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British FBI - SOCA riddled with corruption

 
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Annie
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:34 pm    Post subject: British FBI - SOCA riddled with corruption Reply with quote

Frightening new powers for a frightening new organisation. We are not becoming a police state - we already are one.

Annie
PS Good to see my former boss, who made a pig's ear at the top of MI5, is now gainfully employed!


Blair launches FBI-style crime squad

Staff and agencies
Monday April 3, 2006

Guardian Unlimited

Tony Blair said today that Britain's new FBI-style crime squad would make "life hell" for the "Mr Bigs" of organised crime.
The prime minister said the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which officially starts work today, would "hit hard" against people-trafficking, drugs gangs and major fraud and counterfeiting.

Soca is chaired by the former MI5 chief Sir Stephen Lander, and includes other members of the intelligence and security services and around 2,000 agents among its 4,200-plus staff. It will be Britain's first non-police law-enforcement agency.

Mr Blair told a Downing Street news conference that the new agency provided a way of fighting 21st-century crime with modern methods. He said the rapidly changing nature of organised crime, which caused "tyranny" in people's lives, demanded ever more sophisticated methods.

The prime minister said the new crime squad, which has an annual budget of 400m, would seek prosecutions and chase after criminals' assets.

Bringing together experts from the police, customs and immigration staff, Soca has already drawn up a "most wanted" list of more than 1,000 targets.

The agency, which will have armed units and electronics surveillance experts, will incorporate the National Crime Squad, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and key functions of the immigration and customs services

But the prime minister insisted that Soca, which has been working as a kind of shadow organisation for around a year, was much "more than an amalgamation" of existing bodies.

From today the Crown Prosecution Service has greater powers to compel witnesses and suspects to hand over information. Suspects will no longer be able to stay silent with immunity and could face up to five years in prison for failing to disclose information.

However, disclosures obtained using these powers will not be admissible as evidence against suspects themselves.

Mr Blair said there would also be an increase in efforts to persuade minor players to become informants by offering them lesser sentences or "queen's evidence" immunity from prosecution, an approach that is currently more popular in the US. The prime minister said this would help foster uncertainty in the crime world.

Courts will also be able to force crime bosses to hand over their bank statements for up to 20 years after their release from jail to prove they have not returned to crime. Further powers could be created if they were needed, Mr Blair said.

Earlier the prime minister told Sky News: "This is an agency that has got the powers and the organisation that is going to make life hell for you whilst you make life hell for other people.

"It does not matter how far removed you are from the actual street where ... people-trafficking and prostitution and drugs [trafficking] are taking place.

"We will have the powers to come after you ... to put you in jail, and then to make sure that, even after you leave jail, you are subject to restrictions on your financial activities for a long, long time to come."

Mr Blair said that organised crime was not victimless and that it tended "to make victims of the poor at least as much [as] the wealthy". The Tories welcomed the creation of Soca, but said it was vital an engagement with local policing was not lost.

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Serious Crime Act 2007 Reply with quote

Quote:
Serious Crime Act 2007 - proof of how useless the Opposition is to Labour's repressive legal fantasies
Where was the Opposition in Parliament to the Serious Crime Act 2007, which has now been passed into law with the Royal Assent, and is awaiting commencement Orders ?

See the text of the Serious Crime Act 2007(.pdf version) , the HTML one is not yet online)

[UPDATE: the more user friendly HTML version of the Serious Crime Act 2007 now online]

Essentially all our initial fears which struck us back in January when the Bill was first published, seem to have been passed into law, and the Opposition (Conservatives, Liberal Democrats etc.) have been utterly useless in rejecting these disproportionate attacks on our freedom.

We are especially worried about the effect of the inchoate offences on potential Government whistleblowers, and on bloggers and journalists, because of the listing of the Official Secrets Act and the Terrorism Act 2006 as relevant Acts under the Serious Crime Act 2007.

The supposed defence of "reasonableness", means that, yet again, the burden of proof is reversed i.e. you as a defendant have to prove that your actions were somehow reasonable, rather than the prosecution having to prove the opposite, which runs counter to the normal way in which English justice works.

The dilemma which law abiding people who publish "dual use" technical information now face is similar to the issues about the amended Computer Misuse Act and dual hacking / security audit tools .

If you publish some information on a website, such as our Hints and tips for whistleblowers guide, which lists some legal technical tactics and techniques for preserving your or your sources anonymity, can you honestly say that they might not, at some time, some where, be abused by someone with criminal intent ?

Are such publishers then at risk of being arrested (and given the severity of the possible penalties, that means the whole panoply of legal harassment through DNA sampling, fingerprinting, photography, retention of data until your 100th birthday, seizure of computer equipment, communications traffic data and interception etc.) for "encouraging or assisting" ?

If you welcome information from Government whistleblowers, does that put you at risk of arrest for "encouraging or assiting" a possible offence under the Official Secrets Act ?

This could have a chilling effect on free speech and on political debate in the UK.

Somehow the Government and the Opposition have also colluded to get this Act to amend the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 to extend the criminal penalty of up to 51 weeks in prison, not just for "organiser" of demonstrations within the wretched Designated Area in the vicinity of Parliament, but to anyone who does anything to "encourage or assist".

Presumably this is intended to catch websites and internet campaigners and supporters ?

"Catch all" Serious Crime Act 2007 amendment to SOCPA 2005 section 136 Designated Area around Parliament criminal penalties - aimed at this website ?

What exactly was wrong with the Common Law offence of "incitement" which this Act abolishes ?

We are too thick to understand whether or not such things breathing or thought crimes are included in the horrendously complicated wording of the definitions of inchoate
offences which replace "incitement" in Part 2 Encouraging or Assisting Crime
Sections 44 to 67

It looks as if you can be arrested for "encouraging or assisting" the commission of a crime, which never actually takes place, by doing something or by an act of omission (i.e. not doing something) depending on whether the authorities believe you believe that your actions might "encourage or assist" someone to commit a crime somehow at some indeterminate time, somewhere.

The whole concept of Serious Crime Prevention Orders is wrong. These can be imposed on people who have not been accused,let alone convicted of Serious Crimes, under the lower civil standard of proof, but they come with a criminal penalty of up to 5 years in prison, if the terms are breached.

This approach has not worked for ASBOs aimed mostly at youngsters, and eccentric neighbours, and there is no reson to believe that it will be of any use against serious organised criminals.

At the last moment, a week before the Act reached its final stages, the Government introduced extra complexity, without the chance for detailed debate, regarding the appointment of unaccountable "monitoring agents" who are meant to, presumably monitor the compliance of companies or partnerships etc. which have had a Serious Crime Prevention Order slapped on them.

If such companies are really involved in serious organised crime, these people are going to either be put in physical danger, or they are not going to discover anything at all, as they have no real powers to compel information to be handed over to them e.g. there are lots of exemptions for banking or legally privileged information or even patent information,.

As with ASBOs, nobody seems to have bothered to ask about whether or not having an ASBO or a SCPO served on you (which you might never breach) when you have not been convicted of a crime, remains on the Police intelligence files and can be disclosed in the future via a Criminal records Bureau Enhanced Check.

It would not surprise us if these Orders,since they are neither cautions nor criminal convictions, are not actually disclosed to employers in the future.

As we feared,the Data Protection Act has been amended in the direction of more snooping rather than more privacy, for the dubious benefit of credit reference agencies etc.

A huge section of the Act is concerned with the transfer of the powers and functions of the disastrous Asset Recovery Agency (whose running costs exceeded the amount of criminallott which was frozen,let alone confiscated), to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

As we moaned about before, the amalgamation of the Inland Revenue with HM Customs and Excise is now complete, and references to the intrusive snooping powers of Customs Officers, under the the Police ACt 1997 and the Regulation of investigatory Powers ACt 2000, have now been modified to refer to all employees of the combined HM Revenue and Customs.

This means that through function creep, these powerful snooping powers (which now also threaten the seizure of private Decryption Keys) have been further extended to tens of thousands of Inland Revenue employees, even though the serious cases of tax evasion or money laundering should be handled by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Either SOCA is not doing its job properly, or the bureaucrats at HM Revenue and Customs are expanding their empire to try to duplicate the work of SOCA.

Strangely, the still as yet not commenced Criminal Justice Act 2006 amendments to the Computer Misuse Act have been amended by the Serious Crime Act 2007, for no compelling reason.

There should be a separate, dedicated new Computer Misuse Act, with proper consultation and detailed scrutiny to tackle the complexities of the modern online world, and not obscure amendments to other amendments, as an afterthought in other hugely complicated legislation like this Serious Crime Act
http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/blog/2007/11/serious_crime_ act_2007_proof_of_how_useless_the_opposition_is_to_labours_repress.htm l

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soca seized 1 for every 15 spent

Updated on 23 June 2009

Source PA News

The agency in charge of recovering the proceeds of crime has been criticised by MPs after it emerged 1 was seized from gangs for every 15 in its budget.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) was heralded as "Britain's FBI" when it was launched three years ago in a blaze of publicity.

It has since recovered 78 million from crime bosses, while costing taxpayers 1.2 billion.

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/soca+seized+1+for+every+15+sp ent/3227167

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOCA seem to have done a good job here.
I wonder why they picked this chap for the sting though.
I bet many more CPS lawyers believe they are 'above the law'.

Prosecutor 'had debt of almost 1m'

(UKPA) Tuesday 29th June 2010

A corrupt senior Crown prosecutor who pocketed cash to use his position to discontinue a case had spiralling debts of almost 1 million, a jury has heard.

Sarfraz Ibrahim, 51, of Cyncoed, Cardiff, South Wales, admitted corruption and related charges on Monday, on the eve of his trial.

As Gwent Crown Prosecution Service trials unit chief he had the power to stop a case in its tracks by recommending no further action.

He admitted charges of corruption, attempting to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office. His pleas mean Ibrahim has admitted pocketing 20,000 to ensure the case of a man he believed to be guilty was discontinued.

Co-defendant Saifur Rahman Khan, 37, of Penlan, Cardiff, went on trial at Swansea Crown Court claiming police manipulated him into helping Ibrahim.

Trial judge Mr Justice Treacy had previously imposed a restriction on the media reporting Ibrahim's pleas. That was lifted when the prosecution in the Khan trial elected to tell the jury of Ibrahim's admissions.

Khan denies a charge of corruption, in that he aided and abetted Ibrahim, together with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Both men were caught in an elaborate undercover sting operation put together by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in March last year. It had been triggered by anxiety over Ibrahim and Khan who were spotted meeting at Bridgend M4 motorway services with two cocaine dealers in the summer of 2008.

Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the jury that Ibrahim was struggling under the weight of debts amounting to 927,000. He owed debts on credit cards and had outstanding loans and mortgages on a number of properties. Police investigations of his finances showed that "he had been living beyond his means".

"Perhaps that amount of money played its part in why he behaved the way he did," Mr Laidlaw said. The case continues.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Corruption, sexual abuse, white actors blacking up as suspects': A whistleblower's devastating claims against Britain's answer to the FBI

By Robert Verkaik - Mail On Sunday - Last updated at 10:11 PM on 12th November 2011
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2060782/Britains-FBI-abandoned -chasing-crime-Mr-Bigs-difficult.html

The elite unit set up by Labour to fight major criminals has failed to catch crime bosses because it is ‘too difficult’ and may even have been infiltrated by the underworld, says a whistleblower.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is supposed to be Britain’s answer to the FBI. When it was launched, Tony Blair pledged the organisation would ‘make life hell’ for the country’s ‘Mr Bigs’.
It recruited from the cream of the police, immigration, customs and MI5 and had more than 4,000 staff in offices all over the world.
But Tim Lee, a former intelligence officer with SOCA, claims the agency has been blighted by corruption and bureaucracy.
Mr Lee, 58, who joined SOCA in Nottingham when it was formed in 2006, paints a damning picture of his five years in the organisation.

He claims:
    + An investigation into a crime boss was mysteriously dropped when a SOCA officer with alleged links to the suspect took over the running of the case.
    + Allegations of serious sexual misconduct made by a female SOCA worker against a male colleague were covered up.
    + Hostility arose between police, customs and immigration officers when operational units were first formed in 2006.
    + SOCA officers were criticised for spending weeks driving around Europe while following a drug smuggling trail.
    + In a recruitment exercise, a white actor ‘blacked up’ as the suspect, generating a flood of complaints about offensive stereotyping and poor taste.
    + SOCA recruits were abused in a surveillance selection course.
    + A major case collapsed because of failures to follow normal legal disclosure rules.

Mr Lee, who is bringing claims for disability discrimination and constructive dismissal against SOCA, worked at a regional office.
He says: ‘When SOCA opened for business the directors made bold statements about how they were going to tackle a “list” of top crime barons.
‘In my time, they went after three who weren’t even on the top tier and gave up on all of them because they fell into the “too difficult” box. All three had been unsuccessfully targeted previously by the National Crime Squad.’
Mr Lee believes there may be more serious reasons why SOCA has failed to penetrate some of the big crime gangs.
In an allegation of corruption he made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission earlier this year, Mr Lee claims that an investigation into a suspected Nottingham crime boss in 2007 was halted because the suspect may have had contacts inside SOCA.
The alleged criminal was named in a tape played at an inquest of a murdered man who alleged that the businessman had used his contacts in the police to run a drug-dealing empire.
Mr Lee alleges that the suspect and a senior SOCA officer investigating the case used the services of the same plasterer to decorate their homes.
The officer, who owns properties in Nottingham, has since left SOCA and is now believed to be in Africa.
In his disclosure to the IPCC, Mr Lee alleges that the security of the operation may have been breached.
He says: ‘Security was always an issue. Eventually, the operation was passed to a senior intelligence officer (SIO).’
He claims that the officer ‘was understood to have employed tradesmen also used by the subject of the operation’ and that the SIO ‘fought hard to take charge of the investigation’.
He adds: ‘Within a short time of the appointment of this SIO and despite a wealth of intelligence, active connections to very serious criminals and the corruption concerns, the operation was wound up.’
Mr Lee claims in the complaint that the deputy SIO in the case told him the subject of the investigation was ‘just a businessman now’.
He also alleges that because of SOCA failures to follow disclosure rules, one major case has been abandoned.
In a case currently before the courts, Mr Lee says a SOCA officer is being treated by the Crown Prosecution Service as a ‘hostile witness’ because she has disclosed documents which suggest other members of the team have failed to surrender material that might aid the defence.
SOCA’s intelligence operations were hindered by red tape, says Mr Lee, who claims that surveillance operations were run ‘by committee’ so that authorisation took too long and opportunities to catch criminals were missed.
‘If you needed to run any surveillance, it went to a committee where they talked and discussed the purpose but nothing was ever decided in time,’ he claims.
But from the first day that SOCA opened its doors in 2006, there were cultural problems between the mix of police officers, immigration officers and customs officials, Mr Lee alleges.
‘The attitude of police officers and other National Crime Squad staff towards immigration staff ranged from welcoming through ambivalence to openly hostile,’ he claims.
There were also disturbing allegations of bullying, sexual misconduct and abuse which were covered up, says Mr Lee.
In one case, a female SOCA officer made an allegation of serious sexual misconduct against a male colleague who went to her home as part of a welfare visit.
Mr Lee says that when the female officer complained of ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’, she was permanently transferred to another SOCA directorate.
He also alleges that the case was not properly investigated. Bullying and abuse claims were not properly investigated, and when officers spoke out they were victimised, he alleges.
Mr Lee says he was assaulted and verbally abused in a selection course run by SOCA.
Mr Lee, who attended a two-week surveillance training course in 2006, claims he was slapped around the back of the head while instructors hurled streams of expletives at intelligence officers as they carried out training operations in surveillance vehicles.
He says he was so traumatised that he had to take sick leave. ‘I sat in the front seat and took down information from the car radio,’ he says. ‘But there were two instructors in the back who put me under extreme pressure by slapping me round the head, poking me in the back and all the time shouting expletives at me.’
He says he later discovered that this was part of a ‘scalping’ policy which identified candidates who instructors wanted to fail and then made sure they did.
Mr Lee describes SOCA as an ‘unaccountable, secretive organisation with no grasp of civilian employment issues’.
He says that in one recruitment exercise, a white actor ‘blacked’ up as the suspect, generating a flood of complaints about offensive stereotyping and poor taste. ‘This was typical of just how out of touch the organisation was,’ Mr Lee adds.
He also claims that the former head of SOCA, Bill Hughes, had complained about officers who took part in ‘industrial tourism’, spending weeks following the drug routes into Britain. ‘For example, they would fly out to Turkey and then spend weeks driving back through Europe on a sort of extended holiday,’ he says.
A spokesman for SOCA, which is to be replaced in 2013 by the National Crime Agency, said: ‘We dispute the accuracy of these allegations. SOCA is subject to a high level of accountability and oversight by a number of regulatory bodies and any formal accusations of wrongdoing are dealt with robustly through these channels.’
And a spokesman for National Policing Improvement Agency, the new body that runs training courses for SOCA, said: ‘An investigation into complaints made by a delegate regarding their treatment during their unsuccessful completion of a course was carried out by a senior member of the police service, independent of the unit.
‘These claims were thoroughly investigated and there was no evidence to support the allegation of improper treatment.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2060782/Britains-FBI-abandoned -chasing-crime-Mr-Bigs-difficult.html

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'I am private eye who spied for financiers protected by police': Jailed detective breaks silence as pressure grows to investigate companies on secret list given to MPs
Graham Freeman was jailed for stealing confidential information for firms
He says publication of the names of the companies would rock the City
Says police are reluctant to release details of businesses
It would expose failure to investigate serious fraud allegations, he claims

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380232/I-private-eye-spied-fi nanciers-protected-police-Jailed-detective-breaks-silence-pressure-gro ws-investigate-companies-secret-list-given-MPs.html

A private investigator at the centre of a row over a secret list of blue-chip companies that hired corrupt private detectives has claimed they are being protected by the police.

Graham Freeman, one of four private detectives jailed last year for stealing confidential information on behalf of big business clients, says publication of the names of the companies would rock the City and lead to high-profile prosecutions.

He claims the police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) are also reluctant to release the details because it would expose their own failure to investigate serious fraud allegations over years.

Last year’s case prompted SOCA secretly to compile a list of 102 names of well-known financial institutions, law firms and insurance companies all linked to the corrupt investigators.

Freeman is the first of the four detectives to break his silence about SOCA’s controversial list and the extent of the alleged conspiracy.

His revelations will add to concerns that while Lord Justice Leveson has dealt with some newspapers’ use of criminal private detectives, nothing has been done to tackle the much greater use of them in the City.

Freeman told The Mail on Sunday last night that City clients sometimes turned to private investigators because the police failed to investigate claims of property and investment fraud.

Freeman, who lives in Spain and now works on maritime security, was jailed for six months last year for conspiring to defraud by ‘blagging’ – or stealing – personal information through phone calls to banks and companies.

The investigation was led by SOCA and codenamed Millipede because its ‘legs’ connected so many financial institutions, firms and high- profile figures to the work of corrupt private investigators (PIs).


But before the trial started, SOCA and the Crown Prosecution Service took the decision not to let the names of the PI clients become public knowledge. None of the clients’ names was read out in court as would have been customary.

Instead, SOCA, often described as Britain’s version of the FBI, secretly compiled a list of many of the country’s best-known financial institutions, law firms and insurance companies linked to the four PIs convicted in the case.

It is this list that was finally surrendered to Parliament by SOCA last week, but only on the strict condition that it was kept under lock and key and not shown to the public.

SOCA claimed names could not be released because of human rights concerns or the risk of harm to the companies’ commercial interests. MPs now want to know which companies on the list behaved illegally.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380232/I-private-eye-spied-fi nanciers-protected-police-Jailed-detective-breaks-silence-pressure-gro ws-investigate-companies-secret-list-given-MPs.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Police boss facing questions over 'conflict of interest' after it emerges his wife works for leading private investigations firm
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374511/Police-chief-Sir-Ian-A ndrews-hacking-lawyers-cover-wife-conflict-interest.html

Sir Ian Andrews is a head of national police agency SOCA
He may face questions over his wife's role at a private eye firm

By Mario Ledwith

PUBLISHED: 01:56 GMT, 23 July 2013 | UPDATED: 22:45 GMT, 23 July 2013


Sir Ian Andrews, who is chairman of the Serious Organised Crime

Sir Ian Andrews, who is chairman of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, has been accused of protecting the industry his wife plays a prominent role in

A senior police officer who refused to name companies that hired corrupt private investigators is married to a leading figure in the industry.

Yesterday it emerged that the wife of Sir Ian Andrews, chairman of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, is a senior lawyer for G3 Good Governance Group, a global security and investigations firm.

Moira Andrews worked for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before taking the role of general counsel for the firm in 2011.

Last night MPs raised concerns that Sir Ian, a former Ministry of Defence mandarin, had failed to disclose his wife’s job when giving evidence about private investigators to the Home Affairs Committee in June.

A senior Conservative member of the committee, James Clappison, said: ‘Although it is not strictly required of witnesses, it would have been wise for Sir Ian to have declared this relationship, especially given the circumstances of this extremely sensitive inquiry.

‘I am very surprised that he failed to mention this.’

Soca said last night that Sir Ian ‘did not consider there to be a conflict of interest that should be declared’ and would write to Home Secretary Theresa May and committee chairman Keith Vaz to explain this.

It later published a letter to Mr Vaz in which Sir Ian said it was a ‘matter of public record’ that after leaving the FCO in 2011 his wife worked for G3, ‘amongst other independent interests’.
More...
The 102 top firms who hired hackers... but the police won't name them: MPs furious after being told to 'keep this report locked in a safe'
Revealed: Full scale of tactics used by insurance companies, finance firms and solicitors to get YOUR personal details
Police won't name big firms and lawyers who hack phones - to protect their human rights

He described G3 as a ‘strategic advisory consultancy specialising in providing advice on managing opportunities, risk mitigation, governance and regulatory compliance, particularly in emerging markets’.
SOCA has attracted criticism for its lack of transparency from

SOCA has attracted criticism for its lack of transparency from senior MPs who are investigating the scandal

He distanced himself from decisions about the report and the inquiry into private investigators, saying these were ‘completed or initiated’ before he became chairman of Soca.

He said the decision to keep a list of those using private investigators secret was made by the agency’s director general, Trevor Pearce, on legal advice.

A spokesman for Mr Vaz said he was ‘not aware’ of Mrs Andrews’ employment.

G3 said: ‘It is a matter of public record that Moira Andrews has been general counsel of G3 Good Governance Group since 2011, a role which she has filled on a part-time basis.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374511/Police-chief-Sir-Ian-A ndrews-hacking-lawyers-cover-wife-conflict-interest.html#ixzz2aVEnxa38

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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