TA officer charged with spying is released

A TERRITORIAL Army intelligence officer whose long detention on spying charges angered civil liberties campaigners has been released from custody, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday, writes Steve Boggan.

Capt Carole Maychell, 34, was released from Queen Elizabeth military hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, more than four months after her arrest for allegedly passing secrets to the Russians over a 10-year period.

She had been under the supervision of a consultant psychiatrist for a week, although she had contacted news agencies to stress that her mental condition was good. Before being sent to the hospital, she had been held in solitary confinement for four months at the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester.

The Ministry of Defence yesterday confirmed that Capt Maychell had been released from arrest on Thursday, 'subject to conditions of residence and reporting', but it would not give details of the conditions. One officer, who declined to be named, said: 'You could liken it to a form of bail.'

Capt Maychell said: 'I'm very relieved to be free. I have been released from all form of arrest and can come and go as I please. I can't comment on my case except to say I look forward to clearing my name in court.'

The captain, an Intelligence Corps officer at Ashford, Kent, was arrested last November when 52 bags of documents were removed from her home in Morecambe, Lancashire. She was detained on the grounds that she had allegedly made two foreign trips without the permission of her commanding officer and had a classified document in her briefcase.