32. Report by Mr Oliver Thorne on
the Daily Telegraph documents, 19 January 2007 |
Forensic Document Examination Report of
Report of Oliver Thomas Scott THORNE BSc RFP
Age Over 18
Occupation Forensic Document Examiner
Address LGC Forensics
Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LY
This report, consisting of 19 pages each signed by
me, is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Dated the 19th of January 2007
Qualifications and Experience
1. I, Oliver Thomas Scott THORNE, am a Forensic
Scientist in the Questioned Documents Group at LGC Forensics.
I hold the degree of Bachelor of Science. I am registered with
the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners as
an expert in the field of questioned documents. I specialise in
the scientific examination of questioned documents including the
comparison and identification of handwriting and office printing,
along with other miscellaneous examinations. I have been employed
on these duties for thirteen years since 1989, and since that
time I have examined many documents and associated items in both
criminal and civil matters, and have given evidence in various
courts on these matters on many occasions.
Laboratory Reference: QD/2OO3/236
Parliamentary Commissioner Reference: George
Information/Circumstances of Case
2. On 12/6/03 I attended the Telegraph Newspaper's
premises in Canary Wharf in order to make a preliminary examination
of the files 1c-12 listed in paragraph 6 below. At this time the
cord of the Core Folder had not been cut and the documents had
not been numbered. I wrote a preliminary report dated 20/6/03
which suggested possible further examinations.
3. This report is further to that previous report.
4. My current instructions are from Sir Philip
Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards at the House
of Commons in relation to an inquiry regarding George Galloway
5. My findings are entirely independent.
6. On 23/11/06 at 10.40am I received the following
items directly from Sir Philip Mawer at his offices:
Submitted for examination:
||Tamper evident bag number|
|1a||Original handwritten translation documents
|1b||Cut cord in bag dated 18.8.03 labelled HF00403 and signature sealed
|1c||Blue Iraqi Folder 'The Core Folder'
|2||Blue Iraqi Folder 'Britain A'
|3||Blue Iraqi Folder 'France A'
|4||Blue Iraqi Folder 'Britain B'
|5||Blue Iraqi Folder 'Britain C'
|6||Blue Iraqi Folder 'Britain D'
|7||Blue Iraqi Folder 'France B'
|8||Blue Iraqi Folder 'France C'
|9||Blue Iraqi Folder 'France D'
|10||Blue Iraqi Folder 'France E'
|11||'Black lever arch file dated 2001 "April May June" and its contents referred to collectively as "The Lever Arch File"'
||Sealed in brown paper and clear tape|
|12||'Iraqi orange box file in collapsed state'
||In a sealed envelope with a slightly torn edge
The numbering system above is used to coincide with the order
in the Schedule of Iraqi Folders provided with the items by the
7. Each folder contains a number of documents the vast majority
of which are in Arabic. I am unable to read Arabic. However, I
have had the aid of a translator who has translated a number of
8. I have not counted all the documents in all the files received.
However, I estimate that there are more than 2500 present.
9. The documents in the Core Folder 1c had already been numbered
consecutively using small yellow adhesive tags bearing the reference
number HF00403 and a consecutive number when I received them.
I understand that this numbering was carried out during a previous
forensic examination. The tags go up to 247. However because of
the nature of the adhesive on the tags some are loose and a small
number have fallen off. In the case of the Core Folder 1c, I am
informed that the original white lace which bound the folder was
removed during previous forensic analysis in order to facilitate
examination. The original lace 1b is present in tamper evident
bag LA029102 and I understand that the cutting of the lace was
recorded on video. Where this lace was present, a single, long
green ribbon is now inserted instead allowing more full access
to the documents and facilitating examination of them. I have
kept all the documents in the same relative order as I received
them. However, some of the loose documents in the folder (which
I understand were inserted after the alleged discovery of the
folders in order to mark certain documents) appear to be out of
position with regard to the numbering system. Also there is no
document 79 present in the folder as received by me. I have been
informed that this document is a loose note which was inserted
after the alleged discovery of the documents. The Core Folder
includes a small number of documents which were published by the
Daily Telegraph in April 2003 and are said to concern information
relating to George Galloway MP. I will refer to these (together
with other documents photographed but not necessarily published
by the Telegraph) as the Telegraph Documents. The Telegraph documents
are as follows:
|Folder||Consecutive number (yellow tag)
||Date published in Telegraph||English (E) or Arabic (A)
||A||Photocopy letter dated 5/2/00 from Tariq Aziz reference number M.Kh/1/9/197 re 'Programme of Work'
||E||Fax letter to Dr M Amin dated 24/2/200 from Hugh Dawson (PP Lord Waverley)
||E||Fax letter to Dr Mudhafar A Amin dated 6/3/00 from Edward Heath|
||A||Photocopy letter dated 2/5/00 no. 19/4/99/2394/K
||A||Photocopy five page Iraqi Intelligence Service (IRIS) memo dated 3/1/00 no. 140/4/5/5 |
Subject the Mariam Campaign
||E||Photocopy letter from George Galloway MP, Chairman Mariam Appeal, Organizer Emergency Committee in Iraq To Whom it May Concern (undated)|
||A||Photocopy letter dated 9/5/00
||A||Two page photocopy letter dated 6/5/00 reference Kh/30/100
||E||Fax/copy of a letter dated 1/8/00 to Dr M Amin from the Reverend Canon Andrew White|
10. I have been informed that the documents la are the original
translations of some of the Telegraph Documents which were made
at or shortly after the time of alleged discovery of the documents
Purpose of Examination
11. I have been asked to give an opinion as to whether or
a) The Telegraph Documents are authentic
b) The Telegraph Documents were found in more than one group
or whether they were found together. In particular it is alleged
that the documents published in the Daily Telegraph on 23 and/or
24/4/03 were from a different source to those published on 22/4/03.
12. I have no confirmed genuine Iraqi documents, logos or
headers to compare in order to give an opinion as to 11a) above.
However, I have given consideration to the following possible
sequential scenarios in order to come to some opinions regarding
Possible Scenarios for the Documents as a Whole
a) The vast majority of all the documents in all the files
are produced in a contemporaneous manner and are authentic
b) All the submitted documents are created contemporaneously
but are not authentic. (An example of this would be through the
creation of a 'shadow office' which acts as a fully functioning
office but produces false material)
c) All the documents are forgeries created at a later date
If b) or c) is the case then the Telegraph Documents are not
authentic. If a) is the case then I have also considered the following
Possible Scenarios for the Disputed Telegraph Documents
d) Whilst the vast majority of the submitted documents are
authentic one or more of the Telegraph Documents are forgeries
inserted amongst otherwise authentic documents or are authentic
documents which have been altered
e) Each of the Telegraph Documents is also authentic
13. It should be noted that I am unable to give any opinion
as to the veracity or otherwise of the information in the documents,
whether or not they are authentic. This is because an "authentic
document" may contain unintentionally erroneous information,
or intentionally false or misleading information for a variety
of reasons. These factors need to be considered elsewhere.
14. I have examined the documents overall and have compared
the Telegraph Documents with the surrounding documents. I have
paid particular attention to the Telegraph Documents themselves
and also to other documents which appear to be of a similar date
and style to the Telegraph Documents. Because of the large number
of documents I have been unable to examine every submitted document
15. Because the documents are mainly in Arabic they are hole
punched on the right hand side of the page. The documents in 1c-10
are in similar blue bound folders bearing Iraqi symbols on the
covers together with an indication of the dates and contents.
A number of the folders contain handwritten index pages. Where
the documents are bound, they have been tied into the folders
using similar white shoe-lace type ties. In the case of the Core
Folder this lace was removed during previous forensic analysis
as described above. One of the folders, item 11, is different
to the others being a black lever arch type file. This folder
contains predominantly photocopy documents dated in 2001. The
mechanism of this folder is faulty.
16. When a document is photocopied extraneous marks can be
created due to imperfections on the glass platen and/or in the
mechanism of the photocopier. Such marks may be virtually invisible
to the naked eye. Such marks will vary over time, for example
additional damage to the platen may add more marks and the cleaning
of the platen may remove marks. A progression in marks over time
(where some marks remain from copy to copy and others appear
or disappear) is expected when examining photocopy documents made
over a period of time. Furthermore, similarities in such trash
marks may allow an opinion as to whether or not two or more photocopy
documents were created via the same particular machine.
17. Indented impressions of writing may be caused if original
writing is made on one document whilst resting either directly
or indirectly on another. Such impressions can be visualised
using oblique lighting or by using the sensitive ESDA (Electrostatic
Detection Apparatus) test. The latter produces a transparent 'lift'
from the document where indented impressions are usually seen
as a dark trace and existing 'live' writing is usually seen as
a light trace. If indented impressions can be matched to their
source then this is conclusive evidence that the source writing
was made whilst resting on the document under examination.
Examination and Results
18. I have been informed that the four documents in English
within the Telegraph Documents are known to be of genuine provenance.
That is, where a photocopy or fax of an English document is included
in the Telegraph Documents it has been verified that the original
of these documents was actually authored by the person it claims
to be from. This includes a letter numbered 82 from George Galloway
MP on House of Commons headed paper commencing 'To Whom it May
Concern'. This letter within the Telegraph Documents is in photocopy
form but I understand that it is accepted that it corresponds
to a genuine original letter. Therefore, I have taken these letters
in English to be reference documents for the purpose of my further
examinations. These letters are listed in the table in paragraph
Authenticity of the Vast Majority of the Documents
19. I find that the overall appearance and nature of the documents
is what I would expect to find in documents put together in an
office(s) type environment. There are a wide variety of paper
types, a mixture of original, photocopy and fax documents, a variety
of handwritten annotations and signatures. Many of the documents
are printed (using laser, ink jet printers etc.) but a number
are handwritten. There are a number of original English and European
documents present as well as other copy/fax English and European
documents including those mentioned as reference documents. The
vast majority of the documents are in date order although with
some documents further copies of the same documents are found
elsewhere within files. Some examples of originals and copies
of the same documents are found as well as examples of duplicate
print outs of the same letter, some originally signed, some unsigned
and others stamped with signature hand-stamps. Many documents
have been stamped with one or more original ink hand-stamps. There
are a number of different types and sizes of headed paper including
some documents with printed gilt borders. Some of the photocopy
documents have other Arabic photocopies on the reverse side of
the photocopy. A variety of stapling and pinning has been used
to attach small batches of documents together. Some documents
have post-it notes attached to them bearing Arabic writing.
20. I have been present while a translator employed by Sir
Philip Mawer has translated some of the documents. These were
mainly documents within the Core Folder 1c and the Britain A folder
2. Where these have been translated they show the kind of progression
I would expect to find in a contemporaneously assembled file containing
letters and answers to letters and translations of English letters.
21. There are a number of apparent mistakes and discrepancies
within the documents which, in my opinion, could be the result
of normal clerical practices. For example, in some documents the
date at the top of the documents does not match the date that
the document was signed. Examination of the inks on some of the
original documents indicates that the signatures are often in
a different ink to the dating and reference numbers written at
the top and it would appear that on many occasions these administrative
details are filled out by a different person to the person signing
the letter. There may therefore be a legitimate discrepancy between
these dates. Also the Gregorian Calendar (Western) date on a number
of documents does not appear to exactly correspond to the Hijri
Calendar (Islamic) date.
22. The following English language documents are included
within the files. It is expected that these should be verifiable
if they have not already been (N.B. these are just some examples
and do not represent all the English language documents present):
1c Core Folder
- (43) Fax letter to Dr Mudhafar
dated 6/3/00 from Edward HeathReference Document
- (16) Fax letter to Dr M Amin
dated 24/2/2000 from Hugh Dawson (PP Lord Waverley)Reference
- (82) Photocopy letter from
George Galloway MP to Whom it May Concern (undated)-Reference
- (89), (132) (back), (134) Photocopy/fax
of press release 'Mariam Appeal to launch Iraq International Work
Brigades', fax dated 7/7/00-multiple copies present
- (91) Fax of 'The Next Century
Foundation' letter dated 17/5/00 to Dr Mudhafar Amin from Dr Burhan
Al-Chalabi and Mr William Morris
- (190) Fax copy of letter to
His Excellency Abdul IIIah Khatib, Foreign Minister of Jordan
dated 1/9/00 from Robin Cook
- (204) Original letter dated
6/9/00 to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baghdad from the
Revd Canon Andrew P B White
- A number of copy/fax news articles
2 Britain A Folder
- Letter dated 2/2/2000 to The
Reverend Canon Andrew White from Abdul Jabbar Abdul Abbass for
the Ministry of Health
- Fax of letter dated 22/2/00
to Dr Omaid Mubarak from Dr Charles Reed of the Church of England
Archbishops' Council (two copies)
- Fax of letter to Dr M Amin
from Canon Andrew White mentioning Sir Richard Branson (undated)
- Fax/copy of a letter dated
1/8/00 to Dr M Amin from The Reverend Canon Andrew White Reference
4 Britain B Folder
- Fax letter to Dr Mudhafer Amin
dated 30/11/01 from Lucy Sheppard of the BBC programme 'Breakfast
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
from William (email address available) dated 11/11/01 re: Message
from Next Century Foundatio (sic)
- Articles regarding INDICT
- Fax letter dated 20/2/01 to
Dr Mudhafar Amin ref: MDE14/01.44 from Vincent Del Buono of Amnesty
- Original letter dated 21/12/00
to The Minister of Foreign Affairs from George Galloway MP of
the Great Britain-Iraq Society (+ photocopy)
- Special Report: Iraq article
dated 8/1/01 by Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor
- Various other copy newspaper
5 Britain C Folder
- Fax letter to Tariq Aziz dated
4/2/1998 from Tony Benn
- fax press release dated 24/9/1998
of statements by Robin Cook and Kamal Kharrazi
- Copy of original Hansard report
dated 25/11/1998 Volume 321 (complete) with original embossed
card 'George Galloway MP Senior Vice Chairman Parliamentary Labour
Party Foreign Affairs Comittee' (Committee mis-spelled) stapled
6 Britain D Folder
- Fax copy press release 'Britain
Hosts Brainstorming Meeting on Humanitarian Aid to Iraq, 20-21
April 1998 quoting foreign officer minister Derek Fatchett and
There are also a number of French, European and UN
letters present amongst the folders which may also be verifiable
23. I find a number of different features which
together are very strongly indicative of documents produced over
a period of time consistent with the dates of the documents. Examples
of such evidence are:
- Presence of faxed or copied
UK and European news articles whose dates are closely similar
to the fax dates and are in the main in the correct position within
the file. I have verified the dates of a small selection of the
- The change in early 2000 of
hand stamps which include a date space for handwritten dates from
19__ to 200_ (in Arabic) to indicate the year thus demonstrating
the manufacture of a new stamp for this purpose.
- The change of London fax/telephone
numbers from 0171 to 020 7 on UK headed paper (especially in the
Iraqi Interests Section documents) shortly after the change date
of 22 April 2000.
- Appearance and progression
of photocopy 'trash' marks with respect to time.
- Similarities in headers and
similarities in trash marks between documents in different files
where documents are of broadly similar dates.
- The inter-relation of documents
(letter and reply).
- Similarities in nature of stamp
impression imperfections where they are of purportedly similar
- The darkening of thermal faxes
over time including imaging of some elements of surrounding documents
visible as lighter areas in the darkened fax paper.
- The offsetting of original
ink signatures onto the back of some documents, presumably where
documents were signed one on top of another.
24. Taking the evidence together I consider the
possibility that all the submitted documents are forgeries made
at a later date, is so small that it can be discounted.
25. Whilst the theoretical possibility that
the documents have been made contemporaneously but are not authentic
exists it would, in my opinion, be extremely difficult to carry
out in practice. Not only would a 'shadow office' operating in
Arabic have to be set up operating over the period of time covered
by the documents (approx 1998 to 2001) and producing at least
2500 documents of wide ranging appearance but it would also have
to obtain the reference documents and other verifiable documents
to the files without arousing any suspicion. Whilst this possibility
remains theoretically present I consider it to be extremely unlikely.
26. Therefore, in my opinion, there is a high
probability that the vast majority of the documents are authentic.
This does not preclude the possibility that isolated documents
are forgeries inserted into the body of authentic documents. This
possibility is considered below.
Authenticity of the Telegraph Documents
27. I therefore now consider the possibility
that some, or all, of the disputed Telegraph Documents are forgeries
inserted into the files of predominantly authentic documents at
a later time.
Nature of the Disputed Documents
28. The disputed Telegraph Documents in the Core
Folder and others associated to them, consist of the following:
|Yellow tag number||Description
|7||A photocopy letter dated 5/2/2000 number 197 from Tariq Aziz. This shows one original red ink annotation.
|73||A photocopy letter dated 2/5/2000 reference 19/4/99/2394/K referring to an intelligence memo dated 3/1/2000. This letter bears an original hand stamp and original ink annotations. Whilst it is no longer attached, there is a torn edge which, in my opinion, shows a mechanical fit to a fragment stapled to the documents (74-82) below such that I consider that it was stapled to them at some previous time.
||A photocopy of a five page Iraqi Intelligence Service (IRIS) memo dated 3/1/2000. This document bears no original writing but shows photocopy handwriting, signature and annotations. This document is also stapled to the documents (80-82) listed below.
|81||Photocopy CV (mentions Next Century Foundation)
|82||Photocopy George Galloway letter "To Whom it May Concern" (Accepted as genuine in origin)
|83||A photocopy letter dated 9/5/00 referring to letter (73) above. This letter bears an original hand stamp and original ink annotations. This letter is stapled to the documents 84-85 below and, in my opinion, was also stapled to the documents (86, 87 & 89) with a second staple (not now attached)
|84-85||Photocopy of a two page letter dated 6/5/00 also referring to letter (73) above
|86||Arabic translation of 89 (see 83 above)
|87||Arabic translation of 89 (see 83 above)
|893||Fax copy press release in English 'Mariam Appeal to launch Iraq International Work Brigades' (verifiable)
1The yellow label has fallen
off item 74.
2Item 79 is not present but I
understand that it is accepted that this was a piece of loose
paper inserted after the alleged finding of the documents by the
Daily Telegraph journalist or his translator.
3Item 88 is a loose piece of
paper bearing English writing "Ref to GG"
is presumably inserted by the journalist who allegedly found the
Letter no. 7 From Tariq Aziz
29. This letter is in photocopy format. The paper
is A4 in size. I find that the header of item 7 is closely similar
to the header of other documents of a similar date elsewhere within
the files. This includes detailed similarities such as an apparent
cropping of the top of the writing above the crest. I also find
similarities in photocopy trash marks to marks on other documents
within the files and further find that these trash marks go on
to show a progression over time. In my opinion this indicates
that item 7 has been produced via the same photocopier as other
items within the files and using closely similar headed paper.
30. I note that photocopy toner from the front
of document 7 has offset onto the back of document 6.
31. I note that the letter is dated 5/2/00 at
the top of the letter but is dated _/2/00 (i.e. no day) beneath
the signature. I also understand that the Islamic style date is
not consistent with the Western style date. The Islamic date appears
to have been incorrectly put as the 1st
of the next month whilst the printed proforma remains at the previous
month. Such a mistake can easily be made towards the end of a
month in either date style and, in my opinion, this is no more
indicative of a forgery than a genuine mistake.
32. In my opinion, the signature on this document,
whilst being in photocopy format has the appearance of being derived
from a signature 'stamp' rather than an original handwritten signature.
There are original examples of such signature stamps elsewhere
within the files, for example two pairs of documents dated 20
or 21/4/1998 within the Britain D folder. In the case of one of
these there is no day in the date beneath the signature. Also
in the case of both these letters there is a second print-out
of the same letter with an original signature and a day in the
date beneath the letter. In my opinion, this suggests that the
signature stamp is used for keeping internal records for example
an office copy of a letter sent out or perhaps faxed. The
signature stamp on the Tariq Aziz letter 7 is not identical to
those on the other two mentioned, but this may be due to the date
difference. Taken as whole this letter has every appearance of
being a photocopy of an 'office copy' printout of a letter. However,
this does not suggest that it is not authentic and indeed the
evidence found would, in my opinion, be difficult and apparently
unnecessary to replicate in a forgery.
33. Using ESDA I find one small set of indented
impressions of marks. Whilst I am unable to find the source of
these impressions I do find that the same impressions are present
on document 8 in a similar orientation. Therefore, in my opinion
document 7 was resting on document 8 when some unknown writing
was made whilst resting on both documents.
34. There is a handwritten index at the front
(Arabic) of the core file and there is reference to document 7
in this index. Whilst the body of the index is in blue ink there
are also additional entries in red ink which appear to have been
made at a later time(s). Letter 7 is detailed in a red ink entry
and is out of position with respect to the surrounding dates of
other entries, being after the last entry dated 12/12 (document
246). There is also another red ink entry beneath the document
7 entry which is dated 3/7 referring to letter number 1076. This
is the document numbered 123 in the Core Folder. I have considered
the possibility that the red ink entry referring to document 7
was made later in order to fraudulently insert a forged document
(document 7) into the folder. However, the index also shows some
of the other disputed documents (see below paragraphs 39 &
45) entered in blue ink and in the correct position in relation
to the surrounding entries. If these latter entries were also
forgeries then it would be necessary to re-write the body of the
index and if the disputed documents were the only forgeries (as
considered in this scenario) then not writing document 7 in the
correct position would appear to be a substantial oversight. If
so, then the positioning of this index line would suggest that
document 123 should also be a forgery but this appears to be unconnected
to the Telegraph Documents.
35. I find that the paper used to write the
index in the Core Folder is closely similar to paper used in all
but one of the other Britain folders (which has no index) in that
the printed pro-forma is closely similar including a number of
printing blemishes. In my opinion this paper originates from a
36. With the aid of an interpreter I understand
that the content of document 7 refers to similar matters as are
referred to in another letter which is dated 22/1/00 in the Britain
A Folder 2. The punch holes on this letter dated 22/1/00 are torn
so that it is not bound into the Folder. Both letter 7 and this
letter refer to the Presidential letter No 3562 (this is in a
handwritten annotation on the 22/1/00 letter, translated as "Submitted
with the Presidential letter No 3562"). The 22/1/00 letter
is in original format including an original black ink signature
and date at the bottom and blue ink date and reference numbers
at the top. On the back of this letter I find a black ink offset
which, in my opinion, is caused by a similar wet ink signature
and date on another letter (e.g. signing a pile of letters). I
also find indented impressions of writing on the 22/1/00 letter
which in my opinion show impressions of the same date and a similar
(though different) reference number near the top left of the letter.
This finding is consistent with another letter (possibly the next)
being administratively dated and referenced whilst resting on
the current letter. There is an index at the (Arabic) front of
the Britain A Folder 2 and the document dated 22/1/00,
reference numbered 115, is indexed in the correct position amongst
the bulk of the entries. These findings are entirely consistent
with surrounding documents and, in my opinion would be extremely
difficult and unnecessary to replicate in a forgery.
Documents 73-82 in the Core Folder 1c
37. I find that the documents numbered 73-82
in the Core Folder (number 79 is missing as described above)
are photocopies made on larger than A4 sized paper. This paper
is approximately 8.5 inches x 13 inches and is a variant of 'foolscap
folio' or 'folio' paper although this name covers a variety of
sizes. I will refer to this paper size as folio for ease of reference.
It is an unusual size to use in photocopiers in the UK However,
some of the original documents within the submitted files are
of a similar size, especially the paper with original bordered
edges so it is possible that this size paper is used in order
to be able to copy larger (mainly longer) original documents.
I find similarities between trash marks on the photocopies 73-82
such that, in my opinion, all these copy documents were produced
via the same photocopier. I also find that the paper used for
documents 73-82 is visually similar to other paper sheets within
the folders. Furthermore, I find that the copier trash marks
seen in documents 73-82 are also found in other copies having
dates close to 73, and these others are located in the France
A folder 3. I am able to closely match the header of letter 73
(and 83) to other headers amongst the submitted documents. I also
find close alignment of the printed text below the signature in
these two documents to other similarly dated documents within
the submitted documents. I find that the signatures on 73 and
83 are closely similar to a number of other signatures within
the folders (though I find none that are superimposable which
may be the case if signatures are 'cut and pasted' in order to
create a forgery).
38. I find that the original handstamp impression
on both 73 and also 83 is closely similar to other (200_) handstamps
throughout the submitted documents. Such a stamp would, in my
opinion be difficult to replicate from scratch in a forgery. I
find indented impressions of the original handwritten annotations
within the handstamp, and also some from elsewhere on these documents,
impressed onto the documents beneath them (i.e. directly below
them) such that, in my opinion the documents beneath were present
when these annotations were made.
39. I find that the outer document of the stapled
set 73-82 is present in the index of the Core Folder 1c in the
correct place and in the bulk blue ink.
40. I am unable to precisely match the header
of the five page intelligence memo, items 74-78 to other documents
within those submitted. In particular the nature of the Arabic
writing to the left of the Iraqi eagle and the size of the Iraqi
Intelligence Service symbol differ with respect to other headed
paper. However, I find similar headings with some closely similar
elements and I find that the border to the document is closely
similar to borders elsewhere within the submitted documents including
original gilt edged borders. I note that the position of the header
element of the pages in this memo varies with respect to the border
element suggesting that they are separately printed elements.
This variation amongst this set is what I would expect if the
document set was copied from 5 original pieces of printed paper
rather than a single copied pro-forma. I note that this document
set is dated earlier than the surrounding documents, in January
2000, and that the proforma header is formulated for 19__ dates
rather than 2000 dates I note that the signature on this document
set is similar to, but not a photocopy of, those on other documents
elsewhere within the folders. The letter 73 refers specifically
to this five page memo. I note that there is a lighter patch
of background below the signature on 78, but I am unable to determine
whether or not this indicates some masking of a precursor.
41. The two Arabic CVs, documents 80 and 81,
may be verifiable.
42. The George Galloway letter, document 82,
is accepted as being of genuine origin. A photocopy line on this
document suggests that the original of this document was A4 sized.
It should be emphasised that I find that this document has been
photocopied via the same copier as the associated disputed documents
73-81 (excluding 79). The phone numbers on this document suggest
that it was produced prior to 22/4/00. I find that items 73-81
were held by one staple but the George Galloway letter 82 has
been affixed to these documents by a second, separate staple suggesting
that 82 has been affixed later.
43. Whilst many of the documents within the folders
are not folded I note that there are similar horizontal folds
within the documents 73-82 (and also 83-85). I find that other
documents of a similar nature within the France A Folder 3 also
show horizontal fold lines.
Documents 83-85 in the Core Folder 1c
44. These documents are photocopies also on folio
sized paper. However I find that they do not share the same photocopy
trash marks as those on documents 73-82.
45. I find that document 83, the outer document
of the stapled set of documents 83-89, (88 is a loose piece of
paper bearing English writing) is featured in the Index of the
folder in the correct place and in the bulk blue ink writing.
46. The nature of the letter 83 is closely similar
to that of 73 and the header is closely similar to this and other
documents elsewhere within the folders. The original handstamp
on the document is also similar to that on document 73 and closely
similar to others elsewhere within the folders. I again find indented
impressions of the annotations within the handstamp on the pages
directly beneath this. The signature on this letter is also similar
to that on 73 and others throughout the folder (but again not
47. I am unable to find an exact match for the
headed paper which has been used to create the photocopy two page
Documents 86, 87 and 89
48. Documents 86 and 87 appear to be copies of
the same Arabic translation of the English document 89. These
three documents are on A4 paper and appear to originate from a
later time than their position in the file would indicate since
copies of 89 appear elsewhere within the folders and appear to
have been faxed in July 2000. These three documents are currently
stapled together and show evidence of having been stapled to documents
83-85 using a second staple and therefore presumably at a later
time. Also whilst all the documents 73-85 (excluding 79 which
is not present) are on folio paper which has been folded horizontally,
documents 86, 87 and 89 are on A4 paper which does not appear
to have been folded.
49. The nature of the folders and indexes is
such that the folders appear to have been compiled at the end
of a set period of time rather than documents being filed in a
folder directly as they are received. It is therefore possible
to have documents which are seemingly out of date attached to
one another prior to the compilation of the folder at the end
of the set period.
Indented Impressions of Original Handwritten
50. I have examined the disputed Telegraph Documents
in the Core Folder 1c for the possible presence of indented impressions
of writing. Using this method I find indented impressions of writing
on the Telegraph Documents 73-85. The majority of these impressions
are fragmentary in nature. I have compared them to the handwriting
within the translations (item 1a) said to have been made in Iraq
by the Daily Telegraph translator(s). I find that I am able to
match a number of the impressions to the writing within these
translations and frequently the impressions relate to the information
of the sheet on which they appear. The nature of the impressions
is such that, in my opinion, they were made whilst resting on
the Telegraph Documents but whilst the paper being written on
has been frequently moved so that the impressions are fragmentary.
This pattern is entirely consistent with the ongoing translation
of documents within a file. Furthermore there are examples where
the same impressions can be seen through more than one document.
In particular translation writing written whilst resting on the
front of 73 was made whilst also resting on 74 etc. showing that
these were together at the time that the translations were made.
Evidence of Forgery or Alteration
51. I am unable to find any evidence of forgery
such as cut-and-paste marks or unexpected superimposable
signatures. If the body of the documents were authentic and just
a few documents were forgeries then I would expect that the authentic
documents would be used as models in order to create proforma
headers, signature etc. My findings do not show such a pattern.
52. I also find no evidence of suspicious alterations
to the disputed documents.
Evidence of the Disputed Documents Being Found
at Different Times/Locations
53. In my opinion there is no evidence to suggest
that any of the disputed Telegraph Documents were found at a different
time/location to the others. In particular the letter numbered
73 in the Core Folder (dated 2/5/00) which was published in the
Telegraph on 23/4/03 was in my opinion stapled to the other disputed
documents 74-82 and indented impressions from Arabic writing on
this letter is present on documents beneath it. Furthermore indented
impressions of the same writing from the original translations
1a are indented through both document 73 and 74. Similarly
the letter numbered 84-85 which was translated in the Telegraph
on 24/4/03 is stapled to the letter numbered 83 and bears indented
impressions from this letter. Letter 84-85 also bears indented
impressions of the original translations within 1a. In the case
of both 73 and 84-85 I consider that the only way that these could
have been found at a different time/location to the documents
they are currently associated with is if they were removed from
those documents and taken to another location. Prior to their
translation by the Telegraph translator they would then have to
be re-inserted into their current position in the Core Folder
1c. Such action does not appear to serve any useful purpose.
54. Taking the evidence together I consider that
it is extremely unlikely that any of the disputed Telegraph documents
are forgeries inserted into otherwise authentic documents. In
my opinion the features of the documents would be extremely difficult
and, in many cases seemingly unnecessary to forge. Therefore,
in my opinion there is a high probability that all the disputed
Telegraph Documents are authentic.
Authenticity of the Vast Majority of the Documents
55. In my opinion the evidence found fully supports
that the vast majority of the submitted documents are authentic.
In my opinion the submitted documents are not all forgeries
created at a later time. Whilst I cannot totally exclude the theoretical
possibility that all the submitted documents were created during
the time that they state but by a non-authentic source such as
a 'shadow office', I consider that this is extremely unlikely.
Authenticity of the Disputed Telegraph Documents
56. Given that the vast majority of the submitted
documents are authentic then, in my opinion, there is a high probability
that all the disputed Telegraph documents are also authentic.
I find no evidence that any are forgeries or altered and I consider
this possibility to be extremely unlikely.
57. It should be noted that I am unable to comment
on the veracity of the information within the disputed Telegraph
documents, whether or not they are authentic.
58. I find no evidence to suggest that any of
the disputed Telegraph documents were found at a different time/place
to the others.
59. I have carried out this work and have prepared
this statement in accordance with the Code of Good Practice issued
by the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners.
60. A full record of the work done in this case
is available for inspection at the Laboratory.
19 January 2007