Person interviewed: Michael John Smith
Place of interview: Paddington Green Police Station
Date of interview: 10th August 1992
Time commenced: 16:57 Time concluded: 17:24
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, from Special Branch at New Scotland Yard.
Beels: And you are sir Ö
Smith: Michael Smith.
Beels: And you are sir Ö
Jefferies: My name is Richard Jefferies, a solicitor from Tuckers Solicitors.
Beels: We are in 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 of a copy of this tape. The date is the 10th August, and the time is 4:57 pm by my watch. 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.
Beels: Do you understand?
Smith: Yes I do.
Beels: Do you agree that the tapes were unsealed in your presence?
Smith: Yes I do.
Beels: You are entitled to free legal advice, and your solicitor is present with you. Is that correct?
Smith: Thatís correct.
Beels: I understand you have been given the opportunity to exercise recently and you declined, is that correct?
Smith: Iíve declined yes.
Beels: You are also continuing to refuse to take any food whilst in detention, is that correct?
Smith: Thatís correct, yes.
Beels: But you are taking liquids?
Smith: I am taking liquids, yes.
Beels: I understand you have been examined by a doctor as well, is that correct sir?
Smith: I have been examined by a doctor on three occasions, I believe.
Beels: And you are fit to be interviewed?
Smith: I think I am at this point, yes.
Beels: Thank you. Ok sir.
MacLeod: Right, thank you Mr Smith. Iíd like to begin, first of all, by clarifying certain points that I raised in the previous interview, before I come on to the main subject of this particular interview, and I want to go back over the KGB contacts that we believe you to have had over the years. You deny knowing a man called Victor Oshchenko?
Smith: Yes, I deny knowing that man.
MacLeod: You deny knowing a man Victor Lazin?
Smith: Yes, I donít know the name, I deny knowing them. The pictures you showed me, if thatís the people, I deny knowing those people, yes.
MacLeod: And you deny knowing Anatoliy Chernyayev?
Smith: Anatoliy? Yes, definitely. I could never pronounce the name, even if Iíd met him, I think.
MacLeod: So, you deny ever having had any contact with the Russians, or the Russian Embassy?
Smith: What, the Russian Embassy. Yes, I deny that, yes.
MacLeod: You deny ever having any contacts with any Russian Intelligence Officer?
Smith: I deny that, yes.
MacLeod: You deny ever having contacts with any persons who were Russians, who may have had an intelligence role?
Smith: Thatís a bit more difficult, because I, as I said before in the earlier interviews, I had met some Russians, in a social context. I had no way of knowing if those people were, so-called KGB agents, or who worked for the Russian Embassy. Itís possible, but my involvement with them was so brief, and purely social, that I feel there could have been no consequence, calling it a KGB encounter.
MacLeod: So you deny ever having been a KGB agent?
Smith: Yes I do.
MacLeod: I am going to show you another photograph, a black and white photograph of a man, Iíll spell it Ö Oleg Krasakov. Have you seen that man before?
Smith: I certainly donít recognise that man at all.
Beels: The exhibit Ö
Smith: Oleg, did you say?
MacLeod: Have you seen that man before?
Smith: I donít think so, no.
MacLeod: I am going to enter this as exhibit MM/5.
Smith: Again, and I asked you before, could you give me some specific time or place?
MacLeod: Yes, Iíll tell you that that man was your KGB controller up to September 1985.
Smith: No, thatís a lie. I do not know that man, and I ...
MacLeod: Youíve never seen that man before?
Smith: Iíve never seen that man before.
MacLeod: Right, I am going to change the subject now. I am going to talk about your hobbies, or one of your hobbies, computers.
Smith: Iíve worked on it, yes. I wouldnít call it a hobby as such. Itís a, itís something that I find interesting.
MacLeod: And what do you use your computer for?
Smith: Iíve used it for typing letters, minutes of meetings at work. I have used it for playing games with. Iíve got some musical equipment that goes with it. Is this relevant?
MacLeod: Yes, well itís relevant to the point I am going to try to establish. How much did you pay for your computer?
Smith: I canít remember the exact figure, but I think it was about £4,000 I think.
MacLeod: £4,000. Is that not an awful lot of money for a home computer?
Smith: No, itís not, a friend of mine has got a computer thatís worth more than that. No, it was a big decision, I thought about it for about 2 years before I finally purchased it.
MacLeod: And you bought it when?
Smith: It was the beginning of last year, I think.
MacLeod: And you paid how much, £4,000?
Smith: I donít remember the exact figure, it may have been less than that, I canít remember.
MacLeod: Did you not send off for a, or did you not ask for a quotation from the company TSC for Ö?
Smith: Yes, yes, that was one of the companies I discussed it with.
MacLeod: And they gave you a quotation for £10,033.75?
Smith: That wasnít for the computer. That was a package deal that they were offering me.
MacLeod: I see. Iím going to show you exhibit JS/39, it contains 2 pieces of paper, one of which is the quotation from the company TSC. Is that the quotation that the company gave you for the computer, and the computer equipment?
Smith: I think thatís it, yes. I donít think thatís what I actually bought, not exactly, I donít think.
MacLeod: You can remember making that enquiry and you can remember, Ö?
Smith: I made that enquiry, yes.
MacLeod: I would like you to just reflect again on that answer you gave me.
Smith: Which answer was that?
MacLeod: The amount of money you paid for your actual computer.
Smith: For the actual computer? We are talking about which part of the computer, the CPU, the monitor, keyboard?
MacLeod: Well, yes. You tell me what you bought, in terms of, in relation to the computer?
Smith: I am sorry, but is this relevant? I mean Ö
MacLeod: It is relevant. Iíll explain Ö
Smith: I bought a monitor, I bought a CPU, and I bought a keyboard. I think that was, comprised what you could call a computer.
MacLeod: Yes, and how much did that come to?
Smith: I canít be specific, I think it was around, around £4,000 I believe.
MacLeod: Well, I am going to show you an exhibit now, RR/1, which contains an invoice from the company TSC, a statement of account from the company TSC, which shows that you paid over £10,000.
Smith: I did not pay over ... I did not receive that.
MacLeod: Itís made out to you, it is addressed to you, is it not?
Smith: I did not receive that bit of paper. That is not, I have never received that document.
MacLeod: This document was found at your home address.
Smith: I dispute that. Can I see that again.
MacLeod: Youíre most welcome to.
Smith: Thereís no date on that. No, I didnít, well actually ...
MacLeod: Well, I can show you the date, the dates on which the payments were made, the 5th February 1991.
Smith: Sorry, the lights in the way, I canít see. I am convinced that I did not receive that document. They did send me invoices, but it was not, not that piece of paper.
MacLeod: So, we wouldnít expect to find your fingerprints on it then?
Smith: Well, I, letís put it this way. I do not remember receiving that document. If I did, and it got bundled away with other paperwork, maybe I did, but I do not remember receiving that document. I did receive other documents, which were not in that format, they were in an invoice format. That document is not the one I remember receiving.
MacLeod: Well, if you canít remember receiving ...
Smith: Maybe I did receive it, but I am not going to be, I am not going to deny it, but on the other hand, I am not going to say I definitely received it, because to my knowledge I donít remember that particular piece of paper.
MacLeod: But you agree itís addressed to you?
Smith: I agree itís addressed to me. Yes.
MacLeod: Do you agree, that thatís the amount that you paid for your computer equipment?
Smith: I think that was about it, yes.
MacLeod: It is right?
Smith: Well, roughly, I mean, I canít Ö
MacLeod: Thatís over £10,000.
Smith: What, what Ö?
MacLeod: You told me you paid just £4,000, or perhaps less.
Smith: We are not talking about a computer here, we are talking about extra equipment.
MacLeod: But my question to you is, what computer and related equipment did you actually buy?
Smith: Related equipment?
MacLeod: Computer equipment.
Smith: Itís not all computer equipment.
MacLeod: Well, can you explain to me what it is?
Smith: Itís a mixture of a computer and some other equipment, which is useful for musical reproduction, which Ö
Smith: Ö is what this company specialises in. I mean, I went to this company to see if they could provide me with the sort of equipment I was looking for.
MacLeod: Right, Ok. Fair enough. The main point of my asking you this, is that I want to establish how you paid for this equipment, whatever the equipment might have been. Whether it was a computer, or other component parts, in connection with this music hobby of yours. I see that it included a cheque for £4,000.
MacLeod: Paid on 5th February 1991.
MacLeod: You paid £1,262.50 by credit card, and you paid £4,800 in cash.
MacLeod: Do you agree?
Smith: Well, thatís what it says, I think.
Smith: That might be a fair ...
MacLeod: and you paid a small amount of £138, that was on 26th February 1992. What I am interested in is this cash payment of £4,800. Do you agree that thatís how that was paid?
Smith: Itís my recollection it was. I, itís going back a while, I donít remember all the transactions I make.
MacLeod: So, can you tell me where you found the money, that £4,800?
Smith: Well, itís money that I had saved up.
MacLeod: In which account?
Smith: Well, I have a number of accounts. I have 2 cheque book accounts, and I have an Abbey National account.
MacLeod: Can you tell me what, so you have got 2 cheque book accounts, with which bank?
Smith: With the NatWest.
MacLeod: With the NatWest, and the building society?
Smith: Itís the Abbey National.
MacLeod: Abbey National. Now, I have to make it absolutely clear to you, we will have access to your bank statements and building society statements within the next 24 hours. Can I expect to see a withdrawal for that amount of £4,800, from one of your accounts?
Smith: I canít say it would come out of one account. I collected the money from sources, and had savings. I always like to keep a certain amount of cash at home.
MacLeod: Yes, well, when you say sources, you also get some money from sources, what sources?
Smith: What do you mean in the way of sources?
MacLeod: Can we ask you that question again. That amount £4,800, where did you find that money?
Smith: That money is mine. I mean, I Ö
MacLeod: Yes, well, you tell me itís yours, but you paid £4,800 in cash. Thatís a lot of money, by any standards, to pay in a lump sum?
Smith: I am sorry, but I donít think thatís a lot of money.
MacLeod: Donít you?
Smith: People spend a lot more than that on cars, and I donít lead a particularly, how do you say, a riotous lifestyle. I donít go out very much, I donít spend a lot of money on clothes, or the sort of things that other people do.
Beels: Why did you choose to pay in cash on that particular occasion?
Smith: I felt that paying cash was a better way of sorting out quickly, that I could get the goods as soon as possible.
Beels: Even though you paid on previous occasions by cheque and credit card, and on this particular occasion Ö?
Smith: I found it was the only way of quickly organising my affairs to, because they wanted a payment up front. I, Ö
Beels: But youíve already said, that you had to get that money from various sources?
Smith: Thatís right, otherwise it means selling shares, and the sort of things that involve time and problems for me. So, I decided to pay for it in a way that would quickly achieve the result.
Beels: We are just looking, what about 18 months ago, that payment, about 18 months?
Smith: A bit longer than that.
Beels: A bit longer, Ok. You must remember paying out that much in cash. I mean, itís not the sort of thing you do every week, or every month, is it?
Smith: I donít remember the exact, it was one evening I believe.
Beels: So, you remember it was an evening?
Smith: Yes, thatís what I remember, it was one evening.
Beels: And so you went along to this particular premises, The Synthesizer Company Ö
Beels: Ö and paid it actually at the premises?
Smith: Yes, I remember that.
Beels: Can you remember where you, exactly, got the cash from?
Smith: Iíd collected it over a period of a couple of weeks, from the sources I had. We, I mean Ö
MacLeod: But tell me the sources. This is what I am asking you, tell me what the sources are that youíve got, or you had at that time?
Smith: Well, itís difficult to say isnít it. I mean, everybody keeps accounts in their own way. I mean, I like to have a reasonable amount of cash available to me at all times, for emergencies. Iíve also found that keeping cash aside, for those sort of purchases, always is a better way of getting a better discount, and these people did offer me a better discount for putting the money up front. Thatís the reason I discussed it with them, and another company, to see who could come up with the best deal.
MacLeod: I canít see that there would be any difference, in the discount that youíd be given, between cheque and cash
Smith: Well, the people I was dealing with wanted the money before they would undertake any work.
MacLeod: Was that because they gave it to you minus VAT?
Smith: I donít know, thatís between them and the tax man, I guess.
MacLeod: £4,800. If we go to this company, and itís not that long back and they will probably remember, and we will be going to this company. We will want to know just exactly what it was that you purchased for that, and what special arrangements Ö
Smith: I am quite happy for you to do that.
MacLeod: Ö or what discount they gave you.
Smith: If you will discuss it with that company TSC. I am quite happy for you to do that.
MacLeod: I am putting it to you, that that money, that money was given to you in a lump sum, as a cash payment.
Smith: Cash payment?
MacLeod: Yes. That was part of the monies that had been given to you, over a period of time by the KGB?
Smith: I donít think thatís true.
MacLeod: Well, I think your bank statements, or particularly your building society statements, might reveal one or two interesting transactions.
Smith: Well, Iím quite, I have nothing to hide in my bank statements, if you want to look back over them. Iíd like to add, I am not a particularly organised person when it comes to finances, and I occasionally find Iíve got more money in my account than I should have, because I donít check it every week. But as far as I am concerned, if Iíve got the money, I spend it, and ...
MacLeod: Yes, well, youíve got £4,800. If youíve got it, you spend it, and yet you didnít on this occasion, you must have saved up for some considerable time to get £4,800 in cash. So, you werenít really spending your money as it was coming in.
Smith: I told you, I explained before, I thought, that Iím not extravagant in other things.
MacLeod: Thatís because you were told not to be extravagant Ö
MacLeod: Ö in your lifestyle.
Smith: Thatís not it at all. The reason Iím not extravagant is because Iíve always been quite thrifty throughout my life. You can ask my mother, we used to have arguments when I was a child about spending money, and Iíve always been very careful about money, I hoard it more than most people, and ...
MacLeod: So, can we expect to find any more money in your flat?
Smith: You probably can, yes.
MacLeod: So you hoard money?
Smith: People hoard different things. Well, why shouldnít I have my own peculiarities. Look at Ken Dodd, it speaks for itself, that. Itís just, I am just saying that Ö
MacLeod: I donít believe you, I donít believe you when you say that you keep this kind of money lying around the house.
Smith: I didnít say I kept that sort of money lying around. I said I accumulated it.
MacLeod: What in a building society. Did you have Ö?
Smith: Some of it. Well, youíll have to, I cannot, as I say, I am not particularly good at accounting for the way I work on my bank statements. They tend to be rather haphazard, and I, about 2 or 3 years, I
work it out and say: ďAh, Iíve got a thousand pounds too much in my bank accountĒ and Iíve done that a couple of times in the last 5 years. Thatís just the way I am. As long as my statements come through, and show I am in the black, then I donít give a damn.
MacLeod: You know, as well as I do, that this was a payment from the KGB, and in line with their instructions, for you to use the money that they paid you in an unobvious way. This would be consistent with that advice.
Smith: How on earth is that consistent? I mean, if I Ö
MacLeod: Because youíve bought a large item here, and youíve spent far more than the average individual in the street would spend on a computer.
Smith: I am not an average individual, I earn a lot more than the average individual.
MacLeod: Are you saying then, even for somebody whoís earning perhaps more than the average individual, that would go out and spend £10,000 on computer equipment?
Smith: Why not? Iíve been saving up over a period of years for that. Itís something I wanted a long time ago. Itís just at that particular point in time, it was a technological breakthrough in this music field, and I was quite excited to get in at the beginning. And when I went for a demonstration of the equipment, I was quite impressed by it and I thought, ďyes this is
what I want, and this is what I am prepared to spend that amount of money onĒ. I mean, people go and buy Porsches, which are far more expensive. I think the enjoyment I can get from that piece of equipment is worth that amount of money to me.
MacLeod: I come back to the point I am making. If you had accumulated money over a period of time, from sources as you describe it, I am yet to be convinced what the sources are? You would have Ö
Smith: Well, Iíve had other work. Iíve done some evening work.
MacLeod: But you would expect that money to be put into a building society, or into the bank Ö?
Smith: I donít keep all my money in building societies.
MacLeod: So, you are saying that you kept £4,800 in the house, just by the way?
Smith: No, I didnít say that, no, I didnít say that.
MacLeod: Right, tell me what youíre saying then, make it clear so that thereís no ...
Smith: Well, some of that money would have been in the house, some of the money I would have withdrawn from the building society.
MacLeod: Can you remember how much you withdrew from the building society?
Smith: Youíd have to check my accounts, because I, as I say, I donít look at it every day. In fact, if I think can make a point in time when I think ďyes, Iíve got that amount of money that I needĒ. I withdraw it, and I spend it.
MacLeod: I put it to you, that is one of the lump payments that the KGB paid you, for information that you were passing on to them?
Smith: Look, if I had anything to hide, why would I spend that amount of money in that way? I mean, itís just Ö
MacLeod: Because you were flush. You were flush with money. And that was one of the reasons that you decided, or agreed to work for them. You were receiving regular payments over a period of time.
Smith: Thatís not true.
MacLeod: That is absolutely true, and you know it to be true.
Smith: I do not know it to be true.
MacLeod: You know that to be true. £4,800, £4,800 for the average individual is a lot of money.
But apparently not to you.
Smith: I think we have got to go back, and look at my situation. I live in a one bedroom flat with a low mortgage. I have an old car. My wife works, and has a fairly good job, and sheís self-supporting, and I donít have to buy her anything. I donít spend much money on myself, and this is my perk to myself, if you like. I mean, whatís the point of me saving the money for a rainy day only, I mean, I need to spend money on things that I want to do, and this is one of the things that I decided to buy. Now, I canít believe that you could accuse anybody, who has a specialist hobby that might cost some money, that they should not pursue their hobbies to the extent that they feel able. I felt able.
MacLeod: I am not saying that.
Smith: I felt able to do this, to buy this equipment, to fulfil a wish I had to get in on this particular field of technology, and at that point in time it culminated in everything happening at once. The technology was there at that particular period, within a couple of months of this visit I made for the demonstration. It was the time when the equipment was just coming on the market, and I thought ďif I donít buy it now, I perhaps I never willĒ, because we were thinking of moving, and I thought, once I get a higher mortgage I wonít buy it, Iíve got to go in for it now. And I think when a hobby is so important to me as this one. I had a lot of arguments with my wife about buying it, actually,
because she said, ďdo you really want to buy this equipmentĒ, and I said ďyes itís what I wantĒ.
MacLeod: How much did you tell her that you paid for the equipment?
Smith: Well, of course, I didnít tell her how much I spent on it. I told her a lot less. As any husband would do if he wants to ...
MacLeod: Because she would be curious as to where you got the money from?
Smith: No. She would be curious as to why I want to spend as much as that, on something that she didnít consider was all that useful to her.
MacLeod: Well, I suggest that she would probably have been suspicious.
Smith: I donít think that she would have been suspicious at all, no.
MacLeod: Of course, itís the right of individuals to spend their money as they see fit. But the point I am getting at, and you still havenít answered the question, you said that you had that money from sources? Money that Ö
Smith: Money that Iíd accumulated over a period of time.
MacLeod: Why was that money not in a building society?
Smith: I canít answer that.
Smith: Itís the way I dealt with it.
MacLeod: Well, I know you canít answer it.
Smith: Thatís my personal affair, I think, how I deal with my money.
MacLeod: Indeed itís your personal affair, but is it not odd that you should keep that large amount of money outside a building society?
Smith: Yes, it might be odd to some people, but itís odd to people who think itís odd, but to me itís not odd.
MacLeod: Itís patently clear to people, who know that this type of activity youíve been up to, that this is consistent with the payments that youíve been receiving over a period of time.
Smith: Thatís pure conjecture.
MacLeod: That might have been a lump sum, it might have been an accumulation of monies paid to you, but that money, that money was money that was paid to you by the Russians for information that you were providing them with.
Smith: If you think that, thatís your affair. I am just reiterating that, that money was mine, I collected it. I got it from sources which were quite legitimate, and, er ...
MacLeod: Well, you say quite legitimate. What sources, you still havenít told me what sources?
Smith: My income.
MacLeod: So, would I expect them to see your bill, when we examine your accounts? We shall be about to get some indication of your spending, and how much you are putting away.
Smith: I am sure you can. I mean, itís there, you canít hide bank accounts. I mean, thatís what theyíre there for.
MacLeod: Well, obviously, weíll be coming to that tomorrow when we have got the necessary details from the banks and the building societies. And I am sure that will reveal some interesting sort of anomalies, to put it mildly.
Right, I want to come back onto your trips abroad. Have you ever been to Portugal?
Smith: Yes, Iíve been to Portugal on 2 occasions.
MacLeod: Can you tell me when?
Smith: I was travelling around Spain and Portugal in 1977.
MacLeod: Well, talk me through that then.
Smith: Well, in what way?
Smith: I was on holiday. I took about three to three and a half weeks holiday. It was ...
MacLeod: Where in Portugal did you go?
Smith: I went to Oporto, which is in the North, and travelled down the coast a way, and back into Spain. It was just to find what Portugalís like, I hadnít been there before.
MacLeod: Weíll come back to that in just a minute.
Beels: This tape is coming to an end. I am about to switch the machine off. The time is 5:24 pm.
Person interviewed: Michael John Smith
Place of interview: Paddington Green Police Station
Date of interview: 10th August 1992
Time commenced: 17:26 Time concluded: 17:55
Other persons present: Detective Superintendent Malcolm MacLeod
Detective Sergeant Stephen John Beels
Richard Jefferies (Duty Solicitor)
Beels: The time is now 5:26 pm. This is the second tape. You are still under caution.
MacLeod: Mr Smith, can we continue with the question I posed just a few moments ago, regarding your trip to Portugal back in 1977?
Smith: Portugal. Ok, well, Portugal wasnít really my main destination, it was Spain.
MacLeod: Can we just dwell on Portugal?
Smith: Ok, Portugal. I entered the country at, I think, the Northern-most point, I canít remember the name of the town, but it is quite a rocky or hilly road that runs down to Oporto from there. As I remember, the first day I was there, it was travelling between the border with Spain and Oporto. I stayed in Oporto, I think 2 nights, at a camp site there. I then travelled down
to, I think, I canít remember the name of the town. I think it began with "C", like Colomar, or something like that. It was about halfway between Oporto and Lisbon, along those, travelling down the coast road, and then I went inland and back into Spain.
MacLeod: So how long did you spend in Oporto?
Smith: Oporto, I think 2 days.
MacLeod: And can you tell me what, to the best of your recollection, what you did on those 2 days?
Smith: Well, it was sightseeing, Iíd never been to Oporto before. I was quite attracted by the old nature of the town, the cobbled streets, lack of traffic lights. I went to an evening session, a Fado evening which was laid on for tourists in a restaurant there. I got involved in some sort of street festival, in one of the back streets around by where this restaurant was, on the way back. But most of the day was spent in just looking around the town, taking photographs, and ...
MacLeod: Were you accompanied?
Smith: I was with my ex-flatmate.
MacLeod: What was his name?
Smith: His name was John Watson
MacLeod: Were you ever on your own at any time, during the time you were there in Oporto?
Smith: I donít think so, no, because we had to drive from the camp site. I think we drove from the camp site to the town on the, I think the 2 days we were there, so we went together.
MacLeod: Was there nothing in particular you can remember at that visit in Oporto?
Smith: In what way? I mean, it was as anybody might do around London, I was just walking around, going into a few bars to sample the local beer. The sort of things any tourist would do. I didnít do anything unusual.
MacLeod: Including using phone boxes?
Smith: In Portugal? No, I didnít use any phone boxes in Portugal.
MacLeod: You canít remember any other sort of events surrounding that visit in Portugal can you?
Smith: What on that trip?
Smith: Not in Portugal, no.
MacLeod: I am putting it to you, that you carried out some work for the KGB, in clearing what is known as dead letter boxes.
Smith: In Portugal?
MacLeod: You did some intelligence work.
Smith: In Portugal?
Smith: Thatís a lie. Iíd never been to Portugal before, and I didnít ...
MacLeod: And you did similar work in ...
Smith: Ö I didnít actually know Portugal very well, and as I explained, thatís the reason I wanted to include it on my trip around Spain, was because Portugal is a place I wanted to visit. But the time I spent there was relatively short and uneventful, apart from the, the sort of things that I did say, in the evening going to the Fado evening, and looking around the Cathedral there.
MacLeod: Well, why should Victor Oshchenko say that you carried out work for them in Oporto, or in Portugal?
Smith: Why? I really canít see why he should say that, no.
MacLeod: Or if he said in Portugal?
Smith: Portugal, where? As I say, I explained to you, the only places Ö
MacLeod: You tell me.
Smith: Ö I went to were Oporto, and places I just passed through. I mean, there was no reason for anybody to think there was anything suspicious about it. I didnít meet anybody, we met some Portuguese people in - a daughter of a doctor I think she was, who spoke quite good English - in Oporto, and we discussed, because we were singing songs around a bar late in the evening. They wanted to sing "My old manís a dustman" - youíll find the photographs in my flat - I am actually playing the guitar, with a couple of gypsies behind me, which will prove that I was there that night. But thatís the sort of thing.
MacLeod: That doesnít prove, that doesnít prove that you werenít carrying out some espionage work on ...
Smith: There we are, coming back to this negative sort of proof. I cannot prove I didnít, no. But I am asserting, there was no reason for anything suspicious about my visit to Portugal.
Beels: Do you recall at any time using any telephone boxes?
Smith: I did not use one telephone box, or the things that hang on the wall in Portugal, no. I had no reason to. In fact, in the whole of that trip, in Spain and France, I donít remember using a telephone at all.
Beels: Or entering a telephone box?
Smith: No. I had no reason to on that particular trip, I did not use a telephone.
MacLeod: You did say Ö
Smith: As much as I would like to, because Iíd left my girlfriend at home, and I was very much missing her by the time we got to Portugal. I would have rung her up, but I didnít do that.
MacLeod: Your girlfriend, being your present wife?
Smith: No, it was a previous girlfriend, who I split up from.
MacLeod: The person that you went to Portugal with, his name again was ...?
Smith: John Watson.
MacLeod: And where does he live? Could he verify?
Smith: He could verify, yes. He was with me, and I see no reason to ...
MacLeod: Where is John Watson?
Smith: He lives, he lives in St Ives, which is near Cambridge, I believe.
MacLeod: St Ives. And when did you last have contact with this chap?
Smith: In what way, I mean, because I have written to him in the past. We, actually, are not really on good terms now, because there was a rift between my wife and his present wife, and I think, in fact, they turned their back on me, because Iíve tried to contact him a couple of times and he doesnít respond, so I think heís lost interest in my friendship.
MacLeod: John Watson from St Ives in Cambridgeshire, you say.
Beels: How did you know him, how did you come to know him?
Smith: I knew him because he was a friend of this man Phil Cutler, who we mentioned some time ago. And he wanted to share the house we were living in, in Kingston, as a way of getting away from home. Because he was living with his father, and wasnít very happy with that set-up.
Beels: When did you first meet him?
Smith: In 1974.
Beels: You remember it specifically as that year?
Smith: It was that year, because we moved into that house that year, it was sometime in the summer.
MacLeod: Was he a communist?
Smith: No, I wouldnít have said so. He was rather, sort of an easy going sort of person really. He was more of an artistic person, he was very interested in painting and drawing. In fact, one of his biggest works was an almost life, what, a 6 foot high head of Lenin, which he submitted to the YCL, as something to shove behind meetings, and such like.
MacLeod: So, if we made enquiries of, or we spoke to this man, then youíre telling me that he would ...
Smith: He would verify that we were in Portugal together, yes.
MacLeod: Ö verify what you are saying, that you were in each otherís company at all times, and Ö?
Smith: I have no doubt of that, because we were living side by side, driving around in the same car, eating in the same restaurants. Thereís no way he would have not known that I had used a telephone box, or done something suspicious.
MacLeod: He probably wouldnít have considered it suspicious, but anyway. This man, when did you last see him, did you say, you Ö?
Smith: I last saw him, it was over the Christmas holiday in, I have to think of the year. It would be 1979, about the end of 1979, Christmas holiday. That was the last time I saw him.
Beels: But youíve tried to make contact?
Smith: I tried to make contact, as I say.
Beels: How recently?
Smith: It was last October, I believe.
Beels: How did you try to make contact?
Smith: I rang him up. No, I think it was longer ago than that, it might even have been August, I rang up, and ...
Beels: So you have his phone number?
Smith: Yes, I got his wife, who gave me a bit of small talk, and said: "Oh, yeah, heís out at the moment". I rang back, I think it was a week later, and she said: "Oh, heís had to take somebody to the hospital". And I got the feeling, now he hasnít rung me back, so I know that he doesnít really want to know me. So, Ö
Beels: Do you know his address?
Smith: Iíve got it somewhere, but I donít have it on me.
MacLeod: Can you tell me something about your work at GEC, Hirst Research Centre?
Smith: My work at GEC Hirst Research Centre has been totally about Quality Assurance, and mainly auditing of different projects there, from the Quality Assurance point of view.
MacLeod: And, is there anything specifically that you had responsibility, any specific project that you were responsible for?
Smith: No, no. I just looked at whatever was on, we had a schedule, of auditing nearly everything once a year. I think nearly everything, but some things didnít get looked at. And it was to look at a projectís approach to record keeping, to project planning, the sort of things that concern the management role of running a project on research, or development.
MacLeod: Yes. Would it be true to say then, your job as the audit control manager gave you an overview of a lot of the projects that were going on in the company?
Smith: No, no. I didnít get deeply, because most of the audits would occupy no more than an hour and a half, sometimes only an hour, they were very short, as we were looking at little tiny pieces of the company, maybe only 3 people in the whole project. So, there was no point in spending hours discussing it. So, we just discussed, we had a pro forma actually, a pro forma of going through asking questions, about such things as how do they plan their work, how do they
create work instructions, records, calibrate the equipment they use. All the things that come under AQAP-1, which was what we were supposed to be working to.
MacLeod: And did this involve any classified material?
Smith: I would say not. The only classified project, that I was aware of, that was known to be classified, was in a Lab that I didnít go into very often. I didnít actually have any dealings with that.
MacLeod: What type of work was that Lab involved in?
Smith: That Lab, why, do you want me to tell you the name of that Lab? It was Ö
MacLeod: Yes please.
Smith: It was called Device Applications Lab, and it was run by a man called Arthur Dyer, and they carried out certain work on crystals for oscillators, which, I know some of these crystals went to the Trident project in the States, but thatís all I know about it. I did not know anything about those devices, that was out of my sight.
MacLeod: And if you were the audit control manager, how come you didnít have oversight of what that was going on there?
Smith: No, well, Iíll explain. We had an ex-MoD man called Bill Tatham, who is now retired. Heís about 70 years old, and this was one of his fields, I believe, was crystals, and that type of project, and GEC took him on as a consultant, specifically to work on projects like that. And he did the audits on the Trident work, and reported back on the forms, which I put into the system, the audit records, and recorded the deficiencies found. That in no way involved the work itself, it was purely about what we, something wasnít calibrated, or, the sort of thing which I was responsible for.
MacLeod: So, there was, is it right to say that the company carried out contract work for the government?
Smith: Oh yes, it did, yes. But much less so than it used to. I mean, there has been this, as you probably know, the change in the role of submitting research projects to companies like GEC, and itís fallen back to a very limited, well I think the MoD hardly support any of the work at Hirst Research Centre now. At one time they used to fund complete projects, but now they just part fund projects in a collaborative sort of venture, with other companies, or other agencies.
MacLeod: Did you sign the Official Secrets Act when you joined the company?
Smith: Not when I joined the company, it was sometime after.
MacLeod: How long after?
Smith: I canít remember. I think it might have been 1987. I donít remember exactly, because it just came round, and I was called down to an office and asked to sign it.
MacLeod: Have you ever taken any of the work home with you, away from the premises?
Smith: I have, from time to time, yes, I ...
MacLeod: What kind of work?
Smith: Well, sometimes to, the audit work I was doing, to write it up and to prepare it for meetings, and that sort of thing. I have taken a few things home, which perhaps I shouldnít have done, which is partly professional interest - my future work - that I can use as a guide for how to organise things, if ever I work in that sort of situation again.
MacLeod: What sort of things, can you be more specific?
Smith: Well, procedures, procedural documents, I donít know how to be more specific, just documents. I mean, they were all sorts of documents, bits of paper, I wouldnít say there were vast quantities. I mean, we are not talking about suitcases full here.
MacLeod: Did you have authority to take these documents out of the building?
Smith: Probably not, no. I Ö
MacLeod: Because it was classified?
Smith: No, I donít think it was classified at all. I think it was just because it was company confidential, and most companies have this rule that you shouldnít take documents out of the company. But I know for a fact, that a lot of people do, and it is for the reason that Iím saying, that it is professionally of interest to those people in future work. Not that they would regurgitate it to another company, but that they would use it as a basis for how a certain type of discipline could be organised and managed.
MacLeod: I mean, if it was company policy not to take material or documents out of the building, or out of the premises, is that not because it was classified?
Smith: I wouldnít say it was because it was classified, no. I mean, I donít think, I think I have actually by mistake taken some classified documents, restricted documents, which I intended to dispose of, but they were, um. Iíll explain. The last day I was there, at Hirst Research Centre, it was only a week and a bit ago, I had a very busy day. It was a Friday, and there was a lot of activity about me leaving, and our Departmental Secretary was also being made redundant
on the same day. I was going down to the pub to say farewell to them. I was being asked to say goodbye to people, individuals who had given a collection, they gave me a present. All this sort of thing was going on, and I was trying to finish off. I had to write a letter to a man in Manchester, and tidy up everything on my desk before I left, and in a sort of panic at the end of the day, I had a pile of stuff I couldnít sort out, so I just dumped it into a bag and took it home with me and I found - I was going through it last week - and found a restricted document, which I thought I shouldnít have had, but I did intend to dispose of it.
MacLeod: How do you mean dispose of it?
Smith: Destroy it.
MacLeod: Destroy it?
Smith: Well, it was, I think, it was an old document of no interest to anybody now, I guess.
MacLeod: Well, why not return it to the company?
Smith: Well, I could do, but I think thatís embarrassing, actually, to have to go back and say, well look, I took this by mistake. I mean, I didnít want anybody to think the wrong impression of me.
MacLeod: So, you wouldnít want them to think that youíd taken it by mistake, and to get the wrong impression of you? I see.
Smith: I judged that that document was of no use to them, because the work had changed. I knew those documents had been updated anyway, so it didnít really affect their work, and ...
Beels: It wasnít really a decision for you to make though, was it surely, it was a company decision?
Smith: Ok. I admit then, I have made an error, an error of judgement, and I shouldnít have done that, I should have organised myself so I wasnít in a mad rush at the last. I am a last minute manager, Iím afraid, and I do tend to leave things to the end, and it was the last Friday I was there and I had to leave the company that day, and I thought, well, "my God, Iíve got to get this desk clear before I go". And there was, you can ask my boss, he used, he was complaining over about 3 or 4 years that my desk was in a mess, and I am just not a very organised person Iím afraid.
MacLeod: Weíll come back to that in just a moment. While we are talking about this particular period, during the time you were working at GEC.
MacLeod: Did you ever meet any Russians?
MacLeod: During the course of my work?
MacLeod: Not necessarily in the course of your work, but did you met any Russians?
Smith: I understood, from, I donít remember where I heard it, I understood that there was a Russian working at Hirst Research Centre at one time. Whether he was someone Ö
MacLeod: No, Iím not talking about somebody working at Hirst. I am talking about, did you at any time, during the time you were working at GEC Hirst, did you ever meet any Russians?
Smith: Not to my knowledge, no. I say, unless it was one of these chance meetings.
MacLeod: I think you really ought to think about that question again. Did you ever Ö
Smith: Well, when can I, how can I reason Ö
MacLeod: Just reflect on it. Did you ever meet any Russians during the time you were employed Ö?
Smith: I am trying to reflect on it, but I canít think of an occasion where I could, um, could say yes. I mean, I say donít know, if you think that there is some possibility that Iíve met a Russian, I donít think I have.
MacLeod: See, why should I believe you, when you answer that question like that. When I know that you were lying yesterday about the phone call, that you received at your flat on Saturday morning?
Smith: Iím, the phone call business came at a very early stage in this discussion ...
Smith: Ö and I think, at that stage it wasnít the right time to discuss it.
MacLeod: But I canít see why you consider it wasnít the right time, why was it not?
Smith: Because you werenít laying your cards on the table. I wanted to know a bit more factual basis for your case, before I started answering questions.
MacLeod: But itís not for you to decide who is going to say what. Itís for me to be asking you the questions, and if you had nothing to hide, why ...
Smith: I never denied, or ...
MacLeod: But you never admitted it, and you dismissed it lightly that the telephone call was a mis-routed call. And you made light of it. And you said that you told
your wife it was from, just for the sake of pacifying your wife, for whatever reason, it was just a George from the Lab. Is that right?
Smith: Well, thatís my prerogative to say that, if I want.
MacLeod: And yet, if it was a mis-routed call, why would you have said that? Why not just say itís just a wrong number, as anybody else would have done?
MacLeod: Well, what do you want to discuss about that?
MacLeod: But we know that it wasnít a wrong number, we know that this man, who called himself George, asked for you by name. Am I right?
Smith: Yes, youíre right.
MacLeod: And he told you that you had to meet quite urgently, because of Victor. Is that right?
Smith: Weíve heard the conversation. I am not denying what was said.
MacLeod: And youíre not denying that he gave instructions to go to a telephone kiosk, just down the road from you?
Smith: Well, I donít, I donít actually think what I heard on the tape, whether I heard it correctly or not, I canít remember. But at the time I heard what I thought
was a couple of names mentioned, a couple of road names mentioned, which I knew were nearby. I am not that familiar with the road names, I must admit I know ...
MacLeod: Come, come, you have lived in the area, how many years?
Smith: Well Ö
MacLeod: How long have you lived there?
Smith: I donít, I know the roads in the immediate vicinity.
MacLeod: How long have you lived in the area?
Smith: About 15/16 years, or so.
MacLeod: And you donít know the name of the road, just round the corner from you?
Smith: No, honestly, I know some. I know very well a lot of the road names in Kingston, but once you move away from the areas Iíve immediately lived in, I just donít need to know them.
MacLeod: Iím not interested in other road names in, in Kingston ...
MacLeod: Iím talking about Ö
Smith: Well, letís come back to this business of names, because a couple, 2 roads with names were mentioned.
Smith: The only thing that I definitely recollect being mentioned was the word Cardinal, or Cardinal Drive I thought was mentioned.
MacLeod: Yes, go on.
Smith: Right. I donít know if thereís a road called Cardinal Drive, or not. If thatís, Iím thinking now on, from memory, that it was called Cardinal Drive.
MacLeod: Yes, thatís right.
Smith: Now I thought ...
MacLeod: And thatís only just literally a stoneís throw from your house.
Beels: Cardinal Avenue, in fact.
Smith: Well, this is what Iíve come to the conclusion it was, it should have been Cardinal Avenue. You have got Cardinal Drive.
MacLeod: So, you are saying that you werenít familiar with Cardinal Avenue?
Smith: No, I knew there was a Cardinal something, because there is a Cardinal pub.
MacLeod: And you are saying you didnít know there is a - right.
Smith: I didnít know there was a Cardinal Drive.
MacLeod: So, you heard this mentioned on the telephone, this location?
Smith: Ok. Weíve got to go back, as I might have previously mentioned. A couple of weeks ago, there was a suspicious character.
MacLeod: No, letís ...
Smith: No, this is relevant to this point.
MacLeod: Well, let me decide, let me just finish this point first of all, before we digress. Letís come back to the central question, you say that you heard the name Cardinal Avenue, or Cardinal Drive, mentioned in the telephone Ö?
Smith: And some other name, which I didnít recognise.
MacLeod: Durlston Road?
Smith: I didnít hear that, actually. I heard something Road. I didnít hear, it was, the manís accent was too thick.
MacLeod: And it didnít mean anything to you?
Smith: Cardinal meant something to me, Cardinal Drive.
MacLeod: I mean that location, that description that was mentioned on the phone. That didnít mean anything to you, is that what youíre saying?
Smith: That description?
MacLeod: The location.
Smith: The location didnít mean anything to me, no.
MacLeod: Right, well. Why is it that you went straight to that location within 15 minutes?
Smith: Because, well because, I suspected there was something untoward in this manís telephone call. I didnít know who this George was. I had no suspicion of who George was. Iíve never heard the voice before.
MacLeod: What prompted you then to go to that location?
Smith: Because I am a suspicious character. I am cautious and curious about Ö
Smith: Ö people who phone me up at that time in the morning Ö
Smith: Ö with that sort of accent Ö
MacLeod: Uh, uh.
Smith: ... into my own home, and mention me by name. I wanted to know who he was.
MacLeod: Yes, of course you did, for very good reasons, but you told me earlier on that you didnít go to that location, that you didnít.
Smith: I did not say that. I said I wouldnít comment on it, if you remember?
MacLeod: Well, I canít imagine why you wouldnít, because if this is just, would the average man in the street...
Smith: Letís go back.
MacLeod: No. Hang on, let me finish the point I am making. Would the average individual, receiving a strange phone call at that time of the morning, within 15 minutes of having received the call, make his way to a certain location to speak to a total stranger. Now, does that sound credible? Answer the question. Does that sound credible?
Smith: Probably not. I am not the average man. I never consider myself average, in the sense that I just sit down and accept what happens. I was curious, because of this previous encounter 2 weeks earlier, in which I saw a man watching my house, and I thought: ďsomethingís going on. Either itís something to do with my being vetted for this job at Ferranti, or something which I donít understandĒ. This phone call immediately made me, because I have been thinking about this for some 2 weeks now, I have been looking out of the window for this man to reappear, or somebody suspicious ...
MacLeod: Youíre looking out the window for a man to reappear?
Smith: Well, youíve got to go back further than this, because Iíve had this happen to me now on at least 2 other occasions in the early 1980ís, and in about 1985 as well. When there were definite strangers, strangers to me, who were suspiciously hanging about outside my house, looking up at the window, and walking very slowly by and turning round and coming back.
MacLeod: Mr Smith, I am not interested in this bullshit.
Smith: Itís not bullshit, you can ask my wife.
MacLeod: It is bullshit. Letís stick to the fundamentals shall we. You receive a telephone call at 9 oíclock in the morning, from a man who presumably you have never met before, who announces himself as George, who says he has to speak to you urgently, and indicates itís in connection with Victor.
Smith: No, he didnít say anything about speaking to me urgently, as I remember. He said something - itís urgent.
MacLeod: Well, Iíll play that tape back again, if itís going to clarify it.
Smith: I thought he said itís urgent, I didnít ...
MacLeod: Well, itís urgent ...
Smith: Yes, well ...
MacLeod: Letís not be ...
Smith: Well, when somebody says that to me, I think, ďwhat the hellís going onĒ?
MacLeod: Yes, of course, itís urgent, and why was it urgent do you think?
Smith: I donít know, Iíve no idea?
MacLeod: Well, why did you leave the house?
Smith: Because I wanted to see what was going on, was George a real person.
MacLeod: Itís not the action of an average man, would you agree?
Smith: I certainly would agree. As I have said before, I am not average, in that I am a curious person, thatís
the role of my job.
Beels: Ok, Mr Smith, I am going to conclude this interview. Is there anything else that you wish to add or clarify?
Beels: At the end of this interview I will be asking you to sign this seal on the master tape. Will you do so?
Beels: Here is your form explaining your rights of access to the tape, and the time is 5:55 pm, and I am switching off the machine now.