‘Too hot’ report on police leaks to media was buried as Leveson Inquiry ignored Met’s bombshell intelligence report

Bombshell file on Met links to News International was dismissed by Leveson Inquiry – classified 2006 document alleged senior officer passed secret information on Met chief’s decisions to the ‘News of the World’

Tom Harper

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Leveson Inquiry dismissed a police intelligence report that detailed an apparently corrupt relationship between a very senior former officer and the News of the World.

The classified document, dated April 2006, alleged that the officer was obtaining highly confidential information on decisions taken by Lord Blair when he was the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and passing it on to the now defunct Sunday tabloid.

Robert Jay, the lead counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, who is now a judge, had stated that Scotland Yard did not provide him with a copy of the intelligence report until April 2012 – six weeks after it could have been raised publicly with Lord Blair in the hearings. Mr Jay did say, though, that he had been aware of the report’s existence earlier. Continue reading “‘Too hot’ report on police leaks to media was buried as Leveson Inquiry ignored Met’s bombshell intelligence report”

Exclusive: Scotland Yard’s rotten core: Police failed to address ‘endemic corruption’

Organised crime infiltrated police ‘at will’, according to secret report. Top-level internal inquiry identified scores of corrupt individuals working for Met

Corrupt officers were often simply moved out of specialist roles to routine posts, the report suggests
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Thursday 09 January 2014

Organised criminals were able to infiltrate Scotland Yard “at will” by bribing corrupt officers, according to an explosive report leaked to The Independent. The Metropolitan Police file, written in 2002, found Britain’s biggest force suffered “endemic corruption” at the time.

Operation Tiberius concluded that syndicates such as the notorious Adams family and the gang led by David Hunt had bribed scores of former and then-serving detectives to access confidential databases; obtain live intelligence on criminal investigations; provide specialist knowledge of surveillance, technical deployment and undercover techniques to help evade prosecution; and even take part in criminal acts such as mass drug importation and money laundering. Continue reading “Exclusive: Scotland Yard’s rotten core: Police failed to address ‘endemic corruption’”

Police set to rule out foul play in ‘spy in a bag’ mystery

Scotland Yard expected to conclude MI6 spy Gareth Williams likely to have   climbed in to hold all himself

Gareth Williams

MI6 spy Gareth Williams’s body was found in a similar North Face bag
Tom Whitehead

By , Security Editor

10:00PM GMT 12 Nov 2013

The MI6 spy found dead in a bag three years ago most likely locked himself in   the holdall, police are expected to announce today.

A fresh Scotland Yard review of the so-called “spy in a bag” case has   concluded Gareth Williams was able to climb in to a sports bag unaided and   there is little evidence of foul play, the Telegraph understands.

The findings will contradict the conclusions of a coroner who last year said   he had “probably” died at the hands of another.

It also raises the prospect of police closing or scaling back the   investigation and ending the mystery that has fuelled countless conspiracy   theories.

The naked, decomposing body of Mr Williams, a codebreaker on secondment to MI6   from GCHQ, the signals intelligence agency, was found in a padlocked holdall   in the bath of his flat in Pimlico, London, in August 2010.

Despite an intensive police investigation, no one has been arrested and the   circumstances surrounding his death have remained a mystery.

Following an eight-day inquest last year, coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox concluded   that Mr Williams was probably “unlawfully killed” in a criminal   act after experts found it impossible to climb in to a bag by themselves.

She said his death most likely involved a third party and he was either   poisoned or suffocated.

She also said the possibility that a member of the intelligence services was   involved in the maths prodigy’s death remained a “legitimate line of   inquiry” for police.

The Metropolitan Police announced an urgent review of the case in the wake of   the inquest findings, including concerns over how some evidence was handled   by MI6 and counter – terrorism officers during a two – year investigation in   to the death.

But it is understood that has now concluded that it was possible for Mr   Williams, who the inquest heard had an interest in escapology, to get in to   the bag by himself and that was the most likely scenario.

A senior Whitehall source said: “It seems as though the coroner made a   mistake in ruling out evidence that Williams could not have climbed into the   holdall without outside help.

“If it can be demonstrated that Williams was able to climb into the   holdall unassisted, then all the other fanciful conspiracy theories start to   fall apart.”

On behalf of the coroner, two experts tried 400 times to lock themselves into   the bag, and one claimed that even Harry Houdini “would have struggled”   to squeeze himself inside.

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

The renewed investigation saw officers reinterview MI6 officers and take their   DNA samples.

However, the Telegraph disclosed last year how detectives increasingly   believed Mr Williams probably locked himself inside and died as a result of   a tragic accident.

Detectives were able to repeat the experiment with some slight differences to   the way the bag is locked, which fits with how Williams was found.

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

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10445222/Police-set-to-rule-out-foul-play-in-spy-in-a-bag-mystery.html

 

Undercover police to be banned from having sexual relationships with targets (U.K.)

New rules will stop undercover officers having intimate relationships with   people they are investigating, following concern over series of cases

Mark Kennedy, a former Scotland Yard officer, is alleged to have slept with a number of women whose activities he was investigating

Mark Kennedy, a former Scotland Yard officer, is alleged to have slept with a number of women whose activities he was investigating
David Barrett

By , Home Affairs Correspondent

7:00PM GMT 29 Oct 2013

Undercover police are to be banned from having sex with individuals they are   investigating following a series of scandals.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall, chief executive of the College of Policing,   said officers responsible for authorising undercover work will be required   to make it clear to their teams that sexual activity is not allowed under a   new code of conduct.

Eight women are currently suing Scotland Yard over claims they were deceived   into having long-term intimate relationships with undercover police officers.

David Winnick MP, questioning Mr Marshall during session of the Commons’ Home   Affairs Select Committee, said: “We’ve had witnesses, female witnesses, that   said undercover police agents had started sexual relationships with them –    and in some cases children had been born – without any knowledge on the part   of the women that they were entering an intimate relationship with police   officers.

“And in their view – as one of them described it – it was a form of sexual   deceit by the state itself.

“Do we take it from this proposed code that undercover police agents will not   enter into such relationships?”

Mr Marshall replied: “They absolutely should not. They would be breaching the   code if they did.”

A new course for senior officers who oversee covert work would make clear that    “sexual activity while undercover is not allowed”, he added.

Mr Marshall’s disclosures contradicted previous statements made by other   officers, and a former police minister, and his comments took a    significantly tougher stance than Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan   Police Commissioner, as recently as last week.

Sir Bernard, Britain’s most senior police officer, said his undercover   operatives may still be involved in sexual relationships with targets of   their investigations.

Although guidelines said it should not take place, the rules could not prevent    “human beings sometimes failing”, Sir Bernard said.

A number of concerns have been raised about undercover tactics since former Pc   Mark Kennedy was unmasked in 2011 as an undercover officer who spied on   environmental protesters.

A £1 million trial of six environmental activists accused of plotting to break   into the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire   collapsed in January 2011 amid questions over Mr Kennedy’s involvement.

In June last year Nick Herbert, then the police minister at the Home Office,   said regulations permitted sexual relationships because otherwise activist   groups, or other targets, could use sex as a way of “outing” potential   undercover officers.

Undercover police have also come under intense scrutiny after it emerged they   had assumed the identities of children who died in infancy.

There have also been allegations that a Scotland Yard undercover officer was   ordered to smear the family of Stephen Lawrence, the murdered black teenager.

Earlier this year the Home Office ordered every police force in England and   Wales to search for evidence of misconduct by undercover officers in effort   by ministers to “clean the stables” after the string of damaging allegations.

The College of Policing last week published its draft code of ethics, which   forbids officers from forming sexual relationships with anyone in the course   of their work, but does not explicitly refer to undercover police.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10413086/Undercover-police-to-be-banned-from-having-sexual-relationships-with-targets.html

 

Police buy eBay data to target criminals

New snooping software is helping forces all over the country to unmask gangs selling stolen property on the internet

Sam Masters, Paul Peachey

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Police forces are paying private sector companies tens of thousands of pounds for databases of detailed personal information that exposes the anonymity of sellers conducting criminal auctions on eBay.

The software that processes the information has been used to identify benefit cheats and organised criminal gangs which have hidden behind anonymous user names to sell stolen goods. It has already helped police break up a gang stealing high-end luxury cars and contributed to a major swoop on sellers of stolen mobile phones, one of the fastest growing crimes in London over the past year.

The Metropolitan Police spent £33,645 in May and June on software that can provide names, postcodes and a 90-day history of completed sales that is not publicly available to normal buyers.

The software – known as eCops –has also been used by the Department for Work and Pensions in Scotland to track down people claiming benefits while conducting a trading business on eBay, according to the former detective behind the venture. “Even if every street could be filled with police, they could not look behind the curtains for stolen goods,” according to eCops marketing.

“People who are selling on eBay feel they are anonymous because they’re hiding behind a user identity,” said the founder of eCops, John Needham, who was a detective for 30 years and a former eBay security executive. “When you’re on eBay, you don’t know where people are. But I would know if somebody put something on eBay after they burgled their next-door neighbour.”

Some of the data is handed out for free by eBay to market research companies or other sales websites because it drives traffic to the world’s biggest online marketplace.

The company has its own processes to supply law enforcement with information such as phone numbers, computer IP addresses, and data on sellers’ financial history. In its privacy statement, eBay says it will provide information to law enforcement “in response to a verified request relating to a criminal investigation or alleged illegal activity”. However, eCops provides information far faster and more comprehensively, Mr Needham says.

He was involved in an operation in which five people convicted over a racket stealing high-end cars from isolated railway station car parks, which were then broken up and sold on eBay.

The gang, coordinated by a career criminal based in Maidstone, Kent, used a recovery truck to brazenly collect the cars and took them to a barn where they were broken up and sold as parts. Police estimated the leader of the gang made more than £1.5m from the theft and sale of up to 70 cars.

Detective Sergeant Denis Stonestreet, who led the operation for British Transport Police (BTP), said the mastermind, David Jones, was “using some weird and wonderful names which ultimately came back to him. His personal eBay accounts were shut down, but he reopened business by using his sister’s [accounts].” Jones was jailed, and police recovered £220,000 at a confiscation hearing.

The technology is also being promoted as a low-cost alternative to patrolling as forces across the country face swingeing cuts in their budgets and falling staffing levels. Four police forces – BTP, Scotland Yard, Northamptonshire and Avon and Somerset – currently use the software, said Mr Needham.

Police in London last week arrested 561 people and seized more than 1,000 stolen phones in a series of dawn raids. A surge in mobile phone theft in London has driven up the rate of personal theft by 12 per cent in the year ending June 2013, a rise reflected across the country, according to Scotland Yard.

The Metropolitan Police’s specialist mobile phone unit uses eCops to investigate sales on eBay. Commander Stephen Watson said: “By targeting those people responsible, plus the networks they use to sell on stolen property or trade for drugs, we aim to make our streets a hostile place for them to operate.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-buy-ebay-data-to-target-criminals-8906381.html?printService=print

 

New twist in Diana SAS mystery: Why are detectives examining this image discovered on the elusive Soldier N’s laptop… of snipers from his unit aiming at cars from a bridge in the UK?

  • Picture from Soldier N’s laptop has been  passed on to Metropolitan Police
  • The picture was one of 90 images of  Special Forces soldiers found
  • He faces investigation after he was said  to have stored secret documents
  • In all likelihood men in picture were  engaged in counter-terrorism training

By  Sean Rayment and Ian Gallagher

PUBLISHED: 16:10 EST, 5  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:41 EST, 5 October 2013

An SAS sniper, lying on a bridge, points his  long-range rifle towards a dual-carriageway and peers into his telescopic sight,  as if poised to open fire. It makes for a startling image – all the more so  since the picture was taken not in a conflict zone or even a training camp but  in a public area in the Welsh countryside.

What makes it more arresting is that the  photograph was found on a computer belonging to the Special Forces marksman  known as Soldier N, who is said to have told his wife that members of the SAS  ‘arranged’ the death of Princess Diana.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that it has now  been passed to the Metropolitan Police, whose specialist crime and operations  command is investigating the sensational, if improbable, assassination  theory.

Startling: The photograph of the marksmen found on Soldier N's computer 

Startling: The photograph of the marksmen found on  Soldier N’s computer

 

Last photo: Diana, driver Henri Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees in her car moments before it crashed in Paris 

Last photo: Diana, driver Henri Paul and bodyguard  Trevor Rees in her car moments before it crashed in Paris

 

The allegation first came to light during the  second court martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, who was found guilty of  illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.

Since then it has attracted global press  attention and fuelled conspiracy theories.

It was outlined in a letter, written by the  mother-in-law of Soldier N, who was a key witness for  the  prosecution.

The picture was one of 90 images of Special  Forces soldiers found on Soldier N’s home computer.

He faces a Ministry of Defence investigation  after he was also said to have illegally stored secret SAS tactical documents,  videos of operations in Afghanistan and emails to his then wife from Afghanistan  identifying the location of SAS and Special Boat Service units, times and dates  of operations, and tactics used to kill and capture insurgents.

In all likelihood the men in the photograph  taken on the bridge were engaged in a counter-terrorism training exercise,  practising a procedure known as high speed vehicle interdiction. The tactic was  developed to stop vehicles being driven by terrorists or suicide bombers  travelling at speed.

Tour of duty: Ninety images of Special Forces soldiers were found on Soldier N's home computer 

Tour of duty: Ninety images of Special Forces soldiers  were found on Soldier N’s home computer

 

 

It is thought that the bridge and a section  of road beneath it were closed at the time. The Mail on Sunday knows the  location of the bridge but has agreed not to disclose it at the request of  senior defence officials.

Author and former SAS soldier Andy McNab said  that although  the exercise would have been ‘as realistic as possible’, the  sniper would not have used either live or blank ammunition.

Even so, it is easy to see how the 2009  image, thought to have been taken by Soldier N, might be seized upon by those  who believe Diana’s death, along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, in a car crash  in a  Paris underpass in 1997 was murder, not an accident.

Simon McKay, solicitor for Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed, said it not only ‘causes concern and anxiety by  everyone  affected by this case but also the public generally, who are  entitled to  answers not just how it came about, but also how it was  photographed and the  extent to which the military sanctioned it’. The  Ministry of Defence declined  to discuss the picture last night.

Princess Diana hours before she died 

Princess Diana hours before she died

 

Soldier N is said to have claimed that a  former member of the elite regiment was in charge of an assassination squad  which moved in on Dodi’s driver Henri Paul, who also died in the crash, using a  white car and a motorbike – before flashing  a blinding light into his  eyes. But reflecting the twisting nature of the case, this has now been denied  by Soldier N himself. A source close to the inquiry told this newspaper that he  and his girlfriend gave statements to police last month, and that Soldier N  blamed his former wife for ‘trying to cause trouble’.

Scotland Yard said yesterday it was ‘not  appropriate to give a running commentary on the progress of the  investigation’.

Meanwhile Mr McKay, acting on behalf of Mr Al  Fayed and Soldier N’s wife, has been critical of the Met’s approach to the  case.

He wrote to the Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard  Hogan-Howe,  to complain that the officer leading the investigation,  Detective Chief Inspector Philip Easton, was unlikely to be ‘sufficiently  objective or open-minded’. This, he said,  was because DCI Easton was a  ‘significant contributor’ to the Paget Report, which concluded Diana’s death was  a tragic accident.

Mr McKay said last night: ‘It is important to  bear in mind that it is not disputed that Mr Al Fayed’s  son, Dodi, was  unlawfully killed and that he is entitled to the same treatment that any father  facing such a tragedy expects from the police in this country. The reality is  the police have approached this new material with scepticism before exploring  its truth. They have  issued press releases without first speaking to the  family. They have failed to meet promises that Mr Al Fayed would be kept up to  date  with inquiries.

‘All of this fails to meet the basic  requirements of their own victim support policy and minimum legal standards.  There is now an incurable lack of confidence in how the Met have approached the  matter and it should be dealt with by an independent police  force.’

‘It is important to bear in mind that  it is not disputed that Mr Al Fayed’s son, Dodi, was unlawfully killed and that  he is entitled to the same treatment that any father facing such a tragedy  expects from the police in this country’ 

– Simon McKay, solicitor for Dodi’s father Mohamed Al  Fayed

Scotland Yard insisted its officers are  ‘looking for new evidence that is credible and relevant’. A spokesman added:  ‘The officers doing the assessment are a combination of those with a detailed  knowledge and those not previously involved. Their work is being overseen by  Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt who was not previously  involved.’

Other documents said to have been stored on  Soldier N’s computer include files containing classified information revealing  covert operations in which senior members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban were  killed and captured.

Soldier N also sent a series of emails to his  then wife from Afghanistan identifying the location of SAS and Special Boat  Service units, times and dates of operations and the tactics used to kill and  capture insurgents.

Defence sources last night described the  security breach as a huge embarrassment to the SAS, which prides itself on  secrecy and professionalism. It is forbidden for members of the SAS to keep  highly sensitive information on personal computers and those doing so face  charges under the Official Secrets Act. A security breach on such a large scale  is understood to be unique within the SAS, and a Ministry of Defence  investigation is trying to establish the extent of the problem.

One source said: ‘The cardinal rule is never  to talk about operations to anyone outside the SAS. To send emails over the  internet naming members of the SAS, troop locations and details of forthcoming  operations potentially endangered the lives of dozens of his fellow soldiers.  Had this been known at the time, this individual would have been thrown out of  the regiment and probably court-martialled.’

Letter: The allegations of SAS involvement in Diana's death first emerged in a seven-page letter written in September 2011 by Soldier N's mother-in-law 

Letter: The allegations of SAS involvement in Diana’s  death first emerged in a seven-page letter written in September 2011 by Soldier  N’s mother-in-law

 

The MoD said in a statement:  ‘The MoD  takes any allegations of data loss or breaches of security extremely seriously  and we will always take appropriate action when these are brought to our  attention.

‘While serving, all military personnel should  uphold the high standards and values the UK Armed Forces insist  upon.’

Soldier N is alleged to have made the claim  about Princess Diana  after Prince William visited the regiment’s  headquarters in 2008 to undertake a special driving course.

The conversation took place at Soldier N’s  home in Hereford in 2008 when he and his former wife were still  together.

Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed wait at the rear service exit of the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 31, 1997  

Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed wait at the rear  service exit of the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 31, 1997

 

When Soldier N’s wife said how sorry she felt  for William because he had lost his mother in such tragic circumstances, her  husband is alleged to have said ‘it was the SAS who killed her’.

He reportedly claimed the Princess was killed  by an SAS hit team which flashed a high-powered  light into the face of  chauffeur Henri Paul, who was driving Diana and Dodi through Paris on August 31,  1997. The couple’s car crashed into a pillar of the Pont de l’Alma  underpass.

The allegations of SAS involvement in Diana’s  death first emerged in a seven-page letter written in September 2011 by Soldier  N’s mother-in-law. Copies of the letter were sent to the SAS’s commanding  officer and to Dyfed Powys Police. But the contents were only disclosed  following the court martial of Sgt Danny Nightingale.

The letter states that Soldier N made a  series of violent threats against his wife and her family following the collapse  of the couple’s marriage. The reference to Diana appears on page seven when  Soldier N’s mother-in-law writes: ‘He  [Soldier N] also told her [his wife]  that it was the SAS who arranged Princess Diana’s death and that has been  covered up. So what chance do my daughter and I stand against  his  threats?’

The letter led to the arrest of Sergeant  Nightingale and Soldier N after police found illegally held firearms and  ammunition at a house they shared in Hereford. Soldier N admitted the offences  and was sentenced to two years at the Military Corrective Training Centre in  Colchester, Essex.

Nightingale also admitted the charges and  received an 18-month sentence. Following a public campaign he was freed and the  conviction quashed. But at a fresh court martial in July, he was found guilty  and sentenced to two years suspended for 12 months.

Solicitor Simon McKay, acting on behalf of Mr Al Fayed (pictured) and Soldier N's wife, has been critical of the Met's approach to the case 

Solicitor Simon McKay, acting on behalf of Mr Al Fayed  (pictured) and Soldier N’s wife, has been critical of the Met’s approach to the  case

Nightingale was largely convicted on the sworn evidence of Soldier N. The claims concerning the SAS involvement  in  Diana’s death are now part of a ‘scoping exercise’ being conducted by Scotland  Yard.

Detectives  have interviewed the estranged  wife of Soldier N, who  is understood to  have given police  a  ‘detailed and compelling’ account of the claims  allegedly made by  her  husband.

Found on his computer were presentations on a  series of SAS tactics describing how troops enter enemy territory undetected.  Other documents refer to the intelligence snipers should be able to glean by  observing targets.

One document refers to a technique called  ‘Free Drop Air Despatch’ which is described as ‘an extremely effective method of  long distance insertion using CH-47 (Chinook helicopters) to insert small teams  into hostile areas’.

Another document is entitled: ‘Intelligence  Required From Snipers’ and details everything a sniper should look for when  assessing a target. There are documents revealing how snipers identify targets  hidden inside buildings.

Also on the computer were a series of videos  shot in Afghanistan showing members of the SAS and SBS firing high-powered  sniper rifles from a Chinook helicopter. The videos identify members of  the  SAS, their equipment and tactics. Other videos show SAS snipers  practising on ranges believed to be in Britain.

One source last night said: ‘Had this fallen  into the wrong hands the damage done to the SAS would have been  horrendous.

‘The identity of members of the Special  Forces is never meant to be disclosed. Tactics, techniques and procedures – the  building blocks of every SAS mission – would have been  compromised.’

‘A kid got shot, but the bad guy was  sorted’: How Soldier N broke rules by revealing sensitive details in crass  emails

In one email sent to his wife, Soldier N  writes about an SAS mission in which a child was  shot and an elderly woman  hit  by shrapnel.

In other emails written during  a tour  of duty in Afghanistan in 2009 he describes – sometimes gleefully – how  insurgents  are killed.

Elsewhere he mentions the names of colleagues  and locations where the SAS and Special Boat Service are based.

One email discloses that the  SAS were  killing insurgents with missiles that had been fired  from  drones.

Investigation: Soldier N faces an MoD investigation after he was also said to have illegally stored secret SAS tactical documents 

Investigation: Soldier N faces an MoD investigation  after he was also said to have illegally stored secret SAS tactical  documents

Crucially, Soldier N also reveals the dates  when he and the rest of his unit were returning to  Britain on leave. In  one  message written in August 2009, Soldier N tells his wife: ‘We have  arrived in Kandahar, the next  part is to get to Camp Bastion  but our  plane broke so we’re staying here tonight with the  guys from Poole [the  Special  Boat Service].

‘Don’t you worry about me. You know that I  shoot first, ask questions later.’

In another, written in the same month, he  says: ‘We had a good morning today.

‘One kid got shot though and an old  chick got fragged [injured by shrapnel] but the bad guy and his oppo  [colleague] were both sorted’  

‘1st we tracked a bad bomber but couldn’t get  him but an hour later 2 more bastards took over from him and were up to badness  so we keeeeelled them with a missile. They made like jam and spread themselves  all over the place! tee hee. We are watching you and we have missiles!! A good  start to  the day.’

Three months later, he writes: ‘The place I’m  in now is quite alright, a bit like a massive villa in the mountains, no  greenery though, it’s better than anywhere else I’ve been so far, the lads are  all cool, the boss is well switched on but chilled, not like A Squadron boss  who’s a total ******. I was glad the job went well last night, especially as I  was Squadron Sergeant Major for it and we got a big player and a  financier,  so all is well.’

Later that month Soldier N writes: ‘We were  out last night,  so that’s probably why you  couldn’t  sleep.

‘It was a good job. We got  the bad man  we were after and  a few others.

‘One kid got shot though and an old chick got  fragged [injured by shrapnel] but the bad guy and his oppo [colleague] were both  sorted. Two less bastards.

‘I’m off to Kandahar tonight  for a  planning meeting, then  the guys will follow in a  few days.

‘I should be able to keep in comms  [communication] there.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2446092/New-twist-Diana-SAS-mystery-Why-detectives-examining-image-discovered-elusive-Soldier-Ns-laptop–snipers-unit-aiming-cars-bridge-UK.html#ixzz2gu4CnxBt Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Special forces sniper who claimed SAS assassinated Diana by shining light into her driver’s face ‘has fled Britain’

  • Solider N was due to be interviewed by  Scotland Yard for new investigation
  • Said to have left the country on Monday  and Tuesday and maybe in the UAE
  • Comes after his claims that the crash was  a ‘hit’ ordered by an elite unit
  • Sources say he may have fled because of  the ‘pressure’

By  Wills Robinson

PUBLISHED: 06:27 EST, 22  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:04 EST, 22 September 2013

Claims: Scotland Yard were set to interview the solider before he allegedly left the country 

Claims: Scotland Yard were set to interview the solider  about his alleged claims over Diana’s death before he allegedly left the country

 

The SAS soldier who made astonishing claims  Princess Diana was murdered by special forces has apparently fled Britain just  days before he is set to be questioned by police.

The former sniper, known only as soldier N,  is said to have left the country as Scotland Yard launches a new investigation  into the Princess’ death.

He allegedly told his wife that a member of  an elite unit shone a light in her chauffeur’s face causing him to crash in  August 1997.

The wife claimed her husband had told her the  ‘hit’ had been  instructed by someone in the  royal inner circle because  they did not approve of Diana’s relationship with Fayed.

Soldier N was due to meet Scotland Yard’s DCI  Philip Easton but is understood to have  left the country on Monday or Tuesday.

A source close to the investigation told The  Sunday People: ‘Soldier N is key to this inquiry as he is the person who made  the claims about Diana’s murder.

‘Pressure on him has been mounting since the  original story broke last month. He was aware police wanted to interview  him.’

It is thought Soldier N may be have travelled  to the United Arab Emirates while his partner and her children are still at  their home in Hereford.

Scotland Yard reportedly decided to review  the case, 16 years after Diana’s death in a Paris underpass, after  interviewing the woman who insists her former husband’s claims were  true.

She alleged a white car and  motorbike were involved in  the plot which enlisted the services of one  of Soldier N’s former SAS  colleagues.

When asked by officers why she hadn’t  reported her husband’s theory earlier the woman said she had been sworn to  secrecy.

In a dramatic twist, the investigation could  also unearth recordings of the  crash after security experts revealed Diana’s  phone was bugged.

Soldier N is also alleged to have stolen  money while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Claims: Soldier N allegedly told his wife about the 'hit' after he had taken Prince William on an advanced driving course in 2008 

Crash: Soldier N allegedly told his wife about the ‘hit’  after he had taken Prince William on an advanced driving course in  2008

 

His wife reportedly told officers that when  he returned from a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004, she was asked to pay 13,000  Iraqi dinars (around £7,000) into his personal bank account.

The conversation took place in 2011 but the  couple have since separated. When the  woman quizzed her husband  about his theory he reportedly told her the SAS had  been following Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, who was also killed in the  accident.

The forthcoming investigation, which was  prompted by the claims, will look into allegations from a  source in  the  UK security industry that GCHQ was remotely taping Diana and Dodi up until the  moment of the crash.

A source told a national newspaper said Diana was a prime intelligence target, GCHQ operatives ‘would have wanted and had the capacity to listen live to the conversations in the car as it sped away from the Ritz.’.

Couple: Diana and Dodi pictured on CCTV at the Ritz Hotel in Paris just hours before the fatal crash 

Couple: Diana and Dodi pictured on CCTV at the Ritz  Hotel in Paris just hours before the fatal crash

 

At the time IRA terrorists were driving  vehicles packed with explosives around the UK in plots to blow up city centres –  and senior military commanders had to find a way to thwart them.

One source said: ‘The SAS had to develop a  series of tactics for every eventuality. In the 1980s the IRA were driving bombs  to targets around Britain.’

Diana, 36, Fayed, 42, and their driver Henri  Paul, 41, were killed in the  crash in 1997. The Princess’ bodyguard Trevor  Rees-Jones was seriously  injured.

Al Fayed’s father, Mohammed Al Fayed has always asserted the pair’s deaths were the result of a planned murder  at the  hands of the British Establishment and MI6, and similarly claims a white Fiat  was involved in the crash but has never been traced.

 

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Was Princess Diana MURDERED by British soldier? Metropolitan Police ‘assessing credibility’ of new claim made in court martial of SAS sniper Danny Nightingale

  • Police  ‘scoping information’ and ‘assessing its relevance and  credibility’
  • The force  has said it ‘is not a re-investigation’ into their deaths
  • Diana, Dodi  Al Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul died in Paris crash in 1997
  • Inquest  concluded in 2008 when jury returned verdict of unlawful  killing

By  James Rush and Francesca Infante

PUBLISHED: 11:24 EST, 17  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:32 EST, 17 August 2013

Scotland Yard last night said they were  assessing the credibility of new information relating to the deaths of  Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed including  an allegation that they were murdered by a member of the British  military.

It said it was ‘scoping’ the information,  which surfaced in the second court martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, the  SAS sniper convicted of illegally stashing a pistol and 338 bullets in his  bedroom.

The allegation was contained in a  letter  from the parents-in-law of Soldier N, Sgt Nightingale’s former  housemate, which  was sent to the SAS’s commanding officer in September 2011.

Police have said they are 'assessing' information it has recently received in relation to the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed 

Police have said they are ‘assessing’ information it has  recently received in relation to the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al  Fayed

It is understood the information was passed  to the Metropolitan Police through the Royal Military Police.

The letter says Soldier N claimed the SAS  ‘was behind Princess Diana’s death’ and it had been ‘covered up’, the Sunday  People has  reported.

A statement issued by Scotland Yard said:  ‘The Metropolitan Police Service is scoping information that has recently been  received in relation to the deaths and assessing its relevance and  credibility.

 

‘The assessment will be carried out by  officers from the specialist crime and operations command.

‘This is not a re-investigation and does not  come under Operation Paget.’

Police said they are not prepared to  discuss  the matter further, while a royal spokeswoman said there will be no comment on  the matter from Prince William or Prince Harry, or from  Clarence  House.

Police said the deaths of Diana and Mr Al Fayed were 'thoroughly investigated' and examined by an inquest led by Lord Justice Scott Baker at the Royal Court of Justice in 2007 to 2008 

Police said the deaths of Diana and Mr Al Fayed were  ‘thoroughly investigated’ and examined by an inquest led by Lord Justice Scott  Baker at the Royal Court of Justice in 2007 to 2008

Diana,  Dodi and chauffeur Henri Paul died  after their Mercedes crashed in the  tunnel, which left the Ritz Hotel on the  morning of August 31 1997.

The hearing into the deaths of Diana and Dodi  lasted more than 90 days with evidence from around 250 witnesses.

The inquests concluded on April 7,  2008,  with a jury returning a verdict that the ‘People’s Princess’ and  her boyfriend  were unlawfully killed.

After the hearing, Metropolitan Police said  they had spent £8 million on  services arising from the inquest and the  Operation Paget investigation  from 2004 to 2006.

Diana, Mr Al Fayed (pictured) and chauffeur Henri Paul died after their Mercedes crashed in a tunnel in Paris on the morning of August 31, 1997 

Diana, Mr Al Fayed (pictured) and chauffeur Henri Paul  died after their Mercedes crashed in a tunnel in Paris on the morning of August  31, 1997

That money includes the cost of the legal  team which represented the force’s commissioner at the inquest, police  protection for the inquest jury and paying for the Paget inquiry, reported to  have cost £3.6 million.

Former Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens’s  Paget investigation was launched in 2004 at the request of Michael Burgess, the  Royal Coroner, who was then overseeing the future Diana inquest.

The former top policeman published his report  in December 2006, rejecting the murder claims voiced by some, including Dodi’s  father Mohamed al Fayed.

Lord Stevens’s investigation found that Diana  was not murdered by British spies nor by the Duke of Edinburgh and she was not  pregnant nor engaged to boyfriend Dodi.

Operation Paget concluded, just like the  French investigation in 1999, that driver Henri Paul was drunk and driving at  excessive speed.

The investigation dismissed the endless  conspiracy theories sparked by the fatal accident.

Mr Paul had an alcohol level of around 1.74  grams per litre at the time of the crash – about twice the British drink-drive  limit.

The black type S280 Mercedes was being driven  through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris at around 61 to 63mph – twice the  speed limit for that section of road.

Lord Stevens said allegations that Diana was  murdered were ‘unfounded’ and that he found nothing to justify further inquiries  with members of the Royal Family.

A spokesman for Mr al Fayed yesterday said he  had  no comment to make, but said he will be ‘interested in seeing the  outcome’, adding that he trusts the Met will investigate the information ‘with  vigour’.

The Ministry of Defence said tonight it was  not commenting on the matter.

The jury in the 2008 inquest concluded its verdict as 'unlawful killing, grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes', the Met said

 

The jury in the 2008 inquest concluded its verdict as  ‘unlawful killing, grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of  the Mercedes’, the Met said

Timeline of events leading to the Diana  report

 

Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed wait at the rear service exit of the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 31, 1997 

Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed wait at the rear  service exit of the Ritz Hotel in Paris on August 31, 1997

 

August 31, 1997 –  Diana, Dodi  and their chauffeur Henri Paul die when their S280 Mercedes crashes in the Pont  de l’Alma tunnel in Paris after leaving the Ritz Hotel. Bodyguard Trevor  Rees-Jones is badly injured but survives. A number of photographers and a press  motorcyclist are held for questioning.

September 1, 1997 – Analysis of blood  samples indicate Paul was drunk.

September 2, 1997 – French prosecutors  open an official inquiry headed by Judge Herve Stephan. And Dodi’s father  Mohamed al Fayed files a civil action in Paris and asks for a widening of the  inquiry to include possible charges of violation of privacy against Dodi and  Diana.

September 6, 1997 – Diana’s funeral is  held at Westminster Abbey, watched by millions around the world. Her son Princes  William and Harry walk through the streets behind her coffin.

September 17, 1997 – Examination of  debris found at the scene of the crash suggests the involvement of a white Fiat  Uno. Identity checks are carried out on 40,000 Fiat Uno owners, but it is never  found.

March 1998 – Mr al Fayed tells  investigators he believes the crash was part of a plot to kill Diana by  MI6

July 1999 – A French appeals court  rejects a request by Mr al Fayed for further official inquiries into the  crash.

September 1999 – Judge Herve Stephan’s  reports finds that that Diana and Dodi were killed because their chauffeur,  Henri Paul, was driving at high speed under the influence of drink and  anti-depressant drugs. The photographers and press motorcyclist are formally  cleared of manslaughter charges. Mr al Fayed announces he will  appeal.

July 2000 – Mr al Fayed loses his High  Court battle for joint, or concurrent, inquests into the deaths of Diana and  Dodi.

In July 1999 a French appeals court rejected a request by Mohammed al Fayed for further inquiries into the crash 

In July 1999 a French appeals court rejected a request  by Mohammed al Fayed for further inquiries into the crash

 

November 2001 – Mr al Fayed loses a  £100,000 claim for damages over what he had called a ‘flawed’ part of the  inquiry into Diana’s death.

October 2003 – Three photographers who  snapped pictures of Diana and Dodi at the crash scene go on trial in Paris  accused of invading the couple’s privacy. They are cleared a month later.

November 2003 – A privacy violation  civil case, brought by Mr Fayed against three of the photographers who were  following the Princess’s car on the night she died,

Lord Stevens released his report after three years of investigation - it concludes the couple and their chauffeur died in a traffic accident in a Paris underpass in August 1997 

Lord Stevens released his report after three years of  investigation – it concludes the couple and their chauffeur died in a traffic  accident in a Paris underpass in August 1997

 

January 6, 2004 – Separate inquests  into Diana and Dodi’s deaths are finally opened and adjourned. On the same day,  the Daily Mirror publishes a letter from Diana to her butler Paul Burrell 10  months before her death in which she claimed her former husband, the Prince of  Wales, was plotting to kill her in a crash.

January 7, 2004 – Former royal coroner  John Burton, who was present at the princess’s autopsy, says she was not  pregnant when she died. The Scotland Yard inquiry – codenamed Operation Paget –  is stepped up.

July 6, 2004 – The Diana memorial  fountain opens in Hyde Park.

August 2004 – A French court orders a  new investigation into the alleged falsification of alcohol and drug tests on  Henri Paul, his parents have always rejected the original post-mortem  examination’s findings.

May 2005 – Detectives are said to have  quizzed Britain’s two most senior spy chiefs John Scarlett, the head of MI6, and  Eliza Manningham-Buller, the MI5 director general.

July 2005 – The wrecked Mercedes is  brought to Britain for forensic examination..

December 2005 – The Prince of Wales is  finally questioned by Lord Stevens, signalling that the investigation is drawing  to a close. He is said to have been asked if he ever plotted to assassinate the  Princess.

July 2006 – Royal coroner Michael  Burgess quits the inquests, blaming a ‘heavy and constant’ workload. He is later  replaced by Britain’s top female judge Lady Butler- Sloss

December 2006 – Lord Stevens finally  releases his report after three years of investigation – it finds that there was  no conspiracy to murder the Princess lover and no cover-up afterwards. Instead  it concludes that the couple and their chauffeur Henri Paul died in a simple  traffic accident in a Paris underpass in August 1997. Lord Stevens stressed that  if the Princess had been wearing a seatbelt she might have survived the  crash.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396208/Was-Princess-Diana-MURDERED-British-soldier-Metropolitan-Police-assessing-credibility-new-claim.html#ixzz2cIP5DQsQ Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Exclusive: Met supergrass scandal – corrupt private investigators infiltrate witness-protection programme

Police officers knew for years about the crucial security breach – but did nothing

Tom Harper

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Scotland Yard is embroiled in a new corruption crisis after it emerged that senior officers knew for years that criminal private investigators had compromised its highly sensitive witness protection programme – and did nothing about it.

Days after the Metropolitan Police was rocked by incendiary claims that officers took part in a smear campaign against the family of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, The Independent can disclose that private investigators (PIs) were employed by organised crime gangs to try to intimidate witnesses who had agreed to give evidence in high-profile trials.

Scotland Yard uncovered the shocking intelligence up to 15 years ago but, incredibly, did next to nothing to stop the private detectives, who also worked for the News Of The World. A registered police informant codenamed “Michael Green”, who spent years undercover working with a corrupt firm of PIs, warned his handlers at the Met that his colleagues were trying to locate “supergrasses” under police protection and “actively worked on them to withdraw their damaging allegations”.

But, for reasons yet to become clear, the Met failed to charge or even arrest the investigators for intimidating key witnesses. One of the supergrasses who was approached while under police protection later withdrew all of his original testimony, resulting in the collapse of a major criminal trial.

The news comes days after a former Met officer, Peter Francis, claimed he was asked find “dirt” and spy on Stephen Lawrence’s relatives in a bid to undermine the campaign to bring his killers to justice. Details of Scotland Yard’s witness-protection programme being compromised were included in a Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) report which was suppressed  by the agency but leaked to The Independent.

The same documents led to last week’s revelation by this newspaper that private detectives had been hired by major companies to hack, blag and steal personal information about rival companies and the public. The latest disclosures have heaped fresh pressure on the Met and Soca, who are thought to have withheld crucial details of the criminal world of private investigators from a parliamentary inquiry last year.Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who chairs the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “These claims are absolutely devastating. The committee has agreed to call Soca to give evidence next week and [the Met Commissioner] Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will be giving evidence on 9 July. It seems they will have some very difficult to questions to answer. We were very clear in our report that the link between private investigators and the police needs to be broken, so they can be properly investigated without fear and favour. However, no action was taken and we are still awaiting a Government response. This industry needs to be brought out of the shadows and be properly regulated.

“I have today written to request all the information Soca has on private investigators and their links with the public and private sector. We need to be certain there are no more skeletons to come out of the closet.”

The eight-page Soca memo referred to intelligence that PIs were employed by the “criminal fraternity” to “frustrate law enforcement”. The Independent understands that the same corrupt investigators have also worked for the News of the World. The Soca report includes intelligence that crime bosses were hiring PIs to access “internal police databases, including those containing serving officers’ private details” and “deleting intelligence records from law enforcement databases”.

The most shocking practice, however, involves attempts to trace protected witnesses. Soca noted that PIs often had an “abundance of law-enforcement expertise either through corrupt contacts or from a previous career in law enforcement”, and they were “attempting to discover location of witnesses under police protection to intimidate them”.

The Independent has spoken to the registered police informant “Michael Green”, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals.

He infiltrated a team of private investigators who worked closely with a corrupt former Met police officer, who is well-known to Scotland Yard but has never faced any criminal charges. He cannot be named for legal reasons so the informant referred to him as “Mr Brown”.

He said the gang used to “boast” of locating supergrasses in the witness protection programme and “actively worked on them to withdraw their damaging allegations”.

Mr Green said: “Indeed on one occasion I managed to get possession of a CD ROM disc which was a recording of a person in the witness protection programme being interviewed by Mr Brown who had traced him. Basically, Mr Brown wanted him to retract his evidence.

“My handlers wanted to have the disc copied, but I knew I had to hand it back, and I was concerned that if it was copied it might be discovered. I asked them to check with their own experts to see if that was possible.

Mr Green said his handlers told him that forensic experts claimed it would not be traceable. He said: “I persisted and asked for a second opinion which I believe they obtained from the security services. Their experts stated that it might be proven that the disc had been copied. As a result a sound recording was taken and the disc was not used to burn another copy.”

Despite being handed this extraordinary intelligence, the Met took no action against the private investigators or Mr Brown. The supergrass, whose identity is known to The Independent, later dramatically changed his evidence and caused several convictions to be overturned, to the great embarrassment of the Met and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Met declined to comment and referred enquiries to a SOCA spokesperson who said: “This report remains confidential and SOCA does not comment on leaked documents or specific criminal investigations.”

Disclosures over the Met’s inability to maintain the security of its witness protection programme have also raised fresh questions over the decision by the Leveson Inquiry to ignore the bombshell SOCA report.

The confidential document was offered to the public inquiry into the press and police by Ian Hurst, a former British Army intelligence officer whose computer was hacked by private investigators employed by the News of the World.

However, in an email to Mr Hurst’s lawyer, Kim Brudenell, the solicitor to the Inquiry said: “The Inquiry does not propose to go into further detail or take further evidence regarding these matters and so will not be pursuing the [informant], utilising Mr Hurst’s statement as evidence or calling him to provide further oral evidence.”

Lord Justice Leveson then embarked on a fortnight of hearings dominated by arguably far less evidence from union officials, civilian police workers and press officers from provincial police forces. Mr Hurst told The Independent: “Leveson obviously considered the media officer for Staffordshire police to be far more relevant to his Inquiry than the experiences of a man who had spent years infiltrating a criminal gang with direct knowledge of Metropolitan police and News of the World corruption.

“There is no more sensitive system within the police than the witness protection programme. I would have thought evidence of it being compromised almost at will by corrupt detectives, private investigators who work with newspapers and organised crime syndicates would have been relevant to culture, practice and ethics of the press and police.”

However, the Met’s former deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick did manage to publicly reveal that the witness protection programme had been compromised during his evidence to the Inquiry.

He told Lord Justice Leveson: “That is something I would expect the (Met) to take with the utmost seriousness. However, there is nothing in the documents disclosed to me to suggest that anything was done.”

Despite the acute sensitivities and the Met’s bizarre, decade-long inaction to tackle the corrupt private investigators, Lord Justice Leveson barely referred to the matter in his final report, published last November – for fear of compromising ongoing criminal investigations. He said: “Although I understand the concern, it would not be appropriate for me to go further.”

Tom Watson, the campaigning Labour MP, said: “It is absolutely shocking that the media-criminal nexus could have got anywhere near compromising the Met’s witness protection programme.

“These new revelations are the strongest argument I have heard for Lord Justice Leveson conducting Part Two of his Inquiry as soon as the criminal cases are over.”

A Leveson Inquiry spokesperson said: “The terms of reference for the Inquiry were absolutely about the culture, practices and ethics of the press and how they engaged with the public, the police and politicians. Evidence on other issues would have been considered to have been outside those terms of reference.”

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/exclusive-met-supergrass-scandal–corrupt-private-investigators-infiltrate-witnessprotection-programme-8673726.html#

Police reveal scale of Elm Guest House investigation into alleged paedophile ring for VIPs

Cahal Milmo, Paul Peachey

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Scotland Yard is pursuing more than 300 lines of inquiry in its investigation into allegations that a VIP paedophile ring abused children in care during the 1980s.

The figure suggests that Operation Fernbridge, the investigation centred on historic allegations of abuse at the Elm Guest House in Barnes, south-west London, is a bigger inquiry than previously acknowledged and could lead to the identification of dozens of potential victims.

Detectives are focusing on claims from former residents of a care home run by Richmond Council that they were taken to the suburban guest house and assaulted by prominent individuals.

The Independent understands that the 300 investigative lines include allegations of multiple assaults on single individuals and a list of “several dozen” potential victims is being drawn up.

A Freedom of Information response containing the figure also reveals that seven officers are involved in the investigation – compared with 77 on Operation Weeting, the inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Operation Fernbridge, which according to the FOI has so far cost £25,000 compared with the £11.2m cost of Weeting, was launched in January as a full-scale criminal investigation following an earlier “scoping exercise” – a preliminary assessment of evidence concerning the alleged paedophile ring.

The Elm Guest House became known in the late 1970s as a meeting place for gay men still stigmatised in a country where homosexuality had been legalised barely a decade earlier and the age of consent for gay males was 21.

Operated by a German-born manager, Carole Kasir, it was close to Barnes Common, a popular cruising spot for homosexual men, and was allegedly used by rent boys as a place to bring clients.

But officers are investigating material alleging that boys from the nearby children’s home in care of the local authority were abused at the guest house, which was allegedly frequented by public figures including politicians, judges and pop stars.

Two people have so far been arrested as part of the inquiry.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said last week he understood that the Fernbridge inquiry was “going well”, according to the investigative website Exaro. Mr Johnson said that because it was an operational policing matter he could not comment further.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-reveal-scale-of-elm-guest-house-investigation-into-alleged-paedophile-ring-8651295.html#

 

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#

Tory MP warned of powerful paedophile ring 30 years ago

New evidence supports claim former backbencher’s life was threatened

Friday, 22 February 2013

A burly veteran of scores of amateur boxing bouts, the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens was best known during his bustling 16-year career in Parliament as a pugnacious right-winger who supplied “hang ‘em and flog ‘em” quotes to the tabloids.

Eighteen years after his death, however, the backbencher’s reputation as a political lightweight is being revised in the wake of a Scotland Yard investigation which is exhuming a scandal long buried in the Westminster of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

New evidence suggests that Dickens stumbled upon an Establishment paedophile ring in the early 1980s – and that his efforts to expose a cover-up left him in fear of his life. Dickens told fellow MPs that after warning of the existence of the network, he had received threatening phone calls and been burgled twice. He also claimed he had been placed on a “hit-list”, he told the House of Commons in a little-noticed speech.

For four years between 1981 and 1985, Dickens railed in Parliament against a paedophile ring which he claimed was connected to a trade in child pornography, then controlled by gangsters.

In 1981 Dickens had used Parliamentary privilege to name a diplomat and MI6 operative, Sir Peter Hayman as a pederast and demanded the Attorney General explain why he had escaped prosecution over the discovery of violent pornography on a London bus two years previously.

Two years later, in 1983, he warned a paedophile network involved “big, big names – people in positions of power, influence and responsibility” and threatened to expose them in Parliament.

In 1984, he campaigned for the outlawing of Sir Peter’s Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) organisation. He also handed a dossier containing allegations of abuse of children in local authority care to the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan.

After a 30-minute meeting with Sir Leon, Dickens said he had been “encouraged” but later expressed concern that the Cabinet Minister had not banned the PIE.

Last month Metropolitan Police began Operation Fernbridge into allegations that residents of a childrens home in Richmond, west London, were taken to the nearby Elm Guest House in Barnes, where they were abused.  Pornography involving adults having sex with children was allegedly shot at the property and then circulated commercially.

Sir Peter was among the visitors to the property. Others, according to a list seized by Scotland Yard last month, were the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, the former Russian spy Sir Anthony Blunt, a Sinn Fein politician, a Labour MP, and several Conservative politicians.

After neighbours complained about the arrival of children, the police raided the guesthouse in 1982 but the operation was mysteriously cut short. A 2003 investigation also failed.

During a debate on child abuse in the House of Commons on 29 November 1985, Dickens warned that paedophiles were “evil and dangerous,” adding child pornography generated “vast sums.”

He went on: “The noose around my neck grew tighter after I named a former high-flying British diplomat on the Floor of the House.

“Honourable Members will understand that where big money is involved and as important names came into my possession so the threats began.

“First, I received threatening telephone calls followed by two burglaries at my London home. Then, more seriously, my name appeared on a multi-killer’s hit list.”

The Independent can find no corroboration for Dickens’ comments.

However twenty-eight years after he made them, Scotland Yard officers kept their new investigation secret for weeks, fearful that it would be closed down like earlier inquiries.

In a blog on his website, the Labour MP Tom Watson – whose claims of  a powerful paedophile network prompted the new inquiry – said that he had been advised by childcare  experts who have tried to expose the scandal to be careful about his personal security. He has asked the Home Office for the dossier presented by Dickens to Sir Leon, but it has not yet been found.

Dickens does not appear to have raised the issue in the Commons again prior to his death in 1995. He told friends he was surprised he had never been made a minister.

The MP: a man of verve

Geoffrey Dickens was one of the most colourful characters in the Commons during the 1980s and 1990s. Born in London in 1931, he was raised in foster care until he was eight.

He suffered polio at the age of 13 but recovered to become a heavyweight boxer. Mr Dickens was elected MP for Huddersfield West in 1979 and for Littleborough and Saddleworth in 1983, which he represented until his death in 1995.

His obituary in The Independent concluded that whatever might be said of him, Dickens was “a man of colour, verve and dedication who stood out – often for the wrong reasons – among the dull Parliamentarians of our time.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/tory-mp-warned-of-powerful-paedophile-ring-30-years-ago-8507780.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

Undercover officers stole identities of dead children

Police officers stole the identities of 80 dead children to create undercover aliases, it is alleged.

Met launches new child abuse probe

Scotland Yard confirmed that they have received a complaint about the practice Photo: AP

By Hayley Dixon

8:37PM GMT 03 Feb 2013

The Metropolitan Police took details from birth and death records without the consent of the children’s families and issued fake passports, driving licences and National Insurance Numbers for officers infiltrating protest groups.

Some spent a decade using the stolen identities and the practice went on for 30 years, according to The Guardian

Scotland Yard, who said the practice would not be authorised now, confirmed they have received a formal complaint, which is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards.

They will also examine the practice as part of an investigation into the “past arrangements for undercover identities used by Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) officers”.

The practice, introduced 40 years ago but deemed classified intelligence, was fictionalised in Frederick Forsyth’s novel The Day of the Jackal. As a result officers have nicknamed the process of searching for suitable identities the “jackal run”.

One officer working undercover with anti-racist groups in the 1990s said he felt he was “stomping on the grave” of the four-year-old boy whose identity he had used. He even visited the child’s home to back up his story

Another officer, who used the identity of a car-crash victim, said he was aware the parents would “still be grief-stricken” and he had “dilemmas” as they had not consented.

They had worked for the controversial unit, which was disbanded in 2008, alongside Sergeant John Dines who it is said used the identity of an eight-year-old who died from leukaemia in 1968.

He had a two-year relationship with an activist. When he vanished she tried to trace the family of the dead boy – believing it was his. She said she was relieved she never found them.

There have been claims that the practice stopped in the mid-1990s, but the case being investigated relates to 2003.

Around 80 officers are reported to have used the identities between 1968 and 1994.

The Met have refused to confirm or deny the identity of the undercover officers.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9846193/Undercover-officers-stole-identities-of-dead-children.html

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