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