INTERVIEW 14 ~ TAPE 26

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         11th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        17:27   Time concluded:           17:55

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  This interview is being tape-recorded. I am Detective Sergeant Stephen Beels, New Scotland Yard, attached to Special Branch. The other officer is ...

 

MacLeod:  I am Detective Superintendent Malcolm McLeod from Special Branch at New Scotland Yard.

 

Beels:  And you are Sir ...

 

Smith:  Mr Michael Smith.

 

Beels:  And you are Sir ...

 

Solicitor:  Richard Jefferies, solicitor, Tuckers Solicitors.

 

Beels:  We are in the Interview Room No. 2 at Paddington Green Police Station. At the end of this interview, Mr Smith, I will give you a form explaining your rights of access to a copy of the tape. The date is the 11th August 1992, the time is 5:27 pm. I must caution you that you do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but what you say may be given in evidence. Do you understand Mr Smith?


 

 

 

Smith:  Yes I do.

 

Beels:  Do you agree that the tapes were unsealed in your presence?

 

Smith:  Yes I do.

 

Beels:  And.

 

MacLeod:  Thank you very much. Mr Smith, in the previous interview you spoke of having been approached by the man Harry back in 1990?

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  Yeah. Can you tell me just a little bit more about him. In terms of what sort of person was he? Can you describe him as a person?

 

Smith:  I thought Iíd done that.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, but yes. I would just like to hear for myself. I mean, you know, if you could ...

 

Smith:  Well, as I said, he was a, sort of, a matter of fact person, not, not being very elaborate in his discussions with me.

 

MacLeod:  Uh, uh.

 

Smith:  Very much getting to the point of what he was interested in, and not wanting to discuss things socially.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm. Did he say how he got to, how he got your name?


 

 

 

Smith:  No, he didnít. I canít actually remember if I if I asked him that question or not, but I did have the feeling that he had targeted me for some reason.

 

MacLeod:  Did he telephone you at work? How did he make contact with you in the first place, was it a telephone call?

 

Smith:  He telephoned me at work.

 

MacLeod:  And did he ask for you by Christian name, or surname?

 

Smith:  Yes, I think he asked me, he knew my name.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm. And just, so Iíve got it clear in my own mind. On that first occasion, you didnít react to that approach?

 

Smith:  No, thatís not true. I did react, because he asked me to go to a public house.

 

MacLeod:  Oh, I see.

 

Smith:  Called the Preston, and I decided to, because it was the approach he made, was not in the first instance suspicious, it was talking about a business venture. I had, I mentioned on the tape before being approached by companies before. I think Iím on a mailing list for that type of activity, people who are interested in setting up businesses, or approaching business ventures. But they tend to be pyramid selling, or people who want to get involved in time share, and all that sort of nonsense, so I tend not to follow them up. But this man seemed, seemed to be saying that


 

 

 

nothing like that was involved.

 

MacLeod:  So what was the first conversation. Can you recall what that conversation, how it started off, and how did he introduce himself to you?

 

Smith:  Well, he started by just, sort of, generally discussing the nature of the work at HRC. I didnít really want to get involved too much in that, but he seemed to know more about it than he should have done, and based on that I listened to what he had to say.

 

MacLeod:  And did you reach an understanding, there and then, that you were ...

 

Smith:  No, I didnít. I wasnít, I was not convinced by his persuasive approach. I didnít particularly want to get involved in anything like that, and I told him I didnít think Iíd be interested.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm.

 

Smith:  But he did, he did say, ďwell Iíll phone you back in a day or two and see if you can, if you want to reconsiderĒ.

 

MacLeod:  So what persuaded you to change your mind?

 

Smith:  The way he presented it, was such that there was, there was no danger to me, because that was my first consideration. But he mentioned a client, who he didnít name, would be interested in some activities at Hirst


 

 

 

Research Centre. I got the impression that it was more of a commercial, the level of commercial success that theyíd had in certain fields, than to really have a whole package of information on one project.

 

MacLeod:  So he wasnít, what youíre saying, he didnít specify what it was they were looking for?

 

Smith:  At that stage he didnít specify exactly what he was interested in, no.

 

MacLeod:  So, more or less, asked you to do what? I donít want to put words in your mouth, but was it that he was expecting you to do a general trawl, or just to ...

 

Smith:  No, no. I, he did mention a couple of specific things.

 

MacLeod:  Oh, right.

 

Smith:  He said, this was at the second meeting that we had.

 

MacLeod:  Can you recall what those specific areas were?

 

Smith:  He specifically seemed interested in micro-electronics, which at that time was not really being progressed at Hirst Research Centre. It was, it was dying, or already died, or moved to other sites, and I didnít tell him that in detail, but I gave him the impression that yes, it was, it was still up and running there. And he said, ďwell, could you get me some information, and Iíll pay you some moneyĒ.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So it wasnít, apart from him asking you, or tasking you to obtain information in relation to micro-electronics, just across a broad area, or was it in a specific ...

 

Smith:  No, it wasnít very specific at that stage. Micro-electronics seemed to be the thing he was interested in.

 

MacLeod:  I see.

 

Smith:  I suppose the silicon chip type of activity.

 

MacLeod:  You say he wasnít particularly specific at that stage. Did he become more specific?

 

Smith:  He did as time went on, but I couldnít provide him with the information he wanted, because it wasnít available to me.

 

MacLeod:  Do you mean, it wasnít available to you because you didnít have access to it, or it just, just didnít exist?

 

Smith:  It was, it was not available, because it was either in locked filing cabinets, it was in rooms which I didnít have access to, or to parts of the company that I didnít normally go to. I only had access to a limited amount of information, that was in my immediate vicinity.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Yes, thatís the point I was trying to make. I mean, that information was within the knowledge of the company?

 

Smith:  Thatís right.

 

MacLeod:  Yeah. But the information that was, that you did have access to, what sort of information did you give him then?

 

Smith:  Well, it was, as far as the company was concerned, it was in the public domain. It wasnít restricted to any particular area, it was, theyíre open documents that people could ask to see, to take away, they were in our internal library system, there was nothing locked away. So I didnít have access to, to any restricted documents for instance.

 

MacLeod:  So some of these documents, what youíre saying, was within the general domain?

 

Smith:  Within the company, yes.

 

MacLeod:  Within the company, but not within the public domain, is that ...

 

Smith:  Not outside Hirst, of course, but the sort of documents that anybody within Hirst could go and look at.

 

MacLeod:  Yeah.

 

Smith:  Because they were there.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  What sort of control was there over these, this information within the company. Were there any sort of instructions laid down, regarding the handling of this information?

 

Smith:  No, it was, as I say, it was unclassified, and the only restriction was that it shouldnít be given to outsiders, outside GEC.

 

MacLeod:  So how often did you meet him?

 

Smith:  It was approximately every 3 months.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm. And was he paying you at the time? Obviously.

 

Smith:  It was at the time, but not every time. I think, I think there were no more than about 8 meetings. But he probably paid me on no more than 5 occasions.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm. And how much did that amount to altogether?

 

Smith:  Well, this is what I was asked before. I donít, I didnít ever add it up.

 

MacLeod:  No, no, but ...

 

Smith:  Because it was coming in, in bits and pieces.

 

MacLeod:  Approximately?


 

 

 

Smith:  I would say in the region of £12,000.

 

MacLeod:  That must obviously have been very important information to them, to have paid that kind of money to you?

 

Smith:  I donít know. I personally did not think it was important, because the information was either obsolete, certainly the documents I was giving him were not the current documents. In many cases, they were some old documents I had in my own filing cabinet, which I knew, I know were at least 1 or 2 issues out of date. I felt he was accepting them at face value, when in fact, I knew I was giving him something less than he thought he was getting.

 

MacLeod:  But for that kind of arrangement to continue, one would have thought that they would have been aware of the value of the information, if it was out-dated. It suggests to me, that the information was information that was considered to be valuable to the end user.

 

Smith:  Well, over this period of time, he was becoming increasingly frustrated with me for not giving him more useful information, and thatís what eventually terminated the relationship. He felt that I wasnít, or couldnít, give him any more useful information, because Iíd actually exhausted everything I had, and likewise I didnít really want to continue any longer either.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  I think we all know who we are talking about, was he putting you under, sort of, undue pressure?

 

Smith:  No, I donít think I can say that. He was, the way he was presenting it was, that here was a good opportunity for you to make some extra cash for very little work.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, easy cash, granted, and probably it was easy for you to obtain that. But did it not occur to you, it must have been considered to have been highly valuable, in whatever context, to the end-user?

 

Smith:  I didnít consider it valuable, not within the nature of the work that Iíd seen. It was not that valuable, and I canít, I honestly, I believe if you look at the sort of things going on elsewhere, in other countries like the States, Hirst Research work is 2 or 3 years behind, I think. In certain fields, and in this field particularly, GEC has pulled out of some technologies, because they just couldnít compete, because the Americans and the Japanese are way ahead. So I felt, in a way, well, if GECís not very interested in funding it, then they canít be very worried about it being valuable information.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, I understand the point youíre making, but that information that you say that GEC, that information ceased to become valuable to GEC, this is what youíre saying, because the Americans and other competitors were producing a better quality product.


 

 

 

Smith:  Or they had managed to overcome production problems. Mainly itís a production problem, I think, in achieving good quality reliable results with high yields. Because in this field, I mean, it is very important to get a good output from the production facility, or individual integrated circuits are too expensive to buy. So we, in GEC, had achieved something like 1% yield, or something of that order, very low yields. In places like America, itís, you know, 30%, 40%, 50%, I mean, they have it cracked, so I didnít feel that what GEC was doing was particularly valuable in that context.

 

MacLeod:  So, was the decision by GEC, to cease production of these systems, was the GEC decision, do you think, based on the financial costs?

 

Smith:  Itís largely the fact, they didnít ...

 

MacLeod:  Rather than the validity of the information, or the quality of the systems?

 

Smith:  No, they hadnít resolved their technical problems, and because it would cost so much money to put it right. I think, the head of the company, Weinstock, has decided to cut his losses and get out, or rather, thereís been an amalgamation with Plessey, and I think they are now doing most of the work that Hirst used to do, and Iíve no knowledge of that because


 

 

 

Iíve never been there.

 

MacLeod:  It still strikes me as odd, that they would carry on paying you large sums of money, for a product that was, if you like, out of date?

 

Smith:  I wouldnít. It may not have looked out of date, I think, that they didnít find out that until later on, and probably realised it wasnít as useful as. This is why I think it was, they were unhappy with what I gave them.

 

MacLeod:  So, they were looking to you providing something better than you were producing?

 

Smith:  Well, I think they always felt, maybe there would be something better coming along, but it didnít happen.

 

MacLeod:  So your relationship finished when? With this Ö

 

Smith:  In April this year.

 

MacLeod:  April this year. And where was the last meeting?

 

Smith:  Where?

 

MacLeod:  The last meeting. Where did you actually meet this man Harry?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  It was in Harrow, I believe.

 

MacLeod:  Can you remember whereabouts in Harrow?

 

Smith:  In, in, on a pedestrian area.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Did you ever meet him anywhere else, in that particular area?

 

Smith:  In Harrow, no.

 

MacLeod:  Oh well, I mean ...

 

Smith:  Well, in South Harrow though ...

 

MacLeod:  Yes.

 

Smith:  Ö thereís a tube station at, I donít know what the areaís called, but itís in the South Harrow area, and I met him there in the street, by the shops in the shopping area.

 

MacLeod:  So was it always in the shopping areas where you met, or did you meet him anywhere else?

 

Smith:  He liked to meet in, sort of, public places, which didnít look too conspicuous.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm. So, if I can just recap. You met in Harrow, you met in South Harrow, I think you told the officers earlier on, that you, Sudbury Town?


 

 

 

Smith:  Iím not. I canít remember if thatís it, or Sudbury Hill, Iím not sure.

 

MacLeod:  No, well, whatever. In the Sudbury area?

 

Smith:  In Greenford Road.

 

MacLeod:  Greenford, yes. In a moment, Iíll show you a map, because Iím quite interested in knowing where these meetings took place. But, before I do that, did all of these meetings take place within roughly a, sort of, if you like, a 2 to 3 mile radius of GEC?

 

Smith:  Yes, it was all quite close to GEC.

 

MacLeod:  And, these meetings were during the daytime, or evening?

 

Smith:  On one occasion it was in the evening, on my way home from work. That was the first meeting, was in Sudbury Town.

 

MacLeod:  And if you werenít able to make a meeting, how would Harry know?

 

Smith:  Well, it never arose. We never ...

 

MacLeod:  Did Harry ever give you a contact number?

 

Smith:  He didnít, no.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So you ...

 

Smith:  Well, I think Harry didnít want me to know very much about him.

 

MacLeod:  And you didnít know what Harryís surname was?

 

Smith:  In fact, I donít think Harry was his real name. I think it was just a name he used.

 

MacLeod:  I am quite interested in this Harry. Can you just give me an idea of his description, I think you gave earlier on. Heís a man in his, what?

 

Smith:  Heís about 50. Iím guessing heís older than I am, but itís difficult with age to say exactly how old. I think about 50.

 

MacLeod:  And what sort of build would you say?

 

Smith:  Iíd say stocky, well built, with wide shoulders.

 

MacLeod:  And the hair?

 

Smith:  Greying. I canít remember if he had any, it was like pepper and salt, and there was certainly quire a lot of grey in his hair. It was receding and swept back, combed back.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And what about the suit and the dress. What did he ...

 

Smith:  He always seemed to wear a suit, but it wasnít always the same one. But the one he wore mostly was a medium grey colour, with a sort of fleck in it, which made it ...

 

MacLeod:  Yes, and was he tied, or was he opened necked?

 

Smith:  He wore a tie. He looked quite professional.

 

MacLeod:  So, on the face of it, he would appear like a professional man?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Can you remember any description of the tie for example?

 

Smith:  He always wore plain ties, but I ...

 

MacLeod:  You canít remember any detail?

 

Smith:  It would have been plain blue, or black something. It wasnít something that Iíd particularly ...

 

MacLeod:  It wasnít striking?

 

Smith:  No.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  He didnít wear this type of ...

 

Smith:  Oh, nothing, no, no. He was very much a ...

 

MacLeod:  Conservative?

 

Smith:  Conservative type, yes.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Ok. So, this whole business about the information that was being passed on from GEC. So far as you were concerned, it was information that was unclassified?

 

Smith:  Certainly unclassified, and I didnít regard any of it as being. I would expect any company who were in the same field, would at least be up to the level of what Hirst Research were doing.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Hirst Research carry out, sort of, sub-contract work for the government?

 

Smith:  Thatís true.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. What contracts would Hirst GEC, Hirst Research, correction, involved in when you were there, and what information relating to these contracts did you get?

 

Smith:  Over the whole period?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well, yes. I mean, well yes.

 

Smith:  The main area for MoD contracts, to my knowledge, was in, I think we mentioned before, Arthur Dyerís Laboratory, which is called Device Applications Laboratory. They carried out work on crystals and oscillators and SAW filters -S A W Filters - which are special, they are quite a specialist unit in this country, and at least one of the projects goes towards Trident, and other contracts go towards some MoD contracts, I know they have at the moment, but Iím not aware of what those contracts are, because I donít actually go into that laboratory, apart from on a very limited basis.

 

MacLeod:  But it was still within your access level to see that kind of information?

 

Smith:  No, no, it was not. No, I, I had the feeling I was not allowed in there, because I was always shied away from it. The man on our side, who used to visit that area, was called Bill Tatham, who is an ex-MoD man from AQUILA. And he used to come one day a week, and he used to spend as a consultant, spend time in that laboratory doing work on the Trident and the oscillators, on behalf of the company.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And did you ever try to get access to that part of ...

 

Smith:  Well, I had access. I could walk in and out of there. But the access I had, was purely on, sort of, general laboratory procedures. I didnít discuss in any detail, because they wouldnít want, in fact when I had some meetings with them, they said well we canít discuss those things, so we didnít really discuss anything technical on the projects.

 

MacLeod:  So, as a quality audit manager, how would you have been able to carry out your work, without having access to those other ...

 

Smith:  Because itís not necessary in my work. I, I only look in general at things, and if specifics come up itís usually in a very narrow part of the work, just to follow a line of audit enquiry, why did something happen, can you show a record of this, was that equipment calibrated that the test was done with. To follow it through in a microcosm, if you like, just to show that by taking a slice through the cake you can see thereís cherries all the way through it. I, thatís what it was for, not to show if I could understand, or react to everything that was being done in an area. Because


 

 

 

our audits, as I explained before, are rather short affairs, lasting certainly not more than 2 hours, and usually one to one and a half hours. In that time there just isnít sufficient time to elaborate on anything.

 

MacLeod:  This work, was that carried out by you, or did you have a team of people working for you?

 

Smith:  Well, there was a team of auditors. I was the one who managed the programme, but there were 5 other auditors, including Bill Tatham. So, sometimes I would be the main auditor, sometimes it would be somebody else. We usually worked in pairs.

 

MacLeod:  Had they, what do you think they would have thought, if they knew you were taking information out of the company?

 

Smith:  I think they would be upset. Thatís why I resisted actually declaring this to you yesterday.

 

MacLeod:  The work that was being carried out on behalf of, or, the contract work that was being carried out in respect of Trident, were there any elements of that, that were carried out by the work under your control, albeit of an unclassified ...


 

 

 

Smith:  On Trident. No, I never saw any documentation on Trident. It was all locked in one of the security cabinets in the documentation area. In fact, there was a very, quite a strict way of releasing that document to an individual, it had to be signed for, and it had to be agreed by the laboratory manager Arthur Dyer, that that person could have that document. And I didnít have access to any of those documents.

 

MacLeod:  What about the Rapier System?

 

Smith:  I donít believe that was part of the work with Hirst. I had never heard that before.

 

MacLeod:  So you wouldnít have access to the, any material relating to Rapier?

 

Smith:  Well, Iím not sure that that work was carried on at Hirst. If it is, then Iím certainly not aware of it.

 

MacLeod:  When Harry, When you met him on those occasions, was he generally, I know later on he became a little bit dissatisfied with what you were producing, but up to then, had he been reasonably satisfied with ...?

 

Smith:  Well, in the early days he seemed to be, but I donít know if he was just playing me along, and saying youíre doing a good job, but he never commented very much


 

 

 

in the early days. He just accepted the first couple of times.

 

MacLeod:  Did he come with a list of things that he wanted you to do, or was it left to you to just to find out?

 

Smith:  He did say, ďcould you give me a bit more information on such and suchĒ, but I didnít always come up with what he was asking. In many ways I just gave him what I saw, and not, I didnít actually look very deeply, I must admit. I just took the easy path, well this is there, Iíll give him that, and if he wasnít happy, as long as he gave me the money, I didnít care.

 

MacLeod:  But, obviously, it must have been considered of some value to him, because to obtain over the 2 year period information which they considered to be important enough to pay you £12,000, surely you would have to have ...

 

Smith:  I say, I think it might have been £12,000, but I canít be absolutely ...

 

MacLeod:  Approximately, give or take a thousand pounds either way, but you would agree, it must have been considered to be fairly important?

 

Smith:  Well, I donít know, I really couldnít judge that, because I donít know who their client was, this client that Harry mentioned.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So this, those payments that you were receiving. Do I understand you correctly, that those were the monies that were being paid into your Building Society account, in cash payments?

 

Smith:  No. I, I donít, well I might have put some of it in that way, but most of it I spent as cash, thatís why I was embarrassed by the TSC quotation invoice.

 

MacLeod:  Because, yes, I mean, you saw it earlier on today, and it showed regular payments, cash payments over a period of time, which we canít reconcile with the monies, withdrawals, or credit transfers from your main account.

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  So, I mean ...

 

Smith:  This is the point Iím making. Is that this money was the money which I was spending, which wasnít coming up on my account.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Right. Ok. And, I have to say, itís this man Harry Iím particularly interested to know a bit more about. Did Harry ever have a car, how did you actually meet?


 

 

 

Smith:  I never saw Harry with a car. He was, I always met him in the street. I presumed either he came by public transport, or he left a car somewhere nearby.

 

Beels:  Ok. The tape is now coming to an end. I am just going to switch off the machine. The time is 5:55 pm.

 


 

 

 

INTERVIEW 14 ~ TAPE 27

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         11th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        17:56   Time concluded:           17:58

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  The time is 5:56 pm continuing the interview with Mr Smith. Mr Smith, I must remind you, you do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so but what you say may be given in evidence. Ok.

 

Smith:  I understand

 

MacLeod:  So coming back to Harry. As I say, I am particularly interested to know a bit more about him. You say he doesnít use a car, or he didnít?

 

Smith:  Well I, well, I never saw him with a car.

 

MacLeod:  You never saw him, and he was always alone?

 

Smith:  Definitely, always alone. Unless there was somebody nearby, but I wasnít aware of anybody else.

 

MacLeod:  And, so, yes, Ok, fair enough. Did Harry ever say anything about himself, where he was?

 

Smith:  Our meeting was extremely brief, it was very factual and to the point.

 

MacLeod:  What sort of accent did he have?

 

Smith:  He was definitely English in accent. I mean, I ...


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Yes I know, London, Yorkshire?

 

Smith:  No. He was, he had the sort of accent I considered, there was no accent there. Which I take to mean, that he speaks like people Iím normally with. Which would put him, I think, around London, or the South-East.

 

MacLeod:  Quite an educated man, would you say?

 

Smith:  Definitely. I mean, he was a prof... I would have put him in a professional class.

 

MacLeod:  And did he say what he did himself?

 

Smith:  No, he didnít want to discuss himself at all. He didnít want me to know anything about him. I must admit, I didnít probe him on that point.

 

MacLeod:  Did you find it suspicious, that he didnít want to talk?

 

Smith:  No, because he, I took it that he was doing a professional job, in some way, in what he was doing, it was a role he played.

 

MacLeod:  And he didnít say who his, who he was working for?

 

Smith:  I did initially ask him that, because I was anxious that any information I gave him wouldnít be traceable to me.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  How would you describe him as a person. Was he a, sort of, easy to get on with, sort of individual?

 

Smith:  Very easy. Very persuasive. A sort of, he could have been a salesman, it was that sort of personality.

 

MacLeod:  Did he, did you go for meals together, or was it always ...?

 

Smith:  Not, it was always in the street, very ...

 

MacLeod:  You never went for a drink, or ...?

 

Smith:  No, nothing.

 

MacLeod:  So it was very much a Ö

 

Smith:  We, we ...

 

[Tape jammed in machine]

 


 

 

 

INTERVIEW 14 ~ TAPE 28

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         11th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        18:00   Time concluded:           18:29

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  This is continuing the interview with Mr Michael Smith. The time now is 6 oíclock, 6 pm. exactly. At approximately 5:58 pm, the tape machine stopped for no apparent reason, perhaps a mechanical defect. After approximately one minute, with the agreement of Mr Smith and Mr Jefferies, his solicitor, we have changed the tapes. The previous 2 tapes are bagged and exhibited as SJB/33 for future reference, and the new tapes which are running, and the time now is 6:01 pm. Mr Smith you are still under caution.

 

Smith:  Yes, I understand.

 

MacLeod:  Right, if we can. I do apologise for that. I mean, if we can just recap again, on the points I was asking. As I say, I am particularly interested in this man Harry. If you can just once again, I think I did ask you, if he had a car?

 

Smith:  I was not aware he had a car, but I donít, that doesnít mean that he didnít have one. I did not see him in a car, or with a car.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And he struck you as being a sort of professional type of person?

 

Smith:  A professional, I said. I thought he could be a salesman type of person.

 

MacLeod:  Right, and during these meetings, he was always unaccompanied?

 

Smith:  To my knowledge, or awareness, he was not with anybody else.

 

MacLeod:  Would you describe him as a reasonably easy person to get on with?

 

Smith:  Extremely easy to talk to, and a persuasive manner. A likable sort of person. Not very, difficult to break below the surface of what he presented to me.

 

MacLeod:  And did he ever give any indication as, who he was working for, what company or organisation he represented?

 

Smith:  No. He would only say, that he mentioned the cust... or the client, that he was working for, as being interested in the commercial aspects of Hirst Research, and the rate of progress they were making on certain work. It was, I thought, more to see if Hirst was better or worse than his client, and thatís partly assumption on my part.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So, when you were taking the, if you like, the information, to Harry, what sort of form did you take it in?

 

Smith:  It was ...

 

MacLeod:  Did you take photocopies, or original documents?

 

Smith:  There were some originals, but the originals were documents that I had in my possession, that would not be missed, and I didnít need them for my own benefit, the company didnít need them, and I saw no reason to copy those, but, and that was, I would say, the bulk of what I gave him. The, some of the other documents I photocopied, from copies which I could find in our documentation library. I was selective about it, I didnít give him everything, and photocopying them was quite easy in the normal course of my work. I didnít think there was anything, I didnít create any suspicion, I think, that I was doing anything abnormal.

 

MacLeod:  So, you were actually just taking documents, already under your control, home with you in a briefcase?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Did you ever make any notes or sketches?


 

 

 

Smith:  I made a few notes and sketches, I believe, but not many. In fact, a lot of the work I do involves taking notes anyway, I mean, the process of doing the auditing involved a lot of note taking, from which I prepared very simple reports. But the note taking was about the nature of the work, the sort of things that would come in useful on the next audit round, you know: is this still the same, are you still working on that project, is it still the status? And I, and some of the other auditors, used to keep notes on our audits. Because I was no longer there, my notes are unreadable by anybody else, so I tended to throw them away when I left.

 

MacLeod:  Can you remember when it was, in 1990, that Harry actually got in touch with you. Can you remember, roughly the date?

 

Smith:  It could have been the end of January or, beginning of February it was.

 

MacLeod:  It was early on in 1990?

 

Smith:  Very early on, but it was quite a long time after the Christmas break, but I canít be precise now. Because I didnít keep a record of that.

 

MacLeod:  Can I get it clear. It was 1990, and not 1991?


 

 

 

Smith:  1981?

 

MacLeod:  1991

 

Smith:  No, no. Definitely 1990, because the relationship went on for more than 2 years.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Because the reason I ask that, is because the monies that we spoke about earlier, that appear to be paid into your building society account, continued right throughout this year, in fact right up to - I beg your pardon. Can I ask you, after a period, did you actually move your bank or your building society?

 

Smith:  Iíve never, no. Iíve had that account since Ė no, I have changed my account. Because, as you are aware, building societies keep changing their interest rates, and I opened an Instant Saver Account from my 5 Star Account at the Abbey National, about, I think, a year ago, but it just it moved the money from one account to another, nothing substantially changed. But I have had an account of some sort, only one account, with the Abbey National since 1977.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, you had the account first of all at the Abbey National up at Wembley, is that right.


 

 

 

Smith:  Thatís correct, thatís when I had the 5 Star Account.

 

MacLeod:  Right.

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  And then in early, around March 1991, you opened the account in Kingston.

 

Smith:  Thatís correct. The reason I have described, is because the interest rates were better on the Instant Saver.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Ok. Thatís fine. And throughout 1991 these payments that were made, that was consistent with monies that were coming from, the payments that were coming from Harry?

 

Smith:  Into where?

 

MacLeod:  Throughout 1991.

 

Smith:  I made cheque payments into my account, mainly cheque payments from my NatWest account.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, but the money that was paid to you by Harry ...

 

Smith:  I spent that in shops, and Ö


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Because there were those payments, deposits, cash deposits throughout 1991.

 

Beels:  I think Sir, you might be under the impression that in the previous interview, with DC Say, that we went into detail with his accounts. Because of what was said during that interview, we didnít actually manage to get down to detail. So I think youíre making assumptions at the moment, which perhaps are confusing Mr Smith.

 

MacLeod:  Oh, Iíve no intention, or wish to do that. Right. So, suffice it to say. Up to, when, April this year, you were in touch with Harry.

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Thatís fine.

 

Smith:  I think Aprilís the last time I saw him.

 

MacLeod:  Iíve no wish to ...

 

Smith:  If you wish to show me the ...

 

MacLeod:  No. Iíve no wish to labour that, because ...

 

Smith:  Ö the Abbey National account, I can talk you through what payments, actually ...

 

MacLeod:  I mean, I think weíve covered that, and youíve given a satisfactory explanation for that. I think we can see,


 

 

 

there were various deposits at different periods, of £200 on average, going in. Was that the monies that were being paid, or the payments which were handed to you?

 

Smith:  Not, not, I was not putting cash into my Abbey National account very often. The main payments were coming from cheques, which I paid in from my NatWest account.

 

MacLeod:  Ok.

 

Smith:  I tended to take a cheque in, and just pay it in. So they transferred the money, from the one account to the building society account.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Ok. I mean, I have no wish to labour that, because I think you have answered satisfactorily the point I am getting at. Right. So, that was up till April of this year. And there hasnít been any further contact since?

 

Smith:  No. We, it was mutually agreed, that there was no further point in our continuing that relationship.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm, Mmm. So when you left GEC, when, about 2 weeks back there.

 

Smith:  Yes.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  You say that you took, in a previous interview you intimated that you took, some papers with you that you had in your desk?

 

Smith:  Yes. It was mainly because I hadnít had time to sort everything out. Iíd left it too late, and the last day was hectic, because people wanted to say goodbye, and all that sort of thing. I was actually at the office longer than Iíd intended, and, in fact, my ex-boss, Dennis Barlow, was I think, the last person to see me. It must have been about 6 oíclock, I think, and I actually left at 7, and ended up just throwing some things, I hadnít sorted out, into some plastic shopping bags, you know. I walked out with it, and talked to the man at the desk, telling him the sad story Iíd been made redundant, and handed my pass back, and took it home. In fact, Iíve thrown some of that stuff away now, now Iíve had a chance to sort through it, but I was aware that there was a number of documents relating to some of the projects, that a previous colleague of mine had worked on back in the early 80s, and I think some notes Iíd made from my audit work. I did intend to dispose of it, because itís not really of any interest to me.

 

MacLeod:  Well, why couldnít you have just put it in the confidential waste bin, before leaving the premises.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  I explained. Iíve never actually done that. Iíve never used the shredder that they have there, and the documents I had I didnít really require it. Itís my fault, and I do feel responsible for not adequately sorting out my desk before I left.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. But I canít understand why you didnít hand them back, when you realised you had some material there that might have had a classification.

 

Smith:  I think, I know what there was there. My judgement is that there is nothing controversial, and I donít believe that the company is very interested in it, frankly.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Ok. I think weíve hammered that. I keep coming back to the identity of this man Harry.

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  You say, you donít believe that to be his correct name?

 

Smith:  Iím fairly sure itís not his correct name.

 

MacLeod:  And he never, he always turned up at the meetings?

 

Smith:  Sorry?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  He always turned up?

 

Smith:  He always turned up, yes. He was very prompt, and would always be there before I was.

 

MacLeod:  Yeah, and these were regular meetings, were they. Every month, did you say?

 

Smith:  No, no about every 3 months.

 

MacLeod:  I beg your pardon, every 3 months.

 

Smith:  It wasnít an exactly 3 month period, but they were more or less.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Spread out over a while. Right. Ok. And given that there was a 3 month, sort of, period in between the meetings, how did you manage to plan a meeting so far ahead?

 

Smith:  Well ,he gave me a date. He said, ďI can be here on such and such a date, can you make itĒ, and I made sure I was there. I mean, the nature of my work was such that I could plan my week to suit myself, and there was no problem. Very occasionally, there might be somebody wanted to see me, at a certain time. But it was always - because it was at lunch time mainly we met - I could arrange a sufficient lunch time, to make sure I could be there. In fact, the journey was quite short to these places, and there was


 

 

 

no danger that it would interfere with my normal work.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Did you have any, I mean, for example, if there was a hiccup, which prevented your delay, which delayed you or delayed him, was there any alternative means of getting in touch?

 

Smith:  Well, he never, he never said anything. I think he didnít want to be committed to something that might create that situation. He made it quite clear, youíve got to be there, or else. I think, if I hadnít turned up, that would have been the end of the relationship at that time.

 

MacLeod:  And ...

 

Smith:  It was an incentive, on my part, to be there.

 

MacLeod:  Well, I can see that, yes. Right. So there was never an occasion when he didnít turn up, or you werenít able to make a meet?

 

Smith:  No.

 

MacLeod:  How do you think youíd have got in touch with him. Supposing something happened, supposing Pam was taken ill, or had to go into hospital. How would he have got in touch with you then?


 

 

 

Smith:  I donít know. He would have probably have rung me, I think, because he knew my number at work. He felt confident, he could, he could always contact me.

 

MacLeod:  And did he ever say who gave him your number, to make contact in the first place?

 

Smith:  I did, on our very first meeting, say ďhow did you know who I was?Ē and, I think, he just smiled. I mean, I think he had been put on to me by somebody, and, but as I say, he was very reluctant to ever speak about anything in the background - who he was, or why he was offering me a, I think he said, ďa golden opportunityĒ, and I was stupid enough to take it.

 

MacLeod:  I am going to show you a photograph now, a black and white photograph measuring approximately 3 x 3. Can you tell me, is that Harry?

 

Smith:  No, thatís definitely not Harry. Heís got the similar, thereís a stockiness about him, perhaps, but thatís not Harry.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre quite ...?

 

Smith:  His hair is much thinner, and ...

 

MacLeod:  But is he not similar in, sort of, description you gave in terms of build Ö?


 

 

 

Smith:  No, I said he had a dimple in his chin, but I canít see that.

 

MacLeod:  I appreciate thatís not a very good ...

 

Smith:  No. Iím sure thatís not Harry. The face, the features are wrong. For a start, his hair was swept back, it wasnít parted the way this is.

 

MacLeod:  Well, I think youíll find, thatís swept back. I appreciate itís not a very good photograph.

 

Smith:  Well, I donít believe thatís Harry. Iím sorry, Iíd like to say if was, but itís not.

 

Beels:  That will be exhibit MM ...

 

MacLeod:  Six. I would just like to, once again, recap on your visit last week to Basingstoke. Not so much that element, that aspect of it, but your trip afterwards up to Harrow, to W.H. Smithís to purchase a ...

 

Smith:  A magazine.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Was it a computer magazine?

 

Smith:  No, no. Itís a magazine called Keyboard. I remember, that Iíve purchased this magazine in the first, towards the end of the first week in the month. And I guessed, being about that time on Thursday, that it might be there in the shop,


 

 

 

but it hadnít been delivered at that stage. Well, they had some, sorry, they had some Keyboard magazines in the shop, but they were the July issue, which I already had. I was looking for the August edition.

 

MacLeod:  What I would like to do now is, I would like to present, or introduce, a map of the general area.

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Itís, in actual fact, 2 maps that have been cellotaped together. Itís a bit bulky, I appreciate, but it would certainly help me if you could have a look and tell me. Iíll describe the map: itís the, yes, itís a 9 Sheetmaster London Street Map, A-Z, it covers the Watford, Rickmansworth, Harrow and Ruislip area. Are you happy with that?

 

Smith:  Yes, of course.

 

MacLeod:  Can you just outline and, when you left Harrow on the Thursday?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Can you try to demonstrate the route that you took back to Kingston. Iíll have to stand up. There. Iíll show you, this is the road that comes from ...


 

 

 

Crikey, where are we, the Rickmansworth Road, where are we. Yes, you accept this is the road, the 404, that ...

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Ö comes down through the Rickmansworth, Northwood, Pinner. Do you agree, this is the route you would have, probably would most likely have taken coming from ...?

 

Smith:  I remember going, I think perhaps thatís, I remember that roundabout, I turned right at a roundabout, and there were some trees around this ...

 

Beels:  Thatís the roundabout at St Thomasís Road, the Uxbridge Road.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. St Thomasís Drive.

 

Beels:  St Thomasís Drive, leading out to the George V Avenue.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, thatís it.

 

Smith:  Unfortunately, I donít know, have they got the, are there numbers on those roads?

 

MacLeod:  That is the 404.

 

Smith:  Yes. I think that must have been the road I took.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And you agree that the 404 runs through North Harrow?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Into Harrow itself.

 

Smith:  Now, I apologise if it looks strange, that I went this roundabout route, I was literally wasting time ...

 

MacLeod:  Ok. Right.

 

Smith:  Ö because I was quite happy to be driving.

 

MacLeod:  Ok. Thatís fair enough. So you came down through North Harrow, and what Iíd like you to indicate is where you parked your car, if youíre able to?

 

Smith:  I went round the town. Iím trying to think of the route I took, it was through the one-way system they have.

 

MacLeod:  Yeah. Did you park? I think you said you parked in a side street?

 

Smith:  Yes. I went round the town, and came back. I was thinking of parking in the car park, in the centre, I think I parked, actually, on the corner here,


 

 

 

which is convenient to walk back to the ...

 

Beels:  Can you name the road, for the purposes of the tape, where you parked, where you think you parked?

 

Smith:  Ah. It must have be this Peterborough, that must be the one.

 

MacLeod:  Can you show me where that is on the map?

 

Smith:  Just here, on the corner here. Because itís usually easy to park there, because itís just outside the edge of the town.

 

MacLeod:  And thatís, yes.

 

Smith:  And itís still short enough to walk in without too much ...

 

Beels:  This is the corner of Kenton Road.

 

Smith:  Kenton Road and ...

 

Beels:  Peterborough Road.

 

Smith:  Peterborough, yes. I parked just there.

 

Beels:  The B457.

 

Smith:  Thereís a number of, yes.

 

Beels:  And the A404.


 

 

 

Smith:  Itís quite easy to park there.

 

Beels:  Is it?

 

MacLeod:  Ok. And it was from there then ...

 

Smith:  I just walked back to the ...

 

MacLeod:  You walked back into the town?

 

Smith:  Ö to the W.H. Smithís, and got my newspapers on the way back. I failed to get the magazine.

 

MacLeod:  And if we can just now, sort of, to the best of your knowledge. When you returned to your car, and if we can just talk through the route you took, back to Kingston, so far as you ...

 

Smith:  Right. Well, I would have gone up the hill.

 

MacLeod:  Up hill?

 

Smith:  There is only one route, really.

 

MacLeod:  Yes.

 

Smith:  To go up the hill, back down Sudbury Hill.

 

MacLeod:  So thatís up, whatís that hill there, thatís ...

 

Smith:  Peterborough. I donít know what itís called.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So up.

 

Smith:  Iím very bad on the names of these roads. I went up, down London Road, Sudbury Hill.

 

MacLeod:  So that takes you, am I right in saying, that takes you up from Harrow Town, up over the hill.

 

Smith:  Yes, and then dip down the hill.

 

MacLeod:  Past the famous Harrow School.

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  And then down.

 

Smith:  London Road.

 

MacLeod:  Down London Road.

 

Smith:  Sudbury Hill.

 

MacLeod:  Sudbury Hill.

 

Smith:  Iíve got a recollection that I did something wrong, because I was coming along the road day dreaming. I think, I actually missed the turning and went straight on.

 

MacLeod:  Well, if youíd gone straight on, that would have taken you in through Wembley, which you probably know well enough. Thatís Wembley there, you see.


 

 

 

Smith:  No. I think what I did, I came down here and I turned off somewhere, and back onto the road. Iíd missed the turning, if I recollect.

 

MacLeod:  Because that is, in actual fact, although itís shown, make sure I am talking about the same location.

 

Smith:  Mmm.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. London Road, Sudbury Hill. That, in actual fact is, thereís a set of traffic lights there.

 

Smith:  Yes, itís a peculiar junction, itís not one that ...

 

MacLeod:  Thatís right, the lights are ...

 

Smith:  Öitís very easy to understand.

 

MacLeod:  Ö staggered a bit.

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  So did you, what turning did you take when you were there?

 

Smith:  Sort of continued down Harrow. Itís funny, on the road itís different, I canít quite ,sort of, see here how this works.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. I just ...


 

 

 

Smith:  I went down the Harrow Road, because it is possible to go back, but I find I get lost around the back streets.

 

MacLeod:  So, you took one of the side streets, did you then?

 

Smith:  I think I was going, I was going to go down this way towards the North Circular.

 

MacLeod:  Mmm.

 

Beels:  So, you were travelling South-eastwards, in a south-easterly direction?

 

Smith:  Well, on the way to work, because of traffic problems, usually up this way. I usually turn down here, Whitton Avenue, and up Allendale Road and District Road, and then back. It might look a long way round, but ...

 

MacLeod:  No, no.

 

Smith:  Itís a very, it avoids a lot of congestion here.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. so?

 

Smith:  And a number of people who go to Hirst Research Centre use that route, I know. I think, I went the opposite way, went back down there.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So you went back onto, whereís that?

 

Smith:  Whitton Avenue.

 

Beels:  Whitton Avenue.

 

Smith:  And then back onto the Greenford Road.

 

Beels:  Travelling East, into the Greenford Road.

 

MacLeod:  So did you ...?

 

Smith:  To the best of my ability, that was what I ...

 

MacLeod:  I see. Right. You didnít come off this road. You didnít try to make any short cuts, any further short cuts?

 

Smith:  No, I kept on Whitton Road and back down I believe, to my knowledge. Remember, I wasnít particularly driving like when Iím going to work, in a determined way, to get to a destination. I was driving for pleasure at this time.

 

MacLeod:  Yes.

 

Smith:  It was more a relaxed, Iím on holiday.

 

MacLeod:  It was quite a pleasant day.


 

 

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  But, to the best of your knowledge, you took a reciprocal route back to Kingston, which from Harrow, over Harrow on the Hill, past the school, down towards Sudbury?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  And after taking there, or missing the turning, you headed or came on to Whitton Avenue East, just next to the ...

 

Smith:  Iím thinking thatís what happened, because Iíve got a recollection thatís the way I drove back.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Ok.

 

Smith:  I was, once I missed that turning, it would have been possible to carry on ...

 

MacLeod:  It would have been, you could.

 

Smith:  Ö and join up with the North Circular.

 

MacLeod:  You could have come down to the gyratory system here, but as far as you are aware it was the Greenford Road.

 

Smith:  But this is a more direct route back to Kingston.

 

MacLeod:  Right, Iíll enter that as exhibit MM/7.


 

 

 

Beels:  If you agree Mr Jefferies, Iím folding this chart up, and sealing it in your presence. Itís going to make a lot of noise on the tape. Ok thank you.

 

Jefferies:  We need a copy of that.

 

MacLeod:  So what time did you get back to your home address?

 

Smith:  I think it was about 2 oíclock. Iím not, I must say, Iím not absolutely sure, because I wasnít really watching the time. But I know my wife had just parked her car, and was about to go up to the gate as I came up and parked, so she may know better than I did. Iíve remembered, by the way, I think she went to the doctor that morning, and was possibly going to go shopping afterwards, so I was a bit surprised that she was as late back as she was.

 

MacLeod:  When you were parked, up at Harrow, and you walked back into Harrow on the Hill, did you take any time to walk round the area.

 

Smith:  I think I might have walked a little bit too.

 

MacLeod:  Can you remember where you walked to?


 

 

 

Beels:  Are we going to continue this interview, or will we be taking a break?

 

MacLeod:  With your permission Mr Jefferies, Iíd just like to finish the point I am trying to develop.

 

Jefferies: Of course.

 

Beels:  Itíll take 5 or 10 minutes, and then weíll have a break.

 

Jefferies: Of course.

 

Beels:  The time then is 6:29 pm. and I am stopping the machine.

 


 

 

 

INTERVIEW 14 ~ TAPE 29

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         11th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        18:30   Time concluded:           18:33

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  The time is 6:30 pm., the continuing interview of Mr Michael Smith. Mr Smith, you are still under caution and you do not have to say anything, do you understand?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Just before the tape ran out there, I asked you if you had got out of, if you had actually taken a walk round the area, and you were just about to explain.

 

Smith:  Yes, as I say, I was walking around Harrow, and I bought the papers, and I was casually strolling. I had no particular rush to go anywhere, and then walked a little bit around Harrow on the Hill as well, because I thought I wonít be coming back this way for sometime, itís quite an attractive part of the area ...

 

MacLeod:  Yes indeed, itís ...

 

Smith:  Ö and then went home.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Indeed, itís quite a popular part for tourists, is it not?

 

Smith:  Iíve never been aware of tourists there. Maybe they go there to see the school, I think. This time of the year the school is shut anyway, and itís quite quiet and a bit more pleasant.

 

MacLeod:  And did you have, how much time did you spend round Harrow on the Hill?

 

Smith:  I wouldnít say very long, about 15-20 minutes at the most, just long enough to feel comfortable. I had a little walk, and returned to my car and go home.

 

MacLeod:  And that was it. I mean, did you see anybody, or meet anybody?

 

Smith:  I didnít meet. No. I didnít see anybody I knew. Er, I sometimes think, because I have friends who live quite close to there, that I might bump into somebody, but it wasnít the sort of time when I think they would be there.

 

MacLeod:  So you had a browse around Harrow on the Hill, returned to the car, and ...

 

Smith:  And drove home.

 

MacLeod:  Ok. That was the only point I just wanted to develop, really. I think it might be appropriate now to take a break. I am sure Mr Smith may want a meal?


 

 

 

Smith:  If you wish to do it now, yes.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, I think I will.

 

Beels:  Yes. Ok. I am concluding this interview now. Is there anything else you wish to add or clarify at this stage, Mr Smith?

 

Smith:  No, I do not.

 

Beels:  Ok. At the end of this interview, Iíll be asking you to sign the seal on the master tapes, will you do so?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

Beels:  And thereís a form here explaining your rights of access to the tape. The time is 6:33 pm. Iím switching off the machine.