INTERVIEW 4 ~ TAPE 5

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         9th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        14:08   Time concluded:           14:38

 

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, Special Branch, New Scotland Yard. The other officer present is Ö

 

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

 

Beels:  Other persons present are Ö

 

Smith:  Michael Smith.

 

Beels:  And you are sir Ö

 

Jefferies:  My name is Richard Jefferies, Duty Solicitor, from Tuckers Solicitors.

 

Beels:  We are in Interview Room number 2, at Paddington Green Police Station. At the end of this interview I will give you, sir, a form explaining your rights of access to a copy of the tape. The date is the 9th August, and the time by my watch is 2, 8 minutes past 2, in the afternoon. I must caution you Mr Smith. 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?


 

 

 

Smith:  Yes I do.

 

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

 

Smith:  No comment.

 

Beels:  You are entitled to free legal advice, and you have your solicitor here with you. Is that correct?

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

Beels:  I understand youíve been asked if you wish to have refreshments, something to eat, whilst in custody since yesterday, and today sir, you declined. Is that correct?

 

Smith:  No comment.

 

MacLeod:  Mr Smith, youíve obviously had time to reflect on the interviews that took place yesterday. Iím aware that you did exercise your right to silence on certain points, and I would like, just very briefly, to go back on one particular, on one particular point for clarification. I was asking you yesterday about the telephone call, that you had in the morning from a man named George. You told me that it was a mis-directed, a mis-routed telephone number. Is that still your answer?

 

Smith:  No comment

 

MacLeod:  Right. Iím now going to play for you a tape recording, that will prove that the answers that you gave me yesterday, to that very question, will prove that you were lying. I am going to enter this as exhibit SB/1.


 

 

 

Beels:  SJB/4 sir.

 

MacLeod:  SJB/4

 

Beels:  I am taking a cassette tape out of its box, and putting it into a machine which is in front of the four of us. Iím now switching it on. (Telephone conversation commences).

 

PAMELA SMITH:  Hello

 

CALLER (GEORGE):  Hello, is it Michael Smith?

 

PAMELA SMITH:  Er, he lives here, whoís calling?

 

CALLER:  This is George.

 

PAMELA SMITH:  Who?

 

CALLER:  George.

 

PAMELA SMITH:  Just one moment.

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Hello.

 

CALLER:  Hello, is it Michael Smith?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yes.

 

CALLER:  Hello, I am George speaking. I am colleague of your old friend Victor. Do you remember him?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yes.


 

 

 

CALLER:  Ok, thatís good. Now listen. It is very urgent for me to talk to you.

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yeah.

 

CALLER:  You understand?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yes.

 

CALLER:  Ok, Ok, but I think maybe we do this another way.

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Ok.

 

CALLER:  You understand?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yeah.

 

CALLER:  Ok. I think there is telephone at the corner of Durlston Road and Cardinal Avenue. You know this?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yes, yes.

 

CALLER:  Ok, you can maybe be there in 15 minutes?

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Ok.

 

CALLER:  Yes,

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Yes.

 

CALLER:  Ok. This is corner of Durlston Road and Cardinal Avenue.

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Ok.

 

CALLER:  15 minutes, very important.

 

MICHAEL SMITH Ok.

 

CALLER: Ok. I ring you there. Bye, bye.

 

MICHAEL SMITH:  Bye


 

 

 

Beels:  I am removing the tape from the recorder, and I will be producing this as, I said before, as exhibit SJB/4. I will sign the tape seal now, and as part of the sealing process, Mr Smith, I would ask you would you sign.

 

Smith:  No, Iím not going to sign that tape.

 

Beels:  Would you sign it sir.

 

MacLeod:  Right Mr Smith, youíve had an opportunity to hear that tape. Have you got any comment to make?

 

Smith:  I donít think I have a comment, no.

 

MacLeod:  But does that not demonstrate, that you clearly lied in your answer to me yesterday afternoon, when I asked you ...

 

Smith:  I do not think that was the case.

 

MacLeod:  You took instructions from a man named George.

 

Smith:  We discussed this yesterday. I donít know any man named George.

 

MacLeod:  Well youíve just spoken to him, did you not?

 

Smith:  Youíve got a tape there, I donít know.

 

MacLeod:  Well that was your voice, that was your wife who answered the telephone.


 

 

 

And he gave you instructions to go to the corner of Durlston Road.

 

Smith:  Well, I explained yesterday, I humoured the guy. Iím not interested in what he had to say. I didnít act on his instructions, you know quite clearly I didnít.

 

MacLeod:  Itís blatantly obvious that you knew the nature of the call. You didnít stop to ask a question, well who is it, or whatís this all about. You immediately responded.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comments on that tape.

 

MacLeod:  Right, youíve got no comment. You left your house, and you did go to that telephone box at the corner of Durlston Road and Cardinal Avenue. You entered the telephone box.

 

Smith:  Durlston Road?

 

MacLeod:  Yes, thatís where the telephone box is.

 

Smith:  I didnít go anywhere near Durlston Road.

 

MacLeod:  Iíve got proof that you did.

 

Smith:  I donít even know where Durlston Road is. Itís parallel to St Albans Road. Itís nowhere near where I went.

 

MacLeod:  You stayed there for a while inside the telephone box, obviously awaiting a telephone call, I would suggest. After that, you left the telephone box and you began


 

 

 

jogging up to the vicinity of another telephone box on the corner of Latchmere Lane and Tudor drive. You didnít enter the telephone box, but you remained in the vicinity. Are you saying this happened, or didnít happen?

 

Smith:  Iím saying that it didnít happen.

 

MacLeod:  Right, Ok. Iím putting it to you, that this is the field craft that your KGB handler, Victor Oshchenko, taught you.

 

Smith:  We did not talk about Oshchenko, it was called Ochenko?

 

MacLeod:  That is the correct pronunciation is it?

 

Smith:  Ochenko, thatís the name we used yesterday, not Oshchenko.

 

MacLeod:  Well, youíll forgive, if I havenít got the correct pronunciation.

 

Smith:  I donít know whatís it Ö I remember Ochenko.

 

MacLeod:  Oshchenko. I am telling you that that is the instructions that, during the time that you were trained by the KGB, that is the type of instruction that you received...

 

Smith:  I was not trained by the KGB, as you put it, and Iíve got no comment on this, because I think you are, youíre fabricating this now.

 

MacLeod:  Iíve got no reason to fabricate Mr Smith.


 

 

 

Youíve got every reason to give a satisfactory explanation, as to your behaviour yesterday, and the reason why you lied to me in interviews.

 

Smith:  We had a full discussion on this matter yesterday, and I said no comment on any further discussions on this.

 

MacLeod:  With regard to that particular point?

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  You are aware, from the changes that have taken place in the Soviet Union in recent times, there have been quite a number of former KGB, KGB people, passing information to Western Intelligence, even selling it for financial gain.

 

Smith:  How would I possibly have any comment on that, how would I know that?

 

MacLeod:  Well, itís in the public domain.

 

Smith:  I donít ...

 

MacLeod:  Reported by the media. I would have thought, you say thatís not a matter that would excite your interest?


 

 

 

Smith:  I donít think so.

 

MacLeod:  Are you saying that youíre not aware of the changes that have taken place in the Soviet Union?

 

Smith:  How could I possibly be aware of whatís going on in another country?

 

MacLeod:  Iím talking about the collapse of communism. Iím talking about the collapse of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. You are aware of that, you are an intelligent man.

 

Smith:  Well yes, Iím very much in favour of the way things are going.

 

MacLeod:  And you will be aware also, of the archivage leaks that have taken place over the last number of ...

 

Smith:  Iím not aware of that.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre not? Would it surprise you, given the changes?

 

Smith:  It wouldnít surprise me, no, but Iím not aware of it.

 

MacLeod:  And it wouldnít surprise you either, that there have been quite a number of defections, people who formerly worked for the KGB?

 

Smith:  Itís pointless you asking me that sort of question, because how would I know?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well, I think you would know, and I think, and I put it to you that we believe considerableÖ

 

Smith:  Well, youíve got to give me the reason, why you think I should know that, that sort of fact?

 

MacLeod:  Well the reason is, and I thought Iíd made this clear to you, the reason is that you were recruited by the KGB as an agent back in the early 70ís. Are you saying thatís a lie?

 

Smith:  Iím saying that is definitely a lie.

 

MacLeod:  If it wasnít the early 70ís, when was it?

 

Smith:  It wasnít ever.

 

MacLeod:  Are you saying youíve never met any Russians?

 

Smith:  Iím not saying that, no.

 

MacLeod:  Did you attend a trade union meeting?

 

Smith:  Well, Iím not going to answer any more questions on that type of subject, Iím sorry.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well, does it cause you some discomforture?

 

Smith:  No, it doesnít, but I see no point in discussing something that happened that long ago.

 

MacLeod:  Can I put it this way, youíre here on suspicion of having committed a serious breach of national security. I would suggest that, if Iíve got it wrong, or if the intelligence people have got it wrong, then itís open to you to correct any wrong assumptions that we may have. Iím asking you simple questions about your background, whether or not you ever had any meetings with Russians, perhaps even in an innocent context, but Iím giving you the opportunity to tell me whether you ever did meet a Russian. Did you ever meet any Russians?

 

Smith:  Why are we talking about Russians, why not other people?

 

MacLeod:  Iím talking about the Russians, because this is central to this investigation. Iíll repeat the question. Did you ever meet any Russians?

 

Smith:  Iím sorry, Iíd better not comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre not commenting because you canít remember?

 

Smith:  Itís partly that, but itís partly because I donít think itís right to discuss this until you put more cards on the table.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  I thought Iíd put my cards on the table, because I told you, that you were ...

 

Smith:  I donít think. so. We have not yet reached the meat of your case, whatever your case is.

 

MacLeod:  Well clearly.

 

Smith:  Iím sorry, until we get to that point, I think Iíd better not comment any further.

 

MacLeod:  You have a duty as a citizen to help the police investigate ...

 

Smith:  Thatís why Iím here, I think.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, well, unless you had something to hide.

 

Smith:  Iím not saying Iíve got anything to hide.

 

MacLeod:  Well, I cannot see, for the life of me, why if you had, for example, an innocent encounter or chance meeting or introduction during your trade union days, because we do know of that, to a Russian acquaintance. I would see nothing terribly suspicious about that. Are you saying that that did not happen?


 

 

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Are you saying that you were never recruited by the Russian Intelligence Service, in other words the KGB, to work for them?

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre not commenting because itís right, or because it might incriminate you?

 

Smith:  Iím not commenting any further.

 

Beels:  Mr Smith, did you ever meet with a Russian called Victor at any stage.

 

Smith:  No comment.

 

Beels:  Did you ever meet with a Victor, an East European, who you lunched with regularly?

 

Smith:  No comment. Iíve explained the only Victor I know, and heís a Spaniard.

 

MacLeod:  I have to say, that Iím totally puzzled why a former KGB officer, who has now defected if you like, who is now co-operating with Western Intelligence, and is here


 

 

 

in this country, and co-operating with us directly, why that man should say to us that Michael Smith, a man who formerly worked for Thorn EMI, in a position where he had access to classified material, why would they say, or why would he say that you worked for them, if that wasnít true? Why should he concoct ...

 

Smith:  Youíll have to ask him.

 

MacLeod:  We have asked him. We have no reason to question the veracity of what heís saying to us. Iím giving you the opportunity to put your side. Can you say whether you ever met a man called Victor Oshchenko.

 

Smith:  No comment.

 

MacLeod:  Victor Oshchenko, or Vic as you knew him?

 

Smith:  I didnít know anybody as Vic.

 

MacLeod:  And he referred to you as Mike. You met regularly, did you not, way back in the mid 70ís.

 

Smith:  Iíve never referred to anybody as Vic, and I know that is absolutely true. As I told you before, the only person I ever knew called Victor was a Spaniard, and I call him Victor, because I think itís more polite.


 

 

 

So if anybody had said I called them Vic, that is definitely untrue, because I do not like the name Vic. I would never call Victor, Vic. It sounds like cough medicine.

 

MacLeod:  However, you addressed each other, this man, a former KGB Intelligence Officer, has accused you of working for them in the mid 1970ís. In fact, Iíll be specific, from about the start of, from May í76, when you went to work for Thorn EMI. You went to Thorn EMI.

 

Smith:  I did not work at Thorn EMI in May í76, and that is not true.

 

Beels:  Would July í76 be correct?

 

Smith:  Thatís more correct.

 

MacLeod:  July í76. Right, I beg your pardon, July í76. What prompted you to leave your former employment, to go to work for Thorn EMI?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  I mean, thatís a fairly Ö Was it for career development, promotion, was it for financial ...

 

Smith:  Weíll discuss it later, when the time comes, I think.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Just as a point of clarification. I see no reason in asking you a fairly simple question. I donít think Ö

 

Smith:  Iíve got nothing to hide about it, but I donít see any reason to discuss it now, so Iím not going to comment at this stage.

 

MacLeod:  You donít want to comment, even though a simple question like that just might help to throw some light on this whole business, as to whether or not there is any substance to this allegation. It would give you the opportunity of putting your case.

 

Smith:  No, Iíll put my case when the time comes.

 

MacLeod:  Itís suggested, that the reason that you went to work for Thorn EMI, was because the KGB had recruited you. They had advised you, they had advised you to sever all links with the CPGB, the Communist Party of Great Britain, to sever all your links with the trade union movement.

 

Smith:  I think youíre wasting your time.

 

MacLeod:  Iím not.

 

Smith:  Iíve got a very good explanation for what happened at that time, but Iím not going to discuss it with you at this time.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Even though that, that might just advantage, be to your advantage at this stage?

 

Smith:  I donít think it is, because we havenít yet reached what it is Iím being accused of, so I see no point in beating about the bush on fringe subjects.

 

MacLeod:  Right. Well, it may appear to you to be fringe subjects, but theyíre not fringe subjects to me. Theyíre very much central to this investigation, because what Iím saying to you is that the reason you severed your links with the trade union movement, the reason you severed your links with the CPGB, was at the behest of the KGB who instructed you.

 

Smith:  Thatís not true, but ...

 

MacLeod:  Who instructed you?

 

Smith:  But, Iím not going to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Who instructed you to adopt a more conservative Ďlife styleí. They encouraged you to take up tennis.

 

Smith:  Tennis?

 

MacLeod:  Yes tennis, because Vic bought you a, he bought you tennis racket, did he not, do you not remember that?

 

Smith:  No, I donít remember that.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  He told you to start reading the Daily Telegraph.

 

Smith:  I very rarely read the Telegraph, except on a Thursday when the job pages are there, because itís a good paper for that. I donít read, I very rarely read any newspapers actually, itís only when I feel in the mood.

 

MacLeod:  Ok, well, what Iím saying to you is that you changed your life style, you applied for a number of jobs that the KGB had drawn up for you, and one of the companies that was included in that list of companies was Thorn EMI, and that gave you access.

 

Smith:  Look, I say that is untrue. Iíll say it on the record, that is untrue. But I will elaborate further when the time comes.

 

MacLeod:  Well if itís untrue, now, why donít you elaborate now, when Ö?

 

Smith:  We, I am still waiting for you to get onto the subject of why Iím here.

 

MacLeod:  Iíve explained that to you.

 

Smith:  You have not.

 

MacLeod:  Well Iím coming to it now. During the time that you were engaged to Thorn EMI, you were involved in a project which was classified secret, concerning the British nuclear weapon. Is that right?


 

 

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment on it.

 

MacLeod:  In fact, you were, or rather had oversight of what was going on on a particular part of that project, and that concerned Ö what was known as the XN715 fuze, for the free-fall nuclear weapon WE177. Is that right?

 

Smith:  I canít even remember that far back. If thatís right, I donít know.

 

MacLeod:  Do you remember working on that particular project?

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Did you ever discuss your work outside?

 

Smith:  We discussed that point yesterday. I made a full point on that yesterday

 

MacLeod:  Yes, but I still wasnít very clear on it, whether you did or you didnít?

 

Smith:  I think it was very clear if you listen to the tape.


 

 

 

Beels:  When you say youíll make no comment, to the fact that you were working on a particular secret project, is that because you canít remember that particular project?

 

Smith:  Itís not because I canít remember.

 

Beels:  Or, because you choose Ö

 

Smith:  I choose not to discuss it with you people. Who I donít know your, your security clearance, or whether Iím overstepping the mark by discussing it at all. So I choose not to comment.

 

MacLeod:  Can I just put this to your solicitor then, if it is of any reassurance, your solicitor will be able to ascertain that, from somebody other than me, as to whether or not I have got or we have got that security clearance. I can assure you.

 

Smith:  That would help. I donít know whether, even, if my solicitor should be hearing this. Sorry, I think weíre in very dodgy ground here, and I think itís better not to comment on it.

 

MacLeod:  So, even if your solicitor was given an unequivocal assurance by somebody in authority, that we have got that clearance, you still wouldnít be prepared to Ö?

 

Smith:  Well, the people Iíve dealt with, are in a different department to you. Sorry, I donít know the relationship between you.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Do you realise the type of work that we do?

 

Smith:  I have a vague idea of what you do.

 

MacLeod:  Iím sure you have. I can assure you weíve got high security clearance, so Iíll come back to this again. This fuze, for the free-fall nuclear weapon, was something that Victor had tasked you to receive.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  You made a sketch, or you made a mental note and then you made a sketch, and then you photographed the sketch, and then you handed the film to Victor.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Iím sure you havenít, because thatís the central thrust of this investigation. That is what Victor is saying about you.

 

Smith:  But if thatís true, you must have this film, and you can show it to us, and we can discuss that. Because otherwise, youíre just dealing with a hypothetical situation, and I want to see the evidence, so we can discuss the evidence, and I will confirm or not what I see.

 

MacLeod:  Can I just ask you when you, um, when it was that you visited Vienna?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment.


 

 

 

Beels:  Have you ever visited Vienna?

 

Smith:  No comment

 

Beels:  Itís a simple question, Mr Smith. Have you been to Vienna?

 

Smith:  Well, I donít want to get involved in arguments, discussions about things which are not pertinent to the heart of this case, and thatís what I want to do, I want to get this over as quickly as possible. I want to discuss what it is that I am supposed to have done, and then we can sort it out.

 

Beels:  I think it has now been made clear, has it not.

 

Smith:  No it has not.

 

MacLeod:  This is pertinent to the heart of this case.

 

Smith:  Well, Ok, what you, the nearest we have got to it is you are talking about a film. Now I want to see, this film is obviously very important evidence.

 

MacLeod:  This is only one aspect of the matter which is under investigation, only one aspect.

 

Smith:  You said this was the heart of it.

 

MacLeod:  That is perhaps the most crucial.

 

Smith:  What is supposed to be on this film?

 

MacLeod:  That disclosure was highly damaging to Western Security, to our national security, and you betrayed those secrets to the KGB.


 

 

 

Smith:  Let us look at this film, and we can discuss this.

 

MacLeod:  Do you agree, or do you not agree. You betrayed those secrets to the KGB?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that, weíre discussing something here, about a film.

 

MacLeod:  Is it no comment, because itís outside your knowledge, or itís no comment because it might incriminate you?

 

Smith:  Iíve just no comment to make while weíre discussing things in this manner, but I thought we were here to discuss something that we could put on the table, and say, ďthatís what youíve doneĒ, and I donít see that evidence being presented in a way that I can accept it. Surely, if it was the other way round, you would be the same with me.

 

MacLeod:  When I asked you earlier on, about that telephone conversation that you had yesterday morning, you said put your cards on the table. You asked me, or you told me, you didnít know what that telephone conversation was all about, you dismissed it lightly, as if it was a mis-directed call.

 

Smith:  I was just joking with my wife at the time, it was nothing.

 

MacLeod:  But you lied then to me.

 

Smith:  Did I lie?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  You lied, you told me first off that it was some mis-directed call, mis-routed call. You picked it up, and it was some raving ...

 

Smith:  Well you can hear the, would you call that man, er ...

 

MacLeod:  But there was no indication from you, during that conversation, that it was, the purpose of the telephone call was other than to convey a message to you, to go to a certain venue, at a certain time. Now you ask me to put my cards on the table. Iíve put my cards on the table. Can you account for that.

 

Smith:  I canít account for that, because I donít know who George is. We discussed all this yesterday. Now, George may be a friend of yours, I donít know. Maybe youíve asked George to ring me up to incriminate me.

 

MacLeod:  But why would I do that?

 

Smith:  Well, who is George?

 

MacLeod:  Well, thatís what I would like to ask you?

 

Smith:  I would like to know who George is, because I certainly donít know who George is. Iíve never heard that voice, in fact, that sounds like an actorís voice to me.


 

 

 

Beels:  But you clearly knew Victor, when Victorís name was mentioned, your reply was "yes".

 

Smith:  I was half asleep. I was joking to my wife at the time, about who this was. I didnít know who this guy was. Look, Iíve been as open as I can about that call. Youíve presented me now with a tape, which I obviously havenít heard. Iíd like to know where you got that tape from, because I didnít record that on my answering machine.

 

MacLeod:  What Iím asking you is, was that the telephone conversation that took place between you and the man George yesterday?

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment, because I donít know where that tape came from, if thatís a fabricated ...

 

MacLeod:  I donít think thatís particularly relevant.

 

Smith:  Itís very relevant.

 

MacLeod:  I can assure you that will be produced in evidence.

 

Smith:  Well then, you have to produce evidence as to how you received that tape.

 

MacLeod:  That would be done. You can rest assured on that score, that would be done. So I will go back to my first question. You understood the purport of that message


 

 

 

conveyed by George yesterday.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that, because this is, trying to put words into my mouth, that I knew something about what the call was about. The call was completely out of the blue, how could I possibly know what it was about?

 

MacLeod:  Do you want me to re-play it?

 

Smith:  You can re-play it as much as you like, Iím not going to comment on it. Letís get to the evidence, that you think Iíve, Iíve ...

 

MacLeod:  The evidence, the evidence is that that was consistent with KGB means of communicating with an agent.

 

Smith:  Now how am I expected to know that?

 

MacLeod:  Well you should do, because you worked for them long enough.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that hogswollop, or whatever you call it.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre lying.


 

 

 

Smith:  We need to talk about the evidence that youíre coming out with, about a film or something of that nature, which is pertinent to this case.

 

MacLeod:  It was more than just a sketch.

 

Smith:  What was it then?

 

MacLeod:  On or over a period of time. Letís go back to Vienna again. Letís talk about Vienna.

 

Smith:  I just said that Iíve got no comment.

 

MacLeod:  Canít you remember that visit. Your wife can remember it. How can she remember it and you canít remember.

 

Smith:  Your discussions with my wife have got nothing to do with this discussion, Iím afraid.

 

MacLeod:  Oh, they have, they have. Your wife has been interviewed like yourself, under caution, and she has told us of the various trips youíve made at different times. Well, weíll talk specifically about Vienna, a business trip to Vienna. Weíre just about to change the tape.


 

 

Beels:  The tape is coming to an end, so Iím bringing this part of the interview to a conclusion. The time is 2:38 pm.

 


 

 

 

INTERVIEW 4 ~ TAPE 6

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         9th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        14:40   Time concluded:           15:07

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  The time now is 2:40 pm, and we are continuing this interview between Mr MacLeod and Mr Smith.

 

MacLeod:  Mr Smith, if youíve got nothing to hide, why canít you tell me about the trip you made to Vienna?

 

Smith:  Iím not commenting on anything, but if we get to the meat of this matter, which is apparently a film, letís discuss the film please.

 

MacLeod:  Iím not going to discuss specifics. Iím putting it to you that Ö

 

Smith:  Well, if this is the meat of your case, then I think itís very relevant Ö

 

MacLeod:  Over a period of time you sold secrets. You sold classified information to the Russians.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Iím sure you havenít.

 

Smith:  Thatís right.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  But your ex-handler, your ex-controller, says you did.

 

Smith:  Nobody controls me, but I control myself.

 

MacLeod:  I can tell you the reason that you made a visit to Vienna was at the behest of the KGB. And, can you remember what they did to you on that occasion, or what they asked you to undertake?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that matter.

 

Beels:  Would you be willing to talk about any trips abroad, at any time during your life?

 

Smith:  Not at this stage I wouldnít, no, because I think you are going to build some case on Iím travelling around the world, selling secrets or something, I donít understand the course of that question.

 

MacLeod:  Well, I canít build a case unless there is some evidence.

 

Smith:  Well, the case youíve obviously presented, is that Iíve sold a film to a Russian agent. Now, I want to see evidence of what this film is, when I sold it, who I gave it to. That sort of evidence that means something to me.

 

Beels:  Have you ever been to the United States of America?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

Beels:  Have you ever been to Portugal?


 

 

 

Smith:  No comment.

 

MacLeod:  When were you last in Spain?

 

Smith:  No comment. You know when I was last in Spain.

 

MacLeod:  You tell me when were you last in Spain.

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment.

 

Beels:  So you were in Spain at some stage?

 

Smith:  Iíve got no comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  Letís go back to the early days of your recruitment, and how you were introduced to the Russians. Through the trade union, through a trade union meeting? What motivated you? Was it ideological reasons?

 

Smith:  Let me put it this way. Trade union meetings arenít places where Russians hang out. I can assure you.

 

MacLeod:  There have been a number of changes taken place, as Iím sure I donít have to tell you, within the Communist Party of Great Britain during the late í60s and early í70s.

 

Smith:  I donít follow the news, Iím afraid.

 

MacLeod:  But you were a member of the Communist Party, were you not?


 

 

 

Smith:  Iím not going to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  We, you donít have to comment if you donít wish, but what Iím saying to you is, we could prove that you were a member of the Communist Party, that you admitted this to your Vetting Officers, that you deceived your employers at Thorn EMI by omitting any reference to your past Communist Party connections, and thereby achieving security clearance up to, up to secret. And it was only subsequently, long after youíd been selling secrets to the Russians, that your security clearance came under review, and in fact was removed, because of your previous CPGB connections.

 

Smith:  Those sort of things, er, I was told at a meeting, at this meeting that I had with my Positive Vetting, I was told that security clearance is not normally discussed with people, so why should I have any, any worries about that.

 

MacLeod:  Youíve got reason to have every worry, because it was because of your ideological adherence to communism. It was because of your need for money. Now donít forget money came into this. You were paid fair sums, and this is what weíre looking at the moment. This was one of the reasons we asked the court today, to give us more time to investigate your bank accounts. You can rest assured weíre doing that. We know from Victor that you received payments at regular intervals. He has dropped you in it. You must understand by now, that Iím not bluffing.


 

 

 

Smith:  Well, Iíd like to meet this guy, because he has obviously done me a bad turn. Iíd like to get this sorted out with him. Can we have this discussion with him present?

 

MacLeod:  Well I donít think Ö

 

Smith:  Can we have this discussion with him present.

 

MacLeod:  I donít think youíve done yourself any favours. Itís you who have dropped yourself in it.

 

Smith:  Iíve done nothing to drop myself in it, as you put it.

 

MacLeod:  He has accused you. Now isnít it a strange coincidence, isnít it a strange coincidence, here youíve got a man who is a former member of the Communist Party, who changed his lifestyle back in the mid í70s away from communism, over to a more sort of conservative lifestyle, who disassociated himself from his previous friends in the trade union movement. Who disassociated himself from the Young Communist League, in fact you werenít on the executive committee very long, were you, you were only about 7 months on it.

 

Smith:  Executive committee?

 

MacLeod:  Yes, of the Communist Party, the young YCL, Young Communist League.

 

Smith:  Thatís a lie. I donít know where you got that from, thatís definitely not true.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well, if you werenít on the executive committee, you were certainly associated with the Young Communist League. In fact, it was, itís on record in connection with your vetting enquiry, so Iím not making anything up here, and it was at their behest that you changed your lifestyle, so as not to draw attention to yourself. You must have got a bit of a surprise, Iím sure, that day you were out with Vic, or Victor as you prefer to refer to him. You must have got a bit of a shock at Hampton Court, did you not, when you had a chance encounter with Andy Wilson, your old chum from the trade union. That was not very professional for a KGB controller or agent, was it? The way you went about that meeting, not very professional at all, you were frightened by that, and so was, so was Victor.

 

Smith:  Iím not frightened of anything. Iím not sitting here acting frightened, am I?

 

MacLeod:  Now do you understand?

 

Smith:  Look, Iíve got no comment until we get on to the facts of the case. Then we can discuss it.

 

MacLeod:  Do you understand from the gist of this interview, and previous interviews, coupled with what I told a magistrate today, about this being based on the defection of your previous handler/controller, call him what you like ...

 

Smith:  I have no controller but myself. I want to make that clear, Iím not controlled by anybody, I never have been. Iím very much my own man.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well right, Ok. That, thatís, shall we say your handler, the man who you met regularly, from time to time, in Richmond Common around the Kingston area.

 

Smith:  I donít know where you, if heís told you all these, these places Iím supposed to have met him. Then where is the evidence, because Iím not going to discuss something based on one manís opinions.

 

MacLeod:  Well this.

 

Smith:  If you have evidence to give, then please put it forward and weíll discuss it.

 

MacLeod:  But itís not just one manís opinion, not just one manís opinion.

 

Smith:  Well, whoís opinion is it?

 

MacLeod:  I, I did allude earlier on, to the number of defections that have taken place from amongst the former KGB people. Now you told me that you didnít, you only knew one Victor, and he was the son of a Spaniard friend of yours.

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, and you tell me you donít know this Victor Oshchenko, and Iíll tell you there was another Victor. Just reflect on that for a moment.


 

 

 

Smith:  How many Victorís are there for heavenís sake?

 

MacLeod:  Well, I would like, I would have liked you to tell me. Now, just to make, just to demonstrate to you that weíre not bluffing. You probably remember the time that you went to pick up a massage from a DLB, or a dead letter box as itís known, yeah?.

 

Smith:  Iíve never been to anything such as that.

 

MacLeod:  From a telephone kiosk, only to find that the children had removed the message before you got there. Now, where did that information come from? How am I aware of that? You know that.

 

Smith:  I donít know that.

 

MacLeod:  I know that, and you know who it was that was handling you at that time.

 

Smith:  How can I  Ö

 

MacLeod:  Think about that.

 

Smith:  How can I possibly know that?

 

MacLeod:  Well just think about it.


 

 

 

Smith:  Well, if youíve got evidence, as Iím saying, put it on the table. Letís talk about something concrete. All this is, er, the rantings of somebody who obviously wants to tell you as much as he can. He wants to impress you, obviously.

 

Beels:  Weíve tried Mr Smith, weíve tried to talk about something concrete, i.e. ...

 

Smith:  Well your Ö

 

Beels:  Your work at EMI Electronics.

 

Smith:  Well, as I said before, I wonít discuss that with Ö

 

Beels:  You conveniently refused to discuss it.

 

Smith:  No, no, Iím not refusing to discuss it any time. Iím refusing to discuss it here and now, with people who I am not convinced are the right people to talk to in this case.

 

Beels:  Although weíve given you the opportunity to be assured, by your legal representative, that we are cleared to a sufficiently high level.

 

Smith:  Öitís purely verbal as far as I am concerned, Iím sorry.

 

MacLeod:  Weíre not here to argue with you.

 

Smith:  Iím not arguing.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Weíre not, we donít have to account for ourselves to you Mr Smith.

 

Smith:  I donít have to account for myself to you either.

 

MacLeod:  You have to account to us for your behaviour in the past, if only to demonstrate that weíve got it wrong, because itís equally important to us that we get to the bottom of the line.

 

Smith:  Ok, if I, if Iíve done something wrong. If Iíve handed something to somebody that I shouldnít have done, then letís talk about the evidence you have for that and we can discuss it.

 

MacLeod:  If you Ö

 

Smith:  Öthen I can give you my opinion.

 

MacLeod:  I am not going to come here and put my cards on the table.

 

Smith:  Thatís what I said exactly, at the beginning. Until youíre prepared to do that, I can see no further action but to say I canít comment.

 

MacLeod:  The allegation has been made against you by a senior KGB officer, who is now co-operating with us.

 

Smith:  Well, he had better get his facts straight, because heís not giving me facts which I can tie up with my life.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Would you not agree, that you would have had motivation to work for the Russians, perhaps because of ideological reasons. I mean, you were a communist.

 

Smith:  I, I have no sympathy with, er, the Soviet Union or East European countries. I find that the state of their economies is in a mess. It is not the sort of place I would want to live or to work, and I, Iíve got no doubt that I, I would Ö

 

MacLeod:  Well what persuaded you?

 

Smith:  I would reject that sort of life-style.

 

MacLeod:  What persuaded you then? And I donít think this is a difficult question to answer, because itís already in the official sort of, um, domain, er, official records.

 

Smith:  Ok, weíll get to Ö

 

MacLeod:  Why, why Ö?

 

Smith:  Weíll get to the point that I Ö

 

MacLeod:  Why did you join the Communist Party?

 

Smith:  Iíll tell you exactly why. I was becoming disillusioned for a long time, but it was a trip I made to the Soviet Union on, er, it was a youth trip to 4 cities. It showed me what a terrible state the country was in, people were coming


 

 

 

up to me and saying could I sell them my jeans, um, the sort of things that you would imagine more in a third world country, and I thought this is not the country thatís being portrayed to the outside countries. And certainly itís, itís a mess, but theyíre presenting a ideologically, itís a wonderful place, and I found that that was the thing that turned me off more than anything.

 

MacLeod:  So when was it you actually visited then, what date would, what year would that be roughly?

 

Smith:  That was in 1975, that was the date I can say I was disillusioned.

 

MacLeod:  Did you go there as part of a tourist, a package tour, or was Ö?

 

Smith:  It was a package tour, yes.

 

MacLeod:  The 4 cities?

 

Smith:  Something like, I canít remember.

 

Beels:  Which 4 cities?

 

Smith:  Four cities.

 

Beels:  Do you remember which?


 

 

 

Smith:  It was Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Vilnius. And the reason Iím telling you that, is because I want to clear up once and for all, the fact that it wasnít because somebody asked me to leave or become disillusioned, it was what I saw was the evidence of my own eyes, and I think the same went for a lot of other people on that trip. A lot of people came back saying what, what a terrible place this was.

 

MacLeod:  Well I could perhaps understand that, but the people that made up the trip, were they people of a similar persuasion to yourself, who perhaps have Ö?

 

Smith:  I donít know who the people. I didnít know who the official organiser of that trip was.

 

MacLeod:  Well thatís, right, Ok, right, Ok, because up to then, I mean, you did have left-wing views, you were a member of the Communist Party.

 

Smith:  I donít want to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  No, but I mean ...

 

Smith:  I went to the Soviet Union ...

 

MacLeod:  There was nothing, nothing to be ashamed of in that.

 

Smith:  I went there as tourist, and I am not going to say I went there for any other reason, because I didnít.


 

 

 

Beels:  Who did you travel with?

 

Smith:  It was, um, I would like to answer it. I canít remember the name of the company.

 

Beels:  Ok, uh, but who were you in the company of? Did you travel alone, or with Ö?

 

Smith:  It was with Ö

 

Beels:  A friend?

 

Smith:  It was advertised, and anybody could have gone on that trip, and I donít ...

 

Beels:  Did you go with any particular friend or friends?

 

Smith:  I went with a few people I knew, yes. I wouldnít say they were friends particularly, we just associates.

 

Beels:  Well how did you know them?

 

Smith:  People that I knew from the ...

 

Beels:  Of similar to a, political leanings of, er, was it a sort of Young Communist League group, or Ö?

 

Smith:  It was a mixture, but I wouldnít say they were all ideologically interested. Some just wanted a cheap holiday.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So, just to get the chronology right in my own mind. Was it as a result of that experience that you, when you returned to this country, that you ceased to have anything to do with the Young Communist League?

 

Smith:  Thatís true, and I think you can trace it to that date. Maybe I might have mixed with the people a bit longer, because, er, Iíd known them for a while, but I didnít have any reason to sort of continue in a determined way. I just drifted apart from them, because Iíd lost interest.

 

Beels:  This was 1975. Did, er, the journey you took to the United States, the following year, have any bearings on your views.

 

Smith:  It did, yes.

 

Beels:  In what way, in what respect?

 

Smith:  I was very impressed by the United States. Itís the attitude of the people. It was very refreshing. Theyíre very much more the sort of people who would want to go out and make a life for themselves. I identify very much the way I feel, and the way I still feel about, if you want to do something you can achieve it if youíve got the right, um, atmosphere.

 

Beels:  What about the political system, as you, as you saw it. Did that not give you any, er, Ö


 

 

 

Smith:  It seemed tougher than Britain.

 

Beels:  Öproblems?

 

Smith:  It was, it was more, um, I got the feeling it was much more, um, a commercially orientated system. I saw the lives of the people, or the people I met there, itís very much more, um, happy, and, er, generally theyíre better off than the people in the Soviet Union. There is no doubt about it, and itís still the case, it certainly was then.

 

Beels:  But the political structure of the two countries, of the Soviet Union and the United States?

 

Smith:  Like chalk and cheese. I mean, I would never think you can compare them on any level. I mean, they were quite different. Much more open in the United States. In fact, Canada, I went to, I like Canada very much. I was very impressed by that, probably more so than the States even, because it was a bit more European, people seemed to be a bit less brash perhaps, you know, but very friendly. I mean, the whole of North America is a very friendly place, I think.

 

MacLeod:  Where did you visit in the United States?

 

Smith:  I visited, er, a friend of mine, um, in, er, Quebec.

 

MacLeod:  But in the United States?


 

 

 

Smith:  In the United States? Um, a girl I met on holiday, it was ...

 

Beels:  What part of the States did you go to, West coast, East coast?

 

Smith:  Well, East coast, travelling around.

 

MacLeod:  And what was her name?

 

Smith:  I donít know, it was a long time ago. I canít remember now.

 

MacLeod:  That was in 1976, when you went to the States. Um, can I just get clear in my own mind when it was, um, because Iím a little bit out of sync here. The, you went to the Soviet Union, this tour back in 1975, this early mid/late í75, when you went there. Was it a summer trip, or winter trip?

 

Smith:  I think it was sometime in August.

 

MacLeod:  And how long after that was it, when you came back to this country, when you returned home, that you severed your links with the ...?

 

Smith:  I donít want to discuss that, because I think thatís, itís getting a bit more on the ground that Iíd like to discuss when we get on to the more serious stuff.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  But we are, we are getting onto the serious stuff, and I think weíve ever got away from it, because I would just like to hear from you, when it was that you severed your links with the communists, and for what reason?

 

Smith:  Look, Iíve told you the reason. It was because I was disillusioned with, with what was being presented to me.

 

Beels:  The trip to America. Can you remember when that was, what time, time of the year. Early, summer time?

 

Smith:  It was about August.

 

Beels:  About August. And what, were you working at that time?

 

Smith:  Iíd been working all through í76.

 

Beels:  Do you remember how you financed that trip to the States?

 

Smith:  Financed? What paid for? I think I bought the ticket on ACCESS, I think.

 

Beels:  Well it wasnít especially then, wasnít a cheap place.

 

Smith:  It wasnít that expensive actually, because I was staying at friends, and they were buying all the food. I took them a few presents over, because a friend of mine wanted some English shirts. In fact, like bartering I suppose. They paid for the food while I was over there, and I gave them a couple of shirts.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  So, when you came back from the United States, was that before or after you joined EMI?

 

Smith:  When I came back?

 

MacLeod:  Well, were you working for EMI at the time that you went to the United States?

 

Smith:  Well, it must have been, yes, because I started in July, June? Iím not sure, June or July ...

 

MacLeod:  So you were working for EMI, at the time of your visit to the United States?

 

Smith:  Yes, Iím fairly certain I was.

 

Beels:  Now, youíve been, you said youíve been to Moscow, to the Soviet Union. Youíve been to Canada. Youíve been to the United States. Um, Austria, have you been to Austria?

 

Smith:  I donít want to comment on it, because ...

 

Beels:  Well youíve freely spoken about these trips.

 

Smith:  The reason Ö

 

Beels:  Iím asking you about one further trip?


 

 

 

Smith:  I want to explain. The reason you were asking me about that time, was because it was a critical period in my life, and I was changing my views on things.

 

Beels:  So what bearing does that have on the trip to Vienna?

 

Smith:  Thatís got nothing to do with this period weíre talking about, I thought we were talking about the mid-í70s.

 

MacLeod:  Weíre talking about any time. And we are talking about 1979 now. Why should that be any different from talking about your trip to the United States, talking about your trip to the Ö?

 

Smith:  Because weíre talking here about Ö

 

MacLeod:  Ö Soviet Union.

 

Smith:  My trip to the Soviet Union was an eye opener for me, and it, and it made a lot of changes in my life. The trip to the States was very important to me too, because it re-enforced what I felt I wanted out of life.

 

MacLeod:  Well, frankly, I donít believe you, because your trip to the Soviet Union would have coincided with the time that you were recruited by the Russians. So what youíre telling me Ö

 

Smith:  Thatís impossible Thatís impossible.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Öis a load of old cods-wallop. Youíre telling me that you were disillusioned with the system?

 

Smith:  Well, how could I, how could that be happening at the time when Iím being shown what the place is really like. I mean, itís not, itís just not, doesnít add up does it?

 

MacLeod:  Many people, um, who may have visited the Soviet Union, may not have been deflected from maybe deep-seated political convictions.

 

Smith:  Iím sure there arenít. I know people who certainly werenít deflected, and would always see what they wanted to see. But Iím not like that, Iím very much Ė whatís the word? - somebody who will always, will look for weaknesses in things, and if I can see itís not what itís cracked up to be, I can see through it. Iím not, Iím not blinkered.

 

MacLeod:  Well, I come back to this main point. By the time you went to the Soviet Union, you were, about that time, recruited by the KGB. In fact, your visit to America was supported, funded by the KGB.

 

Smith:  Thatís not true. I paid for that trip myself, and I canít see how you could show otherwise.

 

MacLeod:  Youíre lying.


 

 

 

Smith:  How could you possibly show otherwise? Iím sure, if the records go back that far, I paid for it on ACCESS. I remember paying for the ticket in a travel agentís in Hook, I think it was Hook, and I donít see how that could possibly be construed as being paid for by some other organisation.

 

MacLeod:  Right, Ok, Ok, so Ö

 

Smith:  Itís very important that, but I think thatís mis-leading.

 

MacLeod:  Well, of course itís important. Well, Iím telling you what I know, so that you are under no illusion.

 

Smith:  But you donít know that, because itís not true.

 

MacLeod:  I know it Ö

 

Smith:  Then your informer has given you mis-information, Iím sorry.

 

MacLeod:  Can I just ask, was it for personal reasons that you left Rediffusion?

 

Smith:  I donít want to comment on that. I know why I left Rediffusion.

 

MacLeod:  Was it disillusionment with the management? Was it the lack of career prospects?

 

Smith:  Weíll discuss it when we get a bit further on.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  No, but I think there is no point putting off, weíve got to really get down to these issues.

 

Smith:  I said to you look, I want to get straight to the meat of this matter, so we can get it over with.

 

MacLeod:  Well, Iím trying to establish ...

 

Smith:  And youíre beating about the bush on all the things that happened, youíre picking and choosing times throughout, er, this period in the í70s, and I donít know what time weíre actually talking about. When Iím supposed to have, have, have created this offence. Youíre not giving me the facts on that, so how can I possibly Ö

 

MacLeod:  Iím telling you.

 

Smith:  Are you saying that, when I was at Rediffusion, I had something to do with this man, is that what youíre saying?

 

MacLeod:  I am hoping that you will tell me.

 

Smith:  Well I canít tell you that. Iím sorry, because I just donít know.

 

MacLeod:  Well, Ok, forget the, forget the reason, that it may have been for ulterior motives. Supposing that is not this now.

 

Smith:  What do you mean, ulterior motives?


 

 

 

MacLeod:  That you left Rediffusion, to go to EMI, because you were tasked to do so by your KGB contact.

 

Smith:  Iíve already explained that. Thatís not true. I donít want to comment any further on my reasons for leaving Rediffusion. I, I Ö

 

MacLeod:  But donít Ö

 

Smith:  I can stand up in court and say what happened.

 

MacLeod:  This could put, this could clear your position, or could make it, could clarify your position.

 

Smith:  Should I answer this question?

 

MacLeod:  Well itís Ö

 

Smith:  No. Iím, Iím not going to comment at this stage, Iím sorry.

 

MacLeod:  Because Iím suggesting to you, that the reason that you left Rediffusion was because you were tasked by the KGB controller, whoever it was, and it was I believe at that time it was Victor Oshchenko. You were tasked by him to ...

 

Smith:  Was it Victor Oshchenko Ö Ochenko Ö Iím confused now who weíre talking about?

 

MacLeod:  Letís not be pedantic.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Oshchenko. Iíll spell it for you if you wish, so that youíre under no illusion.

 

Smith:  I think we would need to have this written down somewhere, because I, this manís name, er, might be significant.

 

MacLeod:  I think you may have it written down elsewhere, or you may have written it down in the past.

 

Smith:  Iíve written it down?

 

MacLeod:  Well you were certainly aware of it. Now, letís stick to the central point Iím trying to make. The reason that you left Rediffusion was at the behest of your KGB controller, and you were tasked with applying for a number of posts within different companies that were carrying out contract work for the British Government.

 

Smith:  Thatís not true.

 

MacLeod:  You were successful with EMI because you lied on your application form, about your past connections with the Communist Party.

 

Smith:  If, look, if this, if it makes it any clearer. To the best of my knowledge, and Iím not lying, the best of my knowledge is that I saw an advertisement in a newspaper, that was for electronic or something engineers, at EMI at Feltham. I, I applied for an application form, I filled


 

 

 

it in, they gave me an interview and they offered me the job. That was exactly the way it happened. And I didnít go around looking at different companies to see who I could join. It just came up.

 

Beels:  Ok. Iíll bring this part of the interview to an end, just to change tapes. Iím going to switch the machine off. I make the time now 3:07 pm.

 


 

 

 

INTERVIEW 4 ~ TAPE 7

 

Person interviewed:      Michael John Smith

 

Place of interview:        Paddington Green Police Station

 

Date of interview:         9th August 1992

 

Time commenced:        15:10   Time concluded:           15:36

 

Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod

                                   Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels

                                   Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)

 

Beels:  The time now is 3:10 pm in the Interview Room, number 2 of Paddington Green Police Station. Weíre continue the interview of Mr Smith.

 

Jefferies:  Could I just ask my client to be re-cautioned, considering the length of time since the first caution.

 

Beels:  Ok, sir, yes. I must remind you that you do not have to say anything, Mr Smith, unless you wish to do so, but what you say may be given in evidence. Do you understand that?

 

Smith:  Yes, I understand that.

 

MacLeod:  Right, if we can just pick up, um. You say that you never met any Russians.

 

Smith:  I didnít say that, no.

 

MacLeod:  No, right, Ok. You couldnít recollect.

 

Smith:  I didnít say that either. I said I wasnít going to comment.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Ok. So youíre not going to comment. Can you remember meeting, er, the TASS correspondent, back here in, er, May 1975? A man called Ozerov?

 

Smith:  The name means nothing to me. I donít remember that name.

 

MacLeod:  Do you remember a Victor Lazin?

 

Smith:  Iím getting a bit worried that all these people are called Victor. Iím sorry. I, itís rather amusing, but, er, I canít comment on that, because, er, I donít know the name and, er, itís just pointless.

 

MacLeod:  Ok. Right. So you left Rediffusion to join EMI in July 1976. Just answer one question, Mr Smith. Did you, were you going there on a higher salary?

 

Smith:  Sorry?

 

MacLeod:  When you left Rediffusion to join EMI?

 

Smith:  I was on a higher salary then. Yes, thatís true.

 

MacLeod:  You did. Now can I just ask that question again. You left Rediffusion to go to EMI because you were earning more?

 

Smith:  Well, that was one of the reasons.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well, Iím going to suggest to you that, that is not the case. You in actual fact took a pay cut.

 

Smith:  That is not true. I, I, wherever you got that information from, that is not true. Iím absolutely convinced that I, I had a pay rise. It may not have been very much, because pay rises in those days werenít very much, but I started on a salary of I think £3,100, or something. I think I was on £2,800, or something, in Rediffusion. So, it definitely wasnít a pay cut. In fact, Iíve only taken, er, one pay cut in all my life.

 

MacLeod:  So, I mean, if we made enquiries of Rediffusion?

 

Smith:  Rediffusion doesnít exist anymore. You wonít find this, itís a housing estate now. I could have told you that if you had asked me. So, it would be pointless ringing anybody up there, because it doesnít exist.

 

MacLeod:  But the main point is that you, you were making more money by going there, and it wasnít long after you went there, in fact, in fact it was down at the, the Systems and Weapons Division in Feltham. Was it not, when, when you took up your employment with EMI?


 

 

 

Smith:  I didnít. Sorry. I didnít get the point of the question?

 

MacLeod:  Yes. Iím saying where you were working. You were working at Feltham at the Systems and Weapons Division?

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  And not long after that, er, you were assigned to the development of the XN715.

 

Smith:  We, weíve already discussed that. Iím not going to comment on that matter.

 

MacLeod:  But you do know that particular project was classified secret?

 

Smith:  Iím not aware of the classification. I, Iíve been informed by people, er, in security matters at the MoD, that, um, itís not made clear to people, the nature of some of the work, and, um, so I donít think I can comment on that. Itís not within my ability to comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  So, are you telling me that you were engaged on a project in the Systems and Weapons Division, which was looking specifically at the free-fall nuclear bomb, and you didnít know that that was classified secret?

 

Smith:  I didnít say that. Youíre, youíre asking me about the classification of, of the project. Iím, Iím not aware of what the classification of the project was.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  But that project was to Ö

 

Smith:  I was aware that, that there were secret documents around.

 

MacLeod:  But you signed the Official Secrets Act didnít you?

 

Smith:  Yes I did.

 

MacLeod:  Yes, and you were, in what capacity, just to remind you, you were a test engineer there. Is that right?

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

MacLeod:  Now, if I can just talk about the, the fuze.

 

Smith:  Iím not going to discuss the project at all. Itís a classified project, and as Iíve explained before ...

 

MacLeod:  But you just told me, a few moments ago, you didnít even know it was classified. You didnít know what classification ...

 

Smith:  Well, you were talking about the project. Iím, Iím taking the project as meaning the overall project, you know. Not, not, um, the bits I might have been involved in.

 

MacLeod:  Surely the whole project would have the same classification.


 

 

 

Smith:  I wasnít involved in the whole ... The whole project involved other companies. It wasnít just me.

 

MacLeod:  But letís, letís not, letís not widen this. You were a test engineer looking at a specific area of this particular project. You were looking at this fuse, that was to be ...

 

Smith:  Iím not, all I will tell you is I was a test engineer at EMI Electronics.

 

MacLeod:  Yes.

 

Smith:  Iím not going to discuss the project any further.

 

Beels:  But you were aware of the nature of the overall project?

 

Smith:  Not of the overall. I was aware of the nature of, the bit of the project that I was working on.

 

Beels:  How would you describe that?

 

Smith:  What do you mean?

 

Beels:  Your role, and that particular part of the project?

 

Smith:  I was a test engineer. I, I tested, um, bits of equipment.

 

Beels:  Such as?

 

Smith:  Well, electronic equipment, and, er, not all of that I think was secret. Some of it was restricted.

 

Beels:  But was it totally, er, concerned with weapons systems, or were there other projects?


 

 

 

Smith:  Well, you know that, that the nature of, er, EMI Electronics is, er, it is really a military set-up, and, um, I think that speaks for itself.

 

Beels:  Yes, but, I mean, the military will, wouldnít be purely concerned with weapons, there would be support equipment, etc. But was the particular work that you were involved in, specifically involved and concerned with weapons?

 

Smith:  I was specifically involved in one project, on which I was acting as a test engineer, in which I helped in, er, developing test procedures, and proving equipment for use in trials. Er, I didnít get involved in anything to do with the other parts of the project, which were, as I say, involved other companies.

 

Beels:  No, but you, you, you must have had an overall picture of what your particular part of the project was covering?

 

Smith:  I wouldnít like to say I had an overall view of it. I, I saw bits of it, and bits that went together. I didnít Ö

 

Beels:  You understood the nature of, of the work that you were on. That it was part of an overall project, and you had an understanding of the nature of that overall project. Would that be, sort of correct?


 

 

 

Smith:  Well the nature of it, yes. I mean, I wouldnít say any more than that.

 

MacLeod:  Your employers might suggest, or not suggest, but indeed state, that you had access to all documents on the fuze.

 

Smith:  That is not true. If, if they state that, their records are wrong. The only record, the only, er, documents I had access to were to do with, um, procedures, and, um, a few specifications on sub-assemblies, because at the time I left they hadnít completed, the project wasnít complete. So I, I couldnít have access to information that hadnít yet been written.

 

MacLeod:  Ok, but during that time that you were there, during the time you were engaged in that project, you had access to all the documents relating to the fuze.

 

Smith:  No, thatís not true. They were locked away. I didnít have access to all of them. In fact, to get access I had to go and sign the documents out, and your records will show that the only documents I ever signed out, I think, were, were very minor, um, matters, which could not have given anybody any suspicion about their being secret or not. They, they were too, too far down the tree. The top level documents, obviously were ones that werenít easily available, and they were kept by the Project Managers. I mean, I had no access to those.


 

 

 

Beels:  What sort of security was it. Was it very tight security?

 

Smith:  It was extremely tight, yes. On the documentation.

 

MacLeod:  Are you sure? Was it really that strict, or was it Ö?

 

Smith:  Well, I think it was. The cabinets were locked every night, and ...

 

MacLeod:  A bit slack was it not?

 

Smith:  There were other slacknesses, and, er, in, er, in view of what I was saying before the Positive vetting I went through. I described various anomalies in the security system there, which I wanted to bring to their attention.

 

Beels:  And how, and when did you Ö

 

Smith:  They, they were Ö

 

Beels:  How and when did you do that? How did you bring that to the attention of the MoD?

 

Smith:  I, I wrote to the MoD Security Directorate.

 

MacLeod:  In fact Ö

 

Smith:  That has nothing to do with this case.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  Well I, I think itís, itís quite, um, important in perhaps illustrating the security, or the lack of it, as you were suggesting it.

 

Smith:  I didnít say anything about the lack of security on documentation. I think thatís what you were talking about.

 

MacLeod:  Well I think you said it would be easy. This is what you told your Vetting Officer. It would be easy to take a fuze out of the site in a shopping bag, because there were no site, er, no checks at the gates.

 

Smith:  Well, Iím glad to see theyíre communicating.

 

MacLeod:  Was that, was that what you said?

 

Smith:  I did say that, yes.

 

MacLeod:  Well, if security, if youíre saying on the one hand, security was tight, and on the other hand, you can leave a bit of kit like this lying around, that you could walk out with?

 

Smith:  Well, it was in a different building for one thing. What Iím discussing here is that the documentation was locked away in cabinets every night, and it was not, it would have been noticed if it was missing. I mean, it wasnít something that, um, was treated very lightly. I mean, they, they did on the project I was working on, they did treat security very tightly. Iím talking about a small


 

 

 

part of the company now, not the, the overall security system, and things are, um, little microcosms, arenít they, where parts of the company Ö

 

MacLeod:  But. Why would they leave them lying around then? I mean, can you just Ö

 

Smith:  I, I, I noticed it when I was over there one day, There was, er, one of these, um, systems which weíre talking about was, was laying there, and, um, it could have, as I described it, could have just been, walked off with.

 

MacLeod:  In fact it was.

 

Smith:  I, I wanted to bring that to the peopleís attention, because I, I realised the implications, they should have been locked away.

 

MacLeod:  I suggest that what you were doing was covering your own back, because you had done just precisely that.

 

Smith:  I walked off with a fuze?

 

MacLeod:  Maybe not, but you may just Ö You may not have walked off with a fuze, but you, er, made a note of it...

 

Smith:  Thereís no way in which I would have walked off with a fuze, if thatís what youíre think. I mean, if thatís what this man is saying to you, then he, he must be an idiot. Because a fuze is something that was very well


 

 

 

documented. If one had gone missing, it would have been all hell to pay. Even if one of, of the assemblies had gone missing, they were all serialised. It was very tightly controlled. They were locked away in cupboards every night.

 

Beels:  So, what sort of items are you saying it, it was possible, or it was likely people could walk out with?

 

Smith:  It wasnít possible anything could have been walked off with, without somebody noticing, and if, if thereís a record of something going missing, while I was there, Iíd like to know about it.

 

MacLeod:  Just give me an idea of the size of these fuzes. I, I mean, is it small, is it portable Ö?

 

Smith:  Iím not going to discuss sizes. That is part of the specification. Itís not something I want to discuss with you.

 

MacLeod:  I mean, you, you said that somebody could walk off with them in a shopping bag, as suggested.

 

Smith:  Well, you, you can think about the size of shopping bags you can buy, and perhaps that might give you an idea.

 

MacLeod:  Were you, um Ö How did you feel when they withdrew your security clearance?

 

Smith:  Well, I didnít know initially.


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And when you found out?

 

Smith:  Itís difficult to put it into words. I, um, I was more concerned about my, er, career prospects than anything.

 

MacLeod:  What, your career prospects within Thorn EMI, or your career Ö?

 

Smith:  No, not, not just that, but the fact that it might restrict my, my job opportunities.

 

MacLeod:  Why, the opportunities it might afford you for supplying the KGB with Ö?

 

Smith:  No, I didnít say that.

 

MacLeod:  No, but Iím suggesting you ...

 

Smith:  No, thatís not what I meant. My work in Quality Assurance is something which, er, I hold very dear. Iím, Iím a good Quality Assurance engineer. Previous bosses of mine have, have respected my abilities, and I feel that within some of the military projects was the highest level of quality assurance that I could find, and I was very interested technically and professionally in working in that sort of environment, and thatís the, what I missed most when I left EMI Electronics, was that I could no longer, um, not, itís not disrespect to other people, but I could no longer work at that level.


 

 

 

 

MacLeod:  I donít think Ö

 

Smith:  Ö and to drop to, to something which I felt was, er, a less, um, less demanding or less stimulating environment, and thatís why I wrote the letter to the MoD Directorate of Security, because I felt, er, in some way they, theyíd gone overboard on, on removing my security clearance.

 

MacLeod:  I suggest you were upset or miffed ...

 

Smith:  Well, upset, I mean, who wouldnít be?

 

MacLeod:  But it wasnít so much for that because ...

 

Smith:  I wasnít upset in, in a, in a, in the way that people might feel Iím going to get back at them, or something. It wasnít like that.

 

MacLeod:  Well you felt you ...

 

Smith:  I was just upset because I was frustrated. I couldnít do anything.

 

MacLeod:  A lost opportunity?

 

Smith:  Well, not lost, because I, I had the opportunity. Iíd seen what, what it was like to work in that environment and I enjoyed it.

 

MacLeod:  A lost opportunity to develop your skills within that particular environment?


 

 

 

Smith:  Yes, but I, I, I donít look back on it, um, with regret now, because now Iíve moved on. Iíve, Iíve got new skills, and Iíve got new interests, and now that, that sort of environment doesnít appeal to me so much. I mean, in fact, as we mentioned yesterday, Iíve, um, applied for a job at Ferranti, which was just through the internal vacancy system, and I think the guy wanted to offer me the job. I mean, the way he was talking to me in the interview, but in many ways I donít feel, if he offered it, I would take it, because I, I feel that would be a rather, um, stifling environment now. Iím far happier in, er, a more sort of commercial, um, consumer orientated company, which, er, would probably be of more use to the country.

 

MacLeod:  How did you get on with your colleagues in, er, Thorn EMI, or EMI as it was in those days?

 

Smith:  Iíd say extremely well. We were, we were all good friends.

 

MacLeod:  Did you have any particular friends within the company?

 

Smith:  I had a few, yes, um ...

 

MacLeod:  Are they regular friends?


 

 

 

Smith:  Do you want names? I can give you names if you want?

 

MacLeod:  But, yes, I wouldnít mind if just ...

 

Smith:  Er, there was, um, if I can give you the names. My boss was a guy called Brian Stone. I Ö

 

MacLeod:  Brian Ö

 

Smith:  Stone.

 

MacLeod:  And what was his position?

 

Smith:  He, he was my boss.

 

MacLeod:  Was he?

 

Smith:  My immediate boss, and I think I got on quite well with him. He was older than me. And it was no more than that, he was just the boss. Um, there was a guy called Geoff Brown, I remember. He was, er, a, a bit of a, a weak character, but he was quite friendly, and, er, Bob Millward.

 

MacLeod:  Did you ever meet these people socially?

 

Smith:  Yeah ,we used to go to a social club, and, er ...


 

 

 

MacLeod:  And did, did you take them home, or did you go to their house?

 

Smith:  I, I didnít take them home. I, I, a couple of times we went to places. I remember there was a guy, I, I think I went to a concert with. There were 2 other people there, that went on a course that I was on. It was an MSc. Course, and, um, 2 of the people from either that lab, or the next door lab to where I was working, went on the same course. It was, it was that sort of thing. We were quite chummy, and, er, ...

 

MacLeod:  Did any of these people share your former political beliefs. Did you ever discuss politics at all?

 

Smith:  Politics wasnít really discussed. The only time, um, politics were being discussed, it was, um, your usual sort of thing - Conservative, Labour, that sort of discussion Ė and, but I would, would have said perhaps naïve. You know, sort of, the way people discuss things when theyíre just getting a bit uptight about the way things are.

 

MacLeod:  So, when your, your, um, past sort of, if you like, affiliations with the Communist Party came to notice, you, you were moved to unclassified work in May í78. In fact, they promoted you, um, in the EMI Medical Section as a Quality Engineer.


 

 

 

Smith:  Yes, well it was put as promotion. I, I didnít see it as that.

.

MacLeod:  What, er, can you, because you were out of the sort of sensitive, um, security kind of work, of the environment youíd been sort of used to. Just, well, thereís clearly no secrets here, so tell us about your work with the Medical Section. What was it?

 

Smith:  Well, the work was, um, wasnít particularly, er, demanding in many ways. I, I donít think the job really existed. I was put, put there really to get me out of the way, I think, and I, I was dabbling in things. It was, it was really about product improvement, improvement of the brain and body scanners which, um, EMI were developing at that time. It was, er, it was quite interesting in some ways I suppose, but I never really got to grips with the job, the way I had at EMI Electronics.

 

MacLeod:  Was, was that because you were out of the, um, Defence industry side of it?

 

Smith:  Well I think it was a different philosophy, a different bias on the work.

 

MacLeod:  How was Ö


 

 

 

Smith:  There, there were a lot of problems at EMI Medical, and thatís why it collapsed, and I could see them from the inside, and I, I did my bit to try and help it.

 

MacLeod:  So it collapsed did it?

 

Smith:  It collapsed because of all sorts of problems with product, product, er, design, project management problems. It was a management disaster, I think, and, er, they were lucky to, um, end up where they made more money than they lost, I think, but it, it wasnít a very, er, good time to be there.

 

MacLeod:  But you went there on promotion didnít you?

 

Smith:  Well, er, as we understand, I mean, it wasnít promotion. I was being moved sideways to, to get me away from EMI Electronics, and it, it wasnít until later I found out that that was the reason.

 

MacLeod:  What prompted you to enquire?

 

Smith:  Because, er, as I explained, EMI Medical was collapsing. The place where I was working, which was down at, um, Frimley at that time, was going to be, I think, taken over by another part of EMI. I was offered a job at Radlett, and Iíd just moved into my flat with my wife. Weíd just got married. There was no way I was going to uproot and go up to Radlett, er, where I didnít really


 

 

 

want to live, and, er, the housing costs were too expensive for me. So, I, I and we were, were quite happy where we were, so I, I said to, er, the personnel people at EMI, ďcan I have a transfer, so I can perhaps go back to EMI ElectronicsĒ, because at that time I didnít know there was a problem. When I tried to, to sort something out, I rang some of my old friends there. They seemed to be sort of, well some of them, Brian Stone was keen, and, er, another chap Phil Beauchamp wasnít, um, and he seemed to be a bit - because I actually saw him in the street, a bit later than that - and he, he was rather, um, he actually knew, and we discussed the security business, and he was upset because he, he liked me and, er, I think it was a bit of a shock to him when Iíd been moved out. So, um, anyway, I was looking for this job outside, er, from the EMI Medical part at Frimley, and, er, I went for a job at, er, EMI Electronics at Woking, and got quite a good interview, and then the personnel people told me I couldnít apply for it. So, I thought, thereís something funny going on here, and thatís when I, I found out, that one of my bosses then explained it to me, and, er, I was a bit shocked at the time and, er, decided Iíd have to take it further. Thatís why I applied for the Positive Vetting.

 

MacLeod:  I suggest that Victor Oshchenko put you up to it, to find out why it was ...

 

Smith:  Nobody put me up to that. I did it on my own behalf,


 

 

 

because I was interested in my career, and for no other reason than that.

 

MacLeod:  Well?

 

Smith:  Nobody in, in my life has ever pushed me to do anything career wise. Iíve done it myself.

 

MacLeod:  Well, they were obviously disappointed too, that you had lost your security clearance, um. But when you went into the Medical Section, EMI Medical, I mean, albeit that the information was unclassified, you still continued to pass them information. Rubbish it might have been, but, um, you still passed it.

 

Smith:  Iíve, Iíve never been passing information, as you put it, so how could I possibly comment on that.

 

MacLeod:  So youíre denying that you ever passed any unclassified information from ...

 

Smith:  I didnít pass any information, classified or unclassified. As I reiterate, from what we said before, I would like to see the evidence, so that I can actually discuss it with you in detail, but you wonít seem to put that on the table.

 

MacLeod:  So, you were made redundant by Thorn EMI in September í85. In fact, you were probably quite fortunate to have secured employment in such a short space of time. You went to work for GEC.


 

 

 

Smith:  No I didnít go straight there. I worked for a company called Evershed and Vignoles.

 

MacLeod:  Whoís that, sorry?

 

Smith:  Evershed and Vignoles. Itís a company Ö

 

MacLeod:  Evershed and Vignoles, and where are they located?

 

Smith:  Theyíre based in Chiswick.

 

MacLeod:  And what kind of work were you involved in there?

 

Smith:  Er, it was a Quality Assurance job, and they have some, er, I canít remember now, because, Ö motors, I think it was, one of the things they made, maybe tachometers, things like that. And, um, I think they, they, they made panel meters for the Navy, um, things that go on the front of tube trains to show the destination, that sort of thing. Itís a bit of a hotch-potch of a company, er. I didnít stay there long, because ...

 

MacLeod:  Well I was going to ask you. I mean, you, you could only have been there a few weeks, because Ö?

 

Smith:  2 months.

 

MacLeod:  Yes. So what prompted you to leave?


 

 

 

Smith:  Well, Iíd, Iíd already been applying for a number of jobs, and, er, GEC, er, didnít offer me a position at the time, and, um, so I went to Evershed and Vignoles. Iíd been there about 3 or 4 weeks, and this one came up offering a lot more money and better job prospects. So I thought, well, it would be stupid not to take it.

 

MacLeod:  So, they restored part of your, um, rather restored your security clearance to confidential.

 

Smith:  Yes. I donít think it was as high, but I, I didnít, I mean, I didnít really see any proper, um, classified documents at, er, GEC. It wasnít part of my job.

 

MacLeod:  So, youíve been redundant from, or rather you were made redundant by GEC Hirst, in July of this year.

 

Smith:  Thatís correct.

 

MacLeod:  When did they indicate to you that you were likely to be made redundant?

 

Smith:  Er, I think it might have been May, May I think, middle of May.

 

Beels:  Sir. Weíre coming towards the end of this tape. You indicated earlier that you may wish to take refreshments at the end of this tape.


 

 

 

Jefferies:  Yes, if possible. If thatís convenient.

 

MacLeod:  That is convenient. Yes.

 

Beels:  In which case, Iíll bring the interview to an end. Iím concluding this interview. Is there anything else you wish to add or clarify?

 

Smith:  No.

 

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

 

Smith:  Yes.

 

Beels:  I have a form 987, explaining your rights of access to the tape, which again, I will give you. The time is 3:36 pm, and Iím switching off the machine.