Cyprus spy scandal

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by ShortFatBloke, May 15, 2007.

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  1. On the understanding that we don't let the truth get in the way of a bit of darksider bashing...

    What's the story behind the Cyprus spy scandal of the '80s?

    I was lead to believe that no darksiders were involved, in fact, no one was ever prosecuted; the trial of the five RAF and two RSigs personnel at the Old Bailey collapsed (Clicky) due to errors in the prosecution case.

    I was going to ask this in the other thread (here) but I know when I'm intellectually outclassed :roll:
  2. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Hmmm. My recollection is that the brave boys of the RAF P & SS were a bit cavalier in the way that they took statements from the accused which essentially rendered them inadmissable. I don't think we ought to speculate in this forum on what we think might have happened.
  3. I know one of the Met police officers sent in to clear the mess up.

    P and SS had alledgedly been very charismatic and robust in their interview methods and all the interview "evidence" was worthless.

    The job was lost at the old bailey. I think the suspects sued as well.

    Total c0ck up and an argument for allowing what was MPSB primacy in all spy trials.

  4. "Poorly handled evidence" and "acquitted through technicalities" - Isn't that the Tri-Service Police investigations down to a tee ??
  5. as this government have found to their cost Evidence is not necessarilly the same as Intelligence. As a counter intelligence case study it provides many lessons that remain valid today.

    If you ask in the building next to the museum, they have the unclassified report of the Security Commission. If you ask nicely they may be able to find another file as well.

    PS: do you have to be in the Army to be a Darksider?
  6. ooohh oohhh....please Sir, me Sir...I know the answer to this one.......

  7. One of the classic quotes which arose from the investigation was:

    "Sig X, did you then commit a sex act on Sig Y"

    "Well if I did I must have had long arms - I was on detachment to FI at the time"
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  8. Mate, I've not heard that quote for years. :D
  9. From what I can recall, the suspects were subjected to pretty lengthy interviews lasting over several days mostly initialy by RAF P&SS .

    An interesting point which I have never heard a good answer to is why RAF P&SS were leading on the investigation (at least until the Met SB took over), when the people involved were 9 Sig Regt.

    However back to the point.

    The interviews went on for many days. The suspects were being sent back between interviews under arrest to the Regimental nick at Episkopi and being ministered to by the Provost Sgt and his team of little helpers.

    The Provost staff got pretty mixed up between how to treat soldiers who were remanded in custody under investigation and those serving a sentence.

    Vigorous PT with 25 lb shells running up the hill etc does not go down well when subjected to scrutiny in the Old Bailey - when the soldiers were innocent at that time and merely remanded in custody. It was argued pretty effectively by the defence that the way the suspects were treated in custody in between interviews was harassment etc and invalidated the interviews.

    The Police and Criminal Evidence Act came in shortly after this case and fundamentally changed how these things should be handled.
  10. Dear me but you've brought back some old memories on this one.
    As someone involved (had to go the Old Bailey to give "evidence") I can clear up a couple of things.
    Not wishing to give away anything (except that both the RAF P&SS and the RMP SB were absolutely cr*p and out of their depths) all of us giving statements to the snowdrops and redcaps were called in to redo the statements when Special Branch took over (something to do with the forms used by the forces not being accepted by the civil courts). In most cases, the strong arm tactics used by the forces intimidated the young lads and they re-signed the statements as "ordered". I was a SSgt at the time and not so easily cowed. When I read my statement it was an absolute load of bo!!ox. I made them change it as I only said about 30% of what was in the original. Of course, when it went to court with nice, friendly civvy people, the young lads had a bit more confidence and told the court they didn't really say what was in the statements. Collapse of case...oh, and you've slightly misquoted the sex act comment. They asked me if Sig X had performed a sex act on SAC L when they were both at Troodos, and I said he'd have had to have long arms because Sig X was in FI when SAC L was up in Troodos.
    And not wishing to comment on if any of the 7 were guilty, I knew all of them very well and they were all typical squaddies (even the bluejobs) with d!cks sticking out of their foreheads so the Honey trap could have worked.
    Oh, and the reason the P&SS led the case is because it was at RAF Troodos and the lads were on det from 9 Sigs.
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  11. So nothing new on statement taking, if you heard what was recently said in Bulford!! :D
  12. I was there when the trial was taking place. One thing I do remember was that it took forever to vet a jury due to the estimated length of the trial. The result was a young jury of out of work tossers! :cry:
  13. Bob Taylor (Sadly RIP) was the security officer at the time.

    The whole thing kicked off one saturday morning when Bob was called in to to an out-brief on a Saturday morning for some young lad who had forgotten to book his appointment in the week, due to a wave of "GOZOMEs".

    Sits the young lad down in the office and turns to make him a brew...

    Bob: "sugar?"
    SUBJECT: "Yes Please"

    Bob: feeling a little mischevious because he has been screwed around on his saturday morning by this sprog:
    " so how long have you been working for the Syrians?"

    Bob turns to proffer coffee to guest:

    SUBJECT: now ashen-faced and slack jawed displaying all the signs of shock-of-capture.
    "..........................How long have you known Sir?"

    Bob: Only just retaining composure and keeping cool as only an old boy of the WOs' and Sergeants' mess knows how.

    "Well I think you had better tell me about it first"

    Thankfully the RAF Police were called next, and the rest, as they say is history.
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  14. My very first OC was young Bob!
    ..and that's a great story. If only all interviews went that easily ;)
  15. Mine do! Building rapport - pah. They just seem to tell me their sy howlers. I'd actually prefer if they tried to hide it - it would make for a shorter report!