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UK Joke of the Day: I am a victim of a conspiracy by the CIA

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  • Beowulf
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5026301.ece October 28, 2008 Corporal Daniel James: I am a victim of a conspiracy by the CIA Michael
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2008

      October 28, 2008

      Corporal Daniel James: I am a victim of a conspiracy by the CIA

      Michael Evans, Defence Editor

      A British Army interpreter told police he was the victim of a conspiracy by
      the CIA which made up an espionage plot against him, the Old Bailey heard

      Corporal Daniel James, who is accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act
      while serving in Afghanistan, said the deliberate attempt to undermine him
      was the result of a growing division between the Americans and the British
      over how to run the campaign in the country.

      Corporal James, from Brighton, was the personal interpreter to General Sir
      David Richards when he was commander of Nato's International Security
      Assistance Force (Isaf) in 2006. The Iranian-born Territorial Army corporal
      is accused of spying for Iran.

      When arrested on suspicion of spying he told the police he had been "set up"
      by the CIA in a plot to undermine General Richards because the Americans
      were angry that the British commander wanted to find a peaceful solution to
      the war with the Taleban rather than adopt the US approach of attacking the


      Mark Dennis, QC, prosecuting, however, told Corporal James the allegation
      was "rubbish", and he went on to highlight a whole range of different
      explanations the TA soldier had "come up with" for why he had sent e-mails
      and made numerous phone calls to Colonel Mohammad Heydari, a military
      assistant at the Iranian embassy in Kabul.

      Mr Dennis said his latest defence case - that he had been communicating with
      Colonel Heydari to try to negotiate a deal to buy gas for Nato and
      Afghanistan from Iran at a cheap price - had only been put forward on Friday
      last week. Mr Dennis asked Corporal James whether he had informed his
      defence counsel about the "gas scheme". The defendant claimed he had made it
      clear for a long time.

      When he was interviewed by police on December 18 and 19 2006 after he was
      arrested at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Corporal James denied any
      knowledge of Colonel Heydari, claimed he knew nothing of e-mails sent to the
      Iranain embassy, and said he had no idea why two Nato-confidential documents
      were stored in his USB computer device.

      Mr Dennis outlined to the court how Corporal James's story had changed
      several times since his arrest. At one point he had claimed he was
      communicating with the Iranian embassy as part of a personal campaign to
      promote peace and trade between Iran and the United States.

      Mr Dennis wondered why his defence counsel had made no mention of any gas
      scheme in drawing up his case until last Friday, and asked Corporal James
      whether he had deliberately requested that his barrister make no mention of
      it. Corporal James replied: "I never said anything."

      In earlier evidence, however, the TA corporal who used to give salsa dance
      classes to his military colleagues in Kabul, said he was "paranoid" about
      other people discovering his idea for buying cheap gas from Iran. He
      admitted he had hoped to make "a million" out of it by charging two or three
      per cent commission from the company he was involving in his project.

      When Mr Dennis cast doubt on his earlier claim that he was "an unwitting
      pawn in a CIA plot" against him, Corporal James replied: "Anything's
      possible with the CIA."

      The trial continues.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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