Friday, 10 July 2009

Diplomat James Hudson resigns over Russian FSB honey trap

Was British diplomat set up by the Russian secret service?

Official filmed having sex with prostitutes may have been victim of 'honey trap'

CCTV images filmed inside an Ekaterinburg brothel
apparently showing British diplomat James Hudson having sex with two prostitutes

By Kim Sengupta
Friday, 10 July 2009

The Foreign Office says it is fed up with "silly jokes" about "from Russia with love". The official line is that there are far too many real problems in places like Iran and Afghanistan to spend time worrying about a junior diplomat being indiscreet in the Urals.

Yesterday, a four-minute video surfaced featuring 37-year-old British diplomat James Hudson, entitled "Adventures of Mr Hudson in Russia". It shows the deputy consul general in Ekaterinburg cavorting with two prostitutes. He has since resigned.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "The FCO expects all its staff to demonstrate high levels of personal and professional integrity and takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour seriously.

"That said, we are not in a position to confirm or deny the allegations in this story, and we do not generally comment or individual members of staff or individual personal matters."

But, her colleagues confirmed that Mr Hudson was indeed the man in the film, seen entering a room – reportedly a brothel – drinking on a sofa, and kissing two blonde women in their underwear. In one scene a female voice asks in broken English: "Would you like it?"

Last weekend, it emerged that the holiday snaps of the next head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, taken by his wife, were freely available for the public to view on Facebook. Thanks to comments by the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, he is in danger of being known forever as "the spy in Speedos".

But the case of Mr Hudson is a bit more serious. It has been suggested that the diplomat might have been lured into a "honey trap" by the Russian intelligence service FSB, the successor to the KGB, with the aim of embarrassing the British Government.

Mr Hudson joined the FCO in 1994, and his postings had included Sarajevo, Havana and Budapest. He married his wife, Sally, in London in 1996, but they divorced the following year. The couple have one child.

There is no evidence that he worked for any of the UK's intelligence arms, and his rank would not have given him access to many secrets. The consensus in diplomatic and security circles was that the FSB had merely taken advantage of an opportunity which presented itself.

One source told The Independent: "FCO staff are given warnings about the risks involved, and this is what happened when this was ignored. There is a more relaxed approach to using brothels in Russia among certain sections of the business community, but this should not extend to diplomats."

There has been a series of rows between Britain and Russia over spying in recent years. Last week, the British Government accused Russia of being actively engaged in cyber espionage, while security agencies have claimed there is a steady rise in the number of Russian agents active in the UK.

The murder of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko continues to provoke controversy, with Russia refusing Britain's request to extradite a suspect, Andrei Lugovoy.

One of the most widely reported allegations of recent years was MI6's use of a fake "rock" left in a Moscow street, acting as a transmitter and sending data to a palmtop computer. The plan was supposedly inspired by a David Attenborough wildlife programme in which a tiny camera was hidden inside artificial elephant dung.


As a result of the above article we sent the following e-mail to the author of the article:

from Mike Smith
date Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 8:13 PM
subject The James Hudson Story you wrote

Dear Kim,

John Symonds tried to contact you, first at home and then at work. The News Editor at the Independent contemptuously referred to you as a free-lance, and not a reporter, and slammed the phone down on John. The reason John was trying to contact you was your article about Hudson in today's paper.

John has a strong opinion about the article you put in the Independent, but an even stronger opinion about the gutter press, particularly the Mail who really rubbished the man, who in John's eyes is a patriot. He would have been threatened ("work with us or we will publish this") because a huge proportion of people caught in honey traps did choose to work with the KGB to avoid publication. John has no doubt that the only reason this escapade has been put up on Internet was because Hudson rejected their overtures, "publish and be damned". The gutter press make a song and dance about the fact that James was from a working class family, in a poor part of London - their class prejudice was quite obvious. John was responsible for setting up and organising a large number of honey traps, but the rule of thumb within the KGB was if he is a diplomat or MI6, he will have been to a public school and therefore his preference will be for homosexual sex, which proved to be very true.

The homosexual diplomats and spooks trapped by John all gave way and promised to co-operate with them (the KGB). Some did, but some promised to and immediately returned to the Embassy and confessed to the Ambassador, and were usually back in the UK the next morning. The KGB did not publish the films and recordings in that case, under the theory that the victims would pop up again somewhere at some other important job, and the entrapment would still be valid. Much more along these lines if you want.

John offers you the story, because I recommended you to him. If you don't want it, it will go up on our blog asap.

Kind regards,
Mike Smith

Monday, 6 July 2009

'Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice' Exposed

Some days ago we put up the official transcript of the judge's Summing Up from John's trial. We have also now put up the Metropolitan Police official tape recordings of the judge actually making his summing up. This is a first occasion where members of the public can see the absolute proof of what John has been alleging for many years now. The judge's summing up was so biased and so weighted for the prosecution, and against John, that he was advised to appeal against this summing up.

We are astonished, when shortly after lodging his appeal, John was informed that the appeal judges had rejected his appeal out of hand and had ruled that he should not be allowed to appeal. John complained against this ruling to the then only authority open to him, a Home Office Department (C3?).

John had made his own notes during the judge's summing up, and as he was then in prison commencing his sentence he had no access to any photocopying machine, so John therefore attached his handwritten notes to his complaint to C3 as his evidence.

John heard no more from the Home Office Department, but he was later told that his notes had been mislaid, or lost, or mistakenly sent to the judge. On John's release from prison he was able to arrange for the complete transcript of the trial to be transcribed. John's next step was to seek to prove that the judge's transcript had been doctored, and the only way John could do that was by obliging the Police Force to supply him with a copy of their tape recordings of his trial. They refused to do this on the grounds that the officer in the case had assured both the judge and the prosecutor that John would never be allowed to have access to these recordings. The recordings were Police property and confidential to the Police.

After some years of all out campaigning John was eventually allowed a copy of the recordings of his complete trial after a deputation of a dozen Detective Chief Superintendants went to see the Commissioner and told him that he really should allow John access to the recordings. These Detective Chief Superintendents had served with John when they were sergeants together, and they knew that John had always been a completely honest police officer and would never have accepted a bribe.

During the previous 16 years these officers had risen from Sergeant to Detective Chief Superintendent, and as John also surely would have done had his career not been blighted by these false allegations, which had been pursued by the very corrupt senior officers who had themselves been later convicted as a result of information sent by John to Lord Longford and other powerful people within the Country and Government.

As soon as John received the tapes he played those of the summing up against the written version and it was immediately obvious to him that the words he complained of in his appeal had in fact been spoken by the judge, but were not on the document sent to the appeal court as a record of what the judge had said. John made an official complaint to the police authorities and a investigation was set up, which soon discovered that everything he had said in the past about the judge's behaviour had been proved by the Police recordings, and they had interviewed the shorthand writers who admitted that they had supplied the master copy transcript of the shorthand writers account of the summing up to the judge on his request, and that the prosecutor Geoffrey Rivlin had returned to the court, and both judge and prosecutor went very carefully through the original transcript of the summing up, and made numerous alterations by means of deletions and additions and alterations.

The judge had then ordered the shorthand writers to produce another edited form of the summing up document, which they did, and this was the document sent to the appeal court.

The Commissioner of Police ruled that no further action should be taken, astonishingly the Commissioner of Police then ruled that John should not be allowed to know the true result of his complaint. That order resulted in causing a delegation of a dozen Chief Superintendents of Scotland Yard going as a group to the Commissioner and forcing him to rescind his order, that was how John came into possession of the Metropolitan Police recording of his trial.

John was obliged to wait for some time while the reel to reel tapes were copied onto cassettes, and during that time he heard that, although the Commissioner gave way to him having a copy of the tapes, he did not accept the conspiracy allegation, because the entire Justice System would then be totally discredited.

As the result of being made aware of this information John, together with a one time fellow Detective Sergeant, but by then a man recently retired from a very senior Scotland Yard rank, went to the Leeds office of the shorthand writers, who recognised John's friend who had been part of the investigation team who had recorded their previous confessions, and they then personally re-interviewed the two directors of the company. The directors confirmed everything that John had heard, and named the shorthand writer who was present when the judge and prosecutor were altering the official record, because she had to alter her shorthand notes (the official record).

The company directors (Mr Humphreys and Mr Barnett of 19 Queen Victoria Street, Leeds, LS1 6BD) explained that the practice of altering trial records was in fact a general practice of people within the court shorthand writer profession. They also said that they knew Rivlin very well, because he was then on the Leeds circuit, and their office was also in Leeds, and that the bulk of their work was in the Leeds area. They gave John and his friend the impression that Rivlin had been responsible for getting them the job of recording John's trial, because they were on a different circuit to the Middlesborough Crown Court which usually used their own shorthand reporters to record their own local trials, and Rivlin was the man who later took them back to Middlesbrough to later alter (correct) the records.

The directors of the shorthand writers company were very worried about the situation of seeing John again, although now more a prosecutor than a defendant, and as part of their defence they said this was not unusual, because they were very well used to being asked to return to the court with their notebooks to alter the official records of a trial. They said that sometimes the records were altered to clarify matters before they went before the appeal court, in other words to tidy them up and check them.

John then met the shorthand writer who had made the actual notes during his trial, and had been called back to alter her own notes under the direct orders of the judge and prosecutor - Stroyan and Rivlin.

The shorthand writer appeared completely unconcerned by the events, whereas the company directors were certainly very worried. During their conversation, the directors of this shorthand company stated that this was the common practice, and they had thought nothing about it. But they also said that their rival companies were always called in on capital cases because they were prepared to make major alterations to documents that would decide whether a human being was to be hung or not. There is much more information on these lines to come later.

On John's return from Leeds he went to see his lawyer, who told him that this was a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and he noticed that the shorthand company was a private company and they would be ruined if John took action against them. John declined to go down that road because they had freely admitted their part in this, and they were just following the rules and systems then in use, and so John declined to take out a writ against them. John noticed that their own lawyers gave them similar advice, and that they had immediately closed down their private company and that two days later had then opened up a new company, this time "limited". A check on company records will show the date when this happened and therefore back up the date when John visited them.

N.B. Evidence of Stroyan and Rivlin's criminal actions are now being demonstrated on this site.


This was one of the tips which Nick, John's control, gave him at the beginning of his career. Whenever John visited Moscow he was reminded of his maiden great aunt whom he used to visit regularly and counted on to utter her favourite expression: "while you are here could you just" (change a light bulb, clear the gutter, dig the garden, etc, etc). She was unfailing in that comment and the request to follow. In Moscow it was "while you are here could you just", and then came a series of requests not quite so banal as John's maiden aunt's requests. The KGB requests involved infiltrating groups of tourists, reporting on the black marketering going on in Moscow, and on several occasions to infiltrate Western embassies. In connection with these extramural activities John became noticed by the local Police and Second Directorate and was picked up once or twice on suspicion. On those occasions John defended his English tourist status and was grateful that the Hotel Rossia was in the habit of retaining foreigners passports which in John's case would not have displayed a visa obtained in London. On one of these occasions John asked Nick what he should do if picked up by the local police again. Nick taught John the Russian words:

Все Ваши вопросы будут даны в первой половине дня

Which mean, the title of this blog post. John was later picked up and these words had a magical effect on the officers who had taken him to the Police Station. Suspicious faces changed immediately, first to surprise and then to big smiles. The rest of the versions of this magical phrase were either learnt, or the most difficult written down, and whenever John was asked to pass through or to visit any of the countries of the Eastern Bloc, he would either speak the words or show the piece of paper. This saved John's bacon on a number of occasions. He visited all the countries below:

всичките ви въпроси ще бъде отговорено на сутринта

všechny vaše otázky budou zodpovězeny v dopoledních hodinách

kõikidele küsimustele saab vastata hommikul

kaikkiin kysymyksiin on vastattu aamulla

alle Ihre Fragen beantwortet werden in den Morgen

minden kérdést kell megválaszolni, reggel

visus jūsu jautājumi tiks atbildēts no rīta

visus jūsų klausimus bus atsakyta ryte

wszystkie pytania będą odpowiedzi, rano

toate întrebările dumneavoastră va fi răspuns în dimineaţa

сва Ваша питања ће бити одговорено у јутро

všetky vaše otázky budú zodpovedané v dopoludňajších hodinách

vsa vaša vprašanja bomo odgovorili v jutro

на всі ваші запитання буде дано відповідь у першій половині дня

We have received a number of questions about the blog so far (through private channels) and to all those people all we can say is "all your questions will be answered (not in the morning but) as soon as possible".

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The KGB controller's tale?

Exposing John Symonds as a "Romeo Spy" on 13 September 1999 led to a media frenzy and a series of attacks on his character throughout the rest of that week with the "Lock him up brigade" to the fore (linked to Ann Widdecombe).

Miss Widdecombe was quoted in the Guardian:
'... the decision not to prosecute was roundly attacked by Ann Widdecombe, the shadow home secretary, who accused Mr Straw of "playing Santa Claus to Soviet spies". The decision was utterly feeble, she said.'

John was then surprised to find himself being attacked by someone claiming to represent the KGB. See attachment below:

Romeo spy was 'just trouble'
Jonathan Steele - 19 September 1999

John Symonds, the former British policeman described as Moscow's 'Romeo spy' in the revelations of KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin published last week, turned out to be far more trouble than he was worth, according to his main Moscow 'handler'.

In an exclusive interview with The Observer, KGB Colonel Igor Prelin explained how the tall, dark stranger who walked into the Soviet embassy in Morocco offering his services ended up making only two contacts of any value to the Soviet Union but cost it a lot in hotel bills, fancy clothes and entertainment.

Far from the James Bond image of a powerful agency running a worldwide stable of studs tasked to seduce important Western women and extract secrets about their, or their husbands', jobs, he painted a picture of the KGB's Romeo operation as a bumbling outfit which had little success. His account tends to confirm the new view that agents in both the Western and Eastern camps hugely over-inflated their importance at the time, in order to deceive those who employed them.

Symonds was a 'walk-in' rather than a recruit, Prelin said. 'He had a Canadian passport in the name of Freeman and said he was a former Scotland Yard policeman who had uncovered corruption and was forced to flee. He thought the Soviet Union would be the safest place. 'He couldn't prove what he was saying and we were suspicious initially. Of course he was intrinsically interesting, handsome, and professionally qualified for operational matters, as we say,' Prelin added. The KGB flew him to Moscow where they checked his behaviour in case he was a Western plant. He was given a job as an editor in the English-language section of the Novosti Press Agency.

They began to trust him only after he had revealed the whereabouts of Oleg Lyalin, a key Soviet defector, whose disclosures of scores of Soviet diplomats and journalists in Britain who were allegedly KGB spies led the Heath Government to expel more than 100 Russians.

Having decided Symonds could be trusted, 'we had to think how to use him,' said Prelin, who had returned from a stint in Africa and was working in Department K, the KGB's counter-intelligence section. They did not think he was up to being sent abroad to get a job in an organisation with secret or sensitive information, and operate as a spy in his own right. 'We offered him to the Department Spetz for special operations, but he was rejected. So the only idea that came into our heads was to use him with women. There were a lot of single women around in foreign embassies, and he might get something out of them. He quickly agreed. "Women are my weakness", he told us.'

Prelin, who retired from the KGB when Gorbachev broke it up after the failed coup of August 1991, denied Symonds' story that he was trained in sex by Soviet girls working for the KGB. 'We did get one of our girls to approach him and check him out but it was in order to find out what he thought and what he would tell her. To avoid him getting suspicious she took along a girlfriend who was not one of our agents. He simply invited them both and the three of them slept together.'

Symonds' first job was to woo someone at the British Club in Moscow. He found a woman who worked at the embassy and was soon sleeping with her but she knew little and Symonds dropped her. He hated life in Moscow so the KGB sent him to Tanzania where he worked as deputy manager of a national park. Then he fell ill and was flown back to Moscow.

In Bulgaria, he had better luck. Moscow was keen to know what its Communist leadership really thought. 'John became the lover of the wife of a top party member, and gave us a lot about the state of the leadership,' Prelin says.

But his greatest coup came when he slept with a West German tourist holidaying at the Black Sea resort of Golden Beach. She was the wife of a senior figure in the Social Democratic Party in West Berlin and told Symonds there were suspicions a Communist agent was working in the entourage of Willy Brandt, the West German Chancellor.

Prelin's boss in the counter-intelligence department was Oleg Kalugin, who later broke with the KGB and now lives in the United States. Prelin informed him of the news. 'We checked if it was one of our people, but we had no one so well-placed. It must be an East German agent, we thought, so we told the East Germans about the suspicions surrounding their man. Three months later Günther Guillaume, Brandt's secretary, was arrested and unmasked,' Prelin said. 'So John's information wasn't used to help Guillaume.'

Prelin was sent to Senegal in 1975 under cover as the Soviet embassy's economic counsellor. A year later he heard Symonds was being sent to Benin to woo the secretary of the CIA resident chief. The KGB gave him cover as a Canadian businessman and Prelin frequently met Symonds. This time Symonds failed to bed the lady or get anything out of her. Soon afterwards, Symonds went back to Britain and his short career with the KGB was over.

'The problem with John,' says Prelin, 'was he was a good man and I liked him, but honestly we didn't know how to use him.

ROMEO'S RESPONSE: The whole of the above is absolute rubbish as we will prove in detail in our next blog. John only ever had one handler and it certainly wasn't Prelin, who was a new recruit in the local Second Directorate Moscow Branch of the internal KGB, and John met him briefly when he was delegated to help John purchase some suitable clothing for a trip into the British Embassy that night. Prelin pocketed a substantial sum of foreign currency (US Dollars) supplied to John for this purpose, rushed off, rushed back with an obvious Russian made suit over h
is arm, and then disappeared. John has photographs of this suit, which was much too small for him and obviously had been much used and worn by Prelin himself. John's choice was to wear the trousers with extended braces and the crotch at knee level, or wear the trousers with a belt around his waist showing 6 inches of his socks. That was bad enough, but worse was the strong armpit smell emanating from damp arm-pit pads sewn into the suit, which John was obliged to rip out and spray with after-shave lotion. Prelin now makes a living as a notorious con-man offering secret "KGB information" to foreign press men and investigators at a price. His speciality is to guarantee meetings with his good friend ex-Chairman of the KGB Vladimir Kryuchkov in return for an additional $2,000 cash in hand. Next day he will take the "mug" reporter to a park close to Kryuchkov's flat, and sure enough the elderly infirm and vacant-faced Kryuchkov will shuffle up and be introduced to the reporter, who will ask his questions which always gets the same reply - a blank look from the apparently senile old man, and the muttered words "I don't remember". There is no doubt that Prelin, apart from being a con-man, is also a fantasist and we repeat that the whole of the article above is complete rubbish, which should be immediately dismissed with contempt. Obviously Jonathan Steele was one of the many "mug" reporters who fell victim to this man's opportunism, but John Symonds was able to advise the television crew following up Jonathan Steele's story to avoid going to Moscow to interview Prelin on film, which would, of course, have included 'the introduction to Kryuchkov'.

Prelin's speciality Shock horror item

A photograph of Prelin taken from his Red File series, where he takes the "mug" customer down to the KGB Headquarters cellars and shows them the furnaces into which he would put the KGB traitors that he had caught. These executions to be witnessed by KGB colleagues as a salutatory lesson. With a dreadful leer he assured the horrified reporters that he always used to put the traitors into these furnaces feet first !!!!!

Radiohead quote John on the cover of Com Lag: 2plus2is5

We were surprised when we were told last year that John's words had been printed on the rear cover of Radiohead's CD Com Lag 2plus2is5. We didn't really know who Radiohead were, and why should they use John's words? We wondered if the words of one of their songs might refer to John Symonds in some way.

Radiohead album Com Lag: 2plus2is5 back cover

We contacted Radiohead's manager Bryce Edge and asked him what was the reason for quoting John's words on the cover. Bryce asked the artist who had designed the cover, Stanley Donwood, and we received the following message on 28 July 2008:

... its a quote i found in the guardian, most probably from the same bloke
i think i liked what he said; very unrepentantly james bond...!


This must have come from the article written by David Rose in the Guardian newspaper of 14 September 1999, when John gave an interview to him at the time when the Mitrokhin Archive was being revealed in public for the first time. This is a full quote from the Guardian article:

[Do I have any regrets?] Well, I didn't do anything really, you know. What did I do? I just had a nice life. I'd say join the KGB, see the world - first class. I went to all over the world on these jobs and I had a marvellous time. I stayed in the best hotels, I visited all the best beaches, I've had access to beautiful women, unlimited food, champagne, caviar whatever you like and I had a wonderful time. That was my KGB experience. I don't regret a minute of it because I'd been forced into being a fugitive, to live off my wits abroad.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Crème de la crème

General Viktor Budanov (Nick)

General Viktor Budanov was John's one and only handler throughout his whole career with the KGB, from the day John joined up until the day that he took “early retirement”. It can be seen from this article that their department continued to be known within the KGB by its former title of SMERSH, despite the fact that this title had been officially changed to Directorate K some years before.

John still has the greatest admiration and affection for this man. He was a typical elite KGB officer. John refers to those KGB who were especially chosen highly intelligent and very cultured men, who could be compared to any "typical" English gentlemen. This opinion encompasses not only John's main handler Viktor, but also their boss General Oleg Kalugin (the Boy General), and, with one or two exceptions everyone in that department that John came to know through working with them or mixing socially with them. They all were, as per the film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, the ‘crème de la crème’ of Soviet society. John felt honoured to be included and trusted by this special group of men. And this is why John truthfully later maintained that his time with the KGB had been the best years of his life:

"I went all over the world. I had access to beautiful women, champagne and caviar. No, I don't regret a minute of it." John's quote in the Independent of September 1999.

Now that it has become common knowledge that John worked for SMERSH during his time with the KGB, his pride in his codename CKOT (swine/beast/wild man) is understandable, for example whenever he was sent to deal with a Russian diplomat abroad John was treated with exemplary respect because they had probably received a signal to say that SMERSH was sending agent codename CKOT to "interview" someone regarding some sort of indiscretion or worse.

There follows a copy of a newspaper article published in Pravda on
13 September 2007.


KGB’s most dangerous officer unveils secrets of Soviet intelligence

Western counterintelligence agencies attempted to re-recruit Soviet agents; several traitors defected to the West, and some Soviet diplomats committed adultery in “the ways that defy imagination,” according to Viktor Budanov, a former chief of the KGB’s Directorate K. The Directorate K, one of several sub-directorates within the First Chief Directorate (external intelligence) of the KGB, was disbanded following the August 1991 events. The Soviet-era defector Oleg Gordievsky described Budanov as the KGB’s grimmest and most dangerous person. Viktor Budanov speaks with correspondent Ilya Tarasov:

Q: Mr. Budanov, what kind of operations your highly secret division of the KGB was involved in? Why do you think a number of former Chekists refer to it as SMERSH (a Russian acronym for Smert’ Shpionam or “Death to Spies,” a specialized counterintelligence department of the Soviet military intelligence during WWII) operating within the KGB?

A: The Directorate K was responsible for internal security to support the KGB intelligence operations in foreign countries. I was in charge of that service for quite a long time. Those in other KGB departments involved in gathering of political intelligence and personnel of various Soviet organizations working abroad often painted our directorate as something horrible. I do know that a number of awe-inspiring epithets including ‘SMERSH’ were used for describing the Directorate K.

As a man who started on the lowest rung of the ladder to reach its highest one, I am confident that a division responsible for internal security of an external intelligence agency is absolutely essential for conducting all intelligence operations. Incidentally, a similar division exists within the United States’ CIA.

Keeping our own agents under surveillance was not the main task of our directorate. No doubt about it, we kept watch on some of them who had started causing damage to our country by cooperating with the intelligence agencies of target countries. I would like to stress the point that we kept the suspects under surveillance only in case we had irrefutable evidence of their double-dealing. Obtaining reliable information with regard to security of all foreign intelligence operations carried out by the KGB was the main task assigned to the directorate. We were also responsible for maintaining security at the Soviet organizations operating abroad.

Penetrating foreign intelligence and security agencies by recruiting their members was part of our core activities. Penetrations were necessary for double-checking information gathered by our agents. The operations were also a must for checking our own intelligence personnel or controllers, who worked with every important human sources of information.

Q: Did your personnel even plant bugs in agents’ apartments or install cut-out dead drops or radio contact devices in a fashion described in TASS is Authorized to State, a novel by Y. Semionov?

A: Maintaining communication between an agent and his controllers is the weakest link when it comes to security of any intelligence operation. The so-called anonymous or cut-out means f communication have been used by intelligence agencies all over the world. Advanced cut-out communications are still actively used for espionage purposes by the intelligence agencies of major Western countries e.g. United States, which have carried out and continue to carry out intelligence-gathering operations against our country.

In fact, cut-out communications yield the best results because they allow an intelligence agency to use its human source within a target country for a longer period.

However, it does not mean that a human source is completely incapable of being compromised. The KGB used a variety of methods aimed at detecting double agents with whom enemy intelligence agencies maintained contact via cut-out communications. On the other hand, there was no way we could wiretap the phones of every officer of the First Chief Directorate or the phones used by personnel of the Soviet Foreign Ministry. We would not able to do the job because the First Chief Directorate had no equipment to support such operations. Besides, we always strictly followed the letter of the law, at least during my time with counterintelligence and intelligence divisions of the KGB of the Soviet Union. I never had to launch an operation that could have broken the law effective in the territory of the Soviet Union.

Q: There was a security officer in every Soviet embassy. Is it true that such an officer had unlimited powers for keeping an eye on any event that took place on the embassy premises?

A: Soviet embassies and other establishments abroad have always had to use services provided by security officers. Nowadays the Russian diplomats rely on their services too. Not only Russia has security officers in its foreign establishments. It is a standard practice used by a number of Western countries. For instance, the FBI officers or security service personnel of the Department of States are assigned to U.S. embassies and other establishments located in foreign countries.

I happen to personally know an officer in charge of security of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Compared to the Soviet press during perestroika, neither America’s right-wing media nor its left-wing media is raising a hue a cry against U.S. security agencies, which allegedly keep control not over the American people but the U.S. government as well.

Q: Is it true that Soviet ambassadors in different counties of the world were afraid of the KGB security officers, especially those with the Directorate K?

A: Unfortunately, many Soviet ambassadors and their accountants were involved in the embezzlement of the state property and funds at the embassies. Those ambassadors would take their accountants to another country in case of a new assignment. They would try to pay off security officers, to make them part of a scheme. If security officers refused to compromise with their principles, those swindlers took steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.

The ambassadors who performed their duties in line with the rule and did everything in all reason and fairness had no trouble in working with security officers assigned to their embassies. In the embassies that fell under the above category, security officers were instrumental in providing security to all the personnel of a Soviet diplomatic establishment. The work of a security officer always yielded necessary results to prevent recruitment of an embassy staff or an officer with the First Chief Directorate. There were numerous cases when ambassadors and their sidekicks behaved as if they had absolute power within the embassy. If no control was in place, they at times took to drink; they embezzled funds and committed adultery in every imaginable way. Those cases were promptly reported to Moscow by security officers and their superiors, legal residents’ deputies responsible for counterintelligence, who were also part of the Directorate K.

Q: There were defectors in any intelligence service, and the KGB was not an exception to the rule either. Oleg Gorgievsky, deputy head for political intelligence at the British legal residency, was one of those who caused damage to the operations of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate.

In 1985, he was recalled to the Soviet Union, where he would have gone on trial if had not managed to flee the country right from the noses of his KGB surveillants. Was Gordievsky exposed through the efforts of the Directorate K?

A: That’s correct. It is the Directorate K that carried out the work to expose Oleg Gordievsky as a British mole. Personnel of the Directorate not only managed to identify a mole within the KGB legal residency in London, they also succeeded in safely transporting Gordievsky and members of his family to the Soviet Union. As far as I am concerned, the then chief of the KGB Counterintelligence Directorate was to blame for Gordievsky’s subsequent escape from the KGB sanatorium near Leningrad. The British managed to smuggle Gordievsky into a safe house by putting him in the trunk of a car of the British Embassy. It was not the kind of a getaway the Soviet counterintelligence service was ready to foil at the time. I believe it would be interesting for Gordievsky to know that I was quite flattered after coming across “the grimmest and most dangerous man within the KGB” – the way he characterizes Budanov in his book. His description helped me back then and it still helps me do my today’s work. His compliment is especially dear to me because I got it from an enemy agent who was identified by me personally among hundreds of officers serving with the First Chief Directorate of the KGB.

Q: The Directorate K had full information with regard to Gordievsky’s whereabouts in Britain. The same applied to the location of a GRU officer who compromised all the agents of an illegal residency in Vienna, and later wrote several books under an alias of Suvorov. However, the KGB has not assassinated defectors since the early 1960s, according to members of the Soviet and Russian intelligence and security services. Do you agree to this statement?

A: Lots of scary stories were made up about the atrocities allegedly committed by the Directorate K. Traitors and defectors, those mentioned above inclusive, were kept under surveillance, it is a fact. But they did not know that we were watching them. Contrary to sensational reports spread far and wide by the so-called “democratic media” in perestroika times, the KGB has never carried out any assassination operations against the Soviet defectors.

Bernie Reeves shares our opinion regarding the KGB elite, and we share his opinions in all the other matters in this TV interview.

John Symonds during his Australia trip

This is an article published in Time magazine of 3 March 2005 in connection with John's business trip to Australia.

On this occasion John won the affection of the marsupial but not of the Sheila

Outed Soon: Australia's Soviet Spy?

Last month the Australian government asked Israel to recall a diplomat who, if the stories about him are true, was quite the ladies' man. The reason for the request is secret, but the episode has the capital twittering with gossip about espionage and sex. It's also a reminder of the Cold-War days when John Symonds, the KGB's so-called "Romeo agent," visited the country. "I did a lot of damage down there in Australia," says the former Scotland Yard detective, contacted by Time at his home in England.

Symonds' claims of stealing secrets by seducing female embassy and government employees - he says he later tried to confess to authorities but was ignored - were corroborated in a trove of copied KGB documents, some of which found their way into the 1999 book The Mitrokhin Archive: The kgb in Europe and the West. A further instalment of the documents, dealing with espionage operations outside Europe and America, is the basis for an upcoming sequel.

Some former intelligence officers believe the sequel will shed light on one of Australia's greatest spy mysteries - the identity of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officer widely thought to have worked for the Soviets in the 1980s. "I thought it would never be released because it was too hot," says a former ASIO officer of the information.

In 1992, disgruntled KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin walked into the British Embassy in Latvia and handed over a sample of what the FBI would later call "the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source." The files revealed the details of many Soviet espionage operations and unmasked KGB agents around the world. Wide-ranging counter-espionage operations were mounted, including a lengthy hunt for the alleged ASIO spy. "This wasn't just another piece of information from a defector," says Canberra-based intelligence expert Des Ball. "This happened to be the first categoric information that the KGB had in fact penetrated ASIO," he says. An ASIO translator, George Sadil, was charged in 1993 with offenses relating to espionage and the exposure of official secrets. He pleaded guilty only to removing ASIO documents; the more serious charges were later dropped.

Mitrokhin, who died last year, and his book collaborator Christopher Andrew, always promised a second volume. Andrew and Penguin, the publisher, have told Time the book will be published in September, but are tight-lipped about its contents. Perhaps they will include a fuller account of the activities of Symonds, who sometimes posed as a sports fan on his jaunts to Africa, India, South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Symonds, who served jail time for corruption but has never been charged with espionage, told Time his missions included obtaining false identities and acting as a "frightener" or standover man who would brutalize agents working deep undercover who had tried to defect to the West. In Australia, the interest was in "people who were working there as illegals (Soviet spies) and who had been set up in a small hotel or business and had done a runner." Symonds also says he specialized in providing background stories for spies. Mention the alleged mole inside asio and Symonds becomes cryptic. "It could have been one of mine," he says, referring to the agents for whom he created false identities. "I like to wonder, Where are all my boys now? Are they in high-up positions in the government?"

Rory Callinan

Thursday, 2 July 2009

"Forty Years On" ** (1969-2009)

Various points have arisen in the previous blogs since 18 June which we would like to put right straight away. Our first post ‘The “Romeo Spy” blog has started’ - this title was given to John by the MI6 hirelings who were planning a publishing coup involving the Times newspaper, Penguin Books and the BBC. Someone thought that creating the Romeo Spy character titled “Scot of Scotland Yard” would be an eye catcher! To arrive at this title they took certain liberties, for example a deliberate mis-transliteration of John's codename CKOT, which in Russian translates as swine, beast, or a man who lives in the forest. John was aware of this name and enjoyed it, as his real work involved adopting the role of enforcer. A codename such as “rose petal”, “tulip”, or similar would have been a hindrance to John in carrying out his duties as an enforcer. To be known as “The beast” was an asset to John. By calling him “Scot” of Scotland Yard it created an interest in the possible future disclosure of agents “Land” and “Yard” (who have yet to appear).

** The Harrow School Song

On 23 June we put up an example of Nigel West’s writing. This is an excerpt of his latest book the Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage. We put this in so that everyone can see that Nigel West is a professional writer and his writing is of a high standard, as can be expected from the number of successful books he has previously published.

On the 24 June we put up the “Raleigh Spy Conference highlights John Symonds case”, which is by an anonymous author. Anyone who has read our previous blog of 23 June, which is a true example of Nigel West’s writing, will immediately see that the Raleigh Spy Conference article was certainly not written by Nigel West but by some anonymous person who was apparently present when Nigel West spoke to the conference and either recorded or made notes about his references to John. We were not at all happy about this publication and we have no intention of criticising it at length or in detail as it would use up many pages, but basically the whole article is incorrect. Knowing West, we don’t believe that he would ever say such things about John as were recorded in this article. For example, West knows how to spell John's name, he does not misspell it as Simons or call him Paul, and he has no need to make up fictitious events within John's life story - it is in fact a completely false account. West is a careful and correct author and would never make such mistakes within his writing. When this article came to our notice it spurred us into starting this blog and to set out to gain Nigel's true words in connection with this conference. So the anonymous writer who created this article is entirely responsible for all that will follow.

Our most recent blog of 26 June is about John's trial, occasionally referred to in the previous blogs, and we mentioned the attitude and tactics employed by the judge R A R Stroyan and Geoffrey Rivlin (the Chief Prosecutor). We have arranged for the official transcript of the Judge’s Summing Up to be published on this website, and anyone who takes time to read this will be of the opinion that John had a fair trial, and that the summing up was fair and balanced.

This is obviously the document that the Appeal Court judges saw when they requested a copy of this Summing Up on receiving John's appeal, which was mainly on the grounds that he had had an unfair trial and that the Summing Up was outrageously unfair. Therefore, the appeal court judges refused John the right to appeal against his conviction. John had made his own notes of what the judge had said, and his attitude, and John included these notes with his complaint to the Home Office department (responsible for complaints against appeal decisions) about having his appeal rejected on false grounds. John then obtained a copy of the summing up that the appeal court had received and he saw that all the matters about which he had complained – words spoken by the judge to the jury in his presence - had been removed from the official transcript of the summing up. If John had been an ordinary defendant, as per the thousands of other defendants going through the courts, that would be the end of it, as the official transcript produced by the court shorthand reporters was considered sacrosanct. But as an ex-Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant John was present at a number of boozy doo's in “The Tank” (a bar within Scotland Yard), where people were smirking and giggling about some poor soul, including some famous Capital cases, who had been distraught when their appeals had been rejected. It was no secret to them, and a number of then famous Detective Superintendants on the Murder Squad that the judge’s summing up could be got at, and “corrected”. One case John particularly remembered was the James Hanratty case, and he was reliably informed that our prisons are full of unfortunate people who are convinced that this practice is still ongoing. If anybody knows of a case where people are serving stupendous sentences and had their appeal refused and their parole refused for daring to criticise the appeal courts for relying on a false official document (Summing Up), please send in a comment to this effect. We have included a picture of judge Stroyan, who is now apparently enjoying his retirement, because in our next blog we will prove that he together with the prosecutor (the now judge Geoffrey Rivlin) between them deliberately doctored the official transcript of the summing up, and through the use of numerous additions and deletions created the bland “fair and just” summing up which resulted in John's appeal being rejected immediately and out of hand.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC