Spy trial man 'joined the Communist Party for sex'
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Friday 22 October 1993
Interviewed after his arrest, Michael Smith dismissed his membership of the Young Communist League as 'a phase I went through'. Mr Smith, 44, from Kingston, south-west London, faces charges under the Official Secrets Act. It is alleged that he was recruited 20 years ago as an agent while a student at Surrey University. Yesterday, the court heard the beginning of more than 11 hours of taped interviews by Special Branch officers. The former GEC employee, who had been made redundant, told police he was planning to move to New Zealand.
Earlier in the trial, a British security officer told how he had faked a foreign accent in a telephone call to Mr Smith's house and mentioned an 'old friend, Victor', a reference to a senior KGB officer. On the interview tape, Mr Smith said 'this foreign guy . . . must have mistaken me for someone else'.
The trial continues today.
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