Friday, October 28, 2005

Jowell husband 'facing jail term'

Oct 28 2005

David Mills is the husband of UK cabinet minister (Culture Secretary) Tessa Jowell

Legal proceedings against David Mills on allegations of tax fraud and money laundering are to begin in Italy.

Company lawyer David Mills is alleged to have set up offshore firms that helped Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi's media company avoid tax liability on TV rights.

Besides Mr Mills and Berlusconi, 12 other people also face possible charges of money laundering and tax fraud.

The pre-trial hearing in Milan's central court will be heard in front of judge Fabio Paparella, who will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed.

The hearing follows a three-year investigation by Milan-based prosecutors Fabio De Pasquale and Alfredo Robledo.

If the case against him proceeds and he is found guilty Mr Mills could be sentenced to 12 years in jail.

He has been a close friend of Berlusconi for many years, and in the 1990s set up a network of offshore companies for him. It is alleged that through these companies, American TV rights were bought at inflated prices and more than £40 million in tax was evaded as a result.
Besides the current case, Mr Mills also faces a separate investigation into allegations that he gave false evidence when questioned by prosecutors.

The case centres on media tycoon Berlusconi's TV company Mediaset, and is the latest of a series of corruption trials he has faced. But despite numerous court cases, Berlusconi has never been formally convicted of anything.


Mr Berlusconi has been fighting legal battles in the courts in Milan for many years.
He has been on trial at least seven times on corruption charges relating to his business activities.
But he has never received a definitive guilty sentence and in most cases has been acquitted under the statute of limitations.

This latest case involves a television rights deal in America.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Berlusconi, some top executives in his media companies and the London lawyer acting for him, Mr Mills, were involved in fraud.

Mr Berlusconi ha asked for the proceedings to be transferred to another city, as he claims that more than 60 judges on the Milan circuit are shareholders in his media companies and therefore cannot be considered impartial.

Court papers have been filed by prosecutors alleging a lack of cooperation by the American judiciary.

Italian investigators say the American courts have failed to hand over key evidence as they are required to do under international law.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Spies in the UK parliament; Wilson? Heath?


Peter Wright, wrote in 'Spycatcher' (1987) :

Much has been written about Harold Wilson and MI5, some of it wildly inaccurate. But as far as I am concerned, the story started with the premature death of Hugh Gaitskell in 1963. Gaitskell was Wilson's predecessor as Leader of the Labour Party. I knew him personally and admired him greatly. I had met him and his family at the Blackwater Sailing Club, and I recall about a month before he died he told me that he was going to Russia.

After he died his doctor got in touch with MI5 and asked to see somebody from the Service. Arthur Martin, as the head of Russian Counterespionage, went to see him. The doctor explained that he was disturbed by the manner of Gaitskell's death. He said that Gaitskell had died of a disease called lupus disseminata, which attacks the body's organs. He said that it was rare in temperate climates and that there was no evidence that Gaitskell had been anywhere recently where he could have contracted the disease.

Arthur Martin suggested that I should go to Porton Down, the chemical and microbiological laboratory for the Ministry of Defense. I went to see the chief doctor in the chemical warfare laboratory. Dr. Ladell, and asked his advice. He said that nobody knew how one contracted lupus. There was some suspicion that it might be a form of fungus and he did hot have the foggiest idea how one would infect somebody with the disease. I came back and made my report in these terms.

The next development was that Golitsin told us quite independently that during the last few years of his service he had had some contacts with Department 13, which was known as the Department of Wet Affairs in the KGB. This department was responsible for organizing assassinations. He said that just before he left he knew that the KGB were planning a high-level political assassination in Europe in order to get their man into the top place. He did not know which country it was planned in but he pointed out that the chief of Department 13 was a man called General Rodin, who had been in Britain for many years and had just returned on promotion to take up the job, so he would have had good knowledge of the political scene in England.


Ken Livingstone, speech in the House of Commons (10th January, 1996):

In 1961, Anatoli Golitsin, a KGB defector, had arrived in the USA with all sorts of wild allegations few of which yielded anything of substance except the identity of the Admiralty spy, John Vassall. By coincidence, shortly after Wilson's election as Leader of the Opposition, Golitsin was sent to Britain to be interviewed by MI5. His agreed fee was £10,000 a month - £70,000 at today's prices - which was a considerable incentive to keep the interest of his MI5 hosts.

Although he had made no mention of it during his two-year interrogation in the USA, Golitsin now told MI5 that he had heard of a KGB plot to kill the leader of a west European political party so that its man could take over. That was all that Peter Wright and other extreme right-wingers inside MI5 needed to confirm the suspicions that had been hanging around ever since the jet engine trade deal and Wilson's annual visits to the USSR while in opposition. They believed that the assassinated party leader had to be Gaitskell...

MI5 believed that seven members of Wilson's Government and three other Labour Members of Parliament were either spies or at the very least security risks...

Will Owen, the Member of Parliament for Morpeth... turned out to be guilty. He had been taking £500 a month from Czechoslovakian intelligence...

(John Diamond, Tom Driberg, Judith Hart, Stephen Swingler and John Stonehouse were among those suspected of being spies.)

The late Harold Wilson was not the only one under suspicion. While the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Sir E. Heath) was Leader of the Opposition, the Tory Member of Parliament, Captain Henry Kerby - as I have explained, he was an MI5 agent who had ingratiated himself with George Wigg - was used to spread rumours that the right hon. Gentleman was a homosexual who had had an affair with a Swedish diplomat.

Doubts about the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup were not confined to the more extreme elements who clustered round Peter Wright. The newly appointed head of MI5, Mr. Hanley - otherwise known as Jumbo - did not inform the right hon. Gentleman that investigations were taking place to try to determine whether Sir Roger Hollis (former head of MI5) had been a KGB agent.

The head of MI5 did not inform the Leader of the Opposition of MI5's doubts about Wilson, either, or reveal the contents of the file on Wilson that he had inherited from his predecessor, Furnival Jones, and which was kept in his safe, filed under the name "Henry Worthington"...

There is clearly a culture of extreme right-wing politics in MI5, which has been there throughout this century. Occasionally there are brought to the surface very deep links with individual Conservative Members of Parliament who have been able to use MI5, disinformation and black propaganda to damage Labour Members of Parliament and Governments.


Extract from Chapter 8 of:

Mike Hughes

Colin Wallace, an Army Information Officer in Northern Ireland, then working for the psychological operations unit "Information Policy" has revealed details of an anti-government operation codenamed "Clockwork Orange 2".

Shortly after the first election of 1974 Wallace was asked to produce a faked Republican document implicating a number of named Labour M. P. s. He was given access to MI5's files on the M. P. s and a thorough briefing on the reasons for and objectives of the inquiry. The notes which Wallace made at the time included a extraordinarily unlikely list of M. P. s to be "targeted":

Harold Wilson, Anthony Benn, Ian Mikado, David Owen, Eric Heffer, Judith Hart, Tom Driberg, Barbara Castle, Michael Foot, and John Stonehouse were claimed to be "secret communist party members" although the only one for whom the claim has been shown to hold any water is Tom Driberg, who was at least also acting as a double agent for MI5...

The evidence given to Wallace about Wilson comes from "Oatsheaf", but his notes also show that Edward Heath was to be the target of Intelligence's operations.

Heath, claimed MI5, "can be shown to be under Soviet control through Lord Rothschild". The key words here are "can be shown". In this kind of "psychological operation" truth takes a back seat, and so does loyalty.

Rothschild joined MI5 during the Second World War. In 1940 Rothschild suggested that Anthony Blunt should be invited to join the secret service. He also rented a house to his friend Guy Burgess. Edward Heath was a great admirer of Rothschild and in 1970 he appointed him head of the government's Central Policy Review Staff. It was later claimed that Rothschild persuaded Heath to appoint Michael Hanley as Director General of MI5 in 1972. Later Margaret Thatcher appointed Rothschild as her unofficial security adviser.


Private Eye's greatest days were in the 1970's when they tried to find out whether or not the Prime Minister was a spy for Israel (or the KGB.)

Harold Wilson was President of the Board of Trade (a government minister) from 1947-51.

The few people who could get permission from the Board of Trade to import heavily rationed raw materials or finished goods were in a good position to become vastly rich.

Among the lucky few who got licenses were Montague Meyer, Joe Kagan and Rudy Sternberg.

Kagan and Sternberg later became peers.

Meyer gave Wilson a consultancy which took him on frequent trips to Moscow and Eastern Europe.

After the 'mysterious' death of Hugh Gaitskell, Wilson became Labour leader and eventually Prime Minister.

Harold Wilson's 'private office' was funded in secret by a wealthy group which included Lord Goodman, Sir Samuel Fisher, and Rudy Sternberg.

In the 1970's, Private Eye began to receive information of a possible link between Wilson and the Israeli secret service and the KGB. Much of this information may have come from people within MI5.

In connection with alleged plots, the names of various people were handed to Private Eye.

Labour MP Ian Mikardo had at one time partnered Leslie Paisner in a business that traded with East Germany.Mikardo's pair in the House of Commons was Barnaby Drayson who worked for Rudy Sternberg, as did Wilfred Owen MP who had resigned after being revealed as a spy for Czechoslovakia.

Montague Meyer, it turned out, was the man who had bought up much of the timber felled in Tanganyika during Labour's ill-fated groundnut scheme.

Then there was Labour MP Edward Short 'who had been in the habit of receiving bundles of banknotes from T Dan Smith', the city boss of Newcastle and one time partner of Eric Levine.

Kagan was a frequent visitor to Downing Street. He was also on friendly terms with the station chief of the Russian KGB. After being questioneded by the police about tax and currency offences he eventually 'fled' to Israel, where perhaps his real allegiance lay.

Sir Rudy Sternberg was also under investigation by the security services.


MI5 and MI6

Haw-Haw and MI5

Smears and Lies

UK helped Israel get nuclear bomb. Was there an Israeli spy in MI5?


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blunkett and Siddiqi

Toby Helm, in The Telegraph 11 October 2005, wrote that David Blunkett was under pressure to explain his links to a businessman, Tariq Siddiqi.

Mr Blunkett was paid, before the last election and while out of the Government, by a company owned by Siddiqi.

Mr Siddiqi's company, DNA Bioscience, which offers do-it-yourself paternity tests, insists that Mr Blunkett was paid for almost three months' work.

If true this would mean he should have made a formal declaration to Parliament.

However, the Work and Pensions Secretary maintains that he only did two weeks' work.

Yesterday Chris Grayling, the shadow leader of the house, wrote to Mr Blunkett demanding that he "clarify in detail what the situation was and produce documentary evidence to support this".

If he failed to do so he threatened to report the matter to the standards commissioner.

A spokesman for Mr Blunkett said last night it was "categorically untrue" that he had broken any parliamentary rules, adding that he had made full declarations of all the money he had earned.


"Nipples! Buttocks! Knickers!" exclaims the Home Secretary.

In the Express and Star, 12 October 2005, Peter Rhodes gives his verdict on a TV satire about UK Cabinet minister David Blunkett. 'A Very Social Secretary' was on More4.

"Talk dirty to me!" Quinn orders Blunkett between the sheets.

"Nipples! Buttocks! Knickers!" exclaims the Home Secretary.

In another scene the blind politician is seen signing arrest warrants for terrorist suspects with one hand while holding a phone in the other to arrange his weekend love-nest.

Tony and Cherie Blair were played for laughs by Robert Lindsay and comedienne Doon Mackichan while the real power behind the throne, Alastair Campbell (Alex Jennings) lurked in the background, bringing the bad news in short, sharp bulletins: "Two flats in Bristol and a convicted fraudster."

The cringe-comedy was at its most pathetic in the way people responded to Blunkett's deepening plight.

"I just want this to last for ever," the smitten politician says to his already-bored Kimberly. A look of pure disdain crosses her face.

It is a cardinal rule of British politics that if a politician behaves like a prat he deserves to be seen as a prat.

And just when you're feeling some sympathy for this Blunkett, he says or does something to lose it.

In the final scene, after this year's General Election, his jubilant bodyguard, a nasty little right-winger, is enthusing about New Labour's agenda: send bloody asylum seekers back, put businesses in charge of hospitals, more selective schools.

"We're just doing what's right," insists Blunkett.

"I have always done what's right."

Best line comes from Blair as he tells Blunkett he's replacing him with Charles Clarke: "Well, David, no-one's going to want to sleep with him, are they?"