31 July 2007

Martin Winstone of MBDA and the ALARM missile

I have been trying now for many years to resolve a key issue that arose at my trial, and which was fundamental to my conviction for espionage. This issue concerns a 9-page document marked RESTRICTED, which had been approved on 8 January 1982 by Martin Winstone. Mr Winstone at that time was an employee of Marconi Dynamics (Stanmore, Middlesex), but he currently works at MBDA (Stevenage).

Before my trial this document had been considered merely as a small part of the exhibits (Exhibit pages 51-59), and it had not received a lot of attention from the Prosecution witnesses. Apparently this lack of attention was a deliberate Prosecution trick, to avoid alerting the Defence team to the fact that this document would become the key exhibit during the trial. The RESTRICTED document can now be viewed on the Cryptome website.

The distribution list for this document contains a total of 16 individuals, but prior to my trial not one of them was interviewed by the police about the document’s significance. It was left to a MoD scientist, Professor Meirion Francis Lewis, to identify its use on the ALARM missile (he had never worked on this project).

It would seem remarkable enough, if it was possible for Professor Lewis to reach that conclusion himself, but he implicated others in this task. He explained from the witness box that, on the morning he was giving testimony (11 October 1993), he had been informed on the telephone by Marconi’s Technical Director that the document was used on ALARM.

The impression given by the sequence of events was that Professor Lewis had received this information from the “horse’s mouth”, from the Technical Director of the company that was responsible for designing ALARM.

It was not until July 2006 that I learned the identity of that Technical Director, whose name is Reginald Humphryes. The story then starts to look suspicious, because Mr Humphryes was the Technical Director of Marconi Defence Systems, which was NOT responsible for the ALARM project at all. The division of the company that worked on ALARM was Marconi Dynamics, which Mr Humphryes was not associated with.

Mr Humphryes could not remember any discussion with Professor Lewis regarding the RESTRICTED document, and neither could he have linked it to ALARM from his own knowledge, because he was not involved with the ALARM project. Mr Humphryes said he would have asked somebody in Marconi Dynamics to answer that question, and one of the people he mentioned as a possible source was Martin Winstone.

In January 2007 I traced Reginald Humphryes and phoned him about a couple of points that bothered me. Mr Humphryes admitted to me that he knew no more about ALARM than any layman might have learned from the public domain. Therefore, he would not have been in a position to have commented with any authority about the link between the RESTRICTED document and the ALARM missile project. In fact, Mr Humphryes said he could not remember who he might have got that information from, and so the origin of the evidence given by Professor Lewis is now impossible to confirm. What this story does prove, however, is that the link to ALARM given in court relies on third hand hearsay evidence.

Considering Reginald Humphryes unsuitability as an expert on ALARM, I asked him why he thought Professor Lewis would have contacted him about such a matter. Rather worryingly, I learned that Professor Lewis and Reginald Humphryes had been old friends, and so the reason Professor Lewis contacted Mr Humphryes had nothing to do with finding an accurate source of information about the RESTRICTED document.

So, putting aside for a moment the difficulty of confirming where Professor Lewis’s evidence about a link to ALARM had come from, he did make some bold statements about the information contained in that RESTRICTED document. According to Professor Lewis the document contained important information about the ALARM missile and how it functioned, and he claimed that this information would allow an enemy to jam the missile and stop it working.

As far as I can see, the important aspects of Professor Lewis’s evidence boil down to just two key points: was the RESTRICTED document:

(1) Used on the ALARM missile at the date of my arrest (August 1992)?

(2) Contain information that would enable the ALARM missile to be jammed?

My Member of Parliament, Mr Andrew Mackinlay, failed to get an answer from the Ministry of Defence on these points, and so far the Criminal Cases Review Commission has not fared particularly well in establishing the truth either. In an attempt to resolve these questions, which I feel are at the heart of my case, the CCRC decided to call upon Martin Winstone as the expert who could offer us the answers we needed.

Unfortunately, when it came, Mr Winstone’s reply was somewhat ambiguously worded, and it leaves open the possibility that the RESTRICTED document was not used on ALARM missiles in service at August 1992. I was not happy with Mr Winstone’s answers, and so I phoned him in January 2007 to clarify a couple of points that needed more detail. Mr Winstone was clearly not comfortable discussing even the generalities of the issues, and I got nowhere. I still had to make my points to him, and so I sent Martin Winstone an email outlining my concerns.

Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007
From: mike smith
To: martin.winstone
Subject: Technical evidence submitted to the CCRC

Dear Mr Winstone,

Thank you for speaking with me on the telephone this afternoon, and I apologise if I was putting you in an awkward position regarding the statement you previously made to the CCRC. I am not trying to make you say anything that is not true, because I am only after the truth.

I just want you to know that the issues I raised with you are very important to me, because it was Professor Meirion Lewis’s evidence that the SAW filter specified in the “restricted” document was in fact identical to that used in the ALARM missile when it went into service. That may or may not be true, but I have never seen any evidence to support that proposition.

As a result of Professor Lewis’s evidence I spent 10 years and 3 months in prison, my wife divorced me, I lost my home, and I am now unemployable. Effectively my life has been ruined. So, I hope you can at least understand why I want to know that my conviction was justified on technical grounds.

The claim that I was intending to give the document to a Russian was undermined by the Head of MI5 (Stella Rimington) when she stated that there was no evidence I had ever met anybody in the Russian intelligence services, and the Russian defector who had been named as my “handler” admitted he had never recruited me as an agent. These issues were conveniently hidden away behind an “in camera” trial.

I may be right or I may be wrong in the understanding I have of the technical evidence, but I think it only fair that I send you a copy of the arguments submitted to the CCRC on my behalf in 2003, which you will find attached as a Word document. I will send you a longer document containing the sources quoted, if you are interested. I do not expect you to compromise any classified project, but I would be interested to know if you can criticise any of the points made in the attached document.

This submission to the CCRC does not include the point, only revealed later, that the Technical Director Professor Lewis contacted was Dr Reginald Humphryes, who in 1993 (at the time of my trial) was Technical Director at Marconi Defence Systems. Dr Humphryes not only cannot remember Professor Lewis contacting him, but it seems Dr Humphryes was not even responsible for the ALARM project at that time. No doubt you will be more familiar than I am with the hierarchy within Marconi.

Kind regards,
Michael John Smith

I was surprised that Mr Winstone felt it necessary to have a representative of MBDA’s legal Department telephone me and ask me not to contact him in future. I asked if this was a threat that some legal action might ensue, if I did not heed this advice, and I was told that this was not a formal warning of any kind.

On 12 February 2007 I made further submissions to the CCRC regarding this issue about ALARM, and considering Martin Winstone’s rather evasive behaviour I made a concerted effort to make my point as bluntly as possible. All military projects operate a system of
Configuration Management, which means that the build state of any particular weapon can be easily confirmed through a tightly controlled identification and documentation system. I knew this must apply to the ALARM missile, and so I insisted that we be informed whether issue 2 of the RESTRICTED document was listed on the parts list for ALARM missiles at August 1992.

I predicted that, if there was anything wrong with the evidence given by Professor Meirion Francis Lewis at my trial, then this issue of Configuration Management would resolve any confusion. I received a letter from the CCRC dated 19 July 2007, and sadly Martin Winstone has so far failed to provide the answers requested. I phoned my casework manager at the CCRC to enquire what the problem was, and I was told that it was probably “red tape” and due to the “sensitivity of the information”.

It is hard to comprehend how a document, now more than 25 years old, can still be considered so sensitive. No doubt MBDA or the MoD can come up with an explanation for this, although I doubt they will want to reveal the truth. When the matter is so simple, why should there be so much fuss about it? Is it possible that scientists and engineers are covering up the truth for some reason? I certainly have the feeling that there has been some conspiracy amongst the scientists and engineers involved in my case to prevent the truth being revealed.

And that brings me back to the source of that link between the RESTRICTED document and the ALARM missile. Could it be that Martin Winstone was the man who told Reginald Humphryes, who told Professor Lewis, who then told the court that the RESTRICTED document was used on ALARM? Certainly Martin Winstone must be one of the few people to have been involved in the history of that RESTRICTED document, over the more than 25 years of its life. Perhaps his knowledge of what went on at my trial is the reason why Martin Winstone has been so reluctant to answer simple questions with straight answers?

However, one thing is certain - while the truth remains buried I shall have to dig even deeper to expose it.