27 February 2006
I guess it is a long shot that a missile expert would be reading this, i.e. somebody able to give a critical analysis of the prosecution's arguments about the ALARM missile, but it is always possible. I would love to ask the old colleague who was issued with that 'restricted' document, exactly why he was involved with the document - his details appear on the Friends Reunited website - but my lawyers tell me I must not contact potential witnesses personally.
Many thanks to John Young for his help.
24 February 2006
It was a similar situation at my trial, when Professor Meirion Francis Lewis drifted from his acknowledged expertise in the field of bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave devices, and into the areas of missile technology, jamming, and the Gulf War. It is quite worrying that the judge, Mr Justice Blofeld, did not question Professor Lewis’s competence to give such evidence, in fields for which he was apparently not qualified. I would be interested to hear from anybody who knows Professor Lewis, and who could tell me just how much he does know about missile technology, jamming, or the Gulf War.
I cannot go into the full curriculum vitae of Professor Lewis or his capabilities as an expert, however, he clearly is an expert in the fields in which he works, and I have no wish to undermine his reputation in those fields. Before my trial the Professor listed his achievements at Oxford University, with a first degree in Physics (1960) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (1960-64), during which he studied microwave frequency ultrasonics. In 1964 he joined GEC Hirst Research Centre (Wembley), and he led a group dealing with bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave devices, as well as being involved with various other solid state devices.
In 1972 Professor Lewis joined the Royal Radar Establishment at Malvern, where he continued his work on surface acoustic wave devices, and he was in charge of research into SAW devices at RSRE between 1977 and 1985. In 1985 Professor Lewis moved on to optical signal processing and he became responsible for the optical signal processing section at DRA Malvern (later to become DERA). Professor Lewis has published well over 100 scientific papers, of which at least half have been on acoustic wave devices.
Professor Lewis’s other credentials are his Fellowship of the Institute of physics, and his award of the CBE.
Clearly, Professor Lewis’s main expertise is in bulk and surface acoustic wave devices, and that was apparently the reason he was consulted as a prosecution witness to give evidence at my trial. This is why I find it quite astonishing that the most important evidence given by Professor Lewis was on questions concerning details of missile technology, the electronics of such missiles, the methods used to jam missiles, the ALARM missile in particular and its method of deployment, and the use of ALARM during the Gulf War of 1991.
My defence counsel, Mr Rock Tansey QC, specifically asked Professor Lewis if he was an expert in missile technology, and Professor Lewis accepted that he was not an expert in this field, although he learned a few things from missiles experts in the lab where he worked.
Mr Tansey also asked Professor Lewis if he was an expert on the jamming of airborne guided weapons, and again Lewis accepted he was not, or at least he did “not spend a lot of time on it”
It was also surprising that, despite Professor Lewis’s claims to be an expert on the design and manufacture of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, he admitted he was not familiar with all the details of their manufacturing processes. Professor Lewis was called as an expert witness to comment on the manufacturing documents that were exhibits in my case, and so it would have been more appropriate for the prosecution to have called a witness from Hirst Research Centre, who would have been more familiar with those manufacturing processes. Professor Lewis may have been an expert on the theory and research into such devices, but he was obviously not “on the ball” when it came to the manufacturing details.
It was also significant that Professor Lewis was the only prosecution witness called to give the most significant evidence about the one “restricted” classification document involved in my case, rather than somebody from the Marconi organisation where the document originated. After all, there were 16 Marconi employees listed on the circulation for that document, all of whom should have been more familiar with the document than Professor Lewis, but not one of them appears to have been consulted about what project the document was used on.
According to Professor Lewis, he was able to deduce - from his own powers of reasoning - that this “restricted” document was linked to the UK’s ALARM missile project. I find it unbelievable that he would have access to details of the ALARM project, as security clearance should have prevented him from becoming intimately involved with that project himself - there is a “need to know” principle commonly applied to all staff. Considering Professor Lewis’s admitted lack of expertise in the fields of missile technology and jamming, I was quite astounded that he was able to tell the court, in an ad hoc fashion, about how that missile functioned and its vulnerability to jamming. Where did that expert evidence come from, and was it correct?
If it was wrong for Professor Sir Roy Meadow to have given evidence outside of his field of expertise, then it must equally have been wrong for Professor Meirion Francis Lewis to have done a similar thing at my trial. I do not believe Professor Lewis was an expert in missile technology, jamming, the ALARM missile, or the Gulf War. If he was such an expert, then why were his credentials for giving evidence in those fields not put before the court?
The conclusion must be drawn that, if the prosecution had called experts in the fields relevant to the “restricted” document, then the evidence would have been significantly different from that given by Professor Lewis. I am still waiting to hear the truth about that “restricted” document - whether it was linked to the ALARM missile - and what information it contained that could be useful to an enemy. It seems the MoD are frightened to give these answers.
19 February 2006
Despite undergoing the full disciplinary procedure conducted by experts at the GMC, a single judge, Mr Justice Collins, has ruled that Professor Meadow was not guilty of serious professional misconduct because “he had acted in good faith”. Justice Collins also said expert witnesses should be “immune” from prosecution or disciplinary action.
This case should be challenged, because if this ruling is allowed to stand it means that any expert witness can give false evidence at trial, either through incompetence or by intent, without fearing any repercussions. Justice Collins’ view makes it impossible to challenge or take action against expert witnesses who claim they are simply giving their “honest” opinion. It seems wrong that expert witnesses should have immunity, or that their evidence should be considered sacrosanct, as such people are still capable of being fallible and wrong as other witnesses at a trial.
The ruling in this case has implications for my own challenge to the testimony of Professor Meirion Francis Lewis, who claims he gave honest opinion at my trial. I can prove that Professor Lewis was wrong on several key points of his evidence, which would have affected the verdict at my trial, but Justice Collins’ ruling seems to mean I and the Professor’s Institute of Physics have no right to challenge him.
17 February 2006
The innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead with 8 bullets on 22 July 2005, after being mistaken for a terrorist suicide bomber. On 22 September 1999 Harry Stanley was shot dead by police who thought the table leg he was carrying was a sawn off shotgun - it took just 2 bullets to kill him. On 14 January 1983 Stephen Waldorf was shot 5 times by police marksmen, and nearly died because he was mistaken for David Martin, a man on the run after trying to murder a police officer. Similar cases could be cited of police mistakes, but the point I would make is that somebody responsible for surveillance was not looking carefully enough; they were suffering from a blind spot.
What’s all this got to do with my case? Well, as in many police operations, it is the surveillance which provides much of the evidence used to arrest and convict criminals, and the accuracy of the collected information gives a good idea of the strength of the police case. As previously stated, quality assurance is my speciality and I cannot avoid scrutinizing the exact point a particular piece of evidence might prove, and what it reveals about the thought processes of the police.
Some strange claims were made following the surveillance operation carried out by the police on the morning of my arrest on 8 August 1992. It was presented to the jury that I knew precisely what the phone call meant, and that I was trained in the practice of meeting with KGB officers and receiving such phone calls. However, I showed no prior knowledge of what I was expected to do, and it was Mr B who asked me to go to a telephone kiosk. At first I decided not to act on his instructions, and that was why I left my house later than I was asked. In the end, being an inquisitive person, I went out to investigate what it was all about.
Referring to the map of the area in Kingston upon Thames around my home, the police agreed that the route marked was the actual route I took, and I agree entirely that I did follow that route. I have marked the outward route away from my home in red and the return route in green, and for most of the journey the same path was taken.
The telephone call
9.02 The telephone call is made to my home from a house in Ham, Surrey. MI5 officer “Mr B” said in the telephone call that I should be at telephone kiosk 1 in 15 minutes, at the corner of Durlston Road and Cardinal Avenue.
The phone call made to kiosk 1
Mr B phoned telephone kiosk1 and a speaking clock recorded that he finished dialing at 19.19 and 10 seconds. The ringing tone continued for 34 seconds but nobody answered. Clearly I had not even left home when the call was made. [At 9.26 and 10 seconds and 9.37 and 40 seconds Mr B phoned my home, but as I was out and my wife was in the shower, the calls were picked up by our answering machine.]
9.20 Detective Constable Alexander Hordern saw me leaving my home.
Also at about 9.20 DC James Tubbs (driving in a car) saw me enter Staunton Road from Park Farm Road, moving away from my home. At 9.22 he noticed me walking north up Latchmere Lane.
Arriving the first time at kiosk 1
9.15 DC Colin Simpson saw me approach the kiosk 1. He said I was in the area of the kiosk for about one minute and he took photographs of me
9.23 DC Catherine Plummer saw me approaching telephone kiosk 1.
[As this refers to the same point in time, obviously both officers cannot be correct. The photographs show me arriving and leaving kiosk 1, and the times on the photos are 9.23 and 9.24, which agrees with the time given by DC Plummer.]
I look down the road near Telephone Kiosk 1
Leaving kiosk 1
DC Catherine Plummer saw me walk away from the box (no time specified).
DC Colin Simpson saw me walk away from the kiosk and northwards up Hollybush Road (no time specified, but he said I had been there about one minute).
At the shops
9.25 DC Stephen Brown saw me emerge from Hollybush Road and walk towards the shops. He was located near telephone kiosk 2. He does not mention what I did there. He saw me return back down Hollybush Road.
9.25 DC Kevin Kindleysides also saw me emerge from Hollybush Road and walk towards the shops. He was also located near kiosk 2. He does not mention what I did there. He saw me return back down Hollybush Road.
Returning to kiosk 1
9.25 DC Catherine Plummer saw me return to telephone kiosk 1 and she said I sat on the wall by the kiosk.
9.25 DC Colin Simpson saw me return to the kiosk. He said I stood near the kiosk and sat on the wall for a “couple of minutes”. He took further photographs of me.
[The times on the photographs show me returning to kiosk 1 at 9.30.]
Leaving kiosk 1 the second time
At 9.32 DC Catherine Plummer saw me walk away again towards Latchmere Lane. Her timing has me sitting on the wall for approximately 7 minutes.
DC Colin Simpson saw me walk towards Latchmere Lane.
9.33 DC James Tubbs saw me emerging from Cardinal Avenue into Latchmere Lane and heading towards home.
9.33 Detective Inspector Martin Nicholson saw me moving south on Staunton Road and crossing the junction with Park Farm Road.
9.33 Detective Sergeant Gary Pepe saw me moving south on Staunton Road and crossing the junction with Park Farm Road.
Visiting Moran’s newsagents
9.32 DC John Collins saw me in Kings Road entering the Moran’s newsagents (where I bought a newspaper)
9.37 DI Martin Nicholson saw me walking into Park Farm Road from Chesfield Road.
DS Gary Pepe saw me walking into Park Farm Road from Chesfield Road (no time given).
9.40 DC Alexander Hordern saw me coming from Chesfield Road approaching my home.
As I approached my home I was arrested, and I received my first police caution. The arresting officer D.I. Martin Nicholson, said “I am arresting you for communicating classified information to a hostile agency. This is an offence against the Official Secrets Act”. I knew there must be a mistake, since I didn’t deal with classified information in my work at Hirst Research Centre. It was also claimed in court that I thought I was being kidnapped by the KGB, rather than arrested by plain clothed Special Branch, and it was said I later calmed down when I saw uniformed police. This is a complete falsification of what actually happened - the exact opposite in fact - and the true story can be proved from statements given by the police themselves.
The telephone call from Mr B was over very quickly, and so when I actually left my home (some 17 minutes later) I was already uncertain about the location of the telephone kiosk mentioned in the call. I did not recall Durlston Road being mentioned, but I thought I had heard the name Cardinal Drive. I guessed that the location was near the Cardinal public house, as that was my local pub during the time in the 1970s when I lived in nearby St Albans Road. This was the reason I headed first to “telephone kiosk 1” (marked on the map), which was apparently the location intended by the police. However, when I arrived there I could see nothing to indicate that this was the kiosk mentioned, and so I stayed there probably less than a minute and then went off up Hollybush Road looking for Cardinal Drive.
I did not go anywhere near telephone kiosk 2, on the corner of Tudor Drive and Latchmere Lane, which the police initially tried to insist I had done. Apparently the police were trying to copy a KGB method, whereby an agent would go to a second telephone kiosk if he failed to make contact at the first kiosk. I could not have known this and so did not act as the police had wanted. It is my guess that the 2 policemen on surveillance at that location were waiting to take photographs of me at kiosk 2.
When I emerged from Hollybush Road I turned left and headed towards Tudor Florists, the first shop in the parade. I was unsure if there was a Cardinal Drive in this area, and so I asked the woman shop assistant in the flower shop if there was a Cardinal Drive around there. She did not know the answer, and she called a man from the back of the shop, and I also asked him. The man had not heard of Cardinal Drive either. On receiving these answers I went back down Hollybush Road. About half-way down the road I met another man walking in the opposite direction and I asked him whether he knew of a road called Cardinal Drive; again I received a negative answer. Although I mentioned this man in my police interviews, nothing was done to try to trace him, and it is possible he was also a policeman.
The police had acted as agent provocateurs and this was a classic case of entrapment. However, I had not understood the phone message and did not behave as the police had expected. At the point where I sat on the wall (after returning to kiosk 1), I even thought a friend of ours could be playing a hoax; he often phoned us and used funny voices to confuse my wife and I. In fact, this whole operation was a hoax, with the part of “George” performed by Mr B of MI5. All the instructions given to me, by Mr B, were guided by the Special Branch officer in charge of the operation, Detective Chief Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod, who was in the same room as Mr B during the phone call. As I returned home I went via Moran’s newsagent, where I bought a newspaper.
DCS Malcolm MacLeod said the surveillance operation around my home was set up with Detective Chief Inspector Hector MacKenzie on 7 August 1992. Detective Sergeant Keith Gregory-Parry was given the job of team leader, and he was responsible for keeping a contemporaneous record of all the radio transmissions during the surveillance operation. However, in court, DS Gregory-Parry was unable to explain inconsistencies in his log, and he had to admit to the previously withheld evidence that a second log book of the police operation existed, although this other log book was never disclosed to the defence and not produced in court. It appears that the surveillance operation was not totally revealed, and it is likely that more details were withheld. It is apparent, for example, that Gregory-Parry did not record the times given by DC Brown and Kindleysides.
The times recorded by individual police officers can be expected to show some variation, due to mistakes in telling the time or the inaccuracies of the clocks or watches used. However, in this confusion over timings, there are a couple of significant discrepancies that indicate something more sinister was going on. It is interesting, for example, that according to Simpson and Plummer I had only left kiosk 1 for about one minute, when I had surely been gone 5 or 6 minutes (based on the times on the photographs). There are two significant main points that arise from this:
(a) An attempt to deny I went into Tudor Florists
The part of my journey between kiosk1 and the shops, where the Tudor Florists was located, had not been correctly observed. How could it appear to DCs Brown and Kindleysides that I emerged from Hollybush Road into Tudor Drive at 9.25, and yet both DC Plummer and Simpson agreed that I returned to Kiosk 1 at exactly that time of 9.25. This is even more mysterious when it can clearly be seen on the photos taken by Simpson that I returned to Kiosk 1 at 9.30.
This apparent contradiction seems to be because the police did not want to admit I had entered the Tudor Florists to ask directions.
(b) Portraying me as sitting on a wall waiting for the phone to ring
When I returned to kiosk 1, I felt I had not found the kiosk I was looking for. I sat on the wall for about 30 seconds (a period of time the judge Justice Blofeld told the jury they should accept) to consider what to do next. Although it was apparent I had only been sitting on the wall for a very short time, DC Plummer had rigidly stuck to her story that I was sitting there for about 7 minutes, which was not true, but her story gave the impression I was waiting for the phone to ring. DC Simpson also appeared to say he had taken photographs of me sitting on the wall, but in court he denied having done so.
Well, one answer to this puzzle is that the police told my solicitor Richard Jefferies that the plan was to be as follows: I would be phoned at kiosk 1 and told to go to kiosk 2, where I would receive another phone call asking me to meet “George” at the recreation ground in Latchmere Lane, where it was planned to arrest me. If I had been trained in KGB techniques, as the police claimed, then it was assumed I would automatically go to kiosk 2 and wait for a call there. Mr E described a method by which he met KGB officers or received calls at phone boxes, and these boxes seem to have been arranged in pairs, presumably so he could use either box to receive a call (UK phone kiosks are notorious for being vandalised). By making it appear that I was waiting for a phone call, the police had hoped to link me to methods used by Mr E, who was trained by Viktor Oshchenko to use telephone kiosks for contacts. However, Mr E said this system never seemed to work, and it appears it did not work for the police either, as they did not know what they were doing and neither did I.
It is interesting that the police should have chosen a kiosk near my old home in St Albans Road; rather than kiosk 3, the one just down the end of my road. I was aware of kiosk 1 from when I lived in St. Albans Road, and one period particularly comes to mind in about 1977, when my flat mate and I were having problems with our phone. We found quite regularly that when we picked up the receiver there was no dialing tone, as though the connection had not been made at the exchange. I even contacted the telephone company to ask for this to be checked. I found one way to get the phone to work was to visit kiosk 1 and dial my home number, and this seemed to clear the fault. I later suspected this phone fault was caused by the security services tapping my phone.
The consequence of the surveillance on 8 August 1992 shows clearly that the police were not interested in the truth. On 11 August 1992, during my police interviews, I told the interviewing officers that I had gone into Tudor Florists to ask if there was a Cardinal Drive around there. I explained how I had asked for directions from a woman and man, but neither of them knew of a Cardinal Drive. I also told the police that I had asked a man in Hollybush Road for directions.
In the course of that morning’s events I had only acted on the instructions given to me by Mr B, and even then I had misunderstood them. It was evident I did not know if I was to meet somebody at a telephone kiosk, receive a call, or find something else there. The fact that I did not wait at kiosk 1, both the first and second time I was there, would tend to suggest I was not waiting for a phone call, or for “George” to appear. However, the police version was that I knew exactly what I went there for, and they concealed the details that supported my story, e.g. that I had visited the flower shop. I pleaded with my solicitor Richard Jefferies to speak with the people in Tudor Florists, because I was sure they would confirm what had happened, but he said there would be no problem as it would soon become apparent what had happened.
My fears were borne out by the behaviour of the police. Instead of checking my story, which was clearly expressed in the interview, the police waited 8½ months before they interviewed the owner of Tudor Florists, and 3 men connected to the shop, on 20 and 22 April 1993. Marcia Ashwood-Luck, the owner of Tudor Florists, was asked who might have been in the shop that day. She said she employed 2 full time women and 2 part-time women, but she seemed certain that the full time employee Katherine Gould would have been in the shop that morning. Marcia Ashwood-Luck said she did not employ any men, but 3 men did help out on an ad hoc basis by delivering flowers. It seems strange, therefore, that the police only interviewed the 3 men, but none of the 4 women. Not surprisingly, none of the 3 men could remember the incident I described. One of the men, David Wheeler, thought he probably was in the shop that morning, and he made the additional comment that the road I asked for, Cardinal Drive, did not exist in that area. After this delay the witnesses could not be certain who had been in the shop that day.
My action of going to the flower shop did not fit in with the prosecution’s interpretation of what happened, and so they played it down in court. The 2 policemen who observed me at the shops (Brown and Kindleysides) made it sound as though they had lost sight of me when I approached the parade of shops. It is suspicious that the second log book, containing details of what Brown and Kindleysides had observed, was the log book that went “missing”.
It was only after strenuous cross-examination, by my QC Rock Tansey, that the police admitted further photographs were available. DCS Malcolm MacLeod’s explanation, for not producing these photographs earlier, was that the police had now developed the remainder of the film. This contradicts the fact that only one 36 exposure film was taken at the scene, and all the photos must have been developed at one time. Five of the photos from this film were shown to me during my police interview, 2 days after my arrest, although none of the pictures showed me at telephone kiosk 1 the second time. The extra photographs had been withheld from the Defence for nearly 14 months, until the end of the first week of my trial, and they were important because they confirmed I returned to kiosk 1 at 9.30. The judge then acknowledged I only stayed at kiosk 1 for about half a minute. Although I accept I did sit on the wall for a very short time, there were no photographs showing me in that position.
I suspected I had been under surveillance at various times in the past, and I even indicated in a letter to the MoD in November 1980 (Exhibit No. 41) that I was aware of being under surveillance. However, it was not until after my appeal (in the Security Commission report of July 1995), that it was confirmed I had been under surveillance between 1978 (when I lost my security clearance) and my arrest in 1992. I knew someone had been watching me in the past because I had seen odd characters hanging about outside my home.
The police were specifically asked if I had been under surveillance before my arrest, and DCI Martin Charles Gray stated that Special Branch did not put me under surveillance prior to 8 August 1992. It seems strange then, that I was shown surveillance photographs of my wife and myself leaving our home, and these pictures must have been taken before the day of my arrest. Who took the photographs of my wife and I? Was it MI5 who took them - and if so how long had they been watching me? If I had been under surveillance prior to my arrest, then surely there would have been evidence that I had been meeting “Russians”. Whatever the police or MI5 knew, they were certainly not keen to disclose all their evidence, especially if it might help the Defence.
10 February 2006
The Crown Court at Central Criminal Court
The Queen -v- Michael John Smith
Michael John Smith is charged as follows:
Statement of Offence
Communicating material to another for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, contrary to Section 1(1)(c) of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
Particulars of Offence
Michael John Smith on a day between the 1st day of January 1990 and the 1st day of January 1991, for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, communicated to another a sketch, plan, model, article, or note, or other document or information which was calculated to be or might have been or was intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.
Statement of Offence
Communicating material to another for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, contrary to Section 1(1)(c) of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
Particulars of Offence
Michael John Smith on a day between the 1st day of January 1991 and the 1st day of May 1992, for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, communicated to another a sketch, plan, model, article, or note, or other document or information which was calculated to be or might have been or was intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.
Statement of Offence
Making a sketch or note for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
Particulars of Offence
Michael John Smith between the 30th day of April 1992 and the 8th day of August 1992, for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State made sketches or notes which were calculated to be or might be or were intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.
Statement of Offence
Obtaining or collecting material for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, contrary to Section 1(1)(c) of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
Particulars of Offence
Michael John Smith between the 30th day of April 1992 and the 8th day of August 1992, for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State obtained or collected sketches, plans, models, articles, or notes, or other documents or information which were calculated to be or might have been or were intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy.
There was no evidence at all about what scientific material was involved in Counts 1 and 2. I volunteered information that it related only to obsolete and unclassified commercial documentation, concerning silicon-on-sapphire and gallium arsenide technology. HRC (Hirst Research Centre) abandoned these technologies at Wembley in the late 1980s, and it would not be useful to an enemy. However, the Prosecution claimed, without any evidence, that the material must have been militarily sensitive - it is difficult to see how they arrived at such a conclusion.
Count 3 related to my handwritten notes:
JS/16 Rugate Filter Project (pp. 176-178)
JS/17 Micro-Machining Project (pp. 179-181)
JS/18 Quasi-Optical Car Radar Project (pp. 182-185)
JS/19 Micron-Valve Project (p. 186)
JS/20 Olfactory Research Project (p. 187)
I could go into great detail about the type of material found in Count 3, and the long prosecution and defence arguments about whether the “Russians” would have found it useful or not, or whether it was prejudicial to the UK. In the end these projects were potentially capable of dual commercial or military use (as is almost anything if you think about it), but there was insufficient evidence that I had either intended to hand this information to a Russian, or it was of real technical value to an enemy. After deliberation the jury used their common sense, and they rejected the prosecution claims.
Although all the scientific exhibits were in the same bag in the boot of my car, I was found not guilty of Count 3, but guilty of Count 4.
Count 4 related to GEC components and printed documents:
JS/14 Old surface acoustic wave, silicon-on-sapphire and gallium arsenide components (p. 1)
JS/15 Surface acoustic wave documents (pp. 2-175), including a RESTRICTED “ALARM” document (pp. 51-59)
JS/21-38 Bulk acoustic wave documents (pp. 188-269J), including an UNCLASSIFIED Rapier document (pp. 190-196)
SR/4 Infra-Red Imager documents (pp. 269/1-269/9)
SR/4 Silicon-on-sapphire documents (pp. 269/10-269/69)
SR/4 Gallium arsenide documents (pp. 269/70-269/87)
The components of JS/14 were old and obsolete examples (some labeled as non-working rejects) that had been lying around in my office. Since they would probably have been thrown away in any case, when the company moved site a few months later, I took them as souvenirs of my time at the company. The prosecution made the case that these components would have been useful to the Russians (for reverse engineering). However, as my expert Dr Eamonn Maher quite correctly pointed out, far more advanced and current examples of these devices were on open sale commercially - so why would a Russian be interested in obsolete material?
The documents in JS/15 was a collection of information from an approval exercise to qualify Hirst Research Centre to commercially produce similar surface acoustic wave devices, and to earn the company a certificate to meet a British Standard for this manufacturing capability (BS9450 Capability Approval Exercises in 1984). There was nothing apparently of significant military interest in this collection of documents, or so the defence was led to believe by the lack of any evidence from the prosecution, until the moment Dr Meirion Francis Lewis stepped into the witness box on 7 October 1993 and delivered his radically different view using undisclosed evidence. The issue revolved around whether one 9 page document related to the ALARM missile project. Readers of this blog will be aware that more than 12 years later the Ministry of Defence has yet to officially confirm the document was used on ALARM (Mr Andrew Mackinlay, my MP, asked a question in the House of Commons recently, but failed to get an answer). As I have stated previously, the conclusions of the Security Commission’s report were that 'at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system’ (HMSO Cm 2930, Annex A.5, July 1995). Apart from the link to ALARM there were many errors and inconsistencies in Dr Lewis’s testimony about that document, and this is also awaiting resolution.
Documents in JS/21-38 related to a small bulk acoustic wave delay line, and some of that information referred to a component from a piece of test equipment used to test the Rapier system - a sort of “go/no-go” test. However, this documentation was also part of a BS9450 Capability Approval application in 1984. The documents gave details of the frequency band used by Rapier, but did not reveal the actual spot frequencies of any installation, as each Rapier system has a different operating frequency. The sensitivity of this information can be judged from the fact that it was openly published in Janes Land Based Air Defence Review, which printed how a version of Rapier, called Possum, uses the frequency band 3.1 to 3.3 GHz and that Rapier works in the ‘F-Band’ frequency range. Many other technical points were published about Rapier in this Janes book, which can be purchased or read in a public library by any Russian who cares to look for it.
The 5 page UNCLASSIFIED Rapier document, dated 11 January 1984, was a procurement specification for a BAW (bulk acoustic wave) delay line. BAW delay line technology is well known, and at the trial it was stated that the component was to become obsolete. It is interesting that delay line specifications were openly published by GEC Marconi in a “Techbrief”, a glossy hand-out for customers, which states that typical delay lines can be manufactured with a 3.1 to 3.4 GHz frequency band. Any potential customer could request this leaflet, or buy a similar component.
It is also significant that the main “expert” called to give evidence about the technical aspects of Rapier, ex-Squadron Leader Colin Bagley, was not himself particularly well-qualified to give that evidence. My own expert Dr Eamonn Maher made a comment that the prosecution expert whose qualifications least impressed him was Colin Bagley. It is a strange and inexplicable fact that, despite ALARM and Rapier being the two specific weapons referred to at my trial, there were no witnesses called who were authoritatively expert on the design and performance of those weapons. Perhaps the prosecution was afraid of asking experts who might actually know the true significance of the documents used as exhibits at my trial?
If we are to believe the hawk-like vision of experts like Dr D.I. Weatherley, ex-Squadron Leader Colin Bagley and Dr M.F. Lewis, then Rapier and ALARM can be jammed by using some pretty basic information from Janes Land Based Air Defence Review (in the case of Rapier), and the specification of one commercially available component (in the case of ALARM). It seems incredible, if true, that Rapier and ALARM are so easy to jam, and that the UK has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on such vulnerable systems. From my technical viewpoint I believe more than a little exaggeration was going on here, but unfortunately I am prevented from telling you more due to the gagging orders governing the “in camera” nonsense used at my trial.
The SR/4 Infra-Red Imager documents involved an overview of the assembly of the T.I.C.M. (Thermal Imager Common Module) using SPRITE Infra-Red detector devices. So much information is already published about Infra-Red Detectors (10,000 papers), that my own expert (Dr Eamonn Maher) said the Russians would be far more interested in the information already available in the public domain, than the simple and limited information in the few pages in my possession. Dr Maher should know what he was talking about, because he was a specialist in this area himself, but the Crown insisted on going into every tiny detail, as they did in everything else. The prosecution tried to make insignificant details look highly damaging to the Nation, even though Britain allows the U.S. and Japan (a former enemy) to manufacture these detectors under licence. Most of the information only concerned the detector’s assembly into its cooling jacket and could not be sensitive.
The remaining parts of SR/4, concerning silicon-on-sapphire and gallium arsenide documents, was shown by Dr Eamonn Maher to be of commercial interest and already available in the public domain.
So, in my opinion, the prosecution case boiled down to one 10 year-old RESTRICTED document (claimed to be from the ALARM project), and one 8 year-old UNCLASSIFIED document for a component used on a piece of Rapier test gear. To a person educated in electronic engineering, such as myself, it was quite shocking to hear allegedly well-qualified “experts” making claims that material already in the public domain was “sensitive”. There were some extraordinary things said in court.
At the end of my trial the sentences passed were as follows:
Charge 1: Passing information 1st January 1990 to 1st January 1991 - 8 years
Charge 2: Passing information 1st January 1991 to 1st May 1992 - 8 years
Charge 3: Making Notes and sketches 30th April 1992 to 8th August 1992 - Not Guilty
Charge 4: Obtaining material 30th April 1992 to 8th August 1992 - 9 years
Rather than, as is usually the case, making the sentences run concurrently, the judge (Justice Blofeld) made them consecutive. It was clear that it was only possible to find me guilty of counts 1 and 2 because of the material involved in Count 4, but that material was mostly in the public domain or of low scientific value.
There was no evidence of what material I passed on charges 1 and 2 and so it is impossible to prove that it was useful to an enemy and prejudicial to the interests of the State. However, the learned judge sentenced me on the basis that he was “bound to assume” that, having regard to the payments received for the documentation passed over, that the material passed over was sensitive. At my appeal these sentences were both reduced to 5½ years each.
The sentences can be seen to be excessive when it is considered that I only had security clearance to CONFIDENTIAL level, although there is no evidence I had access to anything above RESTRICTED status. The sentences are more appropriate to the Cold War period for a high level member of the armed forces or government services who had disclosed SECRET or TOP SECRET material to a hostile and active enemy. At the time of my trial, due to the recent political changes, Russia was no longer considered a potential enemy (according to Margaret Thatcher).
09 February 2006
It was with great interest and concern that I read in The Mitrokhin Archive about the apparent ‘tests’ I had been subjected to by the KGB. The section I am referring to states that I was given a “third test … to remove a container holding two rolls of film from a DLB in the Paris suburbs and to deliver it to a KGB officer in Lisbon”. According to the chronology of the book, this incident is presumed to have happened in or after August in 1979. This alleged event is also clearly related to the so-called training mission, which was mentioned to me by the police in my interviews shortly after my arrest. The training mission played a crucial role in the case presented to the jury - in which my trip to Portugal had been compared to the trip made by Mr E under Viktor Oshchenko’s direction.
The significance of this passage in the Mitrokhin Archive is that the “training mission” in the prosecution case at my trial referred to my trip to Oporto in 1977, and the map of Oporto, a series of photographs taken by the police of places in Oporto, and evidence from Mr E, Mrs C and Gordievsky were all used to support that proposition.
Oshchenko has been quoted as saying that I had been asked to clear dead letter boxes in Oporto in 1977, and this was a place where the Russians in Portugal were prohibited from going. There had been no mention by Oshchenko that this operation had taken place in Lisbon. As Oshchenko was the man the prosecution claimed had sent me to Portugal, then I presume he should have known where he sent me!
The Mitrokhin Archive gives neither details about this alleged operation nor who I was supposed to have met in Lisbon. However, the important point for me, is that the prosecution at my trial claimed I was sent on a mission to Oporto in 1977 (to agree with the map), but the Mitrokhin Archive is claiming that this trip took place in 1979 and was to Lisbon. It would have proved useful to have had that evidence from the Mitrokhin Archive at my trial, because this would have exposed how the exhibits were forced to fit into a speculative story concocted by the prosecution.
I am sure the jury at my trial would have been surprised that the prosecution claims of a training mission to Oporto in 1977 were significantly different to the Mitrokhin Archive version that the destination was Lisbon in 1979 - about 300 kilometres apart in distance and 2 years in time!
There are no corresponding entries in this section of the book concerning the claimed operation in France that might support the Mitrokhin story. In statements from Oshchenko, he never claimed to have sent me on any mission to France in the 1970s. However, what Oshchenko said, and the police strenuously argued, was that Oshchenko planned to meet me in France in September 1991, a claim that was totally without foundation. This was another invention by the police because they had found an unused channel ferry ticket for a trip my wife and I had planned that month, but which was cancelled when she was in agony with a kidney stone.
Perhaps the most bizarre and funny fact, in this entire story about Portugal, is that I never went anywhere near France or Portugal in 1979. The only trip I made overseas in 1979 was a one week package holiday with my wife to Ibiza in Spain. I would love somebody to show me the evidence of any other trip I made to France, Portugal or anywhere else in 1979 - it just did not happen. So, I am afraid either Vasili Mitrokhin or Professor Christopher Andrew has fabricated that story. The weakness of the story is also highlighted by the fact that the Security Commission report (Cm 2930, July 1995) contains not one reference to this supposed Portuguese operation, despite the important role it played in leading to my conviction.
08 February 2006
At first I thought there was nothing of much interest in this article, but then I spotted the name Oleg Gordievsky, a witness at my trial, and I noticed a strange clash of dates involving Gordievsky’s recall to the Soviet Union, when he was interrogated by the KGB about being a double agent. I felt this would be a good opportunity for raising several issues with the U.S. News magazine, in the hope that they may be able to help me investigate the evidence in my case. After a few days thought I sent the following letter to the magazine:
From: Michael John Smith
H.M.P., Full Sutton, York
22 November 1997
To: Mr James Fallows
U.S. News & World Report
2400 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Dear Mr Fallows,
I read with interest your book excerpt about Aldrich Ames, by Pete Earley, in the issue of 17 February 1997. I was concerned at the excerpt’s reference to Oleg Gordievsky, and how Ames revealed Gordievsky’s involvement with MI6 when he met Viktor Cherkashin for lunch on 13 June 1985. Amongst papers in my possession I have a witness statement from Gordievsky, in which he says he was recalled to Moscow on 19 May 1985. Is your date a mistake, or is there an anomaly there?
Allow me to explain my situation. I am in a British prison serving a 20 year sentence, mainly as a result of Gordievsky’s “evidence”. I was arrested on 8 August 1992, following the defection to Britain of Viktor Alekseevich Oshchenko (known under the codename “Ozerov” within the KGB), who was a KGB Colonel in the Russian embassy in Paris (France). I was the only person arrested in Britain as a result of Oshchenko’s defection.
The prosecution claimed I was recruited to the KGB by Oshchenko in the mid-1970s, although I never met Oshchenko, and no evidence has ever been produced to show I met him. It was further claimed I met other KGB officers in London: Viktor Nikolayevich Lazin (Head of Line X c1979), A.A. Chernyayev (Line X 1979-83) and O.P. Krasakov (Line X 1984-5). The names of two other Line X officers, Bozhanov and Demchenko, were also quoted to me, but I do not know if I am supposed to have met them also. “Mrs C”, a MI5 Section Head in charge of studying hostile intelligence agencies, said under oath that there was no evidence I had ever met anyone in the KGB.
Mrs C said in court that Oshchenko arrived in Britain on 29 August 1972, to work at the Soviet embassy as a 3rd Secretary. He was identified as an agent-running KGB officer within 12 to 18 months, but was allowed to remain in Britain for a further 5½ years until his duties ended, on 22 September 1979. This in itself is a strange admission, since many KGB officers were expelled from Britain in the 1970s, when it was found they indulged in ‘activities incompatible with their status’.
Mrs C said Oshchenko was not a double-agent prior to his defection in July 1992, and neither did he pass information to the Security Services before his defection. These denials have been contradicted by claims made in 3 different books, which indicate that Oshchenko had been working for the British for some time; if true, this would greatly alter the case brought against me. If Oshchenko was being run by MI6, what was his real role in my case, and what did he tell MI6? However, it is by no means certain that Oshchenko was working for the British: a source with knowledge of the Security Services has told me he believes Oshchenko was a long-term CIA agent. There were many connections to the USA in my case, which is one of the reasons I am writing to you. Oshchenko now appears to have disappeared and nobody seems to know his whereabouts.
Mrs C accepted, under cross-examination, that no espionage equipment had been found in my possession: there were no cameras, microdots, secret writing materials, code books, radio transmitters, secret containers (such as false bottomed brief-cases), etc. Nothing was found that would indicate I was operating as a professional spy.
I had been a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) between 1972-5, but I became disillusioned with their politics and resigned. In August/September 1976 I visited a friend Diane in Chicago. During this holiday I also visited an old university friend Sol, who then lived in Quebec city (Canada), and I visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington for sight-seeing. However, the prosecution claimed I visited the USA to clear dead-letter boxes, but, again, no evidence was produced and that charge was dropped. I must point out that I have never done anything harmful to the USA; just the reverse, I have always had great admiration for your country, particularly its outstanding achievements in the artistic and scientific fields.
Between 1976-8, I worked for EMI Electronics (UK) on the trigger mechanism for Britain’s free-fall nuclear bomb (WE-177). The prosecution claimed that Oshchenko told me to leave the CPGB and seek a job at EMI, although no evidence was produced to support this. In 1977 I was responsible for discovering a potentially disastrous design fault in the electronic circuit of this trigger, which could have led to its premature detonation and risk to airmen’s lives. I have never been charged with any mis-conduct concerning my work on the WE-177 project.
I understand the CIA had me under some form of surveillance since the early 1970s, I do not know why, although I believe it had something to do with targeting students with potential to help the CIA. It has been admitted that MI5 had me under surveillance since 1977, and I have a copy of a letter I wrote to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), dated November 1980, in which I mentioned my awareness of this surveillance. Even the British Prime Minister’s personal security section apparently monitored my case.
The prosecution claimed that, while on holiday in Vienna in August 1979, I had passed a KGB lie detector test - a ‘non-contact’ lie detector instrument (if there is such a thing). It was claimed by Oshchenko that 2 other KGB officers, Stalnov and Boris Snu (from Moscow it seems), had been involved in this Vienna test.
In May 1978, unknown to me, I lost my security clearance. When I learned of my lost clearance, in early November 1979, I enquired about the reasons, and on 10 June 1980 I was interviewed at Fleetbank House by a MI5 officer posing as a MoD employee. The tape recording of this interview was later destroyed, although I have a transcript copy which suspiciously appears to have been altered. My file at the MoD also contains a strange co-incidence - it is identified as HW/1073 - could this be linked to Harry Williams (see below)? It was claimed Oshchenko directed me to get my security clearance restored, but this cannot be true, as Oshchenko left Britain on 22 September 1979, before I learned about my lost clearance.
In 1982-3 I worked for EMI Datatech on a project to supply special digital tape recorders to NASA for recording satellite signals. As a result of this project I had dealings with a Quality Control chief (Mr Perry) in the States, and a Greenham Common based USAF officer (whose name I have forgotten).
The prosecution made absurd claims that the KGB directed me to take up tennis, because 4 tennis racquets were found in my home; Oshchenko has claimed he codenamed me “Borg”, because of his own interest in tennis. Another unsubstantiated claim was that a planned holiday to France with my wife, in September 1991, was really cover for a meeting with a KGB controller, although we never made the trip because my wife was taken ill.
In January 1990, I was lured into an industrial espionage operation by a man calling himself Harry Williams; he was very persuasive and bribed me with £20,000, at a time when I was in financial difficulties. The money was given to me in mint condition, large denomination £50 bills, in sequential serialised batches; these were later traced to London and New York banks. I even kept a letter that Williams posted to my home (which was used in evidence). Mrs C said that, as my meetings with Williams were covertly organised, this was sufficient proof that a foreign and hostile intelligence agency was behind it. Mrs C said MI5 was not concerned with industrial espionage, nor with the operations of “friendly” intelligence agencies. However, Mrs C accepted that the USA had been successfully penetrated by the “friendly” French intelligence service in the early 90’s, and industrial espionage was widespread in Europe and the USA.
I was directed to meet Harry Williams at sites known to MI5, and which Oleg Gordievsky had previously used himself to meet or leave messages for agents. The suspicious circumstances of my surveillance and arrest make me believe everything had been planned by MI5, and that Harry Williams was a MI5 officer pretending to be involved in industrial espionage.
I was arrested following a “sting” operation, which MI5 codenamed operation “Billiards”. On the morning of my arrest, I was asked on the telephone to acknowledge that I knew ‘Viktor’ (no surname given). I did indeed know a Spaniard called “Victor” and so I replied ‘yes’, but it was later claimed that this Viktor could only be Viktor Oshchenko, and there was a debate in court about whether it was possible to distinguish aurally between Viktor/Victor spelt with a “k” or a “c”. There is a confusing story concerning the telephone call, as the police lied and distorted the evidence - key witnesses were interviewed 8½ months after my arrest, so they would not remember the events which supported my story.
Everything in the Crown’s case hinges on the assumption that the “Victor” mentioned in the telephone call was Viktor Oshchenko. It was an MI5 officer who made the telephone call, and no information was presented at my trial to prove that ‘Victor’, in the telephone call, was Viktor Oshchenko.
Following my arrest, I told the police I had noticed people watching my home in the past, including only a week before my arrest. Although I now know this surveillance was real, the interviewing officer dismissed my comments as ‘bullshit’.
MI5 conducted many debriefings with Oshchenko - I know from my case papers that over 200 reports were raised in the first few months following Oshchenko’s defection - however, I am referred to in only 10 of these reports, in which I am identified as ‘Parellic’. MI5 also linked me with Mr E, a man I have no connection with whatsoever, because the names “George” and “Viktor” (KGB contacts of Mr E) were used in the telephone call; this gave the jury the impression I was connected with “George” and “Viktor”. Mr E also introduced a connection with Portugal (see below).
All my lawyers’ telephones were bugged, from the time of my arrest until after my trial ended, and so they had to communicate everything clandestinely. This was obviously an unfair tactic by the prosecution to gain an advantage, and to discover how the defence were planning their case.
Gordievsky was briefed about my case on 19 August 1992, when he was given a typed list of MI5’s interpretation of the facts of my case. Although Gordievsky agreed to help the prosecution, it was not until 10 December 1992 that he produced his first witness statement, in which he completely accepted MI5’s version of the story. A puzzling aspect of Gordievsky’s position was: why did he not give my name when he defected in 1985? Gordievsky has claimed he gave all the KGB agents’ names to MI5, as well as exposing the KGB’s spying operations in Britain.
In court, Gordievsky made great play of his love of democracy, and how he would not lie to the British. However, newspaper reports state that in 1982-5, while still in the KGB, Gordievsky gave information to MI5 about the activities of left-wing trade unionists he met; he appears to have used his position to undermine lawful activities in a democracy. His credibility was further questioned by my lawyers, because they were informed that Gordievsky did not volunteer to become a British agent in the 1970s, as he claimed, but was blackmailed into it by a sexual affair (or trap) while working at the KGB station in Copenhagen.
Gordievsky said he recognised notes I made, of my meetings with Harry Williams, as very familiar to him. Although individual details in the notes could be used by anyone, or any intelligence agency, Gordievsky said that, taken as a whole, he recognised the pattern as typical of the KGB. Two examples of Gordievsky’s views are:-
(i) He claimed KGB officers instruct their agents using phrases containing the word “suggest”, as in “I suggest you go to the railway station”. However, the police officer who interviewed me (Malcolm MacLeod) used this word 49 times in the 4 days of my interviews; so I guess that makes him an excellent suspect for a KGB officer.
(ii) He claimed KGB officers like to meet their agents regularly at lunch time (12:45 p.m.) - ‘a good time to meet’, he said.
Gordievsky claimed in his book, ‘Next Stop Execution’, that he was instrumental in my arrest (English 1st edition, p.395). Gordievsky said earlier in court that he knew nothing about me - despite prosecution claims I worked for the KGB from the mid-1970s to early 1990s - Gordievsky explained this by saying that, although he was Rezident in London in 1982-5, he had not known all the KGB’s spies in Britain, as they didn’t keep a list of them. This could not have been a long list, as Oshchenko admitted, in his MI5 debriefings, that the KGB only had about 5 agents at any one time in London in the 1970s. At my appeal, the prosecution accepted that Gordievsky was ‘not correct’ in claiming responsibility for my arrest. In the same admission, the prosecution also accepted that Gordievsky had not told the truth in his book about George Robertson (Britain’s current Secretary of State for Defence) - Gordievsky claimed Mr Robertson had acted as a KGB agent in the mid-1980s (ibid, p.360 footnote). However, the prosecution said Gordievsky remained a ‘witness of truth’.
At my trial I was charged with trivial matters related to my work in 1990-92 for the General Electric Company (UK) - a small quantity of old GEC documents had been found at my home. I was convicted at the Old Bailey on 18 November 1993, under Britain’s Official Secrets Act, for allegedly passing secrets to a KGB contact. However, the material used to convict me was of extremely doubtful validity: no KGB contact was identified, and the so-called ‘secrets’ have not been identified (I lost access to secrets in 1978, and in 1990-92 I only had access to the lowest level of classified documents). In fact, the “crime” I was convicted of did not actually take place at all, it was a hypothetical offence. No actual or potential damage has been caused by the “crimes” I was charged with. I am serving my sentence for nothing more than suspicion, since the jury could not have been certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, that a crime had even been committed.
Most of the material found in my possession was already published, but the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) and MoD used 20 experts to build a case that I handled sensitive military documents. Despite the simplicity of the truth - I genuinely did not handle sensitive documents at GEC - the facts were misrepresented. The only relevant item found in my possession was one 10 year old document (dated January 1982 and marked RESTRICTED) - the only classified material involved in the whole of my case. This document did not identify its exact use, but it did identify the name and address of Marconi, who had produced the document.
No evidence was disclosed to the defence about the RESTRICTED document for 14 months after my arrest. I find it odd that, although this was the only classified document in my case, the prosecution gave the impression that they never investigated its relevance. It was not until mid-trial that one witness, Dr Meirion Francis Lewis, gave any evidence about this document. Dr Lewis, of the Defence Research Agency (DRA) at Malvern, admitted in court that he was not an expert in missile technology nor in jamming (he was an expert in the design of surface acoustic wave devices).
Dr Lewis said the document was sensitive and would enable the missile on which it was used to be jammed, although he said he did not know that missile’s identity. Dr Lewis’s evidence surprised the defence, and an adjournment of 3 days was allowed for the defence to make enquiries. When Dr Lewis returned to court, he added a further surprise by claiming he could identify the document’s use on a project for Britain’s anti-radar missile ALARM. Dr Lewis claimed that, despite his lack of expertise in this field, he could personally identify: the document’s link to ALARM; the information in the document which would enable ALARM to be jammed; and, he claimed Britain’s deployment of the ALARM missile caused Saddam Hussein to switch off all his radar systems during the Gulf War.
Dr Lewis said he made enquiries with Marconi’s Technical Director during the adjournment, and the document’s use on the ALARM project had been confirmed to him on the telephone. No witness from Marconi came to court, and so I was convicted on the basis of “hearsay” telephone evidence. When Dr Lewis was in danger of revealing too much information about the document, Dr D I Weatherley (a senior MoD observer present throughout the trial) made the prosecution stop the cross-examination of Dr Lewis, on the basis that he was going into secret matters, although the trial was held “in camera” so that such matters could be discussed.
Dr Lewis was a MoD employee, who was shown to exaggerate evidence in his own field of SAW technology, therefore his evidence must be unreliable in a field in which he admitted not to be an expert. However, the judge allowed Dr Lewis’s evidence, and he told the jury that all the experts were ‘extraordinarily well-qualified’. It was obvious, from the prosecution’s “ambush” tactics, that the police, CPS and MoD were all involved in withholding evidence about the RESTRICTED document from the defence. I believe Dr Lewis must have known about this withholding of information, because he was involved in my case from the start, being questioned as a witness only 3 days after my arrest, i.e. 14 months before his court appearance.
The RESTRICTED document had been issued to a colleague of mine, F.S. MacClemont, who is an expert on the design and manufacture of surface acoustic wave devices. However, Mr MacClemont was not called as a witness; maybe the fact that he did important work on quartz crystals (for Trident missiles) might have proved embarrassing to the MoD, for its USA connections.
I was found not guilty of a charge which alleged I gave the Russians details of part of a $2.9 million US Department of Defense funded contract, which was a project to develop multi-notch rugate filters for use in the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars). This was a good example of the prosecution’s methods: they claimed I stole this ‘sensitive’ military information, although the same material had already been published in a glossy brochure by the Wright Patterson Air Force base in the USA. The MoD were so concerned that the DoD should not think them lax over security, that they never bothered to check the accuracy of their evidence.
Holding my trial “in camera” effectively prevented the public from knowing that my case involved no secrets, and that a KGB connection was unproven. Oshchenko was not produced at my trial, and so the jury had to speculate whether the prosecution told the truth; this clearly bothered the jury, as they asked two questions about why he had not appeared, and why they had heard no evidence that linked me to him. I was smeared by dirty tactics, designed to make me look guilty to the jury. Unfortunately for me, circumstantial evidence alone is sufficient to win a conviction in a British court.
The judge was extremely biased in his handling of my trial: he frequently interrupted the proceedings, and interfered in the examination of my only scientific expert, Dr Eamonn Maher. The judge was more a prosecutor than impartial referee, as can be seen from the court transcripts, and many decisions had already been taken in the judge’s room before the trial started: Public Interest Immunity orders were signed to withhold evidence which might prejudice the prosecution case. It is easy to see why there have been so many miscarriages of justice in Britain over recent years, such as the “Birmingham 6” and “Guildford 4” cases.
It was shameful to see those who profess to uphold the law - the CPS, the judge and the last Solicitor General (Sir Derek Spencer) - working behind the scenes to avoid the presentation of a complete package of evidence. My solicitor told me not to expect justice, due to the nature of my case, but I never expected to find such a level of hypocrisy amongst prosecutors and judges; you have to experience the subtle words used to see how a jury can be swayed to see the evidence from the wrong viewpoint.
Oleg Kalugin, a former Head of Soviet Counter Intelligence, came to give evidence at my trial, but he was arrested as he arrived at Heathrow on 30 October 1993. After hours of interrogation, concerning “suspicion” that Kalugin was involved in the 1979 Georgi Markov ‘umbrella murder’ in London, he was released without charge. This was obviously a ploy to destroy Kalugin’s credibility as a defence witness, and my lawyers decided it would be unwise to use him, although his evidence would have been that my case did not have the hallmark of the KGB.
“Mr E”, a US citizen born in Yorkshire (England), gave evidence at my trial. He said he was recruited to the KGB about December 1978, and it seems he was targeted because he had been in the US Navy, leaving as a Petty Officer. The Russians were interested in Mr E’s relatives: his father was a retired US Army 0-6, his mother an English nurse, and his father-in-law worked with one of the US House of Representatives subcommittees. Mr E worked as a salesman in a hi-fi shop in Tottenham Court Road (London) when Viktor Oshchenko recruited him, and he was soon on the KGB’s payroll, receiving a regular salary equivalent to the monthly mortgage payments on his home.
While working for the KGB, Mr E attempted to procure some sensitive integrated circuits, which were proscribed to the Russians under COCOM. He also undertook KGB training methods and sought to improve his professional position, so he might gain access to information useful to the Russians. One of Mr E’s training mission’s was a trip to Lisbon (Portugal) on the weekend of 21/22 July 1979, to deliver a package to a KGB contact.
The prosecution used Mr E’s Portuguese trip to claim I did the same in August 1977, when I went on holiday with a friend. Unlike Mr E, my visit to Oporto was a camping holiday, nothing to do with any Russians, and I did nothing more harmful than sight-seeing. Unfortunately, I retained a marked map given to us by a camp-site attendant, showing bus stops we used to reach the camp-site. Both Gordievsky and Mrs C claimed that the map could be evidence of a KGB officer meeting an agent.
In early May 1980, Mr E reported his activities with the KGB to the US embassy (London), and was then run by MI5 for some months. This resulted in the exposure of at least 2 KGB officers operating in Britain: Viktor Oshchenko and Yuriy Gennadyevich Pokrovskiy (who was later expelled from Britain). Mr E last saw Oshchenko in 1979, and he met him about 10 times, yet in June 1993 Mr E was able to identify Oshchenko from a photograph, although it was stated by American and British Security Service personnel that Mr E had an ‘atrocious’ memory. Mr E admitted he enjoyed reading books about espionage and he offered to work as a double-agent - it seems he is a sort of Walter Mitty character. The Russians apparently groomed him as a long-term “mole” for when he returned to the States.
A “Mr P”, an ex-CIA Station Chief, who received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Head of the CIA, and was highly commended for ‘his extraordinary tradecraft skills’ (a major aspect of my case) was a defence witness at my trial. Mr P retired from the CIA in February 1986 and took up work as an intelligence consultant and an attorney at law; he was trusted to de-classify papers from President Kennedy’s assassination, and is also a member of the retired CIA officers association. Mr P said my case could not be linked with the KGB, it was too amateur an operation, and he raised 14 points which indicated that it was unlikely I had any involvement with the KGB.
After my trial, the then British Prime Minister, Mr John Major, asked the Security Commission to conduct an enquiry into my case, only the 14th to have been ordered since the Commission was set up in the early 1960s. The Security Commission’s report (HMSO Security Commission Report Cm 2930) was published in July 1995 after my appeal failed.
It is suspicious that the Security Commission’s report states of the RESTRICTED document that: ‘at the time the document was created it was not specifically linked to a particular weapons system’ (Annex A.5). The MoD and the Security Commission appear to have covered up the true importance of the RESTRICTED document; the report cannot hide the muddled way they try to justify that an apparently non-sensitive technical document contained highly damaging material.
It took the MoD between 8 August 1992 (my arrest) and May 1995 (at my appeal) to decide that the RESTRICTED document was ‘wrongly classified’ and it should have been marked SECRET, or at least CONFIDENTIAL (Security Commission’s report 1.7, 5.5, 6.2, Annex A.3, A.4, A.5). The “wrong classification” of the document was not mentioned during my trial. A Deputy Director of the MoD (James Francis MacCulloch) was criticised for misleading the Security Commission - although I believe he made an honest statement - and the MoD preferred to admit making “mistakes” in document classification to maintain my conviction.
Naturally, I believe the public are not being told the truth about the document, so, on 10 January 1997 I wrote to the secretary of the Security Commission (Mr J K Barron) about this matter. Although Mr Barron sent me an acknowledgement (dated 24 January 1997), I have not received an answer to my claims that the document was misrepresented at my trial and in the Security Commission’s report. [I finally received a reply in a letter dated 13 October 1999, but despite the long period they had to consider my questions, this letter still did not answer any of them.]
The Security Commission’s report was also used to proclaim me guilty of more serious crimes in the 1970s - the leaking of information about WE-177 - of which I have been neither convicted, nor even charged. It is obvious that my long sentence was really for suspected offences in the 1970s (rather than the actual charges), although this was not put to the jury at my trial. It seems unusual to declare a British citizen guilty without first charging him with the crime, and democrats have always considered this type of treatment to be symptomatic of totalitarian regimes.
A specialist in espionage methods, James Rusbridger, helped my defence by collecting evidence from spy novels. On 16 February 1994, shortly after my trial ended, Mr Rusbridger was found dead at his Cornish cottage in mysterious circumstances - he was found hanged, wearing oilskins and a gas-mask.
After my appeal I tried to obtain help from those interested in espionage cases. A friend put me onto Professor Christopher Andrew of Cambridge University (England), and I wrote to him with some details of my case at the end of March 1996. Professor Andrew said he never received my letter, but I know he did receive a copy on 22 April 1996, because my friend delivered it to him by hand. I included in my letter the detail that William Colby (ex-head of the CIA) had helped my defence - Colby was puzzled by the facts of my case. It was William Colby who recommended the defence to use an expert from the retired CIA officers association. I was completely unaware that Professor Andrew was co-author of Oleg Gordievsky’s books, as I have never read any of Gordievsky’s books. About a week after Professor Andrew received my letter, Colby was dead - this might be co-incidence, but it seems uncanny to me. Another ex-CIA officer who considered my case untypical of the KGB was Philip Agee, who also helped the defence.
I appreciate you are busy and may not be interested in my case, so I have only given you some highlights in this letter. I am still fighting my conviction, as I know the MoD, MI5 and MI6 are all withholding important evidence. There has been a conspiracy to distort the truth, and I am certain that there are political issues at the heart of this case. I have served over 5 years in prison, and I could serve another 8 years if I do not find evidence to win a future appeal against my conviction.
What I would like to ask you is:
(1) Would your organisation be interested in investigating my case?
(2) Can you identify any specialists in the appropriate fields who could help me?
(3) Could you find any evidence of CIA involvement in my case?
(4) What is known about Viktor Oshchenko?
In the USA you have a right to Freedom of Information, giving you access to material that is impossible to obtain in Britain. I would be very grateful for any assistance you can give me.
Michael John Smith
Unfortunately the U.S. News magazine were not able to help me directly, and I received the following reply:
From: Harrison Rainie
U.S. News & World Report
January 23 1998
To: Michael John Smith
H.M.P. Full Sutton, York
Dear Mr Smith,
Thanks for your letter to James Fallows.
I am sorry, but U.S. News simply does not have the resources to look into a case like yours. As you might imagine, we receive scores of very similar letters, and if we looked into each and every one thoroughly, we would have no time for the weekly work of covering world news. You might have better luck with a local publication or with one of the big television investigative units like the following:
147 Columbus Ave., 10th Floor
New York, NY 10023
ABC’s “Prime Time Live”
147 Columbus Ave., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10023
CBS’s “60 Minutes”
555 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019-2985
Meanwhile, we wish you good luck. With best wishes,
07 February 2006
Anyway, I should tell you what that book was called, because it is a good read: “The Silent Conspiracy - Inside The Intelligence Services in The 1990’s” by Stephen Dorril (editor of Lobster, a British journal about the security services). This book was published by Mandarin in January 1993 (ISBN No. 0-7493-1094-4), and I believe it is still available from Amazon. The paragraph that mentioned my case is the following:
“Victor Oshchenko, who served in London during the mid-seventies, had been based in Paris since October 1985. An economics counsellor in the Soviet embassy, who in his intelligence work specialised in science and technology, Oshchenko defected to MI6 in July 1992 when he was about to be exposed as a double agent. His defection led to the expulsion from France of four Russian embassy officials, following the break-up of a spy ring. In Britain, Oshchenko’s debriefing led to the arrest of a former systems sales manager at GEC-Marconi, Michael Smith, who was charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. In an exclusive in the Sunday Times, it was alleged that the GEC-Marconi employee was ‘a professional agent, highly trained in tradecraft’, who had passed secret defence details to the Russians. A row was said to be going on inside MI5 because in 1976 the Security Service had identified the man, who had gained a high security clearance while working for EMI, as a likely KGB mole. MI5 had known that he was a member of the Communist Party, but had failed to deny him access to sensitive defence material. Oshchenko was believed to have been the British mole’s case officer during the mid-seventies.” (page 444)
Guardian, 14/8/92 and 30/10/92.
Daily Telegraph, 13 and 14/8/92.
Sunday Times, 16/8/92 and 6/9/92.
In fact, I learned later that Mr Dorril was inconvenienced over the original paragraph in The Silent Conspiracy. The Attorney General made Mr Dorril withdraw the book and have it reprinted, because he objected to the book’s view that the Sunday Times article of 6 September 1992 was prejudicial to a fair trial - the article set out the prosecution case, including allegations with which I was not charged. I learned from my solicitor at trial, Mr Richard Jefferies, that shortly before this Sunday Times article had been printed a source had leaked the story to the press. Apparently this source had been fishing for somebody prepared to print it, and I believe the Guardian was also approached about the story, but in the end did not receive it.
Who would know sufficient information to leak a story like that, I wonder, especially as my case was sub judice? Even though I was not named specifically, who else could the article have referred to? The only organisations that had the information from which this story could be compiled were Special Branch and MI5, and this is just another part of the dirty tricks campaign I spoke of before. In the case of Stephen Dorril, he had to pay the price for identifying the underhanded methods used to get the prosecution story into the public domain - his book was censored. However, the real leakers of that story went un-named and unpunished - such is the rule and the spirit of the law in Britain.
Please, tell me I am wrong! I would love to be shown that I am the uninformed one in this matter. Come on all you MI5 and Special Branch smart-arses, explain to me how these stories get out into the press, and while you’re about it, explain how one of my wedding photos was published in The Sun newspaper? Does offering my private photographs to a newspaper mean that civil servants use this trick to supplement their pay, or possibly it helps to cement the police story in the public’s mind.
This photograph was used to promote a particularly nasty deception by the police, because they told my wife that the KGB had ordered me to marry her as a cover for spying. This is a complete fabrication, and there was no evidence whatsoever to even contemplate that this story might have been true. Unfortunately, because it came from the police, my wife eventually divorced me and even used it as one of her grounds during the divorce proceedings. So it was inexcusable for the police to tell my wife a lie, but even worse that they used one of my own photographs to sell that story to The Sun newspaper.
To continue. Below is one of the first letters I received from Stephen Dorril after I asked him for his help:
From: Stephen Dorril
2 July 1996
To: Michael John Smith
H.M.P. Full Sutton, York
Dear Michael Smith,
Thank you for your letter (26 June). I enclose two copies of Lobster which may be of interest (I am waiting for new copies of number 29 which contains a piece on your case - namely the evidence of the woman MI5 officer - I will forward this).
I, of course, remember your case with great interest and would like to help if I can. Unfortunately, at the moment I do not think that there is anything I can add to what you already know. I know no more about Victor Oshchenko than what has been reported in the press. All I can do is look out for anything which crops up on him and ask various people I know if they are aware of any further information. If any information does come up I will, of course, pass it on to you.
I wonder if it would be useful for Lobster to publish a version of your letter. There are some interesting subscribers in the intelligence world, journalism and among researchers on intelligence who may have come across something. I know that the details of your case, particularly the Oshchenko aspect, which was poorly covered in the press will be of interest. It may be a way of generating some further research.
I am currently putting together the next issue (over the next three weeks). It looks like you have access to a computer. A computer disc, if possible, would be the most convenient - Macintosh the best but Windows or DOS okay.
You may like to know that I was forced to withdraw my last book and have a page replaced because of your case (not your fault I may add). Unfortunately, the late James Rusbridger, in one of his mischievous actions - even after he sought my help on MI5 aspects of your case, suggested to the Attorney General that a paragraph in the book, Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, was in contempt of court. This was even though I was suggesting that the Sunday Times had written an article prejudicial to your defence. Unfortunately, the AG threatened to injunct the book unless it was removed from the shelves.
I would be pleased to help if I can.
Nearly four years later, when there had been more media coverage about the Melita Norwood case, Stephen Dorril finally found a newspaper article in which Viktor Oshchenko was mentioned, and he sent me a copy. The story was printed in The Times of 14 June 2000, and was titled “Extraordinary secrets of the KGB that took my breath away” by our old friend Professor Christopher Andrew. The relevant words were:
‘Since the publication of The Mitrokhin Archive last September, Viktor Oshchenko, a former senior officer in KGB scientific and technological intelligence, has passed on to me his recollections of the Norwood case. She was, he recalls, “a legendary case in the annals of the KGB - an important, determined and very valuable spy”.’