20 December 2007

Extracting the truth from the myth

The Echo has again published an article about my case, this time highlighting the new evidence that has emerged to challenge the Prosecution case at my trial. Unfortunately, this article mixes up a few of the facts with some of the myths that were put out by the MoD and MI5 at the time of my arrest, when it seemed that those organisations were desperate to see military secrets where there were none.

However, the article does indicate the encouraging point that Members of Parliament, Mr Andrew Mackinlay and Mr James Duddridge, are looking into my case again. It is to be hoped that they will try to raise the key issues with those who can get to the bottom of what went wrong at my trial.

I have added the following comment to the page where the article appears on the Echo website:

It is a pity that this article repeats the same untrue account that has done the rounds for years. I never sold military secrets to the Russians, and certainly not to Viktor Oshchenko, who left the UK in 1979, 11 years before the period covered by my trial.

In fact, at my trial it could not be proved that I met any “Russian” contact, and MI5 had to admit that they had no evidence I had met anyone in the KGB. The claim about “secrets” is also simply ludicrous, because I had the lowest security clearance, and I was prohibited from even seeing a “secret” document, let alone having one in my possession.

The so-called secrets amounted to one document marked “restricted” and dated 1982 - a document that became obsolete in 1984 and replaced by a different specification that was marked “unclassified” - this point alone indicates that the MoD judged the information was NOT secret before my trial.

That an obsolete, low-level document was claimed to be a “top secret” just proves how the truth can be twisted by those that have no regard for British Justice. Unfortunately, lies take the place of evidence in cases such as mine.

18 December 2007

MoD misled Sir Peter Woodhead, Prison Ombudsman

Having had my letters to the press stopped by the Prison Service, I considered this a basic denial of my human right to free speech, and I naturally appealed against the decision as far as I could take it, which eventually led to a report by the Prison Ombudsman Sir Peter Woodhead.

The interesting thing is that it was again the Ministry of Defence that came into this affair, and they compounded the injustice by claiming that the “restricted” document exhibit at my trial should have been marked “SECRET”. This is so unfair, when it is now known that the document concerned became obsolete in 1984, and that the later iterations of the specification used on the ALARM missile were only marked “unclassified”.

This is yet another example of how the MoD is quite prepared to lie and distort the truth. The MoD seems not to care that they have persuaded members of their staff to commit perjury in order to justify my conviction for espionage. I believe this is a blatant example of perverting the course of justice, but being the MoD I expect they will get away with their crime.

I print below the full text of the Prison Ombudsman’s report of my complaint.

Prisons Ombudsman
CASE NO: 10658/98 - MR M SMITH

1. Complaint

1.1 Mr Smith complained that he had been prevented from sending an article to the media concerning his crime and trial.

2. Background

2.1 Mr Smith submitted a request/complaint form to the Governor of Full Sutton, dated 12 January 1998, saying that a letter he had written to the New Scientist had been stopped by the censor because it infringed a Standing Order. He said he wished to challenge this ruling. The response from a governor, dated 22 January, said that the letter referred to Mr Smith's crime and trial and therefore, because it could be published, it was appropriate to withhold the letter under the Standing Order.

2.2 Not happy with this response Mr Smith appealed to Prison Service Headquarters on 1 February. He said that his letter was concerning his crime and was a serious comment on the process of justice. He stated that the prison had mis-interpreted the Standing Order. He said it was plain that the Standing Order allowed him to write such letters. The response Mr Smith received from the Directorate of Dispersals Unit, dated 19 May, said that Standing Order 5B imposed restrictions on the sending of correspondence of a certain nature, one of which was correspondence that would jeopardise national security. Another was where correspondence concerned an inmate's crime, although there was an exception where serious representations were being made against conviction. It concluded that the action taken by the Governor was appropriate given the nature of the letters.

2.3 On 26 January, following receipt of the Governor's answer to his complaint, Mr Smith had written to Mr Mullin MP about the matter. Mr Mullin responded saying that he would write to the Governor of Full Sutton. In response to a letter from Mr Mullin the Governor forwarded a copy of Standing Order 5B and said that he was satisfied the correct procedures had been followed in stopping Mr Smith's letters. Mr Mullin wrote to me on 24 April asking me to investigate Mr Smith's complaint.

3. Investigation

3.1 During the course of this investigation the relevant papers from Mr Smith's Prison Service Headquarters file were obtained. My investigating office also spoke to the member of staff at the Directorate of Dispersals Support Unit who dealt with Mr Smith's appeal and wrote to the Ministry of Defence. A copy of the Report of the Security Commission dated July 1995, mentioned in one of Mr Smith's letters, was also obtained.

3.2 Mr Smith submitted a request/complaint form to the Governor of Full Sutton, dated 12 January 1998, in which he said that his letter to the New Scientist had been stopped by the censor because it infringed Standing Order 5B. He said he challenged this decision because the relevant words in the order, contained in paragraph 34(9)(C) , said that general correspondence may not contain material which is intended for publication except where it consists of serious representations about conviction or sentence or forms part of serious comment about crime, the process of justice or the penal system. Mr Smith added that his letter was not actually about his offence but his trial and that he wrote the letter in response to an on-going discussion in the magazine about the way lawyers misuse expert scientist testimony.

3.3 The governor's response to the complaint, dated 22 January, said:-

"The letter in question makes reference to your crime and your trial. The letter was also addressed to the editor of the New Scientist and could have been published. It is therefore appropriate that the letter was withheld under SO 5B."

3.4 Mr Smith appealed against this on 1 February saying that the reply he received from the governor was "a perverse interpretation of the Standing Order and therefore incorrect and unacceptable". He said that his letter complied with the order. The letter to the New Scientist was for publication, mentioned his crime and trial and was a serious comment about the process of justice. He said the letter clearly contributed to a serious debate about the abuse of expert testimony. He said it was plain that SO 5B para 34(9)(C) allowed him to write such letters.

3.5 Prison Service Headquarters wrote to the prison to ask why the Governor had taken the decision to stop the letter being sent and asked for a copy of it together with other letters that had been stopped. The response from the prison said that the contents of the letter looked at the issues of scientific evidence and clearly looked at the validity of this in Mr Smith's case. It was prevented from leaving the establishment because it was addressed to the editor of the New Scientist and had every possibility of being published. The headquarters caseworker said that Mr Smith could no doubt argue that he was raising genuine concerns about the justice system but it was clear that the letter was highlighting concerns about his own case. He said the identification of the witness by name i.e. Dr X is Dr.... may be a breach of national security. The response from the Directorate of Dispersals Support Unit, dated 19 May, said:-

"Thank you for your request/complaint. I am sorry for the delay in replying. This answer is on behalf of the Director of Dispersal prisons. Standing Order 5B imposes restrictions on the nature of correspondence which may be sent out by prisoners. One restriction is where that correspondence would jeopardise national security. Another is where correspondence is intended for publication (or likely to be published) and deals with the inmate's own crime. I appreciate there is an exception where the matter raised consists of serious representations about conviction, but in all the circumstances it is considered the actions taken by the governor in this instance was appropriate given the nature of the letters."

3.6 Prior to receiving this reply and following receipt of the response to his complaint from the prison Mr Smith wrote to Mr Mullin MP on 26 January. He said that he had been asked by a friend for a short article on his case for publication in the Tribune. He said that he had prepared brief details of his case, which included some important new information that clearly pointed to his case being a miscarriage of justice, but that the prison had stopped his letters because they infringed a Standing Order. Mr Smith included the article in his letter to Mr Mullin and asked that the MP help him to "expose the corrupt operation that led to my arrest and conviction". He also asked whether there had been any changes to the Standing Order that meant he could not write to the media protesting that there had been a miscarriage of justice in his case.

3.7 Mr Mullin replied to Mr Smith on 6 February to say that he was not in a position to investigate his case and suggested that he wrote to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He said that he was surprised to hear that Mr Smith had been prevented from writing to journalists and said he would look into this. Mr Mullin wrote to the Governor of Full Sutton asking whether there had been any recent change to the Standing Orders. He said he was surprised that Mr Smith's letters had been stopped because he understood that prisoners, who alleged their innocence, were allowed to communicate in writing with the press and that because of this a number of celebrated miscarriages of justice had been resolved. The Governor responded on 13 February. He said that Mr Smith's letter had been addressed to 'Letters to the Editor' at the New Scientist and that it was reasonable to presume that he wanted the letter to be published. He said that Mr Smith had also written letters to two friends both of which contained references to his crime and in particular to the evidence given by one witness. The letter went on to say that the contents of Mr Smith's letter contravened Standing Order 5B paragraph 34.9(c) (which he quoted) and commented on the sensitive nature of Mr Smith's offence and the potential disquiet that might arise in the public domain if his correspondence should be published in national publications. Mr Mullin responded to this letter on 3 March saying that, without knowing the precise nature of the correspondence, it was difficult to make a judgement except to say that if Mr Smith was making "serious representations" about the safety of his conviction he should be allowed, according to the Standing Order, to send his letters whether or not they were intended for publication. He concluded by saying that he would be asking Mr Smith for a copy of the censored material in order that he could make an informed judgement.

3.8 Mr Mullin wrote to me on 24 April enclosing his exchange of correspondence with the Governor of Full Sutton, as well as a letter from another prisoner who had had his mail stopped, asking me to look into their complaints. I made some initial enquiries and responded to Mr Mullin on 14 May. I advised him that although Mr Smith had not received a reply to his appeal, because it had been with Prison Service Headquarters for over six weeks,I could accept his complaint for investigation. I was unable, however, to accept the complaint from the other prisoner because he had not appealed against the Governor's reply to his complaint and it was now out of time.

3.9 Mr Smith wrote to my investigating officer on 6 June. By this date he had received a reply to his appeal with which he was not satisfied. He said the Prison Service had not given him a proper explanation as to why his letters had been stopped. He said he strongly objected to the comment that his correspondence might "jeopardise national security". Mr Smith, who was charged with espionage, had said that part of his eight week trial was held 'in camera’. He said that his defence had objected to this because he had not dealt with sensitive material. The only classified documents Mr Smith said he had dealt with were at the lowest level of restricted. He said the two areas in which his trial was held ‘in camera' were concerning spy 'tradecraft' and scientific evidence. The first spy 'tradecraft' matter concerned the prosecution's evidence and the opinions of Oleg Gordievsky who claimed that the notes made by Mr Smith, of his meetings with the man who bribed him, were typical of KGB practice. However, the defence expert (a senior CIA officer) found no evidence to show that the notes were unique to the KGB. Also it was claimed that Mr Smith had met Victor Oschenko in the 1970s but the prosecution offered no evidence to support this. Mr Smith claimed that the Crown Prosecution Service was involved in a conspiracy to hide the fact that Victor Oschenko had been involved with MI6 long before his defection and they had lied about his relationship with Mr Smith. The second area where Mr Smith's trial was held 'in camera' concerned the scientific evidence. He said that a small amount of documents were found in his possession at the time of his arrest, most of which were dated 5 to 12 years before his arrest. He added that, of these, only one was found to be classified and this was at the lowest level. He added that the prosecution called a number of technical experts who said that most of the documentation was sensitive but that the defence expert was able to prove that the material was either available in the public domain or the material in the public domain was similar or more comprehensive. Mr Smith said in conclusion that the prosecution had failed to show that he had dealt with the Russian KGB or had in his possession, or passed on to a third party, any sensitive technical information.

3.10 My investigating officer spoke to the member of staff in the Directorate of Dispersal Support Unit to ask the basis on which they had decided that Mr Smith's letters "may be a breach of national security". The response was that this conclusion had been reached because Mr Smith had named names which may breach the Official Secrets Act. To obtain further information my investigating officer wrote to the Assistant Under Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, enclosing Mr Smith's letters, and asked whether the contents of the letters, if published, would breach the Official Secrets Act and/or jeopardise national security. The response said:-

"You enclosed copies of a number of letters which the Governor of Full Sutton Prison refused Mr Smith permission to send to his intended addressees. These letters have been examined by this Department and by the Security Service.

"The Ministry of Defence has examined Mr Smith's letters to see whether the disclosure of any of the information that he wishes to give about Defence equipments and weapons systems would be damaging to national security. Our consideration is that some of this information should be marked SECRET; and that the letters should therefore not be sent.

"The Security Service has examined Mr Smith's letters to see whether the disclosure of any information that he wishes to give about counter-intelligence operations or capabilities would be damaging to national security. Their conclusion is that they would not object to the disclosure of what he says about matters of this kind.

"I very much hope that the Ombudsman would feel able to uphold the decision of the Governor of Full Sutton Prison not to allow these letters to be sent. In that case I should be grateful if all the copies of them could be marked SECRET. I would also ask that Mr Smith should not be allowed to keep copies of them or to write any further letter containing the same material.

"In the postscript to the letter which he wished to send to the Editor of the New Scientist on 10 December 1997 Mr Smith says that he has been allowed to keep copies of all the sensitive exhibits. He should not have any protectively marked material in his possession. I am taking this point up separately.

"I should make it clear that I am not making any comments in this letter on whether the information contained in Mr Smith's letters is true or false. My comments are concerned only with whether its disclosure would be damaging to national security.

"I have one further point. You comment in your letter that Mr Smith's trial took place in camera. That implies that any disclosure now of information about what took place in the criminal proceedings would be likely to be in breach of orders which were made by the trial judge. Since Mr Smith's letters purport to describe allegations made and evidence given during the course of the trial, this is an aspect which you may wish to pursue separately.

"This letter is UNCLASSIFIED. If it would be helpful to the Ombudsman to have some further information requiring a protective marking, please let me know. Please also let me know if there is any further assistance that I can give you."

4. Consideration

4.1 Mr Smith has complained that the Prison Service refused to allow him to send an article to the media and letters to friends about his crime and trial because they contravene Standing Order 5B paragraph 34(9)(c).

4.2 Prison Service Standing Order 5B concerns correspondence and the particular paragraph quoted states general correspondence may not contain the following:-

34(9) "Material which is intended for publication or for use by radio or television (or which, if sent, would be likely to be published or broadcast) if it:......................

(c) is about an inmate's own crime or past offence or those of others, except where it consists of serious representations about conviction or sentence or forms part of serious comment about crime, the process of justice or the penal system."

4.3 Mr Smith has said that his article and letters were a serious comment about 'the corrupt practices of the British Judicial System' and the miscarriage of justice in his case. Such a letter, according to the Standing Order is permissible. However, in Mr Smith's case, because he was convicted under the Official Secrets Acts, there is the question of the contents of his letters and whether they may breach the Official Secrets Act and/or endanger national security. Section (4) of paragraph 34 of Standing Order 5B prohibits the sending of:-

(4) Material which may jeopardise national security."

4.4 The Governor of Full Sutton stopped Mr Smith's letter because he said that the contents contravened Standing Order 5B paragraph 34(9)(c) and the response from the Directorate of Dispersals Support Unit said that 'one restriction was where that correspondence would jeopardise national security'. It is apparent that the official in the Directorate of Dispersals Support Unit reached the conclusion that the correspondence should be stopped because Mr Smith had referred to certain individuals by name.

4.5 Having studied Mr Smith's letters and read the Report of the Security Commission I note that some details appear in both and, as the report is in the public domain, there could be no objection to those parts of his letters. This is in accord with the advice from the Ministry of Defence which said the Security Service had no objection to the disclosure of what Mr Smith had said about counter-intelligence operations or capabilities. However, the Ministry of Defence is concerned about information about defence equipment and weapons systems being disclosed which it considers would be damaging to national security. The MOD has advised that these aspects of Mr Smith's letters should be regarded as classified information and therefore should not be used in his representations to the press and friends about his conviction and sentence. On this matter of whether disclosure of the material would endanger national security I must accept the guidance of the MOD and I cannot uphold Mr Smith's complaint that it was wrong of the Prison Service to prevent him sending this material. It does however appear that the Prison Service may have prevented Mr Smith from sending the letters for the wrong reasons. Decisions to prevent a prisoner making such serious representations as Mr Smith appears to wish to make should not be taken lightly and ought to be able to be fully justified. I am therefore surprised that the Prison Service did not obtain advice from the relevant authorities to support its decision.

5. Recommendation

5.1 I do not uphold Mr Smith's complaint and make no recommendation.


18 August 1998

Prison Ombudsman Report page 1

Prison Ombudsman Report page 2

Prison Ombudsman page 3

Prison Ombudsman page 4

Prison Ombudsman page 5

Prison Ombudsman page 6

Prison Ombudsman page 7

15 December 2007

Euan Ferguson's boring spies

I came across a recent article in the Observer by Euan Ferguson that attracted my attention, in which he attempts to be humorous about spies and the game of spying. Unfortunately, to people like me, this business is far from funny when you have spent over ten years locked up in prison for espionage activities that never actually happened.

I decided that I should invite Euan to investigate a real story, and to offer a public service by uncovering the truth about my “spy” case. See my open e-mail to Euan Ferguson below:

Hi Euan,

I have only just noticed your article in the Observer of 2 December: "Spies; I want them to be very boring". I presume that the reference in your article to "Mike Smith" refers to me, and that "Peter Hill" is the Peter Hill arrested last month, as yet another alleged top-level Russian spy?

I agree with you that this whole business of spying should be more boring, but it seems that when it does get interesting then this is the very time that journalists like you choose to bury your heads in the sand.

I'll tell you the true spy story, and dare you to print it. On my blog I have published almost too much detail about my conviction as a "KGB spy", and most of my legal documents and all of those top secret exhibits are now published on the Internet for everybody to read. So, there is no excuse for any journalist to say that they were prevented from knowing about the "secrets" that I was convicted of betraying during my in camera trial.

Far from there being evidence that I was meeting a Russian intelligence officer, and handing over sensitive national secrets, the Prosecution offered up evidence of a tourist map of Oporto from one of my holidays, and a bungled entrapment operation by Special Branch on the morning of my arrest. There was no evidence of a real spying operation, because even Stella Rimington (remember her?) had to testify that MI5 had no evidence I had met any Russian intelligence officers.

I am sure the jury were heavily influenced by the claim that I had put British serviceman's lives at risk through my possession of a document, dated 1982 and marked "restricted", which it was claimed was used on ALARM missiles in service during the Gulf War of 1991. It is now known that this document was made obsolete in 1984, and superseded by a different document that was actually "unclassified". And I wonder just what effect that evidence would have had on my jury - if they had had the chance to hear it?

This is where the story gets vague, and needs the expertise of a journalist such as you to dig for the truth. Somebody decided it was not necessary to interview any of the 16 people who had been on the circulation list of that "restricted" document, all of whom should have known that the document was made obsolete in 1984. 1984 - it has even got a hint of George Orwell about it, hasn't it? As a consequence my Defence lawyers and the whole courtroom were deceived into believing that an old obsolete document was still in use on the current production of ALARM missiles.

Whether this miscarriage of justice at my trial was due to incompetence, or mistakes, or the deliberate actions of wicked people, is not within my knowledge to prove. However, to those who seek the truth and wish to make public the failings of a real “spy” trial, then my case is crying out for the attention of the best investigative journalists. It may not have the glamour of the James Bond style that is considered sexy, but rather than fiction this is a real story about real people and actual events.

Oh yes, and I shall print this email on my blog to show the world what a scoop I have given to you on a plate.

Kind regards,
Mike Smith

11 December 2007

CCRC fails me in my miscarriage of justice case

This morning I phoned my case manager at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), Ms Angela Flower, to check that she had received the new evidence that I have uncovered, regarding deficiencies during my trial and the false significance attached to an old ‘restricted’ document. Ms Flower told me that the CCRC will investigate my points and get back to me when they have a decision.

I informed Ms Flower that Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP had raised a parliamentary question about the ‘restricted’ document 2 years ago, and he had specifically asked when the document became obsolete. Mr Adam Ingram MP declined to answer that question on 10 January 2006, on the basis that the CCRC was currently investigating the matter.

The CCRC clearly did NOT investigate this matter, because they gave me a provisional rejection a few months later in July 2006. Mr Martin Winstone, who is currently responsible for the ALARM missile at MBDA, was also asked about the significance of the ‘restricted’ document, and he likewise failed to draw attention to the fact that it became obsolete in 1984, and so could not have been used on an ALARM missile.

I have spoken on the phone to Mr Winstone myself, and he declined to comment on the status of the document. The CCRC are aware of the importance of this issue and that their failure to uncover evidence about the document has led me to conduct my own investigations - I now appear to know more about this matter than the CCRC do.

This is a very sad reflection on the competence of the CCRC, and the underhanded methods being used by certain individuals to prevent the truth from becoming public. It needs to be fully investigated why the document’s obsolescence was not disclosed to my Defence, because it led to my trial being unfair. Once this matter is resolved we can then, hopefully, move towards an Appeal and a re-trial.

10 December 2007

A question to Adam Ingram MP

I have today sent a message to Mr Adam Ingram MP on the Parliamentary website.

From: Michael John Smith

Subject: Your answer to Andrew Mackinlay on Marconi - written answers 10 January 2006

I must refer you to your reply in Hansard to the question from Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP. I never imagined that you had or intended to mislead Mr Mackinlay, and it would appear that you were deliberately mis-informed by one of your staff members.

I now believe you were unwittingly drawn into a conspiracy within the MoD to mislead Parliament for political reasons.

I have added a comment to the webpage below, which should give you a clear indication about what I am claiming was an injustice caused to me by the MoD:


I ask you to revisit this question and to ask yourself whether your answer was an honest one.

Appeal to Prosecution and Defence Counsel for Justice

It is commonly known that the administration of the Law relies on the integrity and honesty of individual members of the legal profession. Without such high standards our legal system would cease to earn the respect that it deserves.

I now know beyond doubt that key evidence was withheld from the Court at my trial, although I cannot be certain which organisation or individuals were responsible for that deficiency. During my struggle to get to the heart of what went wrong at my trial I have been assured by the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Ministry of Defence that all was well, and that there were no failings or non-disclosure in my case. I now know that those assurances were false.

It is time to appeal to the barristers and QCs who represented the Prosecution and Defence at my trial. I hope that these lawyers, who have a vested interest in the administration of Justice, will now take up my cause and reveal just what went wrong at my trial. I know that the lawyers I have written to, in my e-mail below, will take this matter seriously and investigate why key evidence was withheld from the jury.

Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 20:59:46

From: Michael John Smith

To: Sir Derek Spencer QC, 18 Red Lion Court Chambers
Sir John Nutting QC, 3 Raymond Buildings Chambers
Mr John Kelsey-Fry QC, Cloth Fair Chambers

Cc: Mr Rock Tansey QC, 25 Bedford Row Chambers
Mr Michael Mansfield QC, Tooks Chambers
Mr Gary Summers, 7 Bedford Row Chambers
Mr Richard Jefferies, Lound Mulrenan & Jefferies Solicitors

Subject: Regina -v- Michael John Smith (1993)

Dear Sirs,

I am sending you a copy of my most recent letter to the CCRC (attached), in which I am drawing attention to some disturbing failings that occurred during my trial. I have already submitted much material to the CCRC, identifying deficiencies in my case and providing evidence to substantiate my findings.

I am writing to you now because you were personally involved with my case, and I invite you to offer your opinion on the deficiencies I have uncovered. I expect that you were not aware of any problems with the evidence; although I am sure you will be as anxious as I am to rectify the injustice caused to me.

One serious matter I have uncovered concerns the “restricted” document which played such a crucial role during my trial. When Dr Meirion Francis Lewis made a link to the ALARM missile (used in the then recent 1991 Gulf War) it had a significant effect on the course of the trial and gave grounds for my conviction.

It is now certain that Dr Lewis’s testimony of a link to ALARM was triple hearsay, and the source for his claim in Court is apparently untraceable. The “restricted” document was made obsolete in 1984, which makes it impossible for that document to have been used on any actual ALARM missiles. It is a pity that this was not explained to the jury during the trial.

I have a strong suspicion that devious tactics were being employed, at least by the Police investigating the exhibits, because not one of the 16 recipients of that “restricted” document was ever interviewed or asked to give a Witness Statement. As a key exhibit during the trial this anomaly makes no sense, unless the Police knew that interviewing the recipients would harm the Prosecution case.

I look forward to receiving your comment.

Kind regards,
Michael John Smith

09 December 2007

Adam Ingram's MoD cover-up is now exposed

It was 2 years ago that Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP asked the Minister of State for Defence a parliamentary question, on my behalf. As can be seen on the They Work For You website, the reply offered by Mr Adam Ingram MP was far from satisfactory. I left a comment on the website at the time, and tonight I have updated the situation with the latest news to bring the matter fully up-to-date.

My new comment exposes how the Ministry of Defence were intent on covering up the truth, from the very day of my arrest on 8 August 1992. It has taken 15 years for the truth to finally surface, and it is no credit to people like Adam Ingram for adding to my problems. Shame on all those people who have put obstacles in my way in the meantime - who were you trying to protect, and what sort of moral code do you work to?

I have copied the relevant comments below:

Written answers
Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Andrew MacKinlay (Thurrock, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the document known as the Prosecution Exhibit bundle pages 51 to 59 in the case of R v. Michael John Smith held in the Central Criminal Court from September to November 1993, relating to the Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd. Demonstrator Programme Requirement Specification Bandpass Filter Assembly component dated 8 January 1982 reference 79481/PBH/BB/SO8 became linked to a weapons system; which weapons system it was linked to; on what date it became obsolete and no longer linked to any weapons system; and if he will make a statement.

Adam Ingram (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence)
I am currently unable to provide a response to the questions raised as the subject is the matter of an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and it would be inappropriate to provide the information requested while this investigation is ongoing.

Michael John Smith
Posted on 18 Jan 2006 1:02 am

I was absolutely disgusted by the answer given by Mr Adam Ingram. How could any answer he gave to this question have affected the outcome to the CCRC's investigation of my case? This was a purely factual matter and not one concerned with opinion or interpretation.

The facts are: an MoD expert stated at my trial that the said document was related to the ALARM missile project; the Technical Director of Marconi was quoted as agreeing to this claim; in 1995, at my appeal, a Deputy Director of MoD Security confirmed the link to ALARM. Then, in the Security Commission's report on my case, it was admitted the MoD's evidence about this document was "seriously incorrect" and it caused a significant problem for the Commission, which resulted in the statement: at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system. (HMSO, Cm 2930, July 1995, Annex A.5).

In the espionage cases of Rafael Juan Bravo and Ian Parr, both apparently entrapment scenarios organised by MI5, it was quickly publicised in the media (for example on the Guardian and BBC websites) exactly what projects had been involved, and the level of document classification was also mentioned in those reports. In my case it was claimed that a 'restricted' document was wrongly classified, and the project it was used on was never publicly acknowledged. I would expect the same degree of disclosure as occurred in the Bravo and Parr cases, especially as those cases are quite recent and my case involved a document that is now over 24 years old.

I do not know what the truth is behind that restricted document, but it would appear the MoD is not comfortable to simply confirm that the evidence given at my trial, by their own expert, is correct. I await their further comment, and wonder why they are so reticent to clear up this matter once and for all.

Michael John Smith
Posted on 10 Dec 2007 1:31 am

I never did get a reply from the Ministry of Defence, following Andrew Mackinlays question on the restricted document. This lack of honesty by the MoD was the main reason why I started my blog, because I felt the only way to draw out the truth was to go public and openly question the evidence at my trial.

My fears of a cover-up were well-founded, when the Criminal Case Review Commissions provisional report arrived in July 2006 - the investigation referred to by Adam Ingram. The report brushed aside all my arguments, and it amounts to a whitewash that there were no failings in the legal process. However, I have since learned quite a lot more information about that restricted document, and the misrepresentation that surrounded it. I can now make presumptions about why Adam Ingram felt unable to make a statement disclosing the truth.

The MoD expert, Professor Lewis, whose testimony led to my conviction, claimed in court on 11 October 1993 that he had been told by Marconis Technical Director (in a telephone conversation) that the document was used on the ALARM missile. I talked with that Technical Director in January 2007, and he informed me that he had not known about the documents use, and would have consulted other staff in a different Marconi company. This means the evidence given to the court was at least triple hearsay, and it is significant that nobody will now admit to having been the source for the evidence.

The important fact, which I have only recently learned, is that the restricted document became obsolete on 27 March 1984, and so it was impossible that this was a document used on any actual ALARM missile. It is interesting that Mr Mackinlays question requests a date when the document became obsolete, but the MoD declined to admit that it was obsolete.

The truth is more disturbing, because it appears that a related document, actually used on ALARM in 1991, was unclassified, and MoD staff must have been responsible in deciding that the specification was not sensitive enough to be classified. Therefore, the MoD’s evidence to the Security Commission (1994), that the restricted document should have been classified secret, was dishonest since the document was not in use after 1984.

This all looks very bad for the MoD expert who gave that testimony at my trial in 1993, because he seriously misled the jury into believing that the information in the document was extremely sensitive, and that its contents could endanger British servicemens lives.

I hope that the MoD will now assist me in resolving this matter once and for all, and that they will support a retrial so that the true evidence can be put before a jury.

The truth will out!

06 December 2007

Professor Meirion Francis Lewis gave false evidence at my trial

Professor Meirion Francis Lewis gave evidence at my trial about Exhibit pages 51-59, a restricted document dated January 1982, with the identification number 79481/PBH/BB/SO8. Professor Lewis told the Court that this restricted document was used on ALARM missiles in service during the 1991 Gulf War.

I now know that Professor Lewis’s evidence was incorrect, because the restricted document became obsolete on 27 March 1984, long before the Gulf War. The document used on ALARM was an unclassified MSDS specification with the reference 1011-00435. This information was not put before my jury, and it would certainly have had a profound effect if my jury had heard that the document used on ALARM was unclassified, and therefore officially judged to be not sensitive.

The Police never interviewed any of the 16 people on the circulation list of the restricted document. The only conclusion that can be drawn from such unbelievable “incompetence” is that the Police were deliberately avoiding the possibility that those potential witnesses might give testimony damaging to the Prosecution case: that the restricted document was obsolete, and that the actual document used on the ALARM project was unclassified. This Police ploy ensured that it was impossible for me to obtain a fair trial, due to that missing evidence.

Until Professor Lewis appeared in the witness box, the Defence was given no warning that the restricted document might be related to ALARM, or that this document would take on a heightened significance at trial as being the only Official Secrets Act document found in my possession. As a result the Defence legal team did not seek an expert able to testify about ALARM, and I was denied the opportunity to prepare a proper defence against Professor Lewis’s surprise undisclosed evidence.

It now appears doubtful whether any of Professor Lewis’s “expert” opinions were correct about the restricted document, because he presented it as a document still in use in the 1990s, when it was in fact made obsolete in 1984.

The new evidence demonstrates that Dr Meirion Francis Lewis - as he then was - could not have been a credible expert witness, because he gave false and totally misleading evidence to the Court. Following on from my trial I note that Dr. Lewis became a Professor and was also awarded the CBE. One can only hope that these were not his rewards for giving perjured evidence at my trial.

02 December 2007

British ARRSE publicises my case

The ARmy Rumour SErvice (ARRSE) has done me a favour by publicising my case on their website, which has brought a flood of new visitors here to my blog. I had been disappointed with the ARRSE moderators reaction, when they banned me from their forum in August, but I am now grateful that these moderators have seen sense and decided to make an issue of my case.

ARRSE scores a home goal

Perhaps I am the brave one, for coming out and saying things under my own name. The ARRSE moderators hide behind their camouflage of anonymity, and snipe away in the belief that no one will ever know who they are.

I feel duty bound to point out that the ARRSE article about me makes certain factual errors:

1. It is suggested that I learnt the art of cleaning my cell. Anybody who knew me at HMP Full Sutton will know that I rarely did any cleaning in my cell. I was a guest of Her Majesty, and guests are not expected to clean their own rooms. Would you expect to stay in a hotel and also do the cleaning? No, there are prison officers available who can do this work.

2. It seems that ARRSE moderators believe I would have helped the prison chaplain. There was never a time in prison when I had any communication with a chaplain. Why would I help somebody that I believe is talking mumbo jumbo? I subscribe to the Richard Dawkins view on religion - I’m believer in science, not a believer in blind faith.

3. There seems to be some muddled thinking on another point. The claim is made against me: ‘he … decided to sell his soul for a pathetically small sum of money. To this day, he contends that is(sic) was a conspiracy that put him away, thus proving that Smith was only in it for the money.’ It seems rather contradictory, that it was a ‘pathetically small sum of money’, but that I ‘was only in it for the money’? This was not the main argument made by the Prosecution at my trial, where it was asserted that I was ideologically driven, which was of course nonsense.

4. The article goes on to talk about me as being a ‘foul communist’. It is true that I was a member of the CPGB, as well as the YCL, but I left those organisations at the end of 1975. Apparently, to the elephantine brain of an ARRSE moderator, a period of 32 years is like the blink of an eye, although to me this all seems a very long time ago, and I have certainly changed greatly in the meantime. Nonetheless, if our past activities are never allowed to leave us, then there will be a lot of people in ARRSE who would be embarrassed to have it publicised what they were up to some years ago, whether that be acting like drunken hooligans on a Saturday night, or some perverted sexual practice - you know the sorts of things, don’t you guys.

5. The ARRSE moderators refer to exhibits used to convict me, by saying that ‘very little of which was classified higher than Secret’ and they then go on to quote from information disclosed by the MoD during my Appeal, that ‘In the case of the other current weapon system, the detailed information contained in the document … should have been classified SECRET’.

There has been an attempt here to hype up the value of the information said to be in my possession. None of the exhibits were classified SECRET, or even CONFIDENTIAL. The only classification used on exhibits was RESTRICTED, which, as I’m sure you know (i.e. anyone who has worked with classified documents), is the lowest level of classification. In fact, it was only one classified document, ID No. 79481/PBH/BB/SO8 issued in 1982 and marked RESTRICTED, which the Prosecution used in their arguments about “sensitivity” - the document was claimed to have been used on the ALARM missile. Dr Meirion Francis Lewis claimed a link to ALARM during his testimony in court; he said this link was confirmed during a phone conversation with a friend of his at Marconi (a Technical Director there). The Technical Director, Reginald Humphryes, in turn, said he had been given this information by somebody working in that part of Marconi dealing with ALARM, a person whose name was never recorded. So, it was a chain of Chinese whispers, or hearsay evidence, which finally convicted me.

I have recently discovered that the evidence given by the MoD in 1995 - that the RESTRICTED document should have been classified SECRET - is a very strange thing to say, because in 1984 that document had been withdrawn from use. The document actually used on ALARM was marked UNCLASSIFIED, and so it seems the MoD need to explain why an UNCLASSIFIED document should have been marked SECRET? It would have made a significant impression on the jury at my trial to have been told the truth about that RESTRICTED document, No. 79481/PBH/BB/SO8.

6. The ARRSE article repeats the claim that I ‘sold information regarding the XN-715 radar fuse for the British WE177 free fall nuclear bomb’. This was never a part of my trial, and I have never been convicted of any offence involving my work at Thorn EMI. This claim against me originates in the 1995 Security Commission report on my case. Clearly, it was thought that the case would fail if brought to court; otherwise I would have faced that charge during my trial. We do not yet live in a totalitarian society where you can be simply declared guilty without a trial, although it would appear that ARRSE moderators believe they have been given the right to make such declarations of guilt.

7. I am being attacked for calling myself Gunner-smiff on the ARRSE forums. I fail to see how this is any serious matter. Everybody on the ARRSE forums call themselves by any name they choose, and all hide behind pseudo identities, as is quite common on most forums on the Internet. I never made any claims to have been a real “gunner”, and so my conscience is clear that I never tried to deceive anyone that I was somebody I wasn’t - I even revealed my true identity to those in the ARRSE chat room, who so vilely attacked me for speaking up for the truth.

8. I have been further criticised because I compared the Daniel James and Milos Stankovic cases. I do believe there are similarities between those cases, and Daniel has also been supported by his Army colleagues who worked with him. Anyone who tries to portray Daniel as a “spy”, or a “traitor”, obviously has not studied the details of his case. You can choose to believe the truth, or swallow the propaganda put out by the Prosecution side, but do not write off Daniel if you know nothing about him.

9. In referring to the set of witness statements from my trial, published on the Cryptome website, ARRSE says that they ‘have been heavily sanitised by Smith’. I fail to see what evidence ARRSE has that I have changed one word of those statements? In fact, it would be incredibly stupid of me to change those statements, since these are the evidence that I am currently working on with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), to take my case back to the Court of Appeal.

If ARRSE find those witness statements hard to believe, then that is because my case was handled in so biased a way that it is difficult to see the evidence for spying within them. Just for the record, I decided to convert the statements into a MS Word document to: (a) make them easily searchable, and (b) make them more readable, because the originals are covered in my lawyers written notes, and the photocopies vary greatly in quality. I have no objection to sending copies of the originals to anyone who is particularly interested in any of them. I am sure that the version on Cryptome is accurate, and the only discrepancies are likely to be insignificant typos.


So, while I welcome the fact that ARRSE has decided to publicise details of my case, I would ask them to be a little more careful to stick to the facts, rather than increase the errors already attached to my story in the public domain. I hope ARRSE seriously check their facts, and that they also attach the same principle of accuracy to the use of weapons in theatres of war, as “friendly fire” seems to be a common cause of casualties in recent times.

I use the term “friendly fire” with good reason, because it appears that the ARRSE moderators want more than just to call me names. ARRSE moderators apparently want me dead, and seem to have issued a sort of ARRSE fatwa. Check out this email which I received on 29 November:

From: Enald Arbutss <justforthispostonarrse@yahoo.co.uk>
To: parellic [at] googlemail.com
Date: Nov 29, 2007 6:41 PM
Subject: Your Blog and ARRSE

Hello there Michael,

It’s always good to see a convicted criminal and traitor maintaining a steady air of innocence. It warms my heart to see that ultimately it's not about the politics, it's all about the money.

You may be interested to read that you now have your own entry on the ARRSE Wiki (here:
http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Michael_John_Smith) which I am sure you will find accurate. It's certainly much better than that bland version on Wikipedia.

As long as you continue to peddle your tired and pathetic version of events, ARRSE will be there to confound you at every turn.

May I take this opportunity to wish you nothing but pain and I earnestly hope that the end of your days comes only after a prolonged period of incredible suffering.

Please die soon - it's all a filthy traitor like you deserves.

With no kind regards

13 November 2007

Daily Telegraph spy case chronology

I noticed an article on the Telegraph website that I felt needed to be challenged. I sent an email to the journalist who wrote it:

from: Mike Smith
date: Nov 14, 2007
subject: Chronology of Russian spy cases

Dear Mr Harrison,
I refer to your article published on the Telegraph website dated 12 November 2007:

Cold War rivals play at spy game

I am puzzled why you have listed these cases and have omitted others?

For example, I can see that you have left off the names of Douglas Britten and David Bingham, and you have mentioned Melita Norwood but not included the other linked case of John Symonds, which was also widely publicised in 1999 as part of the Mitrokhin affair.

You have referred to Richard Tomlinson as "passing secrets to Russia", but I believe that is a false accusation. Tomlinson will probably complain to the PCC about your statement when he is aware of what you are claiming.

Following the George Blake sentence of 42 years, the next longest sentence for a British spy case was Geoffrey Prime, in 1982, who received 35 years. However, you have not mentioned Prime?

The third longest sentence was 25 years, which I received in 1993 when I was convicted under the Official Secrets Act, but there is no mention of my name in your article? I am particularly surprised that my name has been omitted, because in August I won a successful PCC complaint against the Telegraph, after it was claimed that Daniel James was the first OSA spy case since Michael Bettany. Now, again, the Telegraph is attempting to write me out of history.

Is it possible that you, or your editor, has been informed by MI5 that my conviction was false, and that there was no evidence I had been spying for the Russians? The reason I say this is because Stella Rimington decided not to mention me in her autobiography, despite the fact that my case was the only major spy trial during her term in office as Director General of MI5. Rimington even testified at my trial that MI5 had no evidence I had ever met anyone in the KGB.

In 1992 I would have considered it impossible that I could be "framed" for selling military secrets to a Russian, because I did not have access to secrets where I worked, and no "Russian" could be identified who I might have been meeting. It was only later that I realised I had been involved in some sort of MI5 entrapment operation, although they never admitted that was what they did.

Then, in the cases of Rafael Bravo and Ian Parr, MI5 decided to admit they had entrapped these men. It was evident that a new model had been developed for "catching" spies. Possibly this new technique had been learned from Customs & Excise, who had produced a string of convictions based on setting up drug operations, and then arresting the people they had recruited - this is why they always failed to catch the "Mr Big", because they couldn't admit it was C & E who had planned the whole thing.

Now, another MI5 entrapment has "caught" Peter Hill. I can't help feeling sceptical about what is going on here. Low level Territorial Army folk, such as Peter Hill and Daniel James, can hardly be compared to real espionage, like the nuclear spy Klaus Fuchs (yes, another name you have omitted from your article).

I was expecting more from the Telegraph, such as attention to detail and accuracy. It seems that journalists are simply not as good as they used to be.

Michael John Smith

12 October 2007

David Rose, Oleg Gordievsky & Christopher Andrew

We all know that MI5 and MI6 have their hacks in the media - journalists who are prepared to sell their souls for the chance of a scoop story that is given to them. Possibly all major radio and TV stations, and all newspapers and magazines have these pliable sons of bitches, who will willingly print the words that MI5 and MI6 want them to pass onto the public.

It was quite surprising that David Rose has "come out" and admitted he was one of the stooges in this game. It is a pity that more of these puppets do not do the same as Rose. I am sure there are a lot more of these intelligence service agents who are too scared to raise their heads and talk, and these cowards will prefer to carry on in their underhanded secretive ways. Write and tell me who these hacks are, and I will publish their names here.

So, at least we know three of the names of these hacks - not the three tenors, but the three parrots, singing for all they are worth.

The Three Parrots

30 September 2007

Prisoner votes, democracy & the electoral register

I have always felt a strong sense of what democracy means to me, and I would never compromise on my right to vote for a government of my choice. This is one of the reasons I had hoped to win my Appeal in 1995, so that I would be free to vote in the next General Election. But unfortunately that was not to be.

As the next election was approaching, I did what I could to secure my chance to vote, and I sent letters to the Kingston-upon-Thames Electoral Registration Officer to be registered in my constituency. All this was to no avail, and as you can see from the replies below, my right to vote in the 1997 General Election was taken away from me.

First letter from Kingston Electoral Registration Officer

Second letter from Kingston Electoral Registration Officer

Not only was I prevented from voting in the 1997 election, but my opportunity to vote in that election was gone forever. This was to have a fundamental effect on my view of British democracy, and I felt so angry that I no longer wanted to take any part in the election process.

It may seem of no importance to the officials who administer the disenfranchisement of prisoners, but to an individual like me it completely changed my view of how I would react to enrolment on the electoral register. If I was not “good” enough to be registered when I was forced to be a prisoner, then I did not want to be involved in that system after my release.

I have never registered as a voter since my release from prison, and I will not do so while I remain in the United Kingdom. The system has destroyed any faith I had in its fairness, and what I believe democracy to be. I will not be a part of such a system.

I was a convicted prisoner, and as far as the electoral system is concerned I shall always be a convicted prisoner. They did not want me to participate in “their” elections, and so I will not participate - they have achieved the result they wanted.

Hey, leave me alone guys
Remember, YOU took away MY vote

David Rose was an agent of MI6

I was quite surprised that David Rose has admitted in the New Statesman that he was working as an agent of MI6. Perhaps he has a hidden agenda for revealing this fact, or possibly he was told to fall on his sword by MI6?

This is very relevant to me, because David Rose played an important part in the dissemination of information about the Mitrokhin Archive, at the time when it broke in the world media. So, all along, Rose was acting as an agent of MI6, and undoubtedly he would have been told to write what MI6 wanted to get into the public domain.

I wrote to David Rose while I was in prison, asking for his help to expose the errors that were written in the Mitrokhin Archive about me. Rose more or less warned me against making noises about the details, as though it would not be in my interests to continue asking questions. Well, I now know why Rose was being so pro-Mitrokhin, as he must have been taking his orders from MI6 during this period.

It is also interesting that, according to Rose, he was approached by MI6 in May 1992. This was the very month I was issued with a redundancy notice from Hirst Research Centre, and shortly after Mitrokhin had offered his services to MI6. No doubt Rose knows a lot more than he is prepared to talk openly about, but at least we now know what was behind a lot of his journalism.

I wrote to David Rose after I saw my name mentioned in one of his articles. I print an extract of it below:

Observer 16 September 2001
Mission Implausible

Open Secret: the Autobiography of the Former Director General of MI5 - Stella Rimington.
Reviewed by David Rose.

‘… There is no mention of the defection to Britain in 1992 of Vasili Mitrokhin, the former KGB chief archivist who arrived with vast files containing details of almost 70 years of Soviet espionage against the West - unquestionably the most important event in counter-espionage in the period when Rimington was DG.

This can’t be the fault of the censor: Mitrokhin has been interviewed on television and co-written a book with Professor Christopher Andrew, and it is well known that his information enabled the prosecution of Michael Smith, the Soviet agent who worked for Thorn EMI.

But Rimington may have her reasons for silence in this area. In 1999, Mitrokhin’s book triggered the exposure of Melita Norwood, the octogenarian former Soviet atom spy. In the fallout from what became a media sensation, MI5 faced some awkward questions. Why had it never bothered to follow up Mitrokhin’s Norwood leads, so making her prosecution impossible? Why had it fallen to a then-BBC journalist (myself) to confront her for the first time - and obtain a full-blown confession within approximately 15 minutes?

When Rimington gave her evidence, in camera, to an inquiry into the affair by the Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee, she said she could not remember what she had been told about Norwood, and could not explain her service’s inaction. In fact, she was briefed extensively, six years before the story surfaced. But the effect of her forgetfulness was that her successor, Stephen Lander, took the heat of some searing criticism for decisions for which he had no responsibility.

Similarly, the book describes the attempted treachery of Michael Bettaney, caught trying to pass secrets to the Russians in 1982. Bettaney, Rimington writes, ‘had been behaving inappropriately for some time ... drinking excessively and behaving in ways which should have sounded warning bells that all was not well. Though some of those who had seen his behaviour alerted the personnel department, it was not thought necessary to move him from his counter-espionage work.’ Rimington does not relate that the most cogent warning came personally to her, at a meeting in London with one of Bettaney’s IRA agents, two years before his arrest, nor that, afterwards, he continued to work on secret operations in which she was closely involved. …’

In response to reading this review, I thought it would be a good idea to write to David Rose, to see if he could help me with my case. This is my letter to him:

From: Michael John Smith
HMP Full Sutton

19 September 2001

Dear Mr Rose,
In your review of Stella Rimington’s book, in the Observer of 16th September, you referred to Vasili Mitrokhin, and stated: ‘… it is well known that [Mitrokhin’s] information enabled the prosecution of Michael Smith, the Soviet agent who worked for Thorn EMI.’

I would be very grateful if you could please point me to any sources that support your assertion, i.e. that Mitrokhin was linked to my prosecution. I have tried for some time to establish whether my prosecution was connected to Mitrokhin’s archive, but without success. Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP has been helping me, by asking questions about access to Mitrokhin’s archive, although he has also failed due to official stone-walling.

This connection is important to me, because I am still trying to uncover the reasons behind my arrest and conviction. Nowhere in my case was Mitrokhin ever mentioned - from my arrest (August 1992), through to my trial (September - November 1993), or at my appeal (May - June 1995). The story presented, and made public by the Crown, was that Viktor Oshchenko defected in July 1992, and this led directly to my arrest. The jury was encouraged to believe that Oshchenko was the only reason I had been arrested, although he inexplicably never gave evidence in my case.

The key to the Crown’s case rested on the circumstantial evidence of a telephone call, made by an MI5 officer to my home on the morning of my arrest, during which he referred to a person (at that point anonymous) who he called “Victor”. The Crown told the jury that this one name “Victor” must refer to Oshchenko, although this was the only evidence any where in the hundreds of pages of Prosecution material to connect me with Oshchenko.

I believe Oshchenko had been a long-term MI6 agent, and that his defection had become necessary because the Russians had suspected his double role, as was reported at the time. The suspicion about Oshchenko was further increased after it was found necessary to delay the trial of his French agent, Francis Temperville, for over 5 years.

You refer to my employment at Thorn EMI. Actually, it is only my time at the Systems and Weapons Division of EMI Electronics Ltd (July 1976 - May 1978) that is relevant. You may be surprised to learn that, although my EMI work was mentioned at my trial (as part of my employment history), it formed no part of the charges brought against me. The indictment I faced related only to the period 1990-92, when I worked at GEC’s Hirst Research Centre. You may now see the significance of both Mitrokhin (who left the KGB in 1984?) and Oshchenko (who left the UK in 1979), because it is a little difficult to relate them to the charges in 1990-92! These discrepancies became even more puzzling, when you know that MI5’s official testimony was that they had no evidence that I had ever met any KGB officers.

The Crown secured my conviction because I had one classified document in my possession, which was marked ‘restricted’ and dated 1982. I can prove that the MoD witness, who gave evidence about this document, lied when he claimed it contained sensitive material. Mr Harry Cohen MP has asked the MoD to simply confirm the project this document was used on, but the then MoD Minister Mr John Spellar refused to confirm the witness’s evidence. You may have seen the Security Commission’s report on my case (HMSO, Cm2930, July 1995), which states: ‘… at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system.’ (Annex A.5). I find that curious.

I am concerned that this MoD witness admitted he was not an expert in the field in which he gave evidence, and that he was allowed to corroborate his claims by saying they had been confirmed to him over the telephone by an expert (hearsay evidence should not be acceptable). There was also considerable unfairness, because this key evidence was not disclosed to my lawyers until the witness gave it from the witness box, and when my Defence QC’s questions became uncomfortable, the MoD persuaded the judge to curtail the cross-examination on the grounds of security.

It may be co-incidence, but the ‘restricted’ document, mentioned above, came from the same site where the recently arrested Rafael Juan Bravo worked - The Grove, Stanmore. However, the 4 documents in his case were all marked ‘secret’, two levels higher than the document in my case, and the Crown was not shy to quickly tell the press which projects these documents were used on (e.g. the Guardian 4 September 2001) - I am still trying to discover this information about my document 9 years after my arrest!

Most interestingly, Mr Bravo was arrested following an entrapment operation, by an MI5 officer posing as a Russian agent. I have always clamed that I was entrapped by a MI5 officer bribing me into an industrial espionage - I had no access to secret material. I now know that I was under surveillance for a considerable period prior to my arrest, so perhaps MI5 engineered my prosecution to justify their budget after the end of the Cold War? Maybe my arrest and Oshchenko’s defection were merely a smokescreen to throw the Russians off the scent, while MI6 extracted the Mitrokhin archive?

If you can help me to find a link between my prosecution and Mitrokhin, then I would be very grateful. Anything you can tell me would be very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Michael John Smith

Below is the reply I received from David Rose:

David Rose letter page 1

David Rose letter page 2

From: David Rose
9 November 2001

To: Michael John Smith
HMP Full Sutton

Dear Mr Smith,

I apologise for taking so long to get back to you. September 11 has made life very busy, and I have been travelling quite a bit.

I can tell you I got to know Mitrokhin well and I understand from conversations both with him and with other, confidential sources, that there was indeed material in his files which related to your case. However, I ought to warn you that were you to acquire access to it through some form of the legal disclosure process, it might not be at all helpful to you. I cannot assist you as to any of its details, nor can I give “chapter and verse” as to the conversations I’ve had about you and Mitrokhin. But I am certain that this material exists, and that those behind your prosecution must be aware of its nature.

Yours sincerely,
David Rose

16 September 2007

ARRSE ARmy Rumour SErvice Moderators

On 2 June I joined the ARRSE forums in order to test opinion about Daniel James’ right to be tried by a Court Martial. I made it clear that I did not wish to discuss the actual details of Daniel’s case, as this is currently sub judice.

I was surprised by the hostility and apparent fear of the forum moderators at any mention of Daniel’s name.
For example, another forum member posted an excerpt from a BBC report about the case, and this brought rapid closure of the discussion, even though the forum posting only repeated material already in the public domain.

On 13 July I made another comment on the forum about Daniel’s wish for a Court Martial. I was invited into the ARRSE Chat Room, where I was left in no doubt what other forum members were thinking: “hang the c*nt” and other insults were hurled at me. Within minutes of this dialogue finishing all the chat comments and my non-controversial posts were removed from the forum.

ARRSE Moderators are trained to be biased

In the early hours of 11 August I posted another comment on the ARRSE forums, this time regarding an item that had just been aired on the BBC’s Newsnight programme about the MoD’s concern that soldiers were putting information on the Internet about what they were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. I never mentioned the name “Daniel James”, and I was amongst several other forum members posting into a thread that I had started.

I was surprised when the thread suddenly disappeared, apparently censored by the moderator. Within minutes I received an email:

from British Army Rumour Service <noreply@arrse.co.uk>
to parellic [at] googlemail.com
date Aug 11, 2007 12:24 AM
subject Account Suspended

Your account at British Army Rumour Service has been suspended.

A short while later I left a message on the ARRSE website for the forum administrator:

‘I have received an email informing me that my account at the British Army Rumour Service has been suspended.

Can you please tell me for what reason my account was suspended, as I do not believe I have infringed any of your rules.’

from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 12, 2007 8:32 AM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi Mike,

Could you tell me your username and I'll look at it. Usual reasons are prolonged pain behaviour (but you should have been warned about this) or ‘spamming’ the forums with advertising (you wouldn't have got a warning about this). If neither of those fit then it could well be a mistake.

Good CO

Site Admin
The Army Rumour Service


from Mike Smith
to The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
date Aug 12, 2007 12:27 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi Rob,

Thank you for getting back to me.

My username on ARRSE is Gunner-smiff

I thought my behaviour was quite tame compared to some of the posts I have read on ARRSE, but perhaps I have been too honest in telling the truth.


I didn’t receive any decision about my request and so I sent another email to ARRSE:

from Mike Smith
to The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
date Aug 16, 2007 4:58 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi again Rob,

I still seem to be suspended. It looks like my membership No. is 27559 if that helps.


from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 17, 2007 5:09 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback


I've just had a look at your posts on the site and also visited your blog, your wikipedia entry and a few other pages that I’ve found on google. I have to say that I wasn’t previously aware of your case but it makes interesting reading.

Anyway you have clearly come onto the site to further your own agenda and I’m afraid that this isn’t acceptable. One of our moderator team spotted this and removed your posts and asked us to suspend your username which is what we’ve done. I’m afraid that we will not be re-activating it.

Bad CO

from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 17, 2007 5:13 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hopefully my last cleared that up but just in case it didn’t:

Suspended as you have no real Army link and are using the site to push your own agenda.

Account will not be reactivated.

Bad CO

Site Admin
The Army Rumour Service


Well, that seems fairly blunt; I don’t feel this approach is really justified because there are other forum members getting away with bigoted and unacceptable behaviour on ARRSE. And doesn’t everyone push their own agenda - it’s calling voicing your opinions.

As it says on the ARRSE Homepage:

‘ARRSE users include serving, ex and future members of the British Army, their family and friends, and an ever increasing and very welcome number of users from the wider military community; the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and non-British armies and military.’

The fact that I have friends who have been members of the Army leads me to believe that I fall within the scope of the above statement - at least that is how I interpret the rules.

Apart from my basic qualification to be a forum member, I have also worked on projects in the past that benefited British armed forces, including the Army. I was involved with a submarine listening device that was used in the Falklands War, as well as various pressure transducers that were widely deployed in military equipment, and I played an important role in improving the anti-stall valves used in aircraft that would have carried British troops. I could list a lot more, but I suppose this is not seen as relevant to supporting our armed forces.

In 1977 I worked on the fuze system for Britain’s free-fall nuclear bomb, and due to my vigilance I discovered a design fault that caused unwanted spikes in the timing waveforms on one of the circuit boards. Nobody else had spotted this problem, and my discovery eventually led to the re-design of the earthing system on the board, which was not adequate. If I had not found this fault, then it would have been far more costly if it had been discovered later, and this could even have resulted in unacceptable risks to our servicemen had that fault remained in the equipment.

Apparently the ARRSE moderators take no notice of the real world. They are extremely sensitive people, who are afraid of criticism and any offence they may cause to the MoD. However, while ARRSE moderators are happy to censor fair comment, they have not shown themselves to be as conscientious when bigoted and biased comments are published on their forums.

30 August 2007

Press Complaints Commission & Espionage

I mentioned earlier in my blog, and the point has also been made elsewhere by others, that there was clearly incorrect information being spread about the case of Daniel James. Daniel’s case was being called the first spy case since the Cold War and even the first such case since that of Michael Bettany in 1984.

There was no good reason why such incorrect details should have been published, and it was especially inexcusable that this story was used in many local and national newspapers, in the UK as well as throughout the world. In an attempt to correct the false information I made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about three British newspapers: The Scotsman, Daily Mirror, and Daily Telegraph.

I have just received letters from the Press Complaints Commission giving the details of the satisfactory resolution of my complaints against these three newspapers. Copies of the letters are printed below.

Complaint against The Scotsman

Complaint against Daily Mirror

Complaint against Daily Telegraph

It was interesting that all those who published the false story accepted its reliability without question, although there must have been journalists with sufficient experience who were aware that it could not be true. The story appeared to originate from an article by Peter Graff of Reuters (British soldier pleads not guilty to Afghan spying on 13 July), and it is quite worrying that so many journalists will repeat erroneous Reuters reports without checking their accuracy.

I note that Reuters finally corrected their article on 7 August 2007.

12 August 2007

Annie Machon writes about MI5’s attack on David Shayler

Annie Machon has written in the Daily Mail newspaper (11 August 2007) about the damage MI5 has inflicted on David Shayler, as punishment for him whistle blowing on them in the 1990s. What she has revealed shows the extraordinary lengths MI5 will go to in abusing the powers of the State to suppress the truth, and to protect their own unmerited reputation.

Annie Machon is only confirming what many of us have experienced over a long period of time: MI5 is a very incompetent organisation. In order to protect itself against internal whistleblowers, and attacks from others outside the Secret State, MI5 will stop at nothing in going on the offensive. The policy seems to be to attack any individual who has identified the Secret Service’s weaknesses, resulting in those deficiencies being allowed to fester away indefinitely. Like the school bully, MI5 suffers from a flawed corporate personality - and the last thing such bullies want is to have their inadequacies exposed in public.

MI5 cannot deal with espionage and terrorism in the UK; that fact has been clearly demonstrated over the decades. Most of the real espionage cases over the years have been uncovered by the incompetence of the spies, or by some good luck on the part of MI5. However, MI5 has now taken to manufacturing alleged spies in order to enhance its own track record; as in my case, and those of Rafael Juan Bravo and Ian Parr - all of us were framed for dealing with non-existent “Russians” (in reality MI5 officers). Now we have the case of Corporal Daniel James, who is being accused of passing British “secrets” to “Iranians”, when no spying was actually going on.

MI5’s record on terrorism is no better; the fact that they failed to stop the 2005 bombings in London speaks for itself. They failed to stop the 1994 bombing of the Israeli embassy in London, and then covered up the facts by framing two innocent Palestinians, Samar Alami and Jawad Botmeh, who were then used as convenient scapegoats for that crime. MI5 even betray their own agents, as in the case of Bisher Al-Rawi, who ended up spending four-and-a-half years locked up without charge in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Not surprisingly, MI5 finds it easier to spy on soft targets, like British politicians and trade unionists, and they see nothing wrong with the illegal phone-tapping of anybody they feel could be a threat to the Security Service or the British Establishment.

Saving those in power from embarrassment appears to be a priority in MI5’s policies, such as the denial that MI5 had anything to do with the attempted assassination of Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. Heaven forbid that organisations like MI5 should be accountable to the public or subject to democratic control - at least I cannot see the new boss man Jonathan Evans demanding tighter controls.

So, just what is all the secrecy surrounding MI5 really for? Annie Machon gives the true reason why these “secrets” are only for the few: ‘The British Establishment is ruthless in protecting its own interests rather than those of our country.’

Well said Annie !!!