Instead of investigating purely the affidavit sworn in March 1998, the police lumped another affidavit that they had received by post on 14 June 2002 into the investigation.
Their conclusion was that they had disproved the content of the documents but not their authenticity as they had only located copies. The content of the affidavits differ. Almost all the content mentioned in Barry Beardall’s appeal decision comes from the second affidavit i.e
“The overall impression presented by both Affidavits is that Mrs Costello is operating as an agent of both HMCE and the Secret Service while working for an unnamed import business. As such she has attended briefings, provided intelligence and apparently acted as a confidante to “Support agents”. As a result of these activities she has gained good knowledge of covert law enforcement techniques and the import of duty payable goods and bonded warehouses.”
So the Met set about ‘tracing and taking statements from family, friends and former work colleagues of Mrs Costello’ to test the authenticity of the content of the documents.’ They said,’ These people have provided valuable lifestyle and background detail that strongly contradicts how Mrs Costello and her life are represented in the affidavits’
Of course, they contradicted what was written in the second affidavit because it was a fake. It had no solicitors signature nor stamp. Nobody in their right mind would investigate such a document. So, why did the Met use it? It is suggested – its use hid/buried scrutiny of the first affidavit which had a solicitor’s signature and stamp and signature of Jennifer Costello.
Read the first affidavit, you will find no mention of working for HMCE etc. Costello just describes gaining knowledge of illegal activities through her close friendship with Bernie Small.
Satisfied with their ‘inquiry’, the Met decided not to interview ‘a number of witnesses’ who they had identified.
Next post will look at the points Jennifer Costello made in her affidavit of March 1998, most of which the Metropolitan Police failed to examine.