ABC trial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from ABC Trial)
Jump to: navigation, search

The ABC Trial was a trial of charges under sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 trial in United Kingdom. It took place in 1978 and is named after the three defendants: Crispin Aubrey,[1] John Berry and Duncan Campbell. Aubrey was a journalist for Time Out, John Berry was a former corporal in signals intelligence (SIGINT), and Duncan Campbell was an investigative journalist.

One of the prosecution witnesses was an anonymous SIGINT officer, referred to as Colonel B.


  • 18 February 1977: Aubrey and Campbell (the two journalists) interviewed Berry
  • 20 February 1977: All three men were arrested and charged under section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 (Berry was charged with "communicating classified information to unauthorised persons", and Campbell and Aubrey with "unauthorised receipt of classified information")
  • 24 May 1977: Further charges were added under section 1 of the Official Secrets Act
  • 9 August 1977: Additional charge under section 1 against Duncan Campbell, for collecting information
  • November 1977: Committal hearing at Tottenham Magistrates Court. First appearance of Colonel B as a prosecution witness.
  • 5 September 1978: Trial opens at the Old Bailey in front of Mr Justice Willis
  • 18 September 1978: Trial stopped after jury foreman exposed as a former SAS officer
  • 3 October 1978: Second trial opens in front of Mr Justice Mars-Jones
  • 24 October 1978: All section 1 charges dropped
  • 17 November 1978: Aubrey, Berry and Campbell receive non-custodial sentences


  1. ^ Duncan Campbell (30 September 2012). "Crispin Aubrey obituary | Environment |". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 

External links[edit]