen - a country we perceive as having a poor human rights record - received a more moderate ten year sentence for the far more serious crime of plotting to overthrow the state. Mr Smith is an unfortunate victim of our intelligence service’s strategy of mythologising intelligence work in order to protect their budget, lack of accountability, and power.

I think that there is an urgent need to reform the Official Secrets Acts to reflect modern times. The 1911 Act, under which Mr Smith was convicted, is for “collaborating with the enemy”. Surely nobody today could claim that Russia is an “enemy”, and that the world we live in today is still relevant to the geopolitical climate of 1911.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Tomlinson

Richard Tomlinson makes a startling revelation

In trying to raise new grounds to appeal against my conviction, one of the difficult, if not impossible tasks was to get through the thick impenetrable barrier that surrounds the information held by MI5 and MI6. How was I expected to challenge evidence given at my trial by Stella Rimington (Mrs C) and Oleg Gordievsky, when I had no access to the files of material these organisations had collected about me and the events surrounding my case? We only have to review the shambles that arose when selective information was published in the dossiers supporting the war in Iraq, about WMD (weapons of mass destruction), to see that all was not well inside the intelligence services.

Even the person identified as being responsible for my arrest, Viktor Oshchenko gave no witness statements or testimony at my trial, and he has disappeared into apparent oblivion after he arrived in the UK. According to public records, Vasili Mitrohkin’s contact with MI6 preceded Oshchenko’s defection by several months, and he appears to have been the real person responsible for my arrest. Mysteriously, Mitrokhin was not linked to my case until the Mitrokhin Archive was published in 1999, and his name was never mentioned at any time throughout my arrest, trial or subsequent appeal.

Despite this lack of access to what MI5 and MI6 really knew about my case, the defence team had to keep searching for clues and possible grounds to open up a new appeal. So it was with some interest that I learned from my solicitor how he had made contact with Richard Tomlinson, an ex MI6 officer who said he knew something about how my case had been perceived from within MI6 and MI5.

From: Richard Tomlinson

Mon 05 Oct 1998

To: Mr Roger Clapham
Drummond Phillips Solicitors
55a Northgate
Wakefield, WF1 3BP

Dear Mr Clapham,

Michael John Smith

I was working in MI6’s Soviet operations department at the time of Mr Smith’s arrest in July 1992.

Although I was not directly involved in the management of Oschenko’s defection or of the subsequent arrest of Mr Smith, my immediate colleagues were. Indeed, one of my line managers (P5) went over to Paris to escort Oschenko back to the UK.

Shortly after Mr Smith’s arrest, I saw a document that may be helpful to Mr Smith’s case. It was an MI5 report summarising the debriefing of Oschenko and the information which Mr Smith had allegedly given Oschenko. It concluded that Mr Smith had not given any important or damaging information to Oschenko. This was consistent with what we knew about the “intelligence threshold” of KGB officers. They were notorious for siphoning up low level intelligence which western intelligence services would not regard as worthwhile reporting. I joked with the colleague with whom I shared an office that it looked like Mr Smith had merely given Oschenko “a few pages of Jane’s Defence Weekly”. We concluded that Mr Smith would probably only receive a fine or not be prosecuted at all.

I was therefore very surprised when I learnt of MI5’s claims at Mr Smith’s trial of the extent of the damage allegedly caused by him, and the extraordinary sentence which he subsequently received. At the time, I presumed that new evidence had come to light since his arrest. Now that I have a more sceptical view of the integrity of the intelligence services, I suspect that this may not be the case. I suspect that the evidence of the initial debrief of Oschenko was over-ruled and exaggerated at a higher level in MI5 in order to ensure that Mr Smith received a heavy sentence.

The intelligence services depend on disproportionate sentences for breaches of the OSA to cultivate the mystique of the importance of their work. I believe that Mr Smith has been made a victim of this tactic.

I am not sure how helpful this information will be to Mr Smith, as it is impossible to get disclosure of MI5 and MI6 documents. However, please do not hesitate to contact me directly or my lawyer, John Wadham, if I can be of further help.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Tomlinson

25 January 2006

Citizen Smith - 3 days in Oporto

I was surprised to receive a letter from Frederico Duarte Carvalho in 1998. After exchanging letters I sent him some information about my espionage case, and he has been helping me ever since to discover new evidence to help me win an appeal against my conviction.

Frederico wanted to interview me in Full Sutton prison, and although he made an official request to do so the Prison Service made it impossible for us to meet. I even had to engage a solicitor to argue my case, to be allowed to meet with a journalist - but again our old friend official procrastination was employed. This is another way in which the British justice system unfairly prevents prisoners from fighting their cases - because if nobody can listen to the story it will then be hidden behind the prison walls.

Below is article that Frederico wrote about my case, which I have reproduced with his permission.

The Citizen Smith Case or The Spy Who Came In From Oporto

by Frederico Duarte Carvalho

Why is a Portuguese journalist writing a book about an almost unknown British spy? Recently I had to answer to this same question to Igor Prelin, my favourite ex-KGB officer whom I first meet in Cannes, France, during the Television Market Fair of April 1994. After I met Igor Prelin in Cannes, I travelled to Moscow the following year and conducted a few interviews with other ex-KGB officers. We only talked about stories with Portuguese interest from the recent past like Angola and other African nations of Portuguese language. No interest on a story about a British spy. Until that is, a few days ago. I called Igor in Moscow and asked him about a British electronics engineer named Michael John Smith, who, in November 1993, was sentenced to 25 years after being found guilty of espionage for the KGB at the end of the 1970s and beginning of 1980s. He was arrested in August 1992, after the defection from Paris of Victor Oschenko, who was said to be his Soviet controller. Igor Prelin, who was the spokesman for Vladimir Kryuchkov, the KGB leader behind the failed coup of August 1991, told me that he knew nothing about that British/Russian spy.

I was born and lived in Oporto. Nowadays I work in Lisbon at the weekly newspaper Tal&Qual. Oporto is Portugal's second city, and next year it will be European Cultural Capital. It is also the town of the Port wine and has had a large British community for many decades. My father works as a manager of the local office of a British shipping company and my first plane trip was to London, when I was only 16. So, for me, British culture has always been present, and I admired the British media.

I started working as a journalist in December 1991 at the Oporto daily newspaper O Primeiro de Janeiro. It was in September 1993 that The Times published on its front page the news of Michael Johns Smith's trial at the Old Bailey; and my attention was drawn to the fact that the prosecution alleged that the KGB sent Mr. Smith on a course in spying in Oporto.

My editors didn't find anything of interest in the story because we were a small local newspaper and, if the case became of major interest, then the national newspapers, with correspondents in London, would cover it. So I dropped the story but I didn't forget it; and when I went to London, in August 1998, on a week's holiday, I decided to find out what really had happened to Michael John Smith and that Oporto thing. I went to The Times building and got a copy of all the articles about the 1993 trial.

Making contact
When I arrived in Lisbon I got in touch with Michael John Smith thanks to the Prisoner Location Service of Birmingham. Michael is in HMP Full Sutton, York, and his number is PR3345. Michael wrote me back in September 1998 and said that he was very grateful that I had taken an interest in his story and that he had no problem in talking to me about Oporto. Two months later, November 2nd, I got another letter, but this one was signed by a certain Mr. W., in which he told me that he was Michael's friend and that Mr. Smith had asked him to help me out. And, Mr. W. wrote this to me:

'I shared accommodation with Michael during the 1970s. We both went on holiday to Spain and Portugal in his car in August 1977. I was with him during the short stay in Oporto from Thursday 11 August to Saturday 13 August 1977. We stayed at Parque de Campismo da Prelada. I was present when we requested a campsite employee to indicate the whereabouts of bus stops and a restaurant on a town map for our guidance in finding our way around Oporto. Years later (8 September 1992) I was visited by British Special Branch Police Officers, and early during the interview I was shown the map that I recognised from the holiday. Imagine my surprise when I realised that the same map was considered evidence of a KGB espionage training operation allegedly carried out by Michael. The prosecution made much of this trip during his trial because a prosecution witness, a Mr E, had done such a training operation during 1979 in Lisbon. Since I found these allegations ridiculous I was prepared to be a witness for the defence, but I was never required to appear in court. I continue to visit and correspond with Michael who continues to vigorously fight his conviction. We believe he is a victim of a miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the British M. o. D., Crown Prosecution Service and Police. The British Security Services continue their under-handed methods as revealed by the current case of ex M.I.5 spy, David Shayler, who tried to whistle blow on his secret service bosses.'

After reading this I thought: Sure, he is innocent and I'm Santa Claus! But my interest in this story grew because, by coincidence, my house in Oporto is next to the camp site where Michael and Mr. W. had stayed more than 20 years ago. Later on, Mr. W. sent me copies of the Oporto maps and some copies of the surviving photos that they both had taken in Oporto. He also sent me copies of the transcripts of Michael's interviews by the police and parts of the trial where the Oporto case had been mentioned. And that was the first time that I read the name of Oleg Gordievsky, when he gave testimony about the Oporto map crosses.

On the Oporto map there are four crosses. An MI5 officer, Mrs. C., came to Oporto to investigate them. She said that three of them didn't have any tourist interest, and the fourth was a typical restaurant, called O Fado.

Michael John Smith was criticised at the Old Bailey by Mr. Justice Blofeld because he couldn't remember the meaning of the crosses during his first interview with the police. Mr Smith first said that those where places of tourist interest and then changed his opinion to bus stops. This contradiction helped the Crown to establish a link between a training mission in Lisbon by a certain Mr E, in 1979, and the KGB agent, Victor Oschenko, appointed as Michael's controller.

For those who live in Oporto the crosses may be easily placed in places of tourist interest. And if you want to explain the bus stops it is also easy. The court accepted a different interpretation.

Tracing Smith’s steps
I've tried to recreate the footsteps of Michael John Smith in Oporto during his trip in August 1977. Mr. W. had sent to me three pictures of Oporto that they had taken during their holiday and two photos of Michael that were taken during the trip just for me to see how he looked then. The three photos of Oporto are from places with tourist interest not very far from the places were the crosses were. One is a view of the old part of Oporto that was considered to be World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1997; another is a corner of a famous commercial street in town, not very far from cross number 1; and the third is inside the old historic part of the town, just next to the Oporto Cathedral. With all this material there was a copy of a recent hand-written letter by Michael in which he recollected in detail his two days in Oporto. On that letter, among other things, he mentioned this:

' ...on the way back to the bus stop (after a evening at the restaurant O Fado) we again passed the street where the street festival was going on that area called Victoria: I see from the map that there is actually a road named Rua da Victoria, but whether it was in that road we saw the festival I'm not sure, but they gave us little green flags and a bit of card (or a sticker) with the address on it. I remember there were 2 Spanish gypsies there, and one of them wanted to be involved in getting us introduced into was going on there. The festivities had obviously just finished for the night, but someone brought us a bottle of beer each, and one of the gypsies had a guitar and I played something on it, and he said he couldn't believe I was English because I played with too much passion for an Englishman. Someone went and got the daughter of a doctor to come and translate, because she could speak reasonable English. I think the club was for literary pursuits, because they had books there, and they also played chess, and I remember there was a wooden or plastic copy of the Tutankhamen mask face, and the club had a weird mix of things in it. They wanted us to sing some English songs, but I don't think we knew what to sing. Anyway in the end we had to leave to catch the bus and I remember we looked back and waved at them in the street as we left and I thought what a strange encounter. I took 3 photos and I posted them to the club, so for all I know, they might still be pinned up on the wall in the club!'

When I read this I went to Rua da Victoria and entered the first club there. It's a very narrow place. A man was playing cards and above his head in an empty wall there was a Tutankhamon face mask. I asked the people there if they had a photo album with pictures of festivities from 20 years ago. There was only one photo album in the club. On it, there were black and white photos of festivities, and they looked to be around 20 years old. But among them, there was a particular colour photo: a gypsy playing the guitar and a person with a foreign look clapping hands. I sent the photo to Mr. W. who sent it to Michael and I got the confirmation: it was Citizen Smith during his August 1977 Oporto trip.

That was really a strange thing for a spy to do in a KGB training mission, I thought; or Michael John Smith is indeed a very clever spy to act like a normal tourist; or he is very dumb by leaving photos of his presence around the world... I'm not saying that he isn't a spy, but I think it's now very difficult for me to explain to Portuguese readers that he came to Oporto in a KGB training mission as it was said in court in November 1993.......

And, I recall that the ex-MI6 officer, Richard Tomlinson saw a MI5 report on the case which concluded that Mr. Smith had not given any important or damaging information to Victor Oschenko. Tomlinson said:

'I was therefore very surprised when I learnt of MI5's claims at Mr. Smith's trial of the extent of the damage allegedly caused by him, and the extraordinary sentence which he subsequently received. I suspect the evidence was exaggerated at a higher level in MI5 in order to ensure that Mr. Smith received a heavy sentence. The intelligence services depend on disproportionate sentences for breaches of the Official Secrets Acts to cultivate the mystique of the importance of their work. I believe Mr. Smith has been made a victim of this tactic.'

Frederico Duarte Carvalho has his own blog, which you can see here.

Marconi Space & Defence Systems

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wrote to Marconi to try to get to the bottom of the issue about what communication had occurred between Marconi’s Technical Director and Dr Lewis on 10/11 October 1993:

From: Michael John Smith
H.M.P. Full Sutton, York

21st November, 1995

To: The Technical Director
Marconi Space and Defence Systems
The Grove
Warren Lane

Dear Sir,

Re: Alleged Contravention of the Official Secrets Act

You may recall that I was convicted on 18th November 1993 for offences under the OSA. However, you may not know that only one classified document was involved in my case. This document originated at Marconi (MSDS Stanmore) and was marked RESTRICTED. The details of this document are:

Reference number: 79481/PBH/BB/S08
Issue 2
Date: 8 January 1982
Title: Demonstrator Programme Requirement Specification Bandpass Filter Assembly
Prepared by: P. B. Hutchinson
Approved by: M. R. Winstone

(1) Dr Meirion Lewis (an expert in design and manufacture of SAW devices at DRA) stated in court that he had hand delivered some written questions concerning the aforesaid RESTRICTED document to the Technical Director of Marconi (Stanmore), on the evening of Sunday 10th October 1993. Dr Lewis said that he telephoned and spoke personally to the Technical Director on the morning of the 11th October 1993, who gave him all the information he was giving in evidence, including the fact that the RESTRICTED document was related to the ALARM project.

(2) The Crown presented the view that Dr Lewis's statement on 11th October 1993 was the first time in my case that a link with ALARM had been established. ALARM had not been mentioned at all in the previous 14 months since my arrest on 8th August 1992.

(3) From the witness box, Dr Lewis made an impromptu technical argument to explain how the RESTRICTED document, on its own, would enable ALARM to be jammed. However, Dr Lewis admitted, while giving evidence on trial, that he was not an expert on ALARM, on missile technology, or on jamming techniques.

These three facts raise very important queries, the most important of them being: could a person who had admitted not to be an expert in the relevant fields, and who has been additionally informed only on the morning of the very day that he gave evidence on the issue on which he was not an expert, explain in scientific terms how a secret project (to which he, therefore, had no access as he was not part of it) could be affected by the information contained in a classified document?

Whatever the reply to that question, in spite of the relevance of its serious legal implications (on the issue of national security), the facts show - and so I am led to think by information I have been unofficially provided with - that the police had connected the RESTRICTED document with ALARM at an early stage in the investigation.

Moreover, the very facts point to the MoD having prevented information coming out that could have led to different conclusions to those on which the prosecution relied in their case. Nevertheless, I have no reasons to believe that GEC Marconi were deliberately involved in such a way of preventing the course of justice.

You should be aware that I am serving a 20 year sentence for having the RESTRICTED document in my possession, a document to which Dr Meirion Lewis gained an easy access, notwithstanding being a classified document used in a secret project which involved an issue of national security.

Therefore, before concluding, I ask you very respectfully to let me know whether you have the records of Dr Lewis's requests to the Technical Director of your company on the 10th and 11th October 1993, or any information concerning a link between the RESTRICTED document 79481/PBH/BB/SO8 Issue 2 and the ALARM project in connection with my case. If so, and possible, I will appreciate it if you could let me know whether I can be furnished with that information.

I thank you in anticipation for your kind and prompt reply to this letter.

Yours faithfully,
Michael John Smith

I should have realised that asking straightforward questions would not lead to answers. Instead of giving me the most basic answer - to confirm there had indeed been some contact between Dr Lewis and Marconi’s Technical Director - the next correspondence I received came from Marconi’s lawyers:

From: Allen & Overy
One New Change
London, EC4M 9QQ

10th January 1996
Our Ref: DLM/TM/LT:164244.1

To: Michael John Smith
H.M.P. Full Sutton, York

Dear Sir,

Alleged Contravention of the Official Secrets Act

We act for GEC-Marconi Limited who have passed to us your letter of 21st November received on 5th December.

Your will appreciate that concerns about your conviction are matters for the Prosecution and for your lawyers, not for our clients. Your most immediate concern appears to relate to aspects of the evidence of Dr Lewis but it seems from your letter that he was cross examined about this at the time.

Our clients are not able to consider a request for information relating to your case except as part of the legal process or following an approach to which the Prosecution is a party.

Yours faithfully,
(Signature illegible)

Allen & Overy Letter

It is interesting that Allen & Overy have mentioned the cross-examination of Dr Lewis, because I did not refer to it directly in my letter. It is true that a small part of my letter refers to information that came out of the cross-examination - but how would Allen & Overy or Marconi have known that? This is a curious point, which implies there was something going on behind the scenes that the defence was not told about.

It was the defence’s difficulty during the cross-examination that resulted in the matter not being properly dealt with at trial. Neither Dr Lewis nor any other witness was available to resolve the problems that arose from Dr Lewis’s testimony. If Marconi’s Technical Director had appeared at the trial, maybe I would not be still trying to resolve the anomalies now?

There is also the other strange point in Allen & Overy’s letter, that they can only become involved in my research of the evidence if the Prosecution is a party to it. Why would I wish to involve the Prosecution, when I believe they are the party who created this mess! However, this is yet another indication that Marconi had some involvement with the Prosecution that was not revealed to my defence team.

Final word from Security Commission

From the time I wrote my letter to the Security Commission on 10 January 1997, to the time I received their reply dated 13 October 1999, is a period of 33 months. It seems incredible that I had to wait 2 years 9 months for the reply printed below, particularly when I realised the reply avoided addressing any of the questions I had asked.

I was drawing the Security Commission’s attention to serious doubts I had about how their investigation had been conducted, and that I was not happy with the evidence they had used to arrive at their conclusions. After all, I was just asking the sort of questions that I would have hoped the Security Commission would also be curious about:

(i) Why was there confusion about the classification of the restricted document - surely this might indicate some systematic failure if documents could be wrongly classified?

(ii) Why did they not investigate what the document was being used for at Hirst Research Centre, and how it came to be in my desk? Provenance is usually an important indicator of whether practices are secure and appropriate to the level of sensitivity involved.

(iii) Why did it take so long, until the second day of my appeal hearing, to suggest that the “restricted” document was wrongly classified - was there an administrative cover-up to avoid transparency in what had gone wrong?

(iv) Why did the Security Commission not interview expert witnesses who could tell them exactly what damage or risks were involved with the “restricted” document? Dr Meirion Francis Lewis did not even work on the ALARM project, so why would the Security Commission rely on his evidence to arrive at their conclusion?

From: Edna Chivers
Cabinet Secretariat
Cabinet Office
4 Central Buildings
Matthew Parker Street
London SW1P 9NL

13 October 1999

To: Michael Smith
HMP Full Sutton, York

Dear Mr Smith,

This letter follows-up my initial response to you of 13 August.

Like Mr Barron, I have to draw your attention to the fact that I can only comment from the point of view of the Security Commission inquiry, the terms of reference for which were set out in his letter to you of 30 October 1996 and were to do with the lessons to be learned for future protective security arrangements in Government: it is not part of the Security Commission’s function to reassess the evidence given at your trial. It would be inappropriate, therefore, for me to comment on any other aspect of your case.

In response to the questions you raise about the Commission’s inquiry, I can reassure you that the Commission is confident that it has covered appropriately all the issues relevant to its remit and that its report accurately reflects all the events surrounding your case.

So far as your questions relating to the relationship between the damage assessments received by the Commission and your appeal against conviction and sentence are concerned, I have to say that I think the issue was adequately dealt with in the report itself and in Mr Barron’s letter to you of 20 December 1996 in which he clearly explained the sequence of events: prior to the appeal hearing in May 1995, the Solicitor General saw a copy of the damage assessment which had been prepared by the Ministry of Defence for the Security Commission inquiry. He found this to be at variance with the evidence previously given at the original trial by the witnesses for the Crown. Once this error was realised, the MoD then prepared a revised damage assessment as explained in Annex A of the report. This was provided to the Defence Counsel and to the Security Commission. The record indicates that these events were dealt with fully at your appeal hearing.

The Commission is unable to help you any further but please accept my apologies once again for the delay in letting you have this response.

The Chairman of the Security Committee has seen and approved this reply.

Yours sincerely,
Edna Chivers

Secretary of the Security Commission

Security Commission letter 13 October 1999 page 1

Security Commission letter 13 October 1999 page 2

Edna Chivers tries to conveniently gloss over the way the change in the MoD’s damage assessment report was dealt with. How long had the prosecution lawyers known about this U-turn in the MoD’s opinion, before disclosing that information to my defence team?

My lawyers, particularly Mr Michael Mansfield QC, were quite astounded by the ambush tactics employed. On 2 consecutive days of my appeal: on 15 May 1995 we were first presented with the “old” damage assessment report (dated 7 March 1994), then on 16 May 1995 we were handed the quite different amendment, apparently written that morning! The timing and drastic change in the MoD’s position was clearly designed to unsettle my defence. One would have to be an idiot or a na├»ve simpleton not to see what was going on here: the MoD and prosecution were operating a cold calculating scheme to confuse and damage my defence by underhanded tactics. I defy anybody to see it differently.

There are lots of unanswered questions in this saga, and for the safety of the nation it is important we can trust the Security Commission to not only ask the right questions, but also to leave no stone unturned in its quest for the truth. How could members of the Security Commission believe they had completed an effective investigation if they left so many potential weaknesses uninvestigated?

Rather than imply that the Security Commission’s investigation of my case had been thorough, and everything dealt with in their report or in correspondence - which is clearly what Tony Blair believes from his answer to Andrew Mackinlay MP - I would suggest there is a lot more still to be disclosed about the issues surrounding that “restricted” document.

24 January 2006

My appeal to the Security Commission

As I mentioned in my last post, nobody wanted to answer my key letter to the Security Commission. I thought this was an odd outcome, because I was only trying to get to the truth, and there were anomalies to indicate that some of the evidence they used to compile their report on my case simply could not be correct. There are many reasons for us to be suspicious at what went on behind the scenes, and the word malfeasance comes to mind.

The British judicial system has many factors on its side: not only does it administer the law in a way that makes it difficult to investigate exhibits impartially, but once a decision is taken the system is designed to make it even harder to reverse. The only way I can protest is to use my weak voice and make arguments on paper. Britain is a strong country, which can deploy weapons such as the ALARM missile anywhere it wishes - in the past in Iraq and the Balkans - perhaps in the future in Iran and North Korea. On the other hand, all I have at my disposal is language … my words are my weapons.

When I received no reply to my letter, I sent out a large number of copies of it to try to resolve the issues I had raised. I sent copies to Just Television (Channel 4), several journalists and a couple of dozen MPs. However, it is clear that most people simply do not understand the science involved in these arguments, and it needs the attention of an expert to see the subtle way in which information can be misleading. See whether I am asking too much, or am being unreasonable:

From: Michael John Smith
HMP Full Sutton, York

10th January 1997
Your Ref: Ke.0983/96

To: Mr J K Barron
Secretary to the Security Commission
Cabinet Office
Security Division
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

Dear Mr Barron,

Thank you very much for your letter of 20 December 1996 and for your helpful comments on the work of the Security Commission. As a consequence of your letter I am encouraged to raise some additional matters for your attention, which I have set out below.

With regard to the first paragraph of your letter, I apologise if it appeared from my letter of 21 October 1996 that I was expecting you to comment on my sentence - I can assure you that this was not the case - rather, I was merely pointing out that the length of my sentence had caused me to focus on an apparent anomaly in the Security Commission's report, concerning the RESTRICTED document, the only classified document involved in my case.

Let me say at once that, in this letter, I am not criticising the integrity or impartiality of the Security Commission. Nevertheless, I believe that the Commission's report has distorted the truth, and I presume that one or more witnesses, of those who gave evidence, have deliberately misled the Commission.

I shall raise some issues concerning the RESTRICTED document, which are related to your letter and to the Security Commission's report:

1. The Document's Classification and Apparent Sensitivity
The Security Commission's report concludes that the RESTRICTED document was 'wrongly classified’ (S.C. Report, 1.7, 5.5). This is a direct criticism of the competence of individual staff at Marconi Space & Defence Systems (Stanmore), and it also raises an issue of negligence on the part of the MoD representative, who I believe is permanently located at Marconi's Stanmore site.

Question 1: Did the Security Commission investigate the reasons given by Marconi for classifying the document at RESTRICTED?

I would have expected that the Marconi project staff were in the best technical position to assess the sensitivity of the document. A factor the Security Commission may not have considered is that the RESTRICTED document was effectively a procurement specification, to be sent to another GEC site (Hirst Research Centre), where the security regime was less rigorous.

Question 2: At the time the document was created (January 1982), did Marconi classify all documents on this project at RESTRICTED, or did they classify them according to sensitivity?

The claim that the document was wrongly classified was not an argument used by the prosecution at my trial, and this makes me suspicious that there has been some degree of duplicity by the MoD. The MoD were approached about my case even prior to my arrest, and they subsequently had over 14 months in which to produce convincing evidence that I had damaging material in my possession. If the classification of the RESTRICTED document was 'clearly wrong’ (S.C. Report, Annex A.5), then I cannot believe this was not identified before my trial. It was easy to investigate the RESTRICTED document, because Marconi's name and address appear on the front page, and the staff responsible for the project are identified. I repeat that this was the only classified document involved in my case, and it would be incredible if this document was not fully investigated before my trial.

Question 3: Did the Security Commission investigate why it took the MoD so long (August 1992 to May 1995) to decide that the RESTRICTED document was wrongly classified?

The further conclusion of the Security Commission's report is that the document should have been classified SECRET (S.C. Report, 6.2, Annex A.3 & A.4), or at least classified CONFIDENTIAL (S.C. Report, Annex A.5). I am not convinced that classification can be made retrospective - the document in my possession was marked RESTRICTED - and it is hypocritical of the MoD to move the classification "goal-posts", in order to give the impression that I had access to sensitive military secrets at GEC; this was simply not true.

To classify one small component, of a complex weapon system, as SECRET is an act which needs to be justified. Whilst I appreciate that the Security Commission's report might be an inappropriate place for this, the report relies for its accuracy on such a justification (see section 4 below for my doubts that this evidence exists). Not all information will be sensitive in a weapons system; the frequency band given in the document is not necessarily sensitive information. Take, for example, the frequency band of the Rapier surveillance radar, which was another issue in my case; this frequency band has been widely publicised and so cannot be regarded as sensitive SECRET information.

Which brings me back to the reason given in the report for the document's wrong classification: that 'at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system’ (S.C. Report, Annex A.5). I believe the truth is that the document was quite correctly classified as RESTRICTED. I say this based on what I know and not because of any bias on my part. From my own experience documents are classified more highly at first, and reduced following re-evaluation at routine reviews - not vice versa. I am further encouraged from the evidence given by prosecution witness Mr Harry Alexander Deadman at my trial, who said that documents did not need to be classified unless they referred to particular equipment.

Question 4: Subsequent to the MoD's argument about wrong classification, at what date was the RESTRICTED document raised in classification, and has it been raised to CONFIDENTIAL or SECRET?

2. The Document's History
The way the RESTRICTED document was treated in the past is a good indication of its perceived value. The document has an interesting history, which can be confirmed from documentary evidence:

8 January 1982 The document was created. The device specified in the document was part of a 'Demonstration Programme ... to be completed by June 1982’, and there would then be a 'Full Scale Project Definition and Development Programme, leading to an in-service date of 1985/86’. Also, 'It is anticipated that a second design iteration will be required in order to achieve the desired performance’ (Exhibits, p.54).

It was never revealed at my trial how many design iterations there were, or what the final specification was. I have seen no convincing evidence that this Demonstration Programme was in fact linked to ALARM at all. I have read that ALARM was barely in production at the time of the Gulf War!

Question 5: Was the Security Commission shown the evidence linking the RESTRICTED document to ALARM?

1982-84 The document was used in a BS9450 Capability Approval Exercise. A discussion was held at Hirst Research Centre on 23 May 1983, which clearly shows that the device specified in the RESTRICTED document was used in the Exercise, and it was identified as CQC-SAW 5 (Exhibits, pp.116-8). Material from the document was copied and supplied to the British Standards Institute (Exhibits, pp.161-70), and this information would have been further distributed to those involved in the Capability Approval Exercise.

28 February 1984 GEC were approved to manufacture the device to BS9450 standard, as recorded in an 'Abstract for inclusion in PD 9002’ (Exhibits, p.103-4). Apparently the same device was either already being manufactured commercially by GEC Semiconductors at Lincoln, or it became a new commercial product about this time, identified as type number DW9210 (GEC Semiconductors Products Catalogue).

2 December 1985 I joined HRC and took possession of the document. It is completely untrue to allege that it was a document which it 'appears he had stolen from the filing cabinet of a former colleague in his room’ (S.C. Report, 5.5); no evidence was given at my trial to support such a claim. The document was amongst a considerable amount of paperwork I found in the desk I inherited from a Mr D.T. Lewis, and I worked with Mr Lewis for about 3 weeks prior to his retirement from HRC, at Christmas 1985.

It is true that an allegation was made at my trial that I had stolen another non-military document - unconnected with the RESTRICTED document - from a colleague named Bill Tatham (Judge's Summing-up Volume I, p.103, pp.116-7; Volume II, p.46). However, the evidence for this was weak, and there was stronger documentary evidence to support the truth, which was that he had given me this document for work which we were jointly engaged upon.

Question 6: What evidence was presented to the Security Commission, that I had stolen the RESTRICTED document 'from the filing cabinet of a former colleague in [my] room’ ?

31 July 1992 I left GEC, and on the same day I removed the RESTRICTED document and some other material from GEC.

6 August 1992 The first reference I have that the MoD were involved in my case is a statement by a Mr Alan Rennie (Witness Statement, p.184).

8 August 1992 I was arrested. I raised the issue of the RESTRICTED document myself, on 10 August 1992, during my police interviews (Interviews, pp.373-5).

3 November 1992 Dr Meirion Francis Lewis was definitely aware of the document by this date, because he mentioned that he had seen it (Witness Statement, pp.113-4).

June 1993 My technical expert, Dr Eamonn Francis Maher, issued a report which dismissed the importance of the RESTRICTED document. Dr Maher referred to the device specified in the document as 'a *** MHz Device - MEDL number not revealed in the exhibit but probably DW9210’ (Maher Report, p.24). In describing the document's contents he said: 'The information that is not in the public domain and may be of military significance is in relation to the *** MHz SAW device being used in an airborne guided weapon (page 53 of the exhibit bundle). This is not of use without details of the weapon system itself and as Mr Senior [a defence expert] states it would appear that both the *** MHz device and the 200 MHz device are, or were, commercially available in any event’ (Maher Report, p.26).

23 July 1993 Dr M.F. Lewis had read Dr Maher's report by this date, but he did not specifically refer to the RESTRICTED document (Witness Statement, pp.313-4). Although Dr Lewis had a perfect opportunity of rejecting Dr Maher's conclusions, he did not do so. Since Dr Lewis was the only witness likely to comment on this document, the prosecution had still not identified the system in which the device was used, almost a year after my arrest.

7 & 11 October 1993 Dr Lewis said in court that the document was linked to ALARM and that it would enable an enemy to jam the missile. Dr Lewis claimed that his evidence was supported by "hearsay" evidence he had received from a man (alleged to be Marconi's Technical Director) in a telephone conversation on the morning of 11 October 1993, before he gave his final evidence. I wrote to Marconi on 21 November 1995, and they refused to acknowledge that Dr Lewis had spoken to their Technical Director on 11 October 1993; this reluctance to confirm such basic information is further evidence of the suspicious circumstances surrounding this issue, and calls into question what dialogue there had been between the MoD and Marconi about the RESTRICTED document.

Question 7: Was the Security Commission given information about communications, prior to my trial, between the MoD, prosecution and Marconi to determine what breaches of security might have occurred - and what significance was the RESTRICTED document given at that stage?
(This is very relevant to the reasons why the claims about wrong classification were not produced at my trial).

3. Interference Between the Security Commission Inquiry and My Appeal
The Security Commission's report states that 'certain further matters have come to light as a result of Smith’s appeal. In particular, it has emerged that some of the material supplied by MoD on which we based our damage assessment, was seriously incorrect’ (S.C. Report, 1.7). Later in the report, it is stated that 'In May 1995, in the course of preparing for Smith’s appeal, a discrepancy between the damage assessment report dated 8 March 1994 and the case presented on behalf of the Crown at Smith’s trial became apparent’ (S.C. Report, Annex A.3).

Question 8: At what date was this discrepancy first noticed?

I am confused about how the discrepancy 'became apparent’, because I had no specific grounds on scientific evidence which would have raised the RESTRICTED document as an issue at my appeal. From your letter, I am also concerned about the role of The Solicitor General, Sir Derek Spencer, who was not listed in your report as a witness.

Question 9: What were the circumstances under which Sir Derek Spencer came to see a copy of the MoD damage assessment report prior to my appeal in May 1995?

In your letter, you appear to believe that the issues surrounding the changes in the MoD damage assessment report were 'covered fully’ at my appeal hearing; this was not so. The MoD stated their position, but the facts behind the RESTRICTED document were not aired to my satisfaction. There is a technical issue to be resolved, concerning specifications and operational modes, and whether the RESTRICTED document would facilitate jamming. The original MoD report was moderate: 'no serious damage’, etc (in accord with my own comments during my police interviews), and I believe that this was far nearer to reality than the revised MoD report. No justification has been produced, by a recognised expert in ALARM, that "serious damage" could be caused by the contents of the RESTRICTED document.

Whether the effect was beneficial or not, it cannot be denied that a certain amount of cross-fertilisation has occurred between the Security Commission's inquiry and my appeal. This caused an interference in both directions:

(a) the Solicitor General was able to affect your inquiry with material from my trial.

(b) the MoD report dated 7 March 1994, and the amendment dated 16 May 1995, had a significant effect on the course of my appeal.

Question 10: Was the damage assessment report requested from the MoD with the intention that the information would be shared with the prosecution?

The Original MoD report was not shown to the defence until my appeal had started on 15 May 1995, and on the 16 May 1995 Mr MacCulloch's amendment was given to the defence. This caused considerable difficulties for my defence, and led to the adjournment of my appeal.

With all due respect, I cannot agree with the assertion in your letter, that 'the inquiry was completely separate to any criminal proceedings’.

4. The Document's Contents - Accuracy of Evidence
The Security Commission's report suggests that evidence was given at my trial that the RESTRICTED document 'was potentially of great value to an intelligent enemy in connection with one of the UK’s current weapons system’ (S.C. Report, Annex A.3). I would challenge the accuracy of the evidence given at my trial on this issue. It was only Dr M.F. Lewis and Dr D.I. Weatherley who said anything notable about the RESTRICTED document at my trial, and they made no claims to be experts in the details of ALARM or jamming.

Dr Lewis gave the most significant technical evidence on which the jury were invited to convict me. However, Dr Lewis was called as an expert on SAW (surface acoustic wave) technology, not on ALARM, and he stated from the witness box that he was not an expert in missile technology nor in jamming.

Dr Weatherley gave only an administrator's view of the RESTRICTED document; he never claimed that it was used in ALARM, or that it would enable ALARM to be jammed. It was Dr Weatherley who stopped the cross-examination of Dr Lewis when he started to reveal relevant information about the usefulness of the RESTRICTED document. Dr Weatherley's lack of expertise in airborne weaponry was identified by the judge at my trial, when he said: '[Dr Weatherley] had general scientific expertise. He had no precise detailed expertise about any one of them [the individual scientific subjects in my case]; that is not his job. His job ... was scientific adviser to the MoD for all matters relating to land warfare’ (Judge's Summing-up Volume I, pp.88-9).

A serious weakness of the Security Commission's inquiry is that Mr MacCulloch's amendment (dated 16 May 1995) was heavily influenced by Dr Lewis and Dr Weatherley. No evidence for the MoD's views, about the sensitive nature of the RESTRICTED document, has been presented, as far as I am aware. I would also draw your attention to the fact that no experts from the ALARM project were used by the prosecution at my trial.

Question 11: Was technical evidence, apart from Dr Lewis, presented to the Security Commission to support the MoD's claim that "serious damage" could have been caused by the RESTRICTED document?

Whatever the Solicitor General thought, when he saw Mr MacCulloch's original report, he would have known that Dr Lewis had not claimed any expertise in missiles or jamming. Rather than believing what was said at my trial by a non-expert, I would have expected that the MoD report would have set alarm bells ringing in the Solicitor General's head. But it was quite clear from my trial, that the Solicitor General believed published and widely available material was sensitive (which was the line he pursued in court); therefore, I would suggest, he is not the best judge of what is sensitive.

Since my appeal, I have investigated Dr Lewis's evidence myself, and I have concluded that it cannot be correct; much of Dr Lewis's evidence is quite erroneous and exaggerated, and he could not have deduced that ALARM was identifiable from the RESTRICTED document alone. I can now confidently accuse Dr Lewis of giving misleading evidence, and I can only assume that Dr Lewis has mistakenly done so to support the MoD's case, possibly with the prosecution's knowledge. If Dr Lewis did not get his evidence from his own experience, then it is uncertain where it did come from - because it seems that the accuracy of the Security Commission's report is based upon his evidence.

Question 12: Is it within the Security Commission's remit to request an independent analysis (by a non-MoD expert) of the evidence presented to the Security Commission about the RESTRICTED document?

Towards the end of your letter you state that the Security Commission report 'needed to reflect accurately all the events surrounding your case’. With what I have stated above, and with all due respect to the members of the Commission, I cannot agree with you on the issue of the RESTRICTED document. I know, from my own experience of the technical issues, that some key evidence has been withheld; not, I surmise, by the members of the Security Commission itself, but by those who gave evidence to the Commission.

I am aware that the Security Commission could have been persuaded that material was sensitive, because scientific arguments are not understandable to non-experts. Due to the circumstances of my trial and appeal, I was seriously disadvantaged by not having access to an expert who could challenge the evidence of Dr Lewis at the time. I anticipate that the Security Commission have been similarly misled about the RESTRICTED document.

In conclusion, I am of the firm opinion that the details in the Security Commission's report, about the classification and sensitivity of the RESTRICTED document, are not accurate, and will be proved to be so in the course of time. I should also point out, that I am aware of a number of other serious errors in the Security Commission's report, although they are not related to the issue of the RESTRICTED document.

I apologise that this letter has necessarily become a little lengthy, although you will appreciate that I have only summarized the issues, and I could go into much greater detail if it is required. I look forward to receiving your reply on the matters which I have raised, and I would be grateful if you can particularly address the questions which I have numbered.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Smith