28 October 2006

Professor Paul Rogers report on Oleg Gordievsky

One of the key prosecution witnesses was Oleg Gordievsky, and so advice about how to deal with his evidence was also sought from the Dfax associates.


Comments on papers relating to the Michael Smith case

Dfax Agency Ltd

Witness Statement of Oleg Gordievsky

Professor Paul Rogers
14 April 1993

The following paper was viewed:

Witness statement
Oleg GORDIEVSKY 10 December 1992

2. The comments on this witness statement should be taken together with my comments on the statement of Mrs “C” of the Security Service (dated 12 April 1993) as the two statements are concerned with tradecraft and relate closely. GORDIEVSKY’S statement is dated 10 December 1992, just over one month after that of Mrs “C” (9 November 1992).

3. GORDIEVSKY indicates that since his defection in 1985 he has had an opportunity to study many aspects of intelligence matters relating to the former Soviet Union and has written three books. He does not indicate his sources of income over this period of 8 years, although presumably book royalties contribute to these.

4. Since he apparently has access to intelligence data, it is probable that he is, in some manner, retained by the British Security Service. This might be worth establishing, as might the level of remuneration involved, since it would indicate that he is hardly an independent witness.

5. Concerning his own background, it is surprising to learn that he joined the KGB’s training arm, Directorate “S” of the First Chief Directorate without first being involved as a field agent. Only later was he himself involved in field operations.

6. His statement is almost entirely concerned with tradecraft and seeks to show that exhibits relating to the SMITH case point to clear links with Soviet/Russian security agencies.

7. Some of the detail is surprisingly elementary and much of the evidence suggests a very rigid and ordered pattern of tradecraft, unchanging over the years. This fits in closely with the evidence of Mrs “C” of the British Security Service who draws attention to cases stretching over more than 25 years in drawing her conclusions from the SMITH exhibits.

8. Both bodies of evidence suggest that intelligence tradecraft is limited by general constraints to certain modes of operation. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that most Soviet/Russian tradecraft is common to other intelligence agencies and to commercial espionage.

9. While GORDIEVSKY does maintain that there are specific aspects of the SMITH case which indicate a Soviet/Russian connection, it is relevant to place his views (and those of Mrs “C”) in this wider context. He presents a more convincing case than Mrs “C” but it is far from conclusive.

10. As with the witness statement of Mrs “C”, other explanations are perfectly possible, such as someone dealing with SMITH who has knowledge or experience of certain kinds of tradecraft. Such tradecraft may have some elements common to Soviet/Russian practice and others common to many other agencies and services. This is not, by any means, conclusive proof that SMITH dealt with someone operating for Soviet/Russian agencies.

11. Furthermore, bearing in mind the major body of witness statements from HRC, and the bundles of exhibits from HRC, one has to say that the whole process was much more indicative of a “trawl” looking for “goodies for sale” rather than a systematically planned espionage operation at the behest of an external case officer. If the latter was the case, then the case officer’s organisation of this particular agent appears to have been haphazard in the extreme.

12. On a related matter there is an interesting inconsistency in GORDIEVSKY’S witness statement. On sheet 2 of the statement (p177) he states, in relation to documents concerning the SMITH case, that:

“At each meeting the case officer discusses the agent’s professional future with him because the KGB is interested in continuing to enjoy the agent’s access or, better, to improve it or expand it”

13. Later in his evidence, GORDIEVSKY seeks to explain why SMITH would have kept the incriminating notes relating to case officer meetings in his possession. GORDIEVSKY states (sheet 4, p179):

“I have been asked why an agent would keep such notes, well according to the tradecraft an agent is not supposed to keep incriminating notes but the case officer’s interest is that the agent complies with the instructions he is given and turns up at the meetings and remembers what to do before the next meeting. This interest overrides the consideration of the agent’s security.”

These two statements simply do not correlate. Moreover, we are talking here of a number of notes relating to various meetings, all kept by Smith. One would have to say that if he did have a Soviet/Russian case officer then that person displayed a singular level of incompetence in not safeguarding the source. Commercial espionage again seems a more plausible explanation.

Professor Paul Rogers on public domain sources

An important issue concerning the technical exhibits at the trial was the degree to which information could be found in the public domain.


Comments by Professor Paul Rogers

on :
three examples of public domain sources collected by
Dr Malcolm Dando.
Prepared for Dfax Agency Leeds


1. These three enclosed sources give an indication of sources of information available in the public domain on subjects relevant to the SMITH case.

2. R&D - MOD (Document 1) is a standard brochure designed to attract graduates into the Ministry of Defence Science Group and would be widely available at recruitment fairs, careers offices in universities or in response to enquiries following advertisements by the Ministry of Defence in careers directories and journals.

3. It gives “tasters” of the kind of work available within the MoD, and these go into sufficient detail to indicate to potential graduate employees that they would be involved in stimulating work in well-equipped environments.

4. It then gives a description of the main activities at the various research centres. This includes a section devoted entirely to the activities of the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment at Malvern in Worcestershire, some of which relate to the SMITH case. Specific mention is made of surface acoustic wave technology, silica wafer processing and thermal imaging technology.

5. The R&D - MOD document was produced in 1983 and published in 1984. At the very least it gives a clear indication of the major research and development interests within the MoD Science Group.

6. The Electronic Warfare (EW) Market outside the U.S. (Document 2) is an example of a Frost and Sullivan report on defence markets. Others in the series cover military reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The brochure for the report demonstrates the intensively competitive nature of this kind of military sales field. It is concerned specifically with the non-US market and is designed to help companies within and outside the United States maximise performance.

7. By assessing the activities of competing companies, it provides clear indications of market trends and aids companies in planning their future developments. Some indication of the intense competition in this field is indicated by the price of this report - $3,100 (plus postage and handling). It is not surprising that the defence industry is an activity ripe for commercial espionage.

8. Militronics - The international military electronics magazine (Document 3) is an example of one of the defence technology journals in the public domain. Note the references to image aids including thermal imaging (e.g. the Infrared Aiming Light on page 28 - with Reader Reply Card reference included).

9. The article on Litton’s ANVIS night vision aids gives considerable performance details including wavelength specifications and length of operational life. It specifically details the relevance of gallium arsenide technology:

“Gallium Arsenide Cathode Key to Improved Performance

The key to the dramatic performance improvements offered by the third-generation tube was the development of the gallium-arsenide photocathode, according to Albert Tien, Vice-President and Director of Engineering. Compared to second generation photo-cathodes which typically use tri-alkali materials, the new photocathode produces afar greater electronic current for a given level of input light radiation.

Production of the gallium arsenide units, however, is a painstaking process using highly advanced metal organic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) technology. It grows single crystals of gallium arsenide compounds one atomic layer at a time and then seals the tubes at a vacuum equivalent to that of deep space.

The process begins by depositing five alternating layers of gallium arsenide and aluminium gallium arsenide on a 0.5 mm-thick gallium arsenide substrate. When this is completed, two different coatings are applied. The first is a silicon nitride to provide an anti-reflection coating; the second is a silicon oxide to make the gallium arsenide passive and less prone to contamination.”

10. Included in the journal is a full-page advertisement by Litton for ANVIS which invites the reader to send for further details from the company.

11. The detail given in this documentation illustrates, once again, the intensity of commercial competition in this field and the willingness of companies to provide technical details of processes. One is tempted to think that if SMITH had produced a hand-written version of the ANVIS statement with its production details, his notes would have been considered a security threat and accordingly classified.

Dr Patricia Lewis report on expert consultants

One of the issues involved in preparing for my trial was to be able to identify suitable experts who could advise the defence team, and to find expert witnesses who could testify in court on behalf of the defence. This report was one of the sources of information used.



Prepared by Dr Patricia Lewis
Dfax Associates
2 April 1993

a) Professor Butcher, Dean of Electronics
Middlesex University, Microelectronics Dept.,
Bounds Green .London N

Professor Butcher has had close contact with the European semiconductor industry.

b) Andrew Balogh,
Space Physics, Imperial College, London SW

Andrew Balogh is away until April 16th

c) Nick Chandler, GEC-Marconi
Great Baddow, Essex

Has very good contacts if unable to assist personally.

Professor Gareth Parry, Electrical Engineering
University College, London SW

a) Eammon Maher
Brackenhurst, Russels Water, Nr Watlington, Oxfordshire
0491 641 318

b) Meirion Lewis
RSRE Malvern DRA

Generally considered to be the UK expert, but place of work likely to stop him assisting

a) Malcolm Wilkinson
University of Middlesex
0353 740665

b) Malcolm Gower
Exitech Ltd, Woodstock
0993 883324

Molecular bond breaking

c) Dr R. Winfield
Culham Labs
0235 463686

Fusion research

a) Eammon Maher, as above

b) Professor Werner Buff
Ilmenau Institute of Technolgy,
Ilmenau, Germany (was East Germany)
010 49 3677 61030 (H)
010 49 3677 690 (W)

Dr Rob Cameron, Senior Lecturer in Control Engineering,
Department of Chemical Engineering,
Bradford University
0274-733466 Ext 4772

Paul Rogers report on Michael John Smith case

The report below was another Dfax report on my case by Professor Paul Rogers, and it concentrated on the technical exhibits.


Comments on papers relating to the Michael Smith case

Prepared by
Professor Paul Rogers
Dfax Associates
University of Bradford
3rd April 1993

1. Introduction
The following papers were viewed:

Witness statements
David Weatherley 7 November 1992
John Weatherley 24 August 1992
Dennis Barlow 20 August 1992
Gerald Swallow 10 August 1992
Gerald Swallow 11 August 1992
Steven Cundy 10 August 1992
Steven Cundy 11 August 1992
Steven Cundy 14 August 1992
Steven Cundy 24 August 1992
Steven Cundy 6 November 1992

Number 1 and Numbers 3 to 25, comprising pages 1 to 269.

2. I have not met or talked to Mr Jeffries of Tuckers, nor have I met or talked to any other member of staff of Tuckers. I have been given some indication of the nature of the case by Lee Chadwick of Dfax Associates, and have previously prepared a report for Tuckers indicating the extent of the public domain availability of material on the Rapier surface-to-air missile system. I have discussed the case with Dr Malcolm Dando.

3. The present exercise has involved an examination of the documents listed, especially the witness statements. The statements will be discussed in turn, a brief assessment of aspects of the exhibits will be made, and some general conclusions will be drawn. All underlining within quotations from the statements is added. The statement by Dr David Weatherley appears to be the most significant and is discussed in more detail than the other witness statements.

Statement of Dr David Weatherley
4. This statement was made about three months after most statements from staff at Hirst Research Centre (HRC) and refers to statements by MoD and service personnel which I have not seen. At a first reading, the statement seems to suggest that there is a considerable security risk element in the papers examined. Closer study of the text shows frequent use of qualifying words and phrases.

5. Thus, while the material on olfactory research is said to have applications to chemical and biological defence and in the detection of substances for internal security purposes, the main comment is “the statement of achievable sensitivity is of concern, since it provides an indication of the likely performance of future UK detection systems”. Note use of “an indication” and “likely”, rather than stronger terms.

6. This is still more marked in the section on Rugate Filters. It is agreed that the filter process is well known but it is claimed that the description of some aspects is significant “because they enable some performance characteristics of possible future UK defence systems to be deduced”. Thus incomplete characteristics of systems which do not even appear to be under development may be obtainable from this data.

7. The material on the quasi-optical car radar is accepted as not being of a sensitive nature yet the technique described is said to have potential military applications. It is not clear how it can have such applications yet not be sensitive.

8. The Micron Valve Project is said to be of defence relevance, but the phrase “defence relevance” is not defined as such. In commenting on this relevance, a whole range of limiting words or phrases is used such as “it offers a prospect”, “a means”, “might be”, “an indication” and “might be” once again.

9. The Micromachining Project material includes performance details which “are sufficient to indicate the UK state-of-the- art”, but this material, and that on the previous four projects, is later subject to the general caveat “In general the level of technical detail is relatively low...”. It is not clear how relatively low level technical detail can indicate the UK state-of-the-art, which, one would suggest, would require sophisticated and detailed analysis.

10. Dr Weatherley’s description of the Rapier missile material indicates that the benefits to a recipient of the material would be purely military and cites, as an example, that it would “allow a deduction of some Rapier operating parameters in order to aid the development of technical and operational countermeasures for use against a system which is operationally deployed”.

11. This seems a strong argument for suggesting a sensitivity for the relevant exhibits, though the Rapier system has been sold to a number of countries and one might have thought that there could be leakages of data outside Britain’s control. More relevant, though, is an earlier statement that the exhibit describes techniques “based on a technology which has now been rendered obsolete by technological advances.” There appears to be some contradiction here - the data is sensitive yet obsolete.

12. Concerning silicon on sapphire technology and gallium arsenide technology, both of these technologies are dual-use military and civil technologies. Dr Weatherley argues for a military relevance but again uses soft phrases and words such as “could”, “likely” and “an indication”.

13. Although surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology provides a large part of the exhibits, Dr Weatherley only devotes four lines to this, saying that SAW devices “are widely used in a variety of military systems”, and suggesting that details in the exhibits could be of potential use to an aggressor. This is a little misleading as the exhibits appear generally to be up to 10 years old. Furthermore, Dr Weatherley fails to mention that SAW has many non-military uses, including supermarket check-out scanners, cell phones and security-coded car ignition keys.

14. The strongest case offered by Dr Weatherley appears to concern the material on thermal imager technology. Only here does he appear to make a clear-cut case that the material is specifically sensitive in an area where the UK is at the forefront.

15. The specific comments made above (except for para. 14) all suggest a weak series of assessments of security risk and a general “treading carefully” approach. Furthermore, there is a tendency to use the term “internal security” in relation to some of the exhibits. But internal security includes many civilian activities (such as airport security where private companies undertake scanning, searching etc.). An exhibit relevant to internal security does not necessarily mean one with any military significance.

Statement of John Weatherley
16. Mr Weatherley refers to exhibits apparently 10 years old. They refer to civil as well as military applications. The use of the relevant technology “could only be useful to a competitor or foreign power as a minor element of a much larger data base” and he also states that “none of the documents ... are classified ...”. This would appear in line with Dr David Weatherley’s belief that the technology is obsolete, but not with Dr Weatherley’s seemingly contradictory belief that it is sensitive.

Statements of Dennis Barlow
17. Mr Barlow’s first statement makes clear Mr Smith’s lack of security clearance, his clearance to the confidential level meaning that he would not handle militarily secret material. Mr Barlow’s description of documents concentrates heavily on perceived commercial significance. He does point out potential military significance but pays more attention to commercial aspects.

18. Mr Barlow’s second statement again pays attention to commercial interests, especially issues of commercial confidentially. He refers, interestingly, to one exhibit where Mr Smith “could have seen these drawings at work” but “he should not have had them in his possession”. Since he separately informs us that Mr Smith did not have a military security classification, it is a little difficult to understand why these documents, which he could have had access to, could be considered sensitive. Mr Barlow’s statements generally refer to exhibits dating from the period 1982 to 1987, not later.

Statements of Gerald Swallow
19. Mr Swallow’s first statement refers to exhibits providing “quite extensive” data on delay line technology relevant to the Rapier surface-to-air missile system. His statement would certainly appear to indicate military sensitivity, though, as we have seen, Dr Weatherley’s statement implies obsolescence. Mr Swallow’s statement does provide some indirect support for this latter view. He describes some (but not all) of the documents as carrying a military classification of RESTRICTED, but this is a relatively low level of classification (below levels such as SECRET and TOP SECRET). Furthermore, he believes that the documents were removed from HRC “at some time within the last few years” - hardly a matter of the greatest immediacy.

20. Mr Swallow’s second statement describes the exhibit on Rugate filters as “rudimentary”, and he states that the notes on micromachining refer to commercially-orientated HRC projects. The exhibit on the micronvalve project “is sketchy but accurate as far as it goes”. Other exhibits refer to old and out-of-date documentation. Finally, the statement is far more concerned about issues of commercial confidentiality than military implications.

Statements of Steven Cundy
21. Mr Cundy’s first statement is short and is primarily concerned with the fact that exhibits contain company confidential information.

22. His second, much longer, statement relates to documents described by other witnesses. As Director of HRC his statement is of particular interest as it tends to question aspects of the technical competence of Mr Smith and to concentrate heavily on issues of commercial confidentiality.

23. The Rugate filter exhibit is described as “a good but not very technically detailed description”. The micromachining project “is largely a commercially confidential programme there being no immediate direct military significance”. The quasi-optical car radar is described as a commercial project.

24. While the micronvalve project is acknowledged to be a military project, Mr Cundy states that most of the information generated at HRC is not classified. He also describes this exhibit as being a “poor” and “rough” summary of the project.

25. He confirms the olfactory project as largely commercial, specifying that HRC has a commercial customer involved who seeks strict confidentiality. There are military implications “if and when this technology proves to be viable”, but it is currently a commercial matter.

26. Mr Cundy discusses the extensive documentation on the Rapier missile. Two aspects of interest emerge. One is confirmation that the exhibits arc fairly old - up to 8 years old. The second is that they are primarily “Company Confidential” documents with, in only some cases, a military classification, and then a low level classification.

27. Mr Cundy’s final document is dated 6 November 1992, two and one half months after the other documents. It refers primarily to document collection SR4, concerned with thermal imager technology. This is the area where Dr Weatherley of the Ministry of Defence is strongest in his belief of a security risk.

28. On a first reading, the 6 November statement of Mr Cundy, made one day before Dr Weatherley’s statement, does suggests a high level of risk in distribution of the thermal imager technology. A more detailed reading puts matters in a rather different perspective.

29. Many of the documents are referred to as having no military significance. A procurement specification for silicon-on-sapphire wafers concerns a number of suppliers, one of them Japanese, and appears to be a commercial matter. One device referred to is a Reed-Solomon encoder for satellite communications based on a silicon-on-sapphire process, but “In this instance, the customer was ESA”. “ESA” is the European Space Agency, a multinational civil agency.

30. Mr Cundy separately points to substantial amounts of public domain material among the exhibits, including company newsletters and publicity material.

31. In the specific area of thermal imaging technology, Mr Cundy makes the case that the specifications involved are very high, making the processes too expensive for civil use, though he does contradict himself a little in pointing out highly specialised civil applications such as the use of thermal sensors such as helicopter borne surveillance of electricity supply lines.

32. In one key part of the statement, Mr Cundy makes observations on a process flow chart for a form of thermal imaging technology - namely assemblies for IR (infra-red) detectors based on CMT (Cadmium Mercury Telluride) material. The chart originated in the Infra-red Development Laboratory, and Mr Cundy mentions that Mr Smith “was involved in Systems Audits and contract reviews in IRDL as part of his assigned tasks” even though he did not have a military security clearance (see para 17 above, concerning Mr Barlow’s statement).

33. Mr Cundy concludes his comment on CMT-based IR detectors: “Information shown to me is not classified but unquestionably of military significance and if that information was communicated to foreign powers it would be considered as damaging the U.K. military interest”. If this is the case, then it is rather difficult to see why the information is not classified.

The Exhibits
34. Reference has been made to the exhibits already, but two points are worth some emphasis. The first concerns the lack of high military security classifications on any of those exhibits seen, and the second is the very dated nature of most of the documents, most dating from 1982-83. In a rapidly moving high-tech military environment, it is not easy to see how important such data is some 7 to 8 years after it was produced.

35. It is also worth noting that a number of the witnesses are somewhat uncomplimentary about the technical standards of some of the handwritten exhibits. While there are occasional surprises, there is a tendency to label them mainly of commercial interest and even then more in the nature of “tasters” than really sensitive commercial, let alone military, significance.

General Comments
36. Throughout the witness statements there are frequent occasions when military sensitivity is ascribed to exhibits. At first sight, this appears to be a convincing stance, but closer examination suggests otherwise. The strongest suggestions of military sensitivity come in the statement of Dr Weatherley of the MoD, but many of these suggestions tend to be downgraded by the witness statements coming from HRC personnel, where there is a greater concern with issues of commercial sensitivity.

37. The most persistent claim for military significance lies with thermal imaging technology, but even here the statement from Mr Cundy suggests that the exhibits are not hugely secret, indeed they may not, for the most part, even be classified.

38. It is clear, on the other hand, that large numbers of documents are, or have been, commercially sensitive for HRC. This does lead one to the conclusion that they have been purloined as part of a process of commercial espionage. The original documents tend to be old, and the hand-written notes are more in the nature of indications of the nature of HRC work rather than detailed specifications. One witness uses the term “taster” and there appears to be a process of gathering information to sound out potential customers.

39. The information gathered appears to be a mixture of that which is genuinely commercially sensitive with some that is clearly past its “sell-by” date. This would suggest that the person concerned has attempted a “trawl” of possible subjects, casting the net wide in the process. This, in turn, suggests that he is not supplying a single customer, in the form of a highly-knowledgeable agency of a foreign power, which would be expected to be able to provide a precise “shopping list” of requirements. Instead, it would seem more likely that he is hoping to make sales to some kind of free-lance agent or go-between, perhaps capable of acting for other commercial interests, but without a clearly defined remit.

40. One note on a somewhat different point. If Dr Weatherley’s statement is correct, and many of the exhibits are of genuine military significance, then their loss would appear to be a serious breach of national security. This would imply considerable negligence in the form of a very bad lapse in security at the Hirst Research Centre. It would be interesting to know what kind of enquiry has been held into this lapse, whether it was within the company or involved the police, MoD or security services, and whether any disciplinary action has been taken against those held responsible for the security lapse. If there is no evidence of any kind of enquiry or disciplinary action, this would raise some interesting questions in relation to the current prosecution.

41. In conclusion, the material seen here appears at first sight to involve a breach of military security, but this depends very much on the views expressed by Dr Weatherley, and these are by no means fully supported by statements from HRC personnel. In their statements, a much clearer implication of commercial sensitivity comes over. Much of the material is a rag-bag of old documents and hand-written “tasters”. This hardly suggests the involvement of a high-level espionage operation, more a case of opportunistic commercially-orientated activities.

Stella Rimington, Professor Paul Rogers Dfax report

As part of the defence preparations for my trial several reports were requested from experts in the various fields involved. One of the agencies approached was the Dfax Associates, and the report below was mainly concerning the witness referred to as Mrs “C”, who was Stella Rimington.

Comments on papers relating to the Michael Smith case


Witness Statement of John Richard WELCH
Witness Statement of Mrs “C”

Prepared for Dfax Agency Leeds
Professor Paul Rogers
University of Bradford
12 April 1993

1. Introduction
The following papers were viewed:

Witness statements
John Richard WELCH 17 August 1992
Mrs “C” 9 November 1992

Exhibit Numbers 31, 32 and 43, which would appear to correspond to documents listed as JS42, JS43 and JS44 in the above witness statements.

2. A brief comment will be made on the statement of John Richard Welch, who would appear to be a civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police and an expert in handwriting. This will be followed by a more detailed analysis of the witness statement by Mrs “C” of the Security Service. This will, in turn, focus on two aspects of the witness statement - a series of specific comments and questions followed by a more general analysis of the approach adopted, its relevance to the present case, and its possible value to the prosecution and defence

Statement of John Richard WELCH, BSc
3. Only page 61 was viewed, which appears to be a continuation of a longer statement. This part of John Welch’s statement gives an impression of being written by a careful and experienced analyst who “guards his back” against potential cross-examination, not least by avoiding giving a conclusive view. The core part of his statement is:

“I compared the bulk of writing in each of the items JS/41, 42, 43 and 44 with the writing of Michael Smith in items JS/18, 49, 50 and 51. I found many similarities between these writings. No single similarity is conclusive but the combination of similarities leads me to conclude that the bulk of the writing in each of the items JS/41, 42, 43 and 44 were written by MICHAEL SMITH.” (WELCH - p61)

Note that he did not compare all of the writing in the first four items mentioned, only “the bulk”. This may be merely the caution of a careful analyst or acceptance that MICHAEL SMITH was not the sole writer. This latter is supported by his conclusion that only “the bulk of” the writing in those first four items was that of SMITH. (WELCH - P61)

5. He does not represent his findings as an open and shut case, though he is prepared to present his conclusions in court and, presumably, allow them to be examined by a defence expert witness. There may be room for disagreement, but this is not likely. It might, however, be relevant that Mr Welch does not conclude firmly that there is a single author (SMITH). This might be worth examining in more detail.

Witness Statement of Mrs “C” - specific points
6. The first part of this discussion will draw out particular points from the witness statement. The second part is a more general analysis.

7. The witness has worked for the Security Service for 23 years, and has made a study of the techniques used operationally by the intelligence services of the former Soviet Union and Russia. Her study includes information gained from de-briefing of defectors and observation of Soviet and Russian intelligence officers in the UK. (Mrs “C” p61)

8. Although she has 23 years experience in the Security Service as a whole, we are not informed of extent of her experience in this particular area. We are not told her position within the Security Service and whether, in this particular field of expertise, she is a senior officer or has recently moved into this area. We are not told whether the data gained by de-briefings and observations has been gained, at least in part, by her personally, or whether it has been through her study of the work of others.

9. We have no indication as to whether she has only worked on Soviet and Russian intelligence practice or whether she has experience of other intelligence services - for example, those of former Warsaw Treaty Organisation countries such as Czechoslovakia or Hungary or western commercial competitor nations such as France, Japan and the USA. We do not know whether she is familiar with British intelligence techniques practised overseas.

10. Throughout her statement, she equates the Soviet Union with Russia in terms of continuity of the intelligence services. For example:

“The objective of these intelligence services is to gather intelligence with the aim of gaining political, economic and military advantage for their parent state. Included in this aim is the intention to cause short or long term damage not only to the Western State in which their intelligence is gathered but also to other Western States.” (Mrs “C” p62)

11. Note the persistent use of present tense. There is a clear implication that Russia is as much a security threat as was the Soviet Union. Even though this statement was made only five months ago, there appears to be no recognition whatsoever of the major changes in East-West relations over the past five years or of the likely concern of Russian intelligence services with security threats from areas much closer to home.

12. Her assessment must be assumed to be the official assessment of the Security Service since she is giving a witness statement in an official capacity. If this assessment of Russian policy is correct, one hopes that it has been communicated, as a matter of urgency, to the British Foreign Office and to US President Bill Clinton, as they seem currently to be operating on a rather different agenda.

13. We are informed that the Soviet/Russian security services have developed a particular “tradecraft” over a number of years in order to safeguard their espionage activities. (Mrs “C” pp62-65). We are not told whether this is an evolving tradecraft or whether it is rooted in stone. Tradecraft in use in 1961, 1968, 1982 and 1983 is mentioned, mostly relating to meeting places and passing of messages. No indication is given as to whether this tradecraft is peculiar to Soviet/Russian practice, indeed no indication is given as to whether the witness is aware of the tradecraft of other intelligence agencies.

14. Even within the tradecraft practices specified, there appear to be inconsistencies. Reference is made to the Soviet/Russian practice of arranging meetings in open places where surveillance is difficult (Mrs “C” p63), but a meeting place said to involve SMITH, Roxeth Recreation Ground, is described as having restricted access yet is still claimed to be “typical of sites selected by intelligence officers for clandestine meetings” (Mrs “C” p64).

Witness Statement of Mrs “C” - general comments
15. The statement gives an elementary indication of tradecraft as apparently practised by Soviet/Russian intelligence services. No indication is given as to whether the tradecraft is peculiar to these services. The great majority of the tradecraft appears to be a matter of common sense for anyone involved in activities which he/she would prefer to keep quiet, whether these are political or commercial activities and whether legal or illegal.

16. Repeated reference is made to people meeting in open places. This seems hardly surprising, unless it is a feature peculiar to Soviet/Russian services. Perhaps other states have other practices (British meeting in pubs, French in restaurants, Americans in ice cream parlours and Japanese in bath houses) but open places would appear to have an attraction to any service.

17. Similarly, the use of various marks or signals to reduce direct personal contact would appear appropriate to any confidential activity, as much to commercial espionage where financial stakes may be very high, as to interstate espionage.

18. It thus appears to be argued that the tradecraft which involved SMITH is peculiar to Soviet/Russian services, but in the absence of any comparative data for other services, or indeed for typical commercial espionage operators, there is no way in which this can be proved through this witness statement.

19. Furthermore, if the SMITH defence rests on the notion that there was a commercial espionage involvement, then his contact(s) could well have had previous involvement(s) with intelligence activities, subsequently using the knowledge gained therein, perhaps for post-retirement commercially-directed activities.

20. In all, the evidence is hardly satisfactory. At first sight it might seem impressive, mainly because one assumes that a witness statement from such a source will result from impressive knowledge and powers of analysis. Anything beyond a cursory consideration of the statement suggests otherwise - if this is the best the Security Service can do, then a measure of public accountability may be long overdue.