I sent an acknowledgment to Simanowitz on 6 January. He acknowledged my acknowledgement the same day. My substantive reply to Trotter was on 24 January 2005.
Dear Mr Trotter,
Thank you for your letter of 13 October and Lawrie's of 16 December following our meeting of 9 September, in which you advise that my evidence is likely to be counter productive; and you further request that I obtain proper permission from a doctor in order for you to continue instructions, as stipulated by Law Society rules.
My capacity to instruct solicitors is defined in Law Society rule 24.04 which states that "there is a legal presumption of capacity", in other words that a solicitor acting in the best interest of his client must have a legal presumption that the client has capacity. The rule further permits an opinion from my doctor, and for your assessment given the doctor's statement.
The question of capacity has already been addressed by Lawrie Simanowitz in his letter of 9/December/2002 in which he requested that "you discuss the merits of pursuing this case with someone you trust". I responded in some detail and told Lawrie that "I have already some time ago discussed the advisability of such methods of complaint with someone I regarded as trustworthy, and that person did, quote, 'support your right to make any reasonable investigations'", in reference to Dr Lawrence's letter. Lawrie Simanowitz accepted my reporting of the doctor's opinion and grounds stated in that email as a sufficient basis to pursue the case, and he obviously felt that was sufficient evidence of capacity to instruct your firm. Additionally, in 2003 Lawrie told me that he and Tim Pitt-Payne had conferred and were satisfied that I was competent to instruct them.
In 1997 I obtained a written opinion (attached) from Dr Lawrence, a consultant psychiatrist whom I had seen for several years, and who was aware of my claim of MI5 surveillance. Dr Lawrence's letter allows for my claim being in some part possible, and he "supports your right to make any reasonable investigations". The purpose of obtaining the letter was precisely to found an investigation through the legal system, and I obtained it prior to my appeal to the Security Service Tribunal, on which the current data protection action is based. Dr Lawrence in fact encouraged me to contact lawyers regarding my complaint, and mentioned that another client of his had instructed solicitors regarding some other case. However I do not give you permission to contact Dr Lawrence directly, nor do I give him permission to speak to you, since the Law Society rule makes no mention of that.
Dr Lawrence's opinion remains current in 2002 and today because my view of MI5's activities remains constant, and my mental health also has not changed as I have been stable on the same medication for most of the period since 1997. A further point I should make is that your firm was already aware of the substance of my claims in 2002, since during my dealings with Adrian Corbett he offered me written advice on 13/June/2002 as to the possibility of legal insurance for my website.
I would have preferred to have made clear sooner to Lawrie the nature of my claim. At the first hearing on 4/July/2003 I told Lawrie of the existence of recordings in support of my claims of surveillance; his response was that to "save you costs" we should delay listening to the recordings, because it would take several hours of his time to hear them. At the meeting on 10/September/2003 I requested to make clear the details to Lawrie, to which he agreed, but which did not take place. Again on 11/July/2004 I requested to state the claim, which I did on 9/September. In retrospect the statement of the claim details should have taken place much sooner.
The purpose of my case with the Information Tribunal is to try to obtain some form of either admission or denial from MI5 of my claims. The obvious problem is that my claims while accurate would lack credibility to a court. Therefore I accept your advice to continue the case on the technical point that MI5 diverged from NCND in their response to my previous appeal, and thus enabled an appeal under 28(6). However whereas a court might strike out my claim without clear MI5 denial, rules 10 / 11 of the Information Tribunal are such as to only permit striking out on claim from their data controller that the appeal discloses no reasonable grounds. That would be equivalent to a denial, and should the claim reach the Tribunal, it might be worth making some statement of the grounds, firstly because striking out would involve tangible MI5 denial, whereby they would be placing themselves in perjury since the claim is valid; secondly, because unfortunately MI5 might seek to bias the data they give the Tribunal, for example by deleting some of it, just as the Government has apparently deleted numerous emails prior to FOIA introduction; and given that their data might be biased in their favour, it might be sensible to state a claim which they would have difficulty answering, rather than allowing them to win the case through incomplete data. However I would follow your advice as regards statement of appeal grounds and continuing the case on technical grounds while it is reasonable to do so.
I trust that the consultant's opinion will be sufficient in regard of capacity; my local legal advice centre have said that it would be "strong evidence that you should be capable of instructing solicitors". However I would request your response prior to meeting further invoices from your firm; since my capacity has been constant during the course of the last two years, your firm's work would have to have been on a proper basis to be valid during the period from which Lawrie accepted my ability to instruct him in December/2002.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Simanowitz and Pitt-Payne had already been satisfied as to my capacity in 2003 when they had conferred, and Simanowitz had previously accepted Dr Lawrence's statement, which I sent a copy of. I also stated that I would have preferred to make clear to BWB much sooner the nature of my claim but they had been putting it off to "Save You Money". MI5 might not provide proper response to a data protection claim. Dr Lawrence's letter dated 4 January 1997 had said;
I confirm in writing that the phenomena which you described to me when you first came to see me could have been real. The presence of a paranoid illness does not rule out the possibility that you were being persecuted. It does, of course, make it very hard to explore or find any satisfactory explanation but I do support your right to make any reasonable investigations.
Trotter replied on 8 February, but as is the custom with MI5 his letter was "lost in the post". They usually interfere with the postal service and appear to have done so on this occasion. I finally received his response by email on 30 March 2005.
Dear Mr Szocik
Thank you for your letter of 24th January 2005 giving your detailed response to my letter of 13th October 2004.
You are right to say that both Lawrie and Tim Pitt-Payne made an initial assessment of your capacity. This assessment was not particularly extensive, because there seemed little need for it to be so. You gave them assurances which they had no reason to dispute.
More recently, in the light of the evidence you presented to Lawrie on the 9th September 2004 he had greater reason to question your capacity because of the extreme and unlikely nature of the propositions you put to him at that meeting. It is for that reason that we now need further evidence of your capacity. The letter from Dr Lawrence of the 4th January 1997 does not really provide such evidence as it was written over eight years ago. Whilst we accept that you do not give us permission to contact him directly or for him to speak to us, I do feel that we need a more recent statement than this before we can proceed.
If we do receive such a statement we would be happy to continue acting for you on the basis that you are prepared to accept, as you have done, our approach with regard to the presentation of only that evidence that we reasonably determine to be credible. In the meantime the question of your payment of our costs should be put on hold until the matter of your capacity is resolved satisfactorily.
On a final point, you have suggested that Lawrie should have looked at the details of your evidence earlier than he did. I do not agree with this. It was not necessary to do so earlier. He was concerned, as turned out to be the case, that a review of this evidence would involve significant time and costs. His view was that this expense should be avoided until such time as it became necessary.
I look forward to receiving more recent confirmation of your capacity so that we can continue to act for you in this matter.
My next letter to John Trotter dated 26.4.05 included a statement of capacity from my GP Dr Walsh dated 7.4.05. Dr Walsh was aware of my claims of MI5 interference. I told Trotter that Simanowitz and Pitt-Payne had accepted my capacity to instruct them, independent of quoting Dr Lawrence's letter, and I had informed Simanowitz based on Dr Lawrence's letter of capacity. Dr Walsh's letter had said;
Despite Mr Szocik's illness, his claims of surveillance and harassment are potentially real and he is entitled to have them investigated in any way possible, as would a person who was in their full health. As a point of principal he ought to be allowed reasonable access to the legal system to determine the accuracy of his claims.
I also wrote that "I do not give you permission to contact Dr Walsh directly". However Simanowitz wrote to my GP to verify the letter was authentic. Trotter acknowledged my letter on 27 April to say he would reply "very shortly". After checking with my GP, without my knowledge, Simanowitz wrote to me on 27 May 2005.
Unfortunately what happened after BWB accepted my capacity to instruct them is that they deliberately delayed the case all they could. They did not want the case and it simply never got off the ground because they would do no work on it. I wrote to Simanowitz on 28 June saying;
Please could you not delay too much. Recently they have been annoying me again with people shouting outside my house, so I would prefer to see some progress, with the aim of preventing their activities.
to which he merely promised to progress it "soon", but didn't. I wrote again to Mr Trotter on 28 July 2005.
Dear Mr Trotter,
Thank you for accepting my doctor's confirmation of capacity sent 26/April. I hope the appeal to Information Tribunal can soon proceed, although there seems to be some delay recently in Lawrie's progressing the case.
Some information has emerged regarding the recording I gave Lawrie at the meeting of September/2004, and there are other matters which I think you should be aware of, relating to the conduct of the case.
1) Lawrie in his letter of 16/December/2004 denied that the recording of 17/November/2001 had any intelligible content. Since I can hear what is on that recording, I asked a number of other people whether they could; five people who replied from internet groups said they could hear some of it. That led me to consider obtaining the professional opinion of a specialist in forensic audio, and recently at some cost I requested the view of Mr Ginsberg of Professional Audio Laboratories Inc in the USA; as you can see from his website (www.proaudiolabs.com) he does a lot of work for US Government agencies and the legal profession.
As you can see from the attached photocopied report (A) he was able to hear much of what is on the recording, and he has enhanced the recordings so that others would find them more intelligible. I enclose the original recordings and his filtered product on computer CD.
It is reasonable to conclude that the recordings had substantially the content I described to Lawrie in September/2004. Without in any way detracting from Lawrie's legal capability, the findings of Mr Ginsberg lead me to consider that sufficient care was not taken in the decision to allocate that work solely to Lawrie, since he lacks experience in that area. His finding of course supported his continued insistence on conducting the case purely on technicalities, without any mention of the complaint substance.
2) If you wish to verify that Mr Ginsberg's letter is genuine you may contact him using the details on his website. If you wish to check his credentials you may contact the AES (www.aes.org). I did not tell him the context of the recordings; if you talk to him it is at your discretion whether you inform him of that.
3) It is clear from the recording and its surrounding context that it captures an attempt by MI5 to cause my death. The sequence of events was that in early November/2001 I sought to acquire a Colt 45 calibre pistol from a private party. Someone made a newsgroup post on 11/Nov/2001 with text;
>They say that when a man with a 45 meets a man with a rifle,
>the man with the pistol is a dead man.
>Let's see if that's true.
The message continues to exist on Google newsgroup archive; it was made through UK ISP Pipex; I include the entire message as attachment (B). I took delivery on 13/November, and on 17/November/2001 MI5 induced a group of approximately seven men to stand outside the building shouting, as you can hear on the recording, that they "didn't want to shoot people", and various words "crazy, something wrong with the guy, prostitute, I am not a whore" etc. Mr Ginsberg states he can hear those words on the recording. As I said to Lawrie last September, the sum of the parts is that they created an incident where they intended that I go out and confront them with a pistol, then they would shoot me with a rifle.
4) Lawrie last September tried to argue that even if the recording were as I claimed, it did not necessarily show an MI5 activity. I asked him what conduct he would regard as sufficient to perceive MI5 activity, but he did not reply. He said he thought I had made the newsgroup post; which was impossible, because it was through UK subscription ISP Pipex, when I was in the US, and had never had a Pipex account. Lawrie did not want to listen to the recording of MI5 trying to kill me, in order to "save you money"; three months later he replied, that he could hear nothing in the recording.
5) You have told me you would accept my capacity to instruct you only if the substance of the complaint was not mentioned in the appeal, based on Lawrie's finding of no evidence in that recording. Of course if you continue to insist on avoiding any mention of the complaint substance then I would be forced to follow your advice. However to my mind conducting the case solely on technicalities is without sufficient care. At the outset in 2002 Lawrie insisted on not finding out the complaint substance, he said to "save you money". Several times in 2003 I attempted to bring up the material complaint; at one point Lawrie said "I almost want to stop you there" because any discussion of the complaint would take time, and he had to "save" my costs. I think more care should have been exercised at the outset to cover the substance of the case. In his letter of 29/June/2004 Lawrie continued to try to put off finding out about the substance.
If you insist on carrying the case purely on technicalities then as I have said in my previous letters I would agree, because such a case would be better than no case at all. However please consider that the evidence verified by the forensic audio specialist supports some of my claims, and please could you carefully consider whether some part of the complaint could be stated to a court or tribunal, with supporting evidence, without risking the case being struck out. At the Tribunal stage, as said in my previous letter, the action could only be struck out through explicit MI5 denial.
Further, you say that you would find me lacking in capacity if I were to request any mention of my claims to a court or tribunal. However Dr Walsh's letter in evidence of my capacity states "his claims of surveillance and harassment are potentially real and he is entitled to have them investigated in any way possible, as would a person who was in their full health". He says that I am entitled to have my claims investigated; and that would clearly involve some part of them being mentioned to a court or tribunal. Your placing a condition on my capacity that the complaint must not be mentioned does not tally with the doctor's statement.
6) Conduct of the case without mentioning its substance could give MI5 a free hand with respect to what data they would place before a court or Tribunal. Lawrie was optimistic at last September's meeting that MI5 would be fair and objective in the data they would give to the Tribunal. However they have won every case before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, and they would try to win a 28(6) case, possibly by shaping data. That is not fanciful because for example when Robert Henderson made a subject access request to MI6 they selectively released data which was to his detriment. Obviously MI5 should release all data to the Tribunal, but the activities alleged of them are mostly criminal, and they would have an exclusion under DPA s43(8) for any material which would reveal them to have committed an offence. I think they would use that exclusion because they would be foolish not to. They could also selectively delete data to prevent its disclosure.
In other words, unless we disclose some of the complaint to the Tribunal, they may never find out, because MI5 can legitimately withhold a lot of data from the Tribunal.
7) Mr Nichol in his opinion of 6/October/2003 says that a 28(6) appeal would be difficult to win. (pa14) says the Tribunal would look first at the data given to them by MI5 to assess its national security content. If they were satisfied of that, then (pa16) says the appeal would succeed only if it could be shown that information had been withheld despite MI5 making a determination that release would not harm national security. We could obviously never show whether they had made such a determination, because they do not have to disclose their decision making.
A 28(6) appeal would therefore be decided not on technicalities but on the data that MI5 gave to the Tribunal. They would present data in such a way as to advantage themselves, and if we say nothing about the material complaint, then MI5 might win, without our ever having had a chance to state the complaint. That would be incredibly unjust, but that is what happened already in 2003 through the insistence on a technicalities case.
Surely the best way to conduct a 28(6) appeal would be to submit sufficient substance of the complaint to the Tribunal, with supporting evidence, and invite MI5 to deny it. Their options would be to admit illegality; to deny incidents for which we have evidence; or to avoid having to answer. Conducting the case on technicalities in 2003 meant MI5 never had to answer any accusations.
Again, if you insist on not mentioning the complaint substance, then I would be forced to follow your advice, but since we have evidence of their trying to kill me, surely it would be correct to present that evidence to the tribunal.
8) To summarise, we have a recording of MI5 trying to kill me, where the words and actions are consistent with other events at the time. In 2002 I chose the Information Tribunal route because the only other option seemed the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which always finds against appellants. Since we have this sort of evidence, perhaps you as lawyers can think of some other method for bringing this matter out into the open. Criminal activity is normally a police matter - would you see value in bringing this to their attention? Perhaps you can advise of any other method of proceeding.
9) It became clear to me during the Nov/2003 hearing that the Information Tribunal wanted to find out what the case was about, and that was their purpose in arranging the hearing. The president asked "isn't there some way we can hear this case" irrespective of the technical requirement for 7(9) proceedings to exist. Lawrie did not understand the tribunal's purpose, and wrote;
"One thing is crucial, that there should only be one matter discussed at that hearing, which is whether your appeal can be suspended or should be dropped and revived after you have instituted court proceedings. If you start discussing any other issues, given that you have not prepared to discuss them, you will almost certainly lose and the risk is then that they cannot be raised again subsequently."
We did lose the hearing, because the substance was not brought up. I think Pitt-Payne would have guessed the purpose of the hearing, but he said nothing to us; instead he set about closing down the hearing without any mention of the complaint.
10) Pitt-Payne was employed to bring the case before the Information Tribunal. Instead he kept re-targeting it to IPT, where we would lose. On 21/August/2003, one day before the deadline to submit documents to the tribunal, he said he would abandon the case unless it went to IPT instead; and he did leave abruptly, which may have been against Bar Council rules. For the Nov/2003 hearing Lawrie gave me the choice between Mr Nichol and Pitt-Payne, but Mr Nichol was away. Pitt-Payne tried to close down the appeal so that no hearing would take place, thus avoiding any risk of its substance being heard, but for some reason he was unable to do so. The Treasury Solicitor was at the same time trying to do exactly the same, by threatening me with costs if the hearing went ahead.
Pitt-Payne and Tam between them arranged the hearing before it took place; that "by agreement between the parties" the appeal would be closed down with no order as to costs. The key thing is that the appeal was closed down without any opportunity to hear its substance, which was intentional in Pitt-Payne's conduct. Pitt-Payne and Tam appear to be close friends, in contact by cellphone; Pitt-Payne laughed sycophantically at Tam's jokes during the hearing; and he made a comment to Tam about "daft and bad" which I found offensive. I complained to Lawrie about Pitt-Payne's conduct on 15/March/2004. Lawrie's response was primarily concerned with costs.
By seeking to close down the Information Tribunal appeal without mention of the complaint substance, Pitt-Payne advantaged the opposition, quite possibly intentionally. I was upset at the November hearing because I could see his agenda, and could do nothing about it. Since the Bar Council has a six month time limit on complaints, it is probably too late to bring this to their attention - and observation of Pitt-Payne's conduct does not equal proof of intent. I would request your view on this.
11) At the Nov/2003 hearing there was a particular exchange between the president and Tam. The president commented that "no-one in their right mind brings an action against a Government agency in the high court". His comment was both meant at face value, and also as a comment which Tam understood the president to mean that the plaintiff had a mental health issue and surely MI5 weren't interested in such a person. Tam's response was similarly ambiguous, that "not in Mr Szocik's case but in others MI5 would employ a serious crime exemption" rather than one for national security; in other words they were interested and Tam tried to suggest a serious crime aspect.
I am unsure whether MI5 really intend to use a serious crime exemption in my case. In law they cannot, because they only acquired the responsibility in 1996, their interest in me being from 1990. However we have to exercise care to prevent their using a serious crime exemption in response to a 7(9) application; therefore we should give sufficient information to the court that their activities commenced in 1990.
12) MI5 have interfered in the relationship between your firm and myself a number of times.
On 28/Aug/2002 I was in your waiting room to see Adrian Corbett, and from outside the window came the voice of a black man saying "paranoid prostitute, terrorist". The intent would have been to intimidate me from visiting your offices.
Several times MI5 have employed a meme "Get your money back", which would have the effect of severing the relationship.
a) You can hear one instance on the enclosed CD, m12-t03-00.34.wav. An Asian says numerous things about me, including "get my money back".
b) Some months ago a small black child at Clapham South tube said "I want my money back". They have put people in Clapham South tube a number of times.
c) On 14/04/2005 a black girl on a bus in Clapham talking to thin air said "I want my money back".
In early 2005, kids outside our house shouted "Heidi Fleiss", which is a Jewish prostitute from California, in reference to Lawrie Simanowitz. Last September I told Lawrie there were people shouting outside our house frequently. The purpose again was to dislocate the relationship with your firm.
Two letters from your firm have been "lost in the post", one from Mr Corbett in 2002, another from you dated 8/Feb/2005. Interference with post is customary with MI5 cases; Tomlinson in his book states he wrote to Mr al Fayed which never arrived; I tested the thesis in late 1994 whether my letters home were read, by writing specific things to my parents, and sure enough MI5 repeated those things in Ottawa where I then lived.
13) Because MI5 conspired to kill me on US territory, as evidenced above, my federal civil rights were breached under US law, for which I wish to seek remedy. I have been told that under Florida law, breaches of civil rights are actionable for four years from date of incident; the timelimit expires 17/November/2005. If the action with Information Tribunal is successful it may expose MI5's operation in Florida in Nov/2001, enabling successful action in the US.
Because of the extreme and continuing delays in the last year, it is unlikely that Information Tribunal proceedings will be completed by mid November. I would suggest that an action in Florida could be issued and then suspended, pending the case in the UK. In 2002 I issued action against Altopia in Seattle for the purpose of a subpoena (that case was dealt with by Mr Corbett), and that action was suspended for eight months, so the legal machinery might make this possible.
Please could you look into whether it would be feasible to do as I suggest, and if so, the steps to action the suggestion. This is time critical because the deadline is in a little over three months, and current progress is extremely slow. I request you take sufficient care of my interests by actioning this suggestion if it is feasible.
14) Because there is a deadline on 17/November/2005 please could this matter be dealt with more urgently. Since you received evidence of capacity on 26/April it has not been progressed at all. Please could you reply within three weeks of receiving this letter. I request that either the reply be from you or (if you give this letter to Lawrie for reply) that you be aware of the matters discussed in this letter, and have some input on how they are dealt with, in the event of any review of the conduct of the case.
Together with the letter was a copy of Ginsberg's report from the attempted assassination of November 2001, showing much content. Simanowitz had been unable to hear any content at all, due to his technicalities obsession. I complained in the letter about Simanowitz's unreasonable delaying of the case and his avoidance of the complaint substance. Simanowitz's response to the letter was to immediately go "on holiday" and stay away for several weeks. The man MI5 labelled "Heidi Fleiss" acknowledged on 22 August.
I emailed him on 25 August, encouraging his firm to actually read the letter of 28 July which apparently they had not bothered to do. I complained that there had been no progress from Simanowitz in four months since receiving confirmation of capacity and requested his firm assign urgently some other solicitor to the US case for which there was a deadline on 17 November 2005 because he was making no progress and going on contiguous holidays in advance of the deadline. He acknowledged the email on 5 September stating BWB could not conduct US litigation. I replied on 11 September stating his firm had co-founded the Parlex group which had a US member called Delanney and Associates with a networked attorney in Florida and requesting their help in the US case. Simanowitz's reply of 19 September told me to instruct Delanney myself, without revealing the details of the case. I emailed him back on 21 September prior to our meeting saying that;
"the purpose of contacting US lawyers is to bring to the attention of the authorities that a crime was committed in Florida on 17/Nov/2001, and to seek any civil or criminal remedy for that."
BWB had been very coy about informing any police authorities of the attempted assassination of November 2001, even though I had entrusted them with that responsibility. I requested to meet Simanowitz urgently with a view to progressing the US case. He replied by continuing to avoid me and delay the case. I followed up on 26 September 2005 requesting a meeting.
A few days ago I requested to meet with you regarding this case. You did not acknowledge or reply. Today I phoned several times to try to make an appointment, but you were unreachable, and your secretary was unable to make an appointment.
I have been requesting for five months that you progress this case. Sometimes you have not acknowledged my communications. Sometimes you have apologised for the delay, and then further delayed. Two months ago I sent Mr Trotter evidence that Security Service had tried to kill me four years ago. Your response was to continue delaying, without any answer to the letter.
Surely having had two months to consider my letter of 28/July you should be able to reply by now. Please could you reply to the forwarded email of 21/Sep, make an appointment very soon for the meeting and reply to the letter of 28/July before the appointment. You must have thought about your response because two months have elapsed since Mr Trotter received the letter.
Please reply to this email tomorrow Tuesday morning. If you are unable to communicate for some reason then please advise your secretary of a suitable appointment date within the next few days by which you will have replied to the letter of two months ago.
Simanowitz refused a meeting. His secretary said on 27 September;
Dear Mr Szocik
Further to our telephone conversation this afternoon about arranging a time for you to meet with Lawrie I can now confirm that Lawrie will be calling you within the next few days to discuss matters but does not feel a meeting at our office will be necessary. I have therefore not booked a meeting for Thursday.
The same day I again requested a meeting, with the addition that BWB give the US side of the case to some other solicitor if Simanowitz refused a meeting. In his reply of 28 September Simanowitz again refused a meeting. My reply the same day requested a different solicitor be assigned to the case if Simanowitz continued to refuse a meeting. He replied the same day agreeing to a meeting but still hoping to avoid seeing me face to face. I sent him a reminder on 2 October, and on 3 October after someone had been phoning my mother but would not give their name which he denied, and on 4 October because so much time had elapsed with Simanowitz's complete inaction. On 5 October he emailed me to say he had written a draft response to my letter but wouldn't say what the draft response was; the same day I replied asking for his draft response pointing out that he had not replied for many weeks; to which he replied as follows.
You've asked me to give you a provisional reply to the points made in your letter of 28th July to John Trotter, prior to our meeting tomorrow. I am busy with other priorities today so will keep it brief. My response uses the numbering in your letter:
1-3. The enhanced recording does make some of the content more intelligible, but I remain concerned that even were it sufficiently intelligible for a court, I do not think they would find that it provides evidence, even in the context which you have described, of MI5 trying to cause your death.
4. With regard to the newsgroup post, again I do not think it provides the required level of evidence. I did not intend to say that I thought you had made the newsgroup post but merely that you (or indeed any other person) could have made it - in other words it was the kind of evidence that was sufficiently easy to forge.
5. John and I quite clear that we will be unable to act for you if want to submit this type of evidence to a court. This is not least because we believe it will damage the credibility of your claim.
6. MI5 does not have a free hand as to what evidence it puts before a court. It must comply with the law and cannot deceive the court. S43(8) does not apply to MI5 - it applies to the Information Commissioner.
7. I agree with your observations about the pessimism expressed by Andrew Nichol. It does raise questions as to whether we should pursue a s28(6) appeal. However, I am not sure that Andrew Nichol's point defeats our argument that, under s28(6), the certificate does not apply to the data because MI5 (in referring to some data about you which they hold) have already gone beyond the position of neither confirm nor deny that Andrew Nichol refers to.
8. I'm happy to talk about the methods you suggest when we meet.
9. I disagree, for reasons previously discussed.
10. Tim Pitt Payne's conduct was fully professional and I was impressed both with his advice and with the way he dealt with this case. I do not accept any suggestion that he advantaged the opposition whether intentionally or not. Many barristers know each other - often appearing on the same side in some cases and then in opposition to each other in others. This is particularly true where they both work in a relatively specialised field such as that encompassed by this case. The fact that they were friendly at the tribunal is evidence of nothing more than this.
11. Let's discuss your concerns about the serious crime exemption when we meet. My initial response is that it is unlikely to apply here, but if it were to apply I'm not sure that the 1996 date is relevant.
12. Letters do occasionally get lost - it happens from time to time with other clients on matters unrelated to the security services. I do not believe this is evidence of interference by MI5 in our relationship.
13. I do not know whether it would be feasible to do as you suggest in the US courts. I am happy to have a brief discussion with you when we meet about what (if any) evidence of yours you should present when first instructing US lawyers.
I found Simanowitz's reply pretty disgusting. As always he was avoiding the substantive complaint and supporting his fellow lawyers. The meeting went ahead on 6 October. I prepared the following notes for the meeting.
response to Lawrie's email, regarding letter of 28-07-05
1-3) There is a lack of care issue regarding how BWB have dealt with the recording of 17/Nov/2001. A year ago I gave Lawrie a recording of MI5 shouting death threats outside my apartment; he refused to listen to it "to save you money". Three months later after reminders Lawrie claimed there was no content on the recording.
Several other people listening to the original recording, and forensic audio specialist Mr Ginsberg, found substantial content supporting the claim that MI5 had tried to kill me on 17/Nov/2001. Therefore BWB's decision to make Lawrie responsible for listening to the recording was negligent, because it was not part of his competence to interpret such recordings.
It is alarming that Lawrie and John Trotter continue to deny the obvious interpretation of the recording, which is clear to any truthful person with average common sense. Mr Trotter and BWB are reputable lawyers, and brazen avoidance of obvious reality brings both them and the legal profession into disrepute.
Further, it would not be necessary to prove MI5 tried to kill me solely on the basis of the recording, if the case were brought to Information Tribunal. Firstly, if that tribunal conducted the case honestly, they would require an answer to the charge from MI5; you previously told me you thought MI5 could not lie to the tribunal. Secondly, with a 28(6) appeal, the tribunal would obtain substantial data from MI5, which would correlate to the complaint material we would bring before the tribunal. The tribunal has no power to strike out an appeal unless denied by MI5.
Lawrie insisted on conducting a paperwork case in 2003, solely on the question of whether "proceedings" existed. He explained the purpose of such conduct was to "save you money" - it cost £ 20,000 without BWB / Pitt-Payne allowing any mention of the complaint material, which was against my wishes and that of the tribunal.
4) A year ago Lawrie said "I thought you had made the newsgroup post." Lawrie now says regarding the newsgroup post "I did not intend to say that I thought you had made the newsgroup post". These statements are contradictory. Again, MI5 would have to deny the newsgroup post containing the death threat, because that is the nature of such a legal action.
5) I think you should conduct the case on the substance rather than paperwork. Lawrie and Trotter insist we must not tell any court or Tribunal that MI5 tried to kill me; that the case must be conducted on paperwork; which is Kafkaesque.
6) MI5 have a common law right to not incriminate themselves. The main issue is that evidence exists of them conducting serious crimes. It is unreasonable to expect them to inform a court or tribunal of the accusations being made against them; bringing charges against them is something we must do, we cannot expect them to accuse themselves.
7) Reading Mr Nicol's advice, pa 14-16, he does not talk about "neither confirm nor deny", as you claim in your email. He specifically considers the process of a 28(6) appeal where data is confirmed to exist. Their first step would be to look at whether the data was covered by the certificate. The second step (pa 16) would be to consider whether data had been withheld despite Security Service determining that it should be disclosed - as mentioned in my letter of 28/July, we would automatically lose the second step - the "technicality" - so we would have to supply our side of the complaint for the first step, assuming of course that we are trying to win the case.
9) I heard the tribunal president ask the barristers whether there was some way to hear what the complaint was about; they both refused to say what the appeal was about.
10) Pitt-Payne kept re-targeting the case to IPT, against my instructions. He left the case abruptly on 21/August/2003, because I would not agree to close down the Information Tribunal appeal. He and Tam closed down the appeal in Nov/2003 without any mention of its grounds. That behaviour can be expected of the opposition, but not your own barrister who is paid to conduct the case to your advantage. I complained to Lawrie on 15/March/2004. I intend to bring a complaint against Pitt-Payne to the Bar Council on the grounds of professional misconduct; there is a six month time limit, but the period may be extended because grounds are serious and the solicitors had been informed within the six month limit and improperly refused to progress the complaint.
11) The key observation is that Tam admitted to the tribunal president that MI5 were conducting activities against me; Lawrie says he did not perceive Tam's statement. Tam's suggestion of a serious crime exemption may be propaganda, and easily countered, if we tell the court or tribunal the complaint grounds.
12) There were numerous interferences between your firm and myself. Lawrie singles out only the missing letters, but there are others; for example their name "Heidi Fleiss" - a Jewish prostitute - would have been calculated to discourage Lawrie from the case.
13) We should disclose a substantial part of the case to US lawyers, because the US case is about substantive issues rather than paperwork, and evidence exists for the substantive claims.
The case should be brought on substantive issues, not paperwork. If Lawrie refuses, BWB should appoint another solicitor. If BWB refuse, I would take issue with the firm.
Simanowitz had been delaying the case for five months. He said he saw my case as a low priority, with frequent holidays, and had broken his arm. He said a new Subject Access Request would be necessary, but in early 2004 had said it was not necessary, see previous correspondence. I said the case had been dealt with incorrectly and I had spent £ 20,000 without being allowed to say what my case was about, at the insistence of "my" lawyers. He said the complaint material made no difference to the conduct of the case, which was surely corrupt and plain thieving. I told Simanowitz his conduct was Kafkaesque, and he seemed to take pride in that description, because he had conducted it purely on technicalities with no mention of substance. I told him his conduct brought the legal system into disrepute. He expressed personal hostility towards me. I have a recording of this meeting.
I sent a reminder from the meeting to Trotter on 3 November, and on 9 November. Simanowitz was Trotter's favourite, so he refused to give the case to another solicitor in his firm or deviate from a technicalities only case.
I wrote again to Trotter on 15 December 2005 asking for copies of papers and for him to reconsider his decision, and again on 15 January. He sent copies of papers, which I had destroyed in one of the failed "deals" with MI5 mindcontrol for them to leave me alone which they never did, but his decision did not change.