Tuesday, 11 September 2012

PC Sawyer - recalled at the Inquiry

Following PC Sawyer's testimony on the morning of 2 September DS Webb took the stand and his evidence continued to the lunch break.  At the start of the afternoon session PC Sawyer was briefly recalled and this is the exchange with Mr Knox:

(2.00 pm)
Examined by MR KNOX (continued)
LORD HUTTON: Yes Mr Knox. 

MR KNOX: My Lord, I propose to recall Mr Sawyer to briefly deal with one point. 
LORD HUTTON: Yes, come back please.
MR KNOX: Mr Sawyer, you will recall that this morning you said that amongst Dr Kelly's things that had been found on the search of the premises was a photograph which I think you said might have aroused some interest.  I wonder if you could tell us something about the photograph that was found. 
A. Certainly. It was found in the study of Dr Kelly at 11.45 by one of my searchers, PC Slyfield. It was seized because, at the time, it showed Dr Kelly and another person standing outside the Parliament building in Moscow. It was after the coup in Moscow and the Parliament building showed a certain amount of damage. The photograph was in fact dated 11th of the 8th 1993. PC Slyfield showed it to DC Burton who was the Special Branch officer with him and they both agreed the second person in the photograph bore a very striking  resemblance to Andrew Gilligan. The photograph was then seized and produced as an exhibit. That is what I was referring to in my statement.
Q. What have subsequent inquiries revealed about that photograph?
A. Subsequent inquiries, I have spoken to PC Slyfield on the phone, and I have also spoken to a DS McGuire at the Long Hanborough incident room. PC Slyfield states that, in his opinion, the person has a resemblance to Andrew Gilligan. DS McGuire is of the opposite opinion, that it does not look like Andrew Gilligan; and, as a consequence, the photograph is being brought up tomorrow by ACC Page for the Inquiry to actually look at. 

Q. Your current understanding of the position is that it is or is not Mr Gilligan? 
A. On the -- I saw the photograph but very, very briefly.  I can form no opinion either way.
LORD HUTTON: So it was really seized by the police because it was thought it bore a resemblance to Andrew Gilligan, that is as far as it goes?
A. Yes, and the date on the photograph being 1993 which is some 11 years ago when it was.

LORD HUTTON: Yes. Very well. Thank you very much.
MR KNOX: Mr Sawyer can I ask you this: as far as you are aware, what is the current view of the police force about this photograph?
A. The current view of the police force is it has been retained as an exhibit to be produced before this Inquiry. As to the identity of the second person in the photograph, that is a matter for the Inquiry to make its mind up. I must say that DS McGuire has also said he has been unable to actually speak to Mr Gilligan to verify the veracity of the photograph in question up to this point. 

LORD HUTTON: Yes. Thank you very much Mr Sawyer.
A. Thank you my Lord. 

The photograph alluded to can be seen here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090128221550/http://www.the-hutton-inquiry.org.uk/content/tvp/tvp_12_0001.pdf

A question has been raised about whether Dr Kelly always wore his spectacles bearing in mind that they weren't on his face when Dr Hunt was examining the body.  The fact that he wasn't wearing them in the photograph could be misleading because this was a decade earlier.   PC Sawyer is I think quite articulate in his answers but his arithmetic let him down when he referred to '11 years' rather than ten.

There is a reference too to the presence at the search of the Kelly home of a Special Branch officer: DC Burton.  The recall of PC Sawyer would I suggest have been good PR for the Inquiry "leaving no stone unturned".  Of course the reality in general was the exact opposite.  

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