Jerry Dawson on Tue, 7 Mar 2000 11:35:16 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Official Secrets arrest

Shayler Supporter Quizzed By Police 
>From the Press Association
Tuesday March 7, 2000 10:27 am 
A student supporter of renegade MI5 officer David Shayler who was questioned 
over an alleged breach of the Official Secrets Act has been released on police 
Julie-Ann Davies, a 36-year-old mature student at Kingston University in Surrey, 
was arrested on Monday afternoon by Special Branch officers with a warrant 
requiring the college to provide access to her computer. She was later released 
on bail to return to a south London police station. 
She was reported to have been active in the campaign to get charges against 
Mr Shayler dropped. She was arrested under section five of the act covering the 
receipt and disclosure of official information without authority. 
Mr Shayler, now living in Paris, has been told that he faces prosecution if he 
returns to Britain, after allegations he has made to newspapers about MI5 and 
Ms Davies, a second-year student of aerospace engineering, was detained by 
officers who searched her room in the halls of residence. 
David Miles, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University, said that Ms Davies 
was a trusted and respected student who had recently been appointed as a hall 
senior, responsible for looking after first-year students. 
He said she had previously been a researcher for Channel 4 and had got to 
know Mr Shayler through her work there. Ms Davies is also thought to be a 
member of the Association of Investigative Journalists. 
John Wadham, Mr Shayler's lawyer and director of the civil rights group Liberty, 
expressed surprise at her arrest. 
"So far as I understand it, she was a researcher for the political satire 
programme the Mark Thomas Comedy Product," he told BBC Radio 4's Today 
"I'm a bit surprised that we have Special Branch going around arresting those 
people involved in producing satire and comedy. The programme went out at the 
beginning of this year, and was a half hour discussion of David Shayler in a light-
hearted and jokey fashion." 

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