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Michael J L Turner MA FBCS CITP MAE FEWI

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Case of Sergeant Virdi - MPA Inquiry

The Metropolitan Police Authority ("MPA") instigated an Inquiry into the case of Sergeant Gurpal Virdi, following the contradictory findings of:

  • the Metropolitan Police ("MPS") Disciplinary Tribunal and
  • the London North Employment Tribunal

The following extract from the Submission of Michael J L Turner dated 5 May 2001 to the
Metropolitan Police Authority's PS Gurpal Virdi Inquiry
is archived at:

http://www.computerevidence.co.uk/Cases/Virdi/MPA/Submission.htm


Computer evidence in the case

In my submission there never was any case against PS Virdi, without the computer evidence.

Such computer evidence as existed did not link PS Virdi with the racist letters.

I have attached relevant extracts from my report to the Employment Tribunal and I adopt those extracts as part of my submission to the present Inquiry. My report is 83 pages in length, excluding several hundred pages of exhibits

I attach a copy of the Summary of Computer Evidence in section 14 at pages 63 - 68 and of the Conclusions in section 19 at pages 82 - 83 of my report.

For a summary of the issues relating to the computer evidence, please also see the attached copy of my article published in Computers and Law, February/March 2001.

MPS investigation - Assumptions

In my submission, all the assumptions made in the initial investigation were unjustified.

No.

My conclusion

Attached report extract

1

The allegations are based on an untenable set of interdependent and partly circular assumptions

Identified in section 4, page 16.

Reviewed in section 17, pages 73 - 78.

MPS investigation - Methodology

In my submission, the methods used by MPS to handle the computer evidence were seriously deficient in a large number of respects:

No.

Conclusion

Attached report extract

2

The methods used to seize, secure and forensically copy all the evidence were totally inadequate and did not comply with the principles and practice guidelines set out in the ACPO/ MPS Principles of Computer Based Evidence

Section 18, pages 79 - 81

3

The investigation failed to secure large quantities of relevant computer evidence, either timeously or at all

Section 18, pages 79 - 81

4

Relevant computer evidence was contaminated by an attempted forensic examination of the original evidence

Section 18, pages 79 - 81

5

The methods used to investigate the allegations were based on an invalid, unscientific, and untested forensic technique

Sections 3.3 - 3.4, pages 10 - 13

MPS investigation - Conclusions

In my submission, the computer evidence did not support the conclusions reached by the MPS investigators.

No.

Conclusion

Attached report extract

9

The interpretation of the computer evidence by the technical witnesses is mere technical speculation

Passim

10

All the critical evidence is of poor reliability

Section 15, page 69 - 70

11

All the critical evidence is of questionable admissibility

Section 16, page 71 - 72

12

The computer evidence does not link Sergeant Virdi with either set of racist letters beyond reasonable doubt

Section 14 at pages 63 - 68

13

The computer evidence does not link Sergeant Virdi with either set of racist letters on the balance of probabilities

Section 14 at pages 63 - 68

14

The computer evidence available does not help answer the question on the balance of probabilities:

Who created and printed the racist documents?

Section 14 at pages 63 - 68

15

The computer evidence available does not help answer the question on the balance of probabilities:

Did Mr Virdi create and print the racist documents?

Section 14 at pages 63 - 68

 


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