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Treason?

Old 5th Nov 2008, 17:00
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Treason?

The BBC reports: BBC NEWS | UK | Army interpreter guilty of spying

What kind of sentence will this guy be looking at?
Will a discharge (dishonourable) and 100 community service be the penalty for this crime?

How much will the tabeloids pay him for his story?
Any chance of a book deal?
Appearance on I'm in the jungle make a celebrity out of me?

I suppose I'm wondering whether this guy will ultimately gain for his betrayal?

Happy Guy Fawkes night
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 17:14
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Quote:

'They were also told pictures of a Predator spy plane were found in his room.'

WOW, that's important evidence!

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.


Does that mean that my refuelling pics from my F-111 joyflight are also suspicious? - Must hide them!
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 17:45
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A Radio 5 reporter informed the listeners that this guy was born in Tehran and still owns property in Iran. He was employed as an interpreter for a General.

What the hell was the Army playing at?
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 17:56
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I imagine they're more scared of undecover media reporters.
This guy probably breezed through screening, but if he had any links to the media indusrty, he'd never have been given the gig.
I still hide the fact that I was a paper delivery boy for 2 years.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 18:33
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20 years. Betcha.

CG
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 18:44
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What kind of sentence will this guy be looking at?
Presumably (haven't checked yet) he was convicted under the 1911 OSA, which specifically covers passing on classified information useful to an enemy or potential enemy, a definition presumably met by Iran. The maximum sentence is now fourteen years (it used to be 25 IIRC).

The sentencing judge will presumably look at the damage that he ostensibly did, his motivation for commiting the offence, and his previous record. Given that the information passed on seems to be of only moderate sensitivity, that he was seemingly motivated by a mixture of waltism and ethnic loyalty to Iran rather than venality, and that he has no previous record, then I suspect he'll get half the maximum sentence, so about seven years.

There was a case with some echoes of this in Bosnia in 93, when Milos Stankovich, a pathfinder captain in 3 Para who spoke mother-tongue Serbian, and who worked as an interpreter for BritBat, was accused of passing confidential information to the Serbs. He was thrown out of the army without being given the chance to see the evidence against him or answer the charges, which was deeply unfair. At least the MoD has given James the chance to defend himself in a trial.

Last edited by CirrusF; 5th Nov 2008 at 18:55.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 18:57
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CirrusF

There was a case with some echoes of this in Bosnia in 93, when Milos Stankovich, a pathfinder captain in 3 Para who spoke mother-tongue Serbian, and who worked as an interpreter for BritBat, was accused of passing confidential information to the Serbs
The echoes are particularly faint in this case Cirrus. The difference is that Milos was innocent You're right however, he never was given the opportunity to prove it and had his reputation trashed by the Army on the say of a jealous American officer of dubious competence.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 19:08
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The echoes are particularly faint in this case Cirrus. The difference is that Milos was innocent You're right however, he never was given the opportunity to prove it and had his reputation trashed by the Army on the say of a jealous American officer of dubious competence.
Today 19:44


Yes, I completely agree with you that Milos was a very motivated and competent officer (he passed pathfinder selection) and it was shameful that the MoD did not have the courage to present their evidence (if there was any) against him, and did not give him the chance to defend himself.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 19:23
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If the sentence is 7 years, how much actual 'inside' time will he do?
As mentioned previously, I was wondering if he may be onto a good thing here with regards recompense for his story, book deal, TV appearances etc.
I personally would hope he doesn't gain from this.
As to the content of his messages, I feel it's more the intent of what he was doing. I expect he wouldn't have drawn the line about the data he was offering i.e. I will tell you that there is a facility at these co-ordinates which houses this equipment but I will not tell you that the PM will be landing at X on Saturday at 14:20L in a Y and then be transported from X to Z on a muddy fox tandem bicycle (due to defence cuts)..... etc.
I too have been pithed off with my lot and not had promotion etc, but I would never consider treason..... well, I may just wait to see how matey boy goes on with his sentence before I committ to that (only joking Omega Men)
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 19:25
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He was found guilty of communicating information to an enemy, the most serious of three charges he faced.



An enemy? Have we declared war on Iran?
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 19:41
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An enemy? Have we declared war on Iran?
Beagle that is a very good point, and an evident weakness of the 1911 OSA, because there is no definition in the Act of what constitutes an "enemy".

The 1911 OSA was passed in 1911 (what a coincidence lol!) when the Kaiser was aggressively arming, and was actively recruiting RN officers in an attempt to build a navy to rival the RN (Prussia had plenty of martial expertise but had little naval experience). Germany, then later the USSR, provided an easily defined "enemy", but it is a lot less clear now. Given that we are not at war with Iran, they are members of the UN, and we maintain full diplomatic relations with them, then I'd be interested if James' defence had challenged the definition.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 19:43
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I would just give him to Al Q.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 21:12
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Back on the subject of what constitutes an 'enemy', about 30 years ago I was somewhat surprised to note that a certain Vulcan captain (an utter bell end) had self-authorised himself and his crew to 'Locate and photograph enemy shipping'.

In fact this was the Kiev, pottering about on the high seas. I happened to ask a passing Flt Cdr ('Paddington Bear') whether this was a private war between said idiot and the entire Sovietski Soyuz, or whether I'd missed something on the morning news.

'Paddington' went into low earth orbit, ripped up the auth sheet and rewrote it for 'MRR event'. And left a note saying "See me". Sound fellow.

Unfortunately when the crew got back, they submitted some photos to the MRR cell who went equally bananas when they worked out how many rules the idiots had broken when flying over an aircraft carrier at flying stations in international waters!

Shortly afterwards the captain found himself flying Jet Provosts with baby navs......
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 21:20
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I vaguely remember a story of an RN helicopter doing a touch and go on Kiev, with the crewman hopping out to take a photo, before a rapid departure. But then it might just be another urban legend...
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 21:26
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I was wondering if he may be onto a good thing here with regards recompense for his story, book deal, TV appearances etc.
I personally would hope he doesn't gain from this.
As you can't profit directly from a crime (otherwise we'd have had 'Reggie: his biography by Ronnie' at some point, no doubt) producing 'Dan James: Licenced to Walt', even if he gets 100 hrs community service, suspended for 3 years, would be a no-no.

There is a grey area - if an author decided that a book about James would sell, then he/she might pay James for participating in interviews. This happened when Gita Sereny paid Mary Bell for interviews. However, since the book Sereny wrote was, IIRC, more of an account of how Mary Bell turned into a child murderer and how social services missed the fact that she'd become a strange, disturbed child likely to do harm to others, rather than an account of the crimes themselves, it was hard to make the case that Bell was benefitting directly from her crimes.

In this case, though, I imagine that any attempt by an author to go into what James did would be problematic -given the national security angle.

Therefore, it would seem that the book and film deal will have to go on permanent hold...

Flying Lawyer or Pr00ne will, of course, be able to give the exact answer.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 21:27
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A Royal Navy Helicopter and a photo oppertunity.................surely not
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:17
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The OSA was updated in 1989 and came into force in 1990. It doesn't talk about enemies, merely disclosure that would harm UK interests. And there is a defence in the Act that talks about not knowing that disclosure would be detrimental to UK interests.

It's complex, and it's late. Read the Act.

Strikes me that there's a bit of media shorthand going on. Spies and enemies are easy to describe.
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:33
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If anyone should face the noose for betraying his country and putting his countrymen at risk, to financially better himself and his position i can think of only one person......
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:46
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To quote BF

merely disclosure that would harm UK interests

Could that mean that the prats who lose Memory Sticks, Laptops and CD's brim full of data regarding Service personnel are committing treason?

The latest data gaffe. BBC NEWS | UK | Probe into data left in car park
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:49
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That's all very well but what about this for a story:

The jury has been sent home for the day.
Strewth!
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