12 May 2010

Russian Spy case entry removed from Chambers website

This morning I note that the entry on 187 Fleet Street Chambers website about my case has been removed. This was the reference that was related to Gary Summers involvement with my case while he was a barrister at that Chambers.

However, Summers did not do any real work on my case while he was at these chambers, and my chance of an appeal failed because I was left without legal help to promote the new evidence I had found. Instead we have the false statements in my official trial records standing as "accurate", despite the fact that I have exposed the evidence of Professor Meirion Francis Lewis as false.

11 May 2010

187 Fleet Street Chambers Gary Summers case continued

Andrew Trollope QC Chambers has still not responded to my e-mail about why my case appears on the Home Page of their website as one of their "Notable Cases". Clearly the Clerks at 187 Fleet Street have ignored my approach to them. Perhaps Gary Summers has advised them to ignore me?

The logical next step is to write to individual barristers in the Chambers, and so I have just posted e-mails to the following lawyers: Jonathan Davies, Brian Reece, Irshad Sheikh, James Lachkovic, Terence Woods, Avirup Chaudhuri, Nicholas Barraclough, Warwick Aleeson, Dafna Spiro, Adam Butler, Pauline Thompson, Leon Kazakos, Emma Kurzner, James Rouse.

10 May 2010

Gary Summers and my case at 187 Fleet Street

Gary Summers did work on my case, although he spent hardly any time on it during his period in the Andrew Trollope QC Chambers at 187 Fleet Street. This is why I find it so puzzling that I appear as one of their "Notable Cases" on the Home Page of Trollope's website.

In my opinion this is a false claim. I have received no reply to the e-mail I sent to both 187 Fleet Street and Gary Summers (at 23 Essex Street Chambers). Perhaps they are not interested to reply, but ignoring my complaint is no way to resolve such an important matter.

Here is my e-mail to them:

To: chambers@187fleetstreet.com
cc: Gary Summers
From: Michael John Smith
Date: 6 May 2010
Subject: I am not one of your "Notable Cases"

Dear Sirs,

I only noticed today that you make claims on your website that my case of R -v- Michael John Smith was one of your "Notable Cases".

I beg to differ, because your then Junior Barrister Gary Summers let me down badly in supporting my submission to the CCRC, a submission which I had prepared myself. In fact I later discovered evidence that proved that the key exhibit in my case, a document dated January 1982, was made obsolete in 1984 (over 8 years before my arrest) and therefore could not have been used on ALARM missiles deployed in the 1991 Gulf War.

Gary Summers has a lot to answer for in failing to uncover this evidence prior to my trial, and then telling me that he could do nothing to make this exhibit a ground of Appeal in 1995. I now suspect that Gary Summers knew all along that the document was obsolete, but the Prosecution case would have collapsed had it been raised by my defence at my trial.

I am told that barristers and QCs quite regularly let the Prosecution win cases like this, particularly when the MoD and MI5 stand to have egg on their faces for producing false evidence at an Old Bailey trial.

Shame on all you lawyers there for letting your standards sink to the corrupt and unethical methods employed to convict me. I could and will say a lot more, but will start by publicising this on the Internet.

Yours sincerely,
Michael John Smith

08 May 2010

Gary Summers - my Defence barrister

Gary Summers

Gary Summers was my Junior Barrister and he was associated with my Official Secrets Act case over about a 14 year period between 1992 and 2006.

I was arrested in August 1992 and accused of trying to sell military information to "Russians". At the time I did not have the security clearance to have access to "secrets", and so the Prosecution had to present a case that was deliberately designed to exaggerate the value of the stuff I worked with. I still do not know everything that happened behind the scenes, but I was "set up" in a sting operation in which it was claimed I had known a man named Viktor. No surname was given - this name Viktor was mentioned in a phone call made to my home on the morning of my arrest - and it was later stated in Court that this "Viktor" was actually a Russian named Viktor Oshchenko, who was a Russian intelligence officer in London in the 1970s. I did know a Spaniard named Viktor at the time of my arrest, but that was pushed out of the case as irrelevant. Even Stella Rimington admitted in Court that MI5 had no evidence that I had ever met Oshchenko, but the Prosecution case was that I had known him and been recruited to the KGB by him.

This is where the role of Gary Summers becomes important, because two of the key aspects in my case could have been proven and helped me, but Gary Summers did not give these points the attention they deserved. Firstly, it was stated that I had gone to Oporto on a KGB training mission, and the evidence was that I had at my home a tourist map I had kept from a holiday in 1977 - the map was given to me by a camp site attendant, and it was marked to show bus stops and a restaurant used by me and the friend I was travelling with. Later, in 1999, Christopher Andrew mentioned in the book The Mitrokhin Archive that I had gone to Lisbon on a KGB training mission, not Oporto. Then, when the official MI5 history was published by Christopher Andrew in 2009, he left all mention of my visit to Portugal out of his book, because the real fact was that this evidence had been misrepresented in Court simply to gain my conviction.

Because of this claim about Oporto the Prosecution was allowed to call an anonymous witness - not connected in any way with me - he said he was sent on a KGB training mission to Lisbon in 1979 by a man named Viktor, and the suggestion was made to the jury that I must have been doing something similar.

You would have thought that Stella Rimington - a key witness at my trial - would have been keen to boast about her role in gaining my conviction. It is likely that she was promoted to Director of MI5 on the basis that she had been successful in prosecuting a major espionage case - the biggest in her time running the counter-espionage section of MI5. Well, I guess that Rimington must be ashamed of the false evidence she was responsible for introducing into my trial, because there is not one reference to me or my case in her autobiography Open Secret.

The second main issue raised at my trial was a document dated January 1982, which Professor Meirion Francis Lewis (an MoD scientist) then claimed was linked with ALARM missiles used in the 1991 Gulf War. I later learned, in 2007, that this document was in fact made obsolete in 1984 (8 years before my arrest) and there was no chance it could have been used on any ALARM missiles, but this matter was never resolved because nobody was willing to admit the truth.

After my conviction in 1993, largely because I had no access to experts who knew the truth, I was sentenced to 25 years in prison. At my appeal in 1995 I wanted Gary Summers to make a main ground of appeal on the point that the document had not been used on ALARM missiles (although at that time it was only a gut-feeling I had), but he told me that there was no expert who could help us. The issue about Portugal was likewise brushed aside as a fair matter to have been raised by the Prosecution at my trial. The only gain I won at my appeal was a reduction in sentence from 25 to 20 years.

Later, in 1998, I made an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and in 2003 I asked Gary Summers to help me make a further submission with the evidence I had discovered myself (which should have been used at my appeal in 1995). Gary made a few suggestions, but did very little himself to improve my submission. It wasn't until 2008, after a period of 10 years, that the CCRC finally rejected my application that my trial had been unfair.

It was only after a lot of thinking through what has happened to me, and the advice given to me by an ex-policeman, John Alexander Symonds, that I have come to realise that my Defence lawyers did far less than they should have done to challenge all the false evidence presented by the CPS, which was responsible for my conviction. Mr Symonds has told me how it was common practice during his time in the Police that the lawyers would work with the Police to make sure they got their convictions.

Towards the end of my relationship with Gary Summers I was pushing harder to get to the truth, and it was at this point that he suddenly dropped me and told me that he didn't want to be involved any more in my case. Perhaps he realised that I was getting too close to the truth and might uncover evidence that was undeniable, which I have in effect done. But this experience has taught me not to trust the majority of lawyers in the UK.

As far as Gary Summers is concerned, he appears to have moved around quite a lot in the time I have known him. In 1992, when I first came into contact with him, he was working in the Chambers of Rock Tansey QC (then at 3 Grays Inn Square). He continued in Rock Tansey's Chambers when he handled my appeal in 1995

When I later tried to contact Summers in 1997, I discovered that he had left the Bar and become a solicitor, and was working at Magrath & Co. In 2003, when I next contacted Summers to help me with my CCRC submission, I found he had gone back to being a barrister and was working in the Andrew Trollope QC Chambers at 187 Fleet Street.

I later tried to contact Summers and found he had moved to 7 Bedford Row, now the Simeon Maskrey QC Chambers. A little while later I discovered that Gary Summers was working at No. 5 Chambers, run by Ralph Lewis QC. In about the past year Summers seems to have moved on yet again, and is now listed in the Simon Russell Flint QC Chambers at 23 Essex Street.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I discovered (from my trial solicitor Richard Jefferies) that Gary Summers was the one responsible for giving the advice that the final payment should not be made to purchase shares in the electricity companies, which I was in the process of buying at the time of my arrest. As a result of that advice I lost thousands of pounds of my assets.

07 May 2010

Electorate denied votes but what about prisoners votes?

So, a number of people on the electoral register were denied the opportunity to vote in yesterday UK elections. Well, tough luck I say.

Talk to those who live in British prisons, and who also wanted to vote in the elections yesterday. They did not even have the chance to register for a vote. When the point is raised about being unable to vote in Britain's national elections, we are talking about ordinary people's human rights. We all have human rights, including those who reside in Britain's prisons.

I thought the issue of a prisoner's right to vote was going to be resolved this year, following the decision by the European Court of human rights. What is the point of talking about democracy in distant lands, when we do not have it at home?

I guess I was right to make my own stand by refusing to register on the electoral register. Why participate in an undemocratic system, with its lack of proportional representation? It is better to remain free and not be contaminated by an unfair system.

06 May 2010

Gary Summers case at Andrew Trollope 187 Fleet Street Chambers

Gary Summers has no right to advertise my case on the home page of Andrew Trollope QC’s website for the 187 Fleet Street Chambers. Here is the entry that presents my case as one of their ‘Notable Cases’:

Smith (last Russian Spy case)

What work did this Chambers actually do in promoting my case? I approached Gary Summers in 2003, and he gave me some advice on how to prepare an additional submission to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He looked through what I had written and made a few suggestions, which I added. All he really did next was to send the documents to a solicitor friend, Neill Blundell, who interfaced with the CCRC to lodge the submission with them.

In other words I did nearly all of the real work in making my submission to the CCRC, and I fail to see how the Andrew Trollope Chambers can possibly claim any credit for handling my case?

The CCRC made a provisional decision in 2006 to reject my case, which I was determined to contest, as it left many of my points effectively unanswered or not satisfactorily dealt with. I was then astonished that Gary Summers and Neill Blundell both suddenly withdrew from my case in September 2006, knowing that it was still unresolved. It makes me wonder who was pulling their strings.