20 February 2008

Daniel James spy trial delay, no ARRSE support

It is not surprising that the long awaited trial of Daniel James has again been postponed. I found the following on a website:

February 18, 2008 - JAMES: SOLDIER SPY TRIAL MAY BE DELAYED UNTIL NEXT YEAR BRIGHTON, EAST SUSSEX The trial of a British solider accused of spying for Iran while working as an interpreter in Afghanistan could be delayed until next year. Iranian-born corporal Daniel James, 44, was working for NATO commander General David Richards when he allegedly endangered UK security by passing on sensitive information.

Already Daniel has spent about 15 months in prison, equivalent to a sentence of two and a half years, and so far he has not been convicted of any crime. This case is becoming similar to the circumstances of those victims incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay without trial, and it looks like Daniel will be serving a considerable period more in prison before he knows his fate.

But why should Daniel James still be waiting for his trial? What is so special about this case that causes the Prosecution such a problem? The answer to these questions lies in the mysterious way in which Daniel was identified as an alleged Iranian spy, and more importantly the British general he was working for.

The canteen gossip is that the American forces in Afghanistan did not want to take their orders from the British NATO commander General David Richards. What better way to show that he was not fit to command American troops, and undermine his authority, than to reveal that he had allowed an Iranian “spy” to infiltrate his camp. Daniel James had been the personal Aide and interpreter to General Richards.

Anyone who knows the relationship between the US and British forces will recognise that the Americans have always resisted serving under a Brit. In hatching the plot to publicise how an Iranian spy had been found amongst allied forces, it was only natural that an American agency would tell the British about their electronic surveillance in Afghanistan, and then put pressure on the British authorities to arrest and prosecute Daniel James as a spy.

It is illuminating to see how the fools who write on the ARRSE Forums have rushed in to attack Daniel James, while in contrast Daniel’s Territorial Army colleagues and his commanding officer have supported him. This exposes the long-term institutional racism within the British Army, when members of ARRSE can indirectly support the false American claims and injustice inflicted on Daniel, and the consequential removal of a British general from the command of their troops. As an Iranian-born man Daniel was obviously seen as a soft target and somebody who could be falsely accused as a scapegoat.

So what is the real reason why Daniel’s trial has been delayed? It seems pretty clear that the Prosecution will have to reveal a lot of details to support their charges against Daniel, and these disclosures will cause embarrassment because of the involvement of the USA in this case. Unfortunately for the Prosecution, Daniel continues to reject their case and maintains his denial that he was a spy. What the Prosecution do not want to do is to disclose how the Americans were routinely bugging communications in Afghanistan, and they do not want to admit that this case is really about how a British general was wrongfully removed from his post by the Americans.

17 February 2008

Daniel James spy trial is due to start tomorrow

I see that Daniel James trial is listed to start at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on Monday 18 February 2008:

Court 5

For Trial (No Witnesses)
T20067451 JAMES Daniel

After being postponed several times, it will be interesting to see whether there has been any change in the case being brought against Daniel.

The Prosecution in another Official Secrets Act case, that of Peter Stephen Hill, saw the charges under Section 1 of the OSA dropped, which indicates that there was insufficient evidence for a conviction regarding his alleged espionage involving the Russians, for which he was arrested back in November.

However, Peter still faces a charge under the Explosive Substances Act and he is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court on 25 February for a plea and case management hearing.

08 February 2008

In prison it was buggers to the left of us, buggers to the right of us

I don't know why this issue of the bugging of MPs has come as such a shock to everyone. It was common knowledge whilst I was in prison that the visit room was bugged. This is why any sensitive information was exchanged in the form of handwritten notes with the visitor, to avoid the authorities gaining an unfair advantage from having access to the legal actions planned by the prisoner.

This interference in communication with those outside the prison was not limited to the visit room. A sequence of several of my own solicitor's privileged letters went missing at a critical point in my legal case. Letters to Members of Parliament were also not considered priviliged and had to be passed unsealed for reading by the prison censor. So any thought that a prisoner could have private correspondence with their MP went right out of the window.

My MP, Mr Andrew Mackinlay, visited me on two occasions at HMP Full Sutton, and we discussed many issues about sensitive aspects of my conviction for espionage, for which I was serving a sentence of 20 years. It is interesting that shortly after one of these meetings, and following some parliamentary questions by Mr Mackinlay, his home in Tilbury was burgled, and Mr Mackinlay was of the opinion that the security service were implicated in this - you can see his cryptic comment in Hansard for 26 October 1999.