Lawyer fights to reveal MoD case handling

A London solicitor says the Ministry of Defence must be more open in its handling of cases after the prosecution of a soldier accused of spying was aborted last week.

Steve Barker, of Barker Gillette, thinks the 1997 arrest of his client, Major Milos Stankovic of the Parachute Regiment, under the Official Secrets Act was made on the orders of a foreign intelligence agency, probably the CIA.

Barker says he is “80 per cent certain” the arrest was unlawful. “The Ministry of Defence police's methods leave an awful lot to be desired,” he says, although he accepts his client, who had made two tours of Bosnia, held highly sensitive material.

It was not until a year after the arrest that Stankovic was interviewed by the police.

Barker was forced to go to judicial review to see the prosecution documents in the case and in a move he believes to be unprecedented, the defence submitted a 260-page dossier of evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

More than 300 people were interviewed by the MoD before the CPS accepted it had insufficient evidence to proceed with the case.