PIE member Geoffrey Prime complained to the Press Council about News of the World allegations

The Press and the People: … Annual Report of the Press Council, Volume 26
Press Council, 1982
[Page 112]

Spy’s complaint not upheld

A complaint by convicted spy Geoffrey Prime that the News Of The World made false allegations against him and declined to correct them was rejected.

Alex Marunchak had said Mr Prime, jailed for 38 years, was originally arrested for sexual offences against young girls. He had made many espionage contacts through a child-sex network in Britain and America. Police feared he may have used these to blackmail prominent people in all walks of life.

Using the alias Jacques DuGay he had joined NAMBLA. a North American association closely linked with the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in Britain. US police confirmed he contacted other perverts through NAMBLA and may have blackmailed top people into supplying information. Security chiefs feared the KGB would continue blackmailing his contacts.

Mr Prime’s solicitors told the editor it was untrue that Mr Prime belonged to or had contact with NAMBLA or PIE, that he blackmailed people or gave the KGB information for blackmailing, that he had espionage contacts, and that he ever used the name Jacques DuGay. They asked for a published retraction.

Mr Henry Douglas, legal manager, replied that following a tip-off by a Scotland Yard contact the News Of The World spoke to other police in Los Angeles and New Jersey and learnt that after police raids on NAMBLA members’ homes Mr Prime’s name and alias were very familiar to them in a list of UK paedophiles. The newspaper carefully checked with British police sources and would not publish a retraction.

Adjudication: The News Of The World has told the complainant’s solicitors and the Press Council of the steps it took to verify with American and British sources the allegations it published about the complainant Mr Geoffrey Prime, following his conviction. In the Press Council’s view the newspaper did as much research as it could before publishing its detailed story. Despite their view that the allegations about Mr Prime were fanciful and inconsistent with the known facts, his solicitors have failed to satisfy the Press Council that the allegations were false. The complaint against the News Of The World is, therefore, not upheld. (U9823-1983).

  1. Troyhand said:

    Canberra Times – Friday 28 January 1994

    Child sex concern

    WASHINGTON: US contributions to the UN will be sharply slashed if the UN does not end ties with organisations that condone pedophilia, the US Senate has decided.

    In an amendment to the State Department authorisation Bill, the Senate voted 99-0 to reduce US contributions for international organisations by $US119 million ($A169 million) in each of the fiscal years 1994 and 1995 unless the president certifies the UN has cut off links with such groups.

    Republican Senator, Jesse Helms, submitted the amendment citing a decision last summer by the UN Economic and Social Council to grant consultative status to the Belgian based International Lesbian and Gay Association.

    Senator Helms noted that one member of the association is the “notorious” North American Man Boy Love Association, a group founded in Boston in 1978 to promote consensual relations between men and boys.

    Gregory King, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign Fund, said his group — the largest lesbian and gay rights group in the US — had no objection to the Helms amendment.

    “NAMBLA is not a gay organisation,” King said, noting that his group refuses to join ILGA as long as NAMBLA is a member.

    He said the Belgian organisation is now going through a process of expelling NAMBLA.
    – AFP, AP, Reuter, PA

  2. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Sunday 28 November 1982
    Death investigated

    LONDON, Saturday (AAP-AP). — Police said last night they were investigating the death of a radio officer employed at Britain’s electronic intelligence gathering government communications headquarters where convicted Soviet spy Mr Geoffrey Prime worked until 1977. Mr Ernest Brockway, 43, had been found hanged on Wednesday at his home at Hatherley near Cheltenham.

  3. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Wednesday 1 December 1982
    Cheltenham worker suicided: coroner

    LONDON, Tuesday (AAP-PA). — A radio operator found hanged last week at his home near the top-secret communications headquarters where convicted spy, Mr Geoffrey Prime, worked had committed suicide, a coroner ruled today.

    A statement issued by his family’s solicitors after the inquest said Mr Peter Ernest Brockway was “loyal to his family and country” and his death was not being investigated by MI5 or the special branch.

    It criticised the press for causing his family “immense distress”.

    Mr Brockway, 42, was said to have become depressed because he had been separated from his family for several months when he first moved to the Government communications headquarters at Cheltenham.

    The verdict by Cheltenham and district coroner Mr David Falkner, was heard in court by Mr Brockway’s wife, Janet, and their sons Stephen, 19, and Andrew 16.

    In a statement issued afterwards by their solicitors, Mr Brockway was said to have been “an ordinary and industrious husband — loyal to his family and country.”

    It said that he did not know Mr Geoffrey Prime, who was jailed three weeks ago for years.

  4. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Monday 6 December 1982
    Spy’s link to secrets ‘continued’

    LONDON, Sunday (AAP-AP). — Mr Geoffrey Prime, sentenced last month to 35 years’ jail for spying for the Soviet Union, “continued to have access to sensitive material” even after resigning from Britain’s top-secret Government Communications Headquarters, a British newspaper reported today.

    The Mail said Mr Prime, 44, had frequently visited the intelligence gathering base at Cheltenham, 144 kilometres north-west of London. After quitting GCHQ, Mr Prime had joined a local taxi cab firm, Cheltax. While working for the company, Mr Prime had gone back to the base “often several times a week”.

    One of the taxi firm’s contracts was to transport local banking staff to a branch inside the GCHQ complex where Mr Prime had worked.

    Cheltax employees were also called upon to drive computer tapes of intercepted codes between GCHQ and its listening-post satellites in the west of England.

    As recently as October, 1981, Mr Prime had made a secret visit to East Germany for a debriefing session with officers of the Soviet secret police.

    “The obvious inference is that Prime was still providing active information which could have come only from inside the base,” the report said.

  5. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Sunday 14 November 1982
    Hunt for Prime’s ‘accomplice’

    LONDON, Saturday (AAP Reuter). — British authorities were hunting a second Soviet agent who used convicted spy Mr Geoffrey Prime as a messenger and was still operating inside Britain’s top-secret intelligence centre, the Daily Mail newspaper said yesterday.

    The newspaper said British intelligence apparently believed that when Mr Prime left the centre at Cheltenham in western England five years ago he began work as a taxi driver so he could act as a courier for another agent.

    Mr Prime, 44, a former Russian linguist at the code-breaking and signals base, was jailed for 38 years this week after admitting passing secrets to Moscow for 14 years.

    The Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, promised yesterday a full investigation into security breaches, but said there was no evidence so far that anyone besides Mr Prime was involved.

    The communications centre is now advertising in leading news papers for new Russian linguists.

    Staff for some aspects of British intelligence work have traditionally been recruited through personal recommendations rather than public advertisements.

    The Daily Mail said the fact that another agent was working inside Cheltenham would explain why Mr Prime’s controllers in Moscow had exerted no pressure to force him to stay at his post.

    Mrs Thatcher’s office declined to comment on the report.

    Many Members of Parliament are still unhappy about the security system. There was widespread dismay in the House of Commons when Mrs Thatcher disclosed that Mr Prime had been checked and cleared four times during his 14 years of espionage.

    Mrs Thatcher said Mr Prime’s espionage had harmed the interests of the United States and the Atlantic alliance as well as Britain.

    But she added that he did not have access to classified information about allied troop dispositions, nuclear weapons or Western agents.

  6. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Tuesday 30 November 1982
    Inquiry into national security wanted

    LONDON, Monday (AAP-Reuter). — Right-wing parliamentary supporters of the Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, are pressing her to order a full judicial inquiry into what they call the “parlous state” of Britain’s national security.

    The call came from the Monday Club, a right-wing pressure group in the ruling Conservative Party, last night after the spy scandal and security shocks swirling around the Government’s top-secret communications centre in Cheltenham, western England.

    The chairman of the club, Mr David Storey, told reporters the group wanted decisive action. He said a judicial inquiry was justified by the recent conviction of Mr Geoffrey Prime, a former linguist at the centre, the deaths of two other workers there and other “flutterings in the security dovecote”.

    Mr Prime was jailed on November 10 for 38 years for spying and sex offences. The trial judge said he caused incalculable harm to Britain and its allies.

    Police and security men are still investigating the death last week of Mr Ernest Brockway, 43, a former technical officer at the Cheltenham centre. He was found hanged at his home near the headquarters of Britain’s electronic intelligence-gathering operations.

    Mr Jack Wolfenden, 56, a telecommunications expert at the Cheltenham centre, was killed in July when the light aircraft he was piloting ploughed into a hillside near the base.

    An opposition Member of Parliament has also asked Mrs Thatcher to make a House of Commons statement on any possible links between Mr Prime and the two other men.

    “Prime retired from the base in 1977 but continued his spying activities and this suggests there must have been someone else supplying him with information,” a Labour MP, Mr Leadbitter, told reporters yesterday.

    “American intelligence sources complain that British intelligence knew of Prime’s activities in 1978. It’s against this evidence that we must now be concerned with the deaths of both men.”

    The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that military authorities were questioning a soldier in Britain’s intelligence corps about alleged leaks of defence secrets to the Soviet Union.

    The paper said the soldier, a lance corporal, had been interrogated for two weeks and was thought to have visited the Soviet Embassy in London.

    A Defence Ministry spokesman said the soldier was under arrest but added he had no knowledge about a security charge.

  7. Troyhand said:

    The Canberra Times – Monday 29 November 1982
    Security leak feared

    LONDON, Sunday (AAP-PA). — The Government was bracing itself today for another possible security breach after the arrest of a lance-corporal from the Intelligence Corps.

    The Sunday Telegraph said today that Special-Branch detectives had arrested a soldier after inquiries into an alleged leak of defence secrets to the Soviet Union.

    A Ministry of Defence spokesman said, “A soldier in the Intelligence Corps is under arrest in Aldershot on a charge of improperly carrying out his duties. I have no knowledge of any security charge.”

    The newspaper report said it was thought the man had visited the Soviet Embassy in London, possibly several times.

    The Intelligence Corps, with head quarters at Ashford, Kent, is responsible for the maintenance of military security and the collation and interpretation of intelligence on modern warfare, weapons, tactics and techniques.

    Three weeks ago Mr Geoffrey Prime, 44, a former linguist at the Government’s communications centre in Cheltenham, was jailed for 35 years for passing secrets to the USSR.

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