Friday, 10 June 2011

Attorney General's evidence bank - "Three Men in Black"

Amongst the pile of evidence accrued by the Attorney General are six "annexes" from Thames Valley Police.  We aren't told to what each is an annex, it may  be a case of there being a simple covering letter.  Whatever, this particular one concerns the "Three Men in Black" about whom ACC Page gives some imprecise testimony on his second visit to the Inquiry on 23 September 2003.

This AG link is

The related questioning of ACC Page by Mr Dingemans follows:

Q. In the course of your inquiries were you contacted by a person who suggested there had been three men dressed in black wandering around at the time that Dr Kelly's body was found?
A. Yes, I think both we and the Inquiry received a communication from a gentleman who expressed concern that he had noticed three individuals dressed in dark or black clothing near the scene where Dr Kelly's body was found. I am speaking from memory, but I think the sighting was at somewhere between 8.30 and 9.30 in the morning, something like that.

Q. Did you follow up that sighting?
A. Yes, we undertook some fairly extensive work. We got statements from all our officers who were at the scene and that was in excess of 50. We plotted their movements on a map and eventually were able to triangulate where the writer was talking about and identify three of our officers, so I am satisfied that I am aware of the identity of these three individuals.

This evidence from Mr Page illustrates only too well what an unreliable witness he is.   For the "Gold Commander" at Abingdon to quote such vague timings (both wrong) is truly pathetic.  We now know that the sighting was at about 10.30.  The mid morning arrival of the helicopter at Harrowdown Hill, whose presence wasn't revealed at the Inquiry, is noted by the witness as coming from the east.

I'm finding it difficult to conjecture what the three men in dark clothing were doing.  So we have this sighting of police officers from north of Harrowdown Hill to add to the much earlier report of police out and about in a similar area by the "boat people". 

The most significant thing to me though is the revelation of just how shockingly casual ACC Page was in his testimony.    

It seems to me that the sighting is probably to the north east of the hill.  It's conceivable that the witness might have had some information about the presence or absence of the "boat people".  Did the police later follow this up?

1 comment:

  1. Brian, in the Hutton Inquiry evidence pages, there are listed several officer's messages. One imagines that this list concerns people who contacted the police voluntarily about the case and that the list may be far from complete.