Documents 9

Murder In Samarkand – Supporting Documents:

In publishing “Murder in Samarkand” I had wanted to publish the supporting documentation in the book to corroborate my story, especially as the FCO is claiming that the story is essentially untrue. In that sense, perhaps the most interesting link in the documents below is the very first document, which is a table of detailed amendments the FCO insisted be made to the text. This is fascinating if you consider just how much it confirms was true, particularly in the conversations it refers to between officials.

Many of the other documents I managed to have released under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act. I was astonished when the FCO announced that they would still take legal action against me if I published them. They argue that – and this astonished me – even if a document is released under the DPA or FoIA, it is still copyright of the Crown and so cannot be published. I was even more amazed when the lawyers of the publisher said that this was probably true, and certainly could not be fought without potentially a milliom pound legal case.

It appears that, among so many attacks on civil liberties in recent years, the Blair government has managed to administratively negate its own Freedom of Information Act. Robin Cook must be spinning in his grave.

Net posting is not breaching copyright because there is no charge to access the documents. This site may, of course, be subject to technical attack, so I would be grateful if those who can mirror these documents on their own sites, do so.

These are contemporary documents from my time as Ambassador in Uzbekistan. They do I believe include the real smoking gun on Britain’s, and the CIA’s, use of intelligence obtained by torture abroad. They also show the FCO getting increasingly angry with me over my being “over-focussed on human rights”, rahter than building good relationships with Karimov, our ally in the War on Terror.

They do not give a smoking gun that proves that the allegations brought against me, of which I was eventually cleared, were trumped-up and motivated by a desire to get rid of me for policy reasons. Being internal FCO documents, they are written to maintain the facade of a proper disciplinary investigation. You need to be prepared to read between the lines – and read the book!


Some of the following documents are no longer available on this site. They have been removed as a consequence of legal action by the British Government, which acknowledged the authenticity of the documents and claimed Crown Copyright over them.

Document 1 – FCO Comment
Document 2 – IMF Telegram
Document 3 – Declaration
Document 4 – Speech
Document 5 – Hill Negotiation
Document 6 – Michael Wood memo of 13 March
Document 7 – Telegram of 18 March 2003 headed US Foreign Policy
Document 8 – Letter from Simon Butt dated 16 April 2003
Document 9 – Exchange of emails with Linda Duffield
Document 10 – Colin Reynolds’ report of 26 June 2003
Document 11 – Minute of my meeting with Howard Drake
Document 12 – Letter from British Businessmen in Tashkent
Document 13 – Email to Kate Smith
Document 14 – Minute of 26 September 2003
Document 15 – Telegram

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9 thoughts on “Documents

  • Tokhir

    Hi Craig,
    I have read the book about Samarqand, a real eye opener. Keep it up!
    Just a curiosity, is there any particular reason for using Russian email provider –

  • Mukhammad

    ( If you look at uzbekistan from outside and channels it is a paradise but if you live inside the country it is hell ) says uzbek people who are outside the country.

  • JohnnyCNote

    I once tried to tell a coworker, who liked to tout his devotion to "conservatism", etc., about the allegations against Karimov. He typically chose to change my statements from "political opponents" to "terrorists", and then proceeded to defend the torture attributed to the Karimov regime. Not surprisingly, he also denied Saddam Hussein's past alleged involvement with the CIA. How long will it be before Uzbekistan is declared to be a hostile state and invaded like Iraq?

  • Mark Golding

    Reference to the Crown sends a chill down my spine because so much power is concentrated in all that this one noun represents. The sovereignty or realm of a monarch. Any linguist will tell you that nearly every word employed to define this ‘C’ word relates to, or conjures up notions of, absolute power and control.
    The idea that ‘C’, an amorphous entity, has the power of veto to over ride the democratic purpose and sovereign act of Parliament vis a vis FoIA should remind us by how much the tides of revolutionary movements in UK political history have been rolled back to a time when Rule by an Absolute Monarch was the norm.
    The secret thread of power running through Government departments may well have behind it the judicial blessing of a small cloister of obfuscating priests of the art of obscurantism but it is a THIN thread.
    IMHO the estates occupied by the nobility and their extended families have not changed much over the centuries, despite a ruin here and a bankruptcy there, and they account for a sizeable influence on the business of UK PLC and the administration of its treasury indirectly as Landlords thereof. The lines of power maybe imperceptible, untraceable to any source, but like a spider’s web every thread is connected forming a fabric of Common Purpose wholly and passionately dedicated to preserving its hold on the purse strings of State.
    It is all about the power of the family – the role of descended power through blood and soil. The Chosen Ones.
    Ministers of State and the bureaucracies they try to taint with the particular creed or belief of their little party are just minor political domains compared to These Families. The public have few real representatives in a political system that upholds the power of the ‘C’ Word. To call it a ‘political system’ is a joke. They have mandarins, puppets, pawns and postulators, tens of thousands of them, but few real representatives.
    No doubt, at some point, Craig’s activity will come under the authority of a command centre protecting ‘National Security’ – a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.
    When the ‘C’ Word is invoked you know your time is short.

  • viki

    Dear Graig,
    Sincere thanks for the great book! I was crying all the time I’ve been listening…Actually, that’s a destiny of our poor nation, as our oil, gaz and all the wealth naturally given to our land turned to be our curse.
    Many people in Uzbekistan are aware of that, but being frightened by vicious regime.
    Alas, no politicians in EU, neither in UK are like you. I wish you were Prime Minister at least in UK. I do not hope those politicians in whole Europe having mere human’s sense.They do whatever big corporative boys saying them to do without caring of millions sunken into extreme poverty in Uzbekistan.
    Thank you!Thanks to Nadira.

  • Mathias Skrutkowski

    Hi Craig,

    We took a Polish language course in Lublin together in 1994. I discovered your blog after reading a quote from it in a Swedish news article on the Telia affair in Uzbekistan. Glad to see you keeping form. I’ve almost been tempted to read your book now. Any chance of a signed copy?

  • Richard

    I came to this section of the blog because I am getting on for half way through M.I.S. and I wanted to fill in a few gaps so to speak. It seems that the people running the Government of my country don’t seem to realise that the action of removing many of the documents above gives out a message just as unpalatable as had they let them remain. But then had they have been that bright, that aware, that moral, they wouldn’t have got themselves into the position of being ashamed of the contents of those documents in the first place.

    I am told that there is an Indian proverb to the effect that one who praises me is my enemy and one who criticises me is my friend. Well, I am about to go against the advice of that proverb and I apologise.

    The embarrassing, emotional bit:

    Murder in Samarkand is a most praiseworthy book and an incredibly valuable document. I hesitate to use words like “enjoy” or clichéd phrases like “page turner” about a work which has already plunged me into despair and imbued me with shame and disgust. But, on a more neutral note, it deals with a region in which I have always had a largely unexplored interest – that vast, land-locked region which my generation grew up calling “Soviet Central Asia”, which has always (from this area of the planet) been distant, slightly mysterious, steeped in a romanticised history and fairly inaccessible. (I recommend the travelogues of Indradyumna Maharaja for some really touching human stories of post-Soviet Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus). So I find it interesting from that point of view. It also gives a dweeb such as myself an insight into the everyday world of International Diplomacy: the visits, the embassy parties, the ambassadors and their characters, details like the stunning office girls of the Italian Embassy and others which raise a smile.

    But of course the central topic is grim. Torture and murder; dehumanising for both victim and perpetrator, horrid, sickening and, just in case that wasn’t bad enough, unfit for purpose to the point of being seriously counterproductive. And it gets worse. In such situations, in far away countries of which we know little, I want the ambassador of my Queen to be like Craig Murray. I don’t want complicity, I don’t want encouragement, I want the world to know that Britain, while justifiably looking after its own people and interests, maintains an independent, moral and just foreign policy. I was horrified to read of the comments from an American after Murray’s first speech that Murray was finished, effectively on his way home. What kind of message does that send out to other countries when he says that and it comes to pass? He needs to be made to look like a pompous fool and that would have been achieved by simply proving him – after he had shot his mouth off – to be wrong. Either Murray should still be there, or he would have moved on to greater things to be replaced by someone of like mind and action. It wouldn’t only have been the correct thing for my government to do, Britain would be a much better place now for it.

    But in casting light onto matters of this nature, Murray, having sacrificed career for principle, does Britain, Uzbekistan and humanity an immeasurably valuable service. M.I.S. is an incredibly valuable work and I offer my sincerest thanks.

  • Chris Sweeten

    Was entranced and outraged by M.I.S. which I read before and again after a visit to Uzbekistan. Went with travel company WildFrontiers ( – highly recommended for those who need to be looked after but want something a bit different. Shocked to learn about Big Talk. Watched the programme and looked hard for your name in the acknowledgements and was astonished not to find it (despite all the misrepresentations). I see that Jack Straw is in the news again – denying everything.

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