Thursday, 8th July, 1993
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: Tradecraft is next, is it?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: My Lord, that relates to the evidence of Mrs. C and Mr.
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: I think it might be helpful if you dealt with your two remaining points,
tradecraft and Mr. E as you are addressing me at the same time.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: Yes. My submission is that body of evidence - Mrs. C, Gordievsky
and Mr. E - should be heard in camera because to disclose it would be prejudicial to national safety
because it would disclose the inner workings of the Security Service and, in particular, how agents
are handled and the techniques of the Russian Intelligence Service and its predecessor. In our
submission this evidence involves laying bare a storehouse of knowledge about the tradecraft of
hostile intelligence agencies.
My learned friend has made it quite plain that the issue in regard to tradecraft is, or maybe: does this
tradecraft signify that the defendant was dealing with the Russians, or is this tradecraft which might
indicate dealing with a large number of other persons? So, this is a very live issue in the case and, as
I understand from what my learned friend has said, it will require investigation in order to deal with
the issue which he has already postulated.
One can envisage questions about how Mrs. C acquired her knowledge, her career and questions
which might indirectly lead to her being identified. In our submission an investigation of that area in
public might lead to significant impairment of the operational efficiency of the Security Services
involving, as it does, an examination in detail of the training and techniques of Mrs. C and people
employed in a similar capacity, and the modus operandi of agent handling by various hostile
intelligence services and disclosure of that knowledge in public would assist those who would wish
to injure the UK.
In our submission it might well tend to identify Mrs. C because details of her professional life and
knowledge might emerge and that might put her life at risk from organisations hostile to this country.
Can I briefly refer the Court to the certificate of the former Home Secretary, dated 28th April,
which I placed in front of the Court on a previous occasion. I refer particularly to paragraph three.
MR. JUSTICE BLOFELD: Have I still got it, or did I hand it back to you? (Copy handed)
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL: On page one he sets out the function of the security services under
the 89 Security Services Act and, over the page at paragraph three, he says in the middle of
paragraph three that normally the work of the security services does not give rise to their appearing
in court and says,
The disclosure of, or evidence about, the identity of members of the service, including their physical
appearance, could substantially impair their capability to perform tasks assigned to them and could
in the case of past as well as serving members put their lives at risk. The disclosure of information
about the organisation, procedures and capabilities of the service could substantially impair its
operational efficiency. In particular, any disclosure of these matters would be of value to terrorist