Ex-SAS officer to sue Met for unlawful arrest

Soldier detained ‘at gunpoint’ over claims he had leaked information

Jonathan Owen

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Scotland Yard faces a legal battle over claims of unlawful arrest of a senior Special Air Service (SAS) officer said to have been “treated like a terrorist” by armed police.

The individual, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was one of two British army officers arrested during an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into leaks of government secrets to Sky News. The officer was driving through Hereford with one of his young children when, it is claimed, he was stopped by armed police surrounding his vehicle.

“It was a disgrace,” said a senior figure speaking on condition of anonymity. “He was treated as if he were a terrorist.” Charges of breaching the Official Secrets Act were subsequently dropped and the officer, who has since left the Army, has instructed his lawyers to start legal proceedings against the force.

In a statement last night, the officer’s lawyer, Simon McKay, said: “I confirm that I act for a former special forces officer, known as AB. He was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in 2011 but the investigation was unconditionally dropped last year. He has now engaged the pre-action protocol with the Metropolitan Police’s legal department in connection with a damages claim for, amongst other things, unlawful arrest.”

It is understood the arrests took place after Lieutenant-General Jonathan Page, former director of special forces, asked detectives to investigate suspected breaches of the Official Secrets Act in the wake of a series of stories by the Sky News journalist Sam Kiley. “Lt-Gen Page was sick to the back teeth of all the leaks, and fingers were being pointed at the regiment,” said a senior military figure speaking on condition of anonymity.

Detectives claimed offences had been committed under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act. Information had allegedly been leaked from “high-level Cabinet Office briefing room A (Cobra) meetings” relating to “military operations overseas and in the UK”. This included information about special forces operations and military tactics which “was likely to have endangered the lives of military personnel”, according to court documents.

Mr Kiley, now Sky’s Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem, is thought to have been in contact with at least four military officers, including a member of the Defence Board and one of the country’s most senior commanders. It is not known if the two high-ranking officers were also investigated. Police arrested the other two in 2011.

The Metropolitan Police attempted to force Sky to hand over copies of emails between Mr Kiley and those arrested. But Sky appealed and managed to get the court order quashed in December 2011. High Court judges did not find grounds to suspect that information had been disclosed “which was likely to cause or to have caused damage to the security or intelligence agencies or to their work.”

The charges against the two officers were subsequently dropped and they have since left the Army.

It is not known whether the other man arrested intends to take action against the police. A police spokesman said proceedings had not been issued against them. The Ministry of Defence also declined to comment. In a statement, a spokesman for Sky stressed that Mr Kiley was not arrested as part of the police investigation.

Members of the SAS are said to be upset at the way the two men were apparently singled out for arrest. One source said: “Going after two of the men like this does nothing for morale.” They accused Lt-Gen Page, who recently stepped down as director of special forces, of seeking to “make an example” of the men.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/exsas-officer-to-sue-met-for-unlawful-arrest-8591209.html#

Two men arrested as investigation into paedophile ring in Westminster and establishment focuses on children’s care home

 

Martin Hickman

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Two men were arrested this morning by Scotland Yard detectives investigating allegations of paedophilia by politicians and other members of the establishment in the 1980s.

The men, one aged 66 from Norfolk and a second aged 70 from East Sussex, were held in early morning raids on suspicion of sexual offences. They are being questioned in custody.

The arrests were made by officers from Operation Fernbridge, the Metropolitan Police inquiry into allegations of abuse of children at Elm Guest House in Rock’s Lane, Barnes, south-west London.

Children from Grafton Close, a local children’s home run by Richmond Council, are alleged to have been supplied to Elm Guest House.

Commander Peter Spindler, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Investigations, said: “This is a complex multi-agency investigation supported by the NSPCC, CEOP and Richmond Social Services involving non recent allegations of sexual assault against children.

“It is vital that anyone who has been affected by or has information about activity in the early 1980s at the Elm Guest House, or the Grafton Close care home, in Barnes speaks to the NSPCC on their Helpline on 0808 800 5000, or their local police.”

The Metropolitan Police added in a statement: “The allegations under Operation Fernbridge were initially assessed under Operation Fairbank, which was information passed to police by MP Tom Watson. The men arrested are not believed to be politicians.

“Operation Fernbridge reached the threshold for a criminal investigation. Other matters under Operation Fairbank remain under assessment.”

Scotland Yard pointed out that the allegations are in no way connected with current residents of the address.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/two-men-arrested-as-investigation-into-paedophile-ring-in-westminster-and-establishment-focuses-on-childrens-care-home-8482864.html?printService=print

MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams ‘probably locked himself into sports bag’

MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams probably locked himself into the sports bag where his naked body was found and was not the victim of a hit by the security services, Scotland Yard has found after conducting a review of the case.

Gareth Williams, found dead in a sports bag in his bath in Pimlico. The coroner’s verdict was that he was probably unlawfully killed - An enigma, in life and death

Police have always said they were keeping an open mind on whether Gareth Williams was murdered or died as a result of an accident, possibly during a bizarre sex game Photo: AP

6:01PM GMT 26 Dec 2012

Dr Fiona Wilcox, the Westminster Coroner, said earlier this year that she could not rule out the involvement of the security services in the death.

The ruling sparked a review of the case by Scotland Yard’s murder squad which has re-interviewed his colleagues from MI6 and taken DNA samples over the last seven months.

Detectives had believed that someone else must have locked the codebreaker in the bag and launched a search for a mysterious Mediterranean couple, who were later ruled out of inquiries. The Daily Telegraph understands detectives now believe that he probably died alone.

“They have been unable to find any trace of anyone who should not have been in the flat and every reason to believe that Gareth may have climbed into the bag himself and been unable to get out,” a source close to the inquiry said.

The keys to the red North Face holdall were found in the bottom of the bag when Mr Williams’s naked body was found in the empty bath of his apartment in Pimlico, central London in August 2010.

Two experts tried a total of 400 times to lock themselves into the bag and one claimed that even world-famous escapologist Harry Houdini “would have struggled” to squeeze himself inside.

But days after the inquest verdict a retired Army sergeant showed how it was possible to climb into a similar North Face bag and lock it from the inside.

Scotland Yard detectives have now been able to repeat the experiment with some slight differences to the way the bag is locked that fits with how Gareth Williams was found in August 2010.

Dr Wilcox, a former negligence barrister, had ruled that the lack of hand and footprints in the bathroom was “significant” but it understood that police have also been able to identify around 300 fingerprints in the flat.

The coroner also dismissed speculation that Mr Williams died as a result of some kind of “auto-erotic activity”, but detectives now believe that is probably the only option left.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the investigation remained “active” and that officers were still exploring “a number of lines of enquiry.”

The inquest had heard that Mr Williams, a codebreaker for GCHQ who was on secondment to MI6, had been found in his boxer shorts and tied to his bed by his landlord and landlady in Cheltenham a few years earlier.

Video footage found on a mobile phone in Mr Williams’s flat showed him dressed in nothing but black leather boots as he “wiggled and gyrated” for the camera.

He kept pictures of drag queens on his computer and had £20,000-worth of designer women’s clothes in his flat along with women’s shoes and wigs.

He browsed self-bondage websites and sites about claustrophilia – the love of enclosure – on his computers and phone and was looking at fetish websites days before his death.

Friends and family were upset at speculation that Mr Williams may have been gay and speculated that “some agency specialising in the dark arts” was behind his killing.

In her ruling, Dr Wilcox said there was no evidence to suggest the spy was a transvestite “or interested in any such thing”.

The make-up found in his flat was more likely to reflect his interest in fashion and the wigs were “far more consistent with dress-up such as attendance at a manga conference”, she said.

The suggestion that his interest in female footwear could have been of a sexual nature, was not unusual, Dr Wilcox observed.

Mr Williams’s colleagues at MI6 had failed to report him missing for a week and did not turn over nine memory sticks and a black bag that was under his desk at their Vauxhall Cross headquarters, sparking rumours of a cover-up.

The coroner said it remained a “legitimate line of inquiry” that the secret services were involved in Mr Williams’s death although there was no firm evidence.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9750403/MI6-codebreaker-Gareth-Williams-probably-locked-himself-into-sports-bag.html

Scotland Yard investigating allegations senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and used ‘connections’ to escape justice

Metropolitan Police’s child abuse investigation team have interviewed several adults who claim that they were sexually assaulted as children by MPs in a paedophile ring

Martin Hickman

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Scotland Yard detectives are looking into allegations that senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and escaped justice because they were protected by their powerful connections.

During past weeks officers from the Metropolitan Police’s child abuse investigation team have interviewed several adults who claim that they were sexually assaulted as children by MPs in a paedophile ring.

The team was set up following claims by Labour MP Tom Watson in the House Commons that the police should look afresh at claims of a “powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10”.

Until today when the Metropolitan Police confirmed its existence, the inquiry, Operation Fairbank, had been operating in secret at the headquarters of the Child Abuse Investigation Team at Empress State Building in Earl’s Court, London.

Officers with the team, part of the Specialist Crimes and Operations Directorate, have spoken regularly to Mr Watson.

The Metropolitan Police stressed that Operation Fairbank was a “scoping exercise” aimed at a preliminary assessment of the evidence rather than a formal inquiry.

However, officers are understood to be taking the witnesses’s claims very seriously and are expected to make arrests in coming weeks.

Raising the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on 24 October, Mr Watson – who alleged widespread phone hacking at the News of the World before police began a new inquiry – urged police to re-open the evidence file on Peter Righton.

Righton, a former consultant to the National Children’s Bureau, was convicted of importing and possessing illegal homosexual pornographic material in 1992.

Saying that the file contained “clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring”, the MP said: “One of its members boasts of a link to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

“The leads were not followed up, but if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it, and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10.”

Five officers are working on the inquiry.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers have spoken with MP Tom Watson who has passed on some information which is now being looked into.

“As a result, officers are continuing to collate information. This is being assessed by officers under Operation Fairbank.
“We would continue to appeal to anyone who has concerns to report them to us. Any information is treated with the utmost seriousness and can be given in confidence.”
Updating the public on the investigation into alleged sexual offences in showbusiness, Scotland Yard said that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile had reached 450.

Commander Peter Spindler, head of Operation Yewtree, suggested Savile – who escaped detection and died aged 84 last October – had been a serial abuser of children.

Commander Spindler said: “Savile’s offending peaked in the 70s and what we can show, or will be showing in the New Year, is how he used his position in society across the country – the crimes relate to 17 different police force areas – how he exploited this position to get his sexual gratification.”

In total, 589 alleged victims have come forward to allege abuse by Savile and others.

Over the past two months, detectives have arrested several high-profile names, including the comedian Freddie Starr, the former BBC disc jockey Dave Lee Travis, the former BBC producer Wilfred De’Ath and the publicist Max Clifford. They all deny any wrongdoing. Gary Glitter, who was also arrested, has not yet issued a statement.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scotland-yard-investigating-allegations-senior-politicians-abused-children-in-the-1980s-and-used-connections-to-escape-justice-8411989.html#

 

 

Jimmy Savile abuse inquiry: third man arrested: “a former BBC producer, Wilfred De’Ath”

Jimmy Savile abuse inquiry: third man arrested

Man in his 70s from Cambridgeshire, reported to be former BBC producer, arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and bailed

Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile is at the centre of sexual abuse allegations. Photograph: Getty Images

A man arrested by police investigating sexual abuse claims against Jimmy Savile and others has been bailed.

The man is reported to be a former BBC producer, Wilfred De’Ath. The man, in his 70s, from Cambridgeshire, was detained at 7.15am on Sunday and released on police bail until December after several hours of questioning.

He is the third man to be detained under Operation Yewtree, the criminal inquiry being conducted by the Metropolitan police and the NSPCC.

The Met said the man “falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed ‘others'”.

He was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and taken into police custody locally, Scotland Yard said.

The arrest came nine days after the arrest and bail of the comedian Freddie Starr, and two weeks after Gary Glitter  was questioned. Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was arrested at home and questioned at a London police station before being released on bail until mid-December.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/11/jimmy-savile-inquiry-man-arrested

Photo accidentally reveals UK determination to give Assange no way out

By Robert Booth, The Guardian
Friday, August 24, 2012 19:19 EDT

It is the “restricted” official document that sums up the Metropolitan police’s tactics towards Julian Assange. “Action required: Assange to be arrested under all circumstances,” says the handwritten note that was photographed under a policeman’s arm on Friday detailing a “summary of the current position” on Assange’s exile inside the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge.

It is no surprise that a fugitive from a European arrest warrant that demands removal to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault should face such a fate. Police officers are stationed right up against the front and back of the embassy where Assange has sought sanctuary and he recently claimed to have heard them “swarming” behind the fire escape.

There should be no escape, the note suggests, ordering that Assange is arrested if “he comes out with dip [presumably a diplomat] … as dip bag [which allows immunity from search for diplomatic communications, and which could be as large as a suitcase, crate or even a shipping container], in dip car …. in dip vehicle.”

The note mentions “SS10 to liaise”. The Met police press office said it had no idea what this might mean. Could it be a misspelling of SO10, the colloquial name for the Met’s covert operations group? The later mention of SO20 suggests what  Assange and his supporters have always feared: that the western powers that WikiLeaks has done so much to embarrass might consider him some sort of terrorist. SO20 is the Met’s counter-terrorism protective security command.

However, on Friday night the Met said the reference to SO20 was not connected to the Assange case and were notes from a briefing on another matter.