The Matrix Revisited – Arms to Iraq in the 1980s v Weaponised Software in the 2010s

By 25 August 2017KEY ARTICLES

The Matrix Revisited - Arms to Iraq in the 1980s v Weaponised Software in the 2010s (±x)

Published on 25th August 2017

Joseph S R de Saram (JSRDS)

Information Security Architect / Intelligence Analyst / Computer Scientist / Human Rights Activist / COMSEC / SIGINT / TSCM

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This article is about Matrix Churchill, a UK Aerospace engineering company based in Coventry, with expertise in both the design and manufacture of precision machine tools. The ensuing criminal case against the directors of Matrix Churchill was nothing short of a ridiculous fraud.

The UK Government perverted the course of justice by allowing Customs & Excise to prosecute them whilst concurrently refusing to disclose evidentiary materials of an exculpatory nature in their possession, that would have exonerated those directors!


In the late 1980s, Matrix Churchill had been bought by the Iraqi government, and was exporting machines used in weapons manufacture to Iraq. According to the International Atomic Energy Authority, the products later found in Iraq were among the highest quality of their kind in the world.

They were ‘Dual-Use’ machines that could also be used to manufacture weapons parts, exactly the same concept of Dual-Use Technology in which there is both a civilian and military purpose:-

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Such exports are subject to government control, and Matrix Churchill had the appropriate government permissions, following a 1988 relaxation of export controls. Crucially, however, this relaxation had not been announced to Parliament – indeed, when asked in Parliament whether controls had been relaxed, the then-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry replied incorrectly that they had not.

Matrix Churchill was contacted by HM Customs and Excise, under suspicion of exporting arms components to Iraq without permission. It had this permission but this was denied by the government, in line with the most recently announced policy on the matter. Matrix Churchill’s directors were therefore prosecuted in 1991 by Customs and Excise for breaching export controls.

The trial did not go well for the governmentpublic interest immunity certificates obtained by the government to suppress some critical evidence (supposedly on grounds of national security) were quickly overturned by the trial judge, forcing the documents to be handed over to the defence. The trial eventually collapsed when former minister Alan Clark admitted he had been ‘economical with the actualité‘ in answer to parliamentary questions regarding what he knew about export licenses to Iraq.

The Scott Report

“The Report of the Inquiry into the Export of Defence Equipment and Dual-Use Goods to Iraq and Related Prosecutions”

was a judicial inquiry commissioned in 1992 after reports of arms sales to Iraq in the 1980s by British companies surfaced. The report was conducted by Sir Richard Scott, then a Lord Justice of Appeal. It was published in 1996. Much of the report was secret.

The Scott Report represents possibly the most exhaustive study produced to that date of the individual responsibility of ministers to Parliament. Scott comments on the difficulty of extracting from departments the required documents (some 130,000 of them in all) and notes how Customs and Excise could not find out what Ministry of Defence export policy was, and how intelligence reports were not passed on to those who needed to know.

The Economist commented that “Sir Richard exposed an excessively secretive government machine, riddled with incompetence, slippery with the truth and willing to mislead Parliament“. The report characterised the nature of the government as:-


The main objectives of governments are the implementation of their policies and the discomfiture of opposition; they do not submit with enthusiasm to the restraints of accountability … governments are little disposed to volunteer information that may expose them to criticism … The enforcement of accountability depends largely on the ability of Parliament to prise information from governments which are inclined to be defensively secretive where they are most vulnerable to challenge.


Scott identified three main areas of democratic concern. First, the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939 was emergency legislation passed at the outbreak of the Second World War. It allowed the government to issue regulations which were not subject to resolutions in Parliament, for the duration of the emergency, which would make it a criminal offence to export particular goods to particular countries. While the Act should have been lapsed in 1945, it remained in force, and had been modified in 1990 so as to become part of the Import and Export Control Act 1990.

The second area was the failure of ministerial accountability; the principle that “for every action of a servant of the crown a minister is answerable to Parliament“.

The third area was that of public-interest immunity certificates, which had been issued during the Matrix Churchill trial. As a result of these certificates:-

“innocent men were in danger of being sent to prison, because the government would not allow the defence counsel to see the documents that would exonerate their clients.”

While some of these contained potentially sensitive intelligence material, many were simply internal communications: the certificates were intended to protect the ministers and civil servants who had written the communications, rather than the public interest.

Scott states:


The government is entirely frank in its desire to continue using “class” claims in order to protect communications between ministers and civil servants from disclosure in litigation. One argument put forward is that, unless these communications are protected, the necessary candour between ministers and civil servants will suffer. I have to say that I regard this “candour” argument … as unacceptable.


Public Interest Immunity

Public-interest immunity (PII), previously known as Crown privilege, is a principle of English common law under which the English courts can grant a court order allowing one litigant to refrain from disclosing evidence to the other litigants where disclosure would be damaging to the public interest.

This is an exception to the usual rule that all parties in litigation must disclose any evidence that is relevant to the proceedings. In making a PII order, the court has to balance the public interest in the administration of justice (which demands that relevant material is available to the parties to litigation) and the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality of certain documents whose disclosure would be damaging.

The Politics of Lying – excerpt

“On the floor of the House [of Commons] – save in rare moods of resentment – the government controls the agenda’ (Birkinshaw 1997: 168). One such occasion was 9 November 1992 when Prime Minister Major was constrained, by the force of political opposition, and by the strength of media and public disquiet, to announce an inquiry under Justice Richard Scott into the export of defence equipment and dual use goods to Iraq between December 1984 and August 1990, the prosecution of three Matrix Churchill executives for contravening export licensing regulations made under the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939, and the use of Public Interest Immunity Certificates (PIICs) in this and other similar prosecutions (Scott 1996: A.2: A.3; also Birkinshaw 1997: 29; Doig 1997: 159; Norton-Taylor 1995: 31: 37; Leigh 1993: 255–6).

The Prime Minister John Major thus gave way to widespread suspicion that ministers and officials had conspired to break the Government’s own export guidelines to supply the Iraqi war machine, and:-

“that ministers had lied in Parliament to avoid public and parliamentary criticism,

had permitted the prosecution of businessmen by Customs and Excise as a means of protecting themselves,

and had sought to pervert justice by preventing the disclosure of documents through Public Interest Immunity Certificates.”


In late 2015, I was subjected (again) to harassment surveillance, similar to 2000, though more importantly ‘people stealing my stuff’.

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Edward de Saram (“EDS”) fraudulently obtained my Legal Guardianship – and as he was effectively acting in the capacity of an agent of law enforcement, my decision-making ability had been fraudulently handed over to law enforcement!!

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Specific Evidence from 2015

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Following the December 2015 Psychiatric Facility Fraud I noticed it was missing and I have not been able to locate it anywhere. The theft of this particular document is not something I will be tolerating, as it related to Dual-Use Technology, Weaponised Software and involved HMCE, just like in the Matrix Churchill matter:-

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Disclosure of Information

The parallel issue with Matrix Churchill is referenced here, and the key text is this from an article dated 02 November 1992:-

“Four months before President Bush signed a secret order encouraging closer relations with Iraq, the Defense Intelligence Agency provided rich details of the network of European companies President Saddam Hussein used to buy technology that could upset the balance of military power in the Mideast.

A classified 1989 document illustrates how much information about Mr. Hussein’s military ambitions and methods was available as the Administration was embarking on its policy of courting Iraq. It shows that United States intelligence knew that British tool-maker Matrix Churchill Corp., which had a branch in Solon, Ohio, played a major role in Iraq’s weapons-buying program, yet did nothing to stop its operations.”

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And of course it was my American defense contractor pals that told me about HMCE/NCIS/MI5:-

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Suppression of Exculpatory Evidence

Just like the Matrix Churchill case, various fools:-

“are permitting the attacks against me by NCA/HMRC etc

perverting justice by preventing the disclosure of exculpatory evidence through the use of Public Interest Immunity Certificates

as well as giving everyone Transactional Immunity for [false] witness statements against me!”

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Interesting isn’t it? But as usual I have plenty more to say on this matter and I certainly will…


Joseph S R de Saram (JSRDS)

Information Security Architect / Intelligence Analyst / Computer Scientist / Human Rights Activist / COMSEC / SIGINT / TSCM