Tuesday, 26 March 2013

McCORMICK TAKES THE STAND

Yesterday McCormick took to the witness stand for the first time in his trial on fraud charges, to be questioned by his Defence Barrister, Mr Laidlaw Q.C.

As anticipated, his defence is based on the claim that he really believed the ADE651 really does work to detect explosives, narcotics etc. (See below for the latest report from The Guardian).

McCormick is portraying the ADE651 as something that should only be used to identify an area or building that requires further investigation using other methods, as opposed to being a pinpointing tool. This is similar to claims made by David Vollmar of Unival in Germany for the HEDD1 (previously Sniffex/Sniffex Plus). It is possible that the Prosecution may look to question this based on published sales and promotional literature.

In addition to the report from the Guardian, I can reveal a few other details from yesterday in Court.

The trial will continue for at least another two weeks. It is adjourned for today, and will start again tomorrow, with the Defence continuing to question McCormick, followed by cross examination by the Prosecution, probably lasting until the end of Thursday. The case will then adjourn until the 9 April, when the prosecution is scheduled to sum up. Defence to sum up 10 April, and Judge to do his summing up on 11 April. The Jury will then be asked to consider their verdict (please note that this is a provisional timetable).

I don't want to double up on information in the Guardian article, but can add the following points from the Defence questioning of McCormick. As those of you that have been following the case know, there are reporting restrictions which prevent us from revealing a lot of the background and history as to how McCormick came to sell the ADE100/101, and subsequently the ADE650 and 651.

McCormick explained that he first became interested in security products around 1999/2000, when his previous business selling predominantly walkie talkies and pagers was declining due to the growth in mobile telecoms.

McCormick was asked how he had first encountered Stelian Ilie of Mira Telecom in Romania, who became his agents for Eastern Europe. He stated that he had met Ilie via his previous work selling telecoms/radio equipment, and that the company Ilie worked for at the time had been one of his customers. He detailed how Ilie had introduced the ADE to the Romanian market because of a need to identify drugs being transported from Turkey. He claimed that the device could also detect people who had consumed drugs, and that was why the ADE651 sometimes generated "false positive" indications for drug shipments.

McCormick sold the ADE651 to a variety of agents, who then sold it on to end users. One particularly interesting aspect of the evidence was that the Iraq sales were conducted via at least four different companies, including Mira Telecom.

In the case of the sales to the UN in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the first order was for five units. He then tried to tender for a further 80, but claims that since he was not UN registered, his tender ran into problems. Apparently the UN had also carried out testing that suggested the device may not operate as claimed. McCormick was asked to produce independent evaluations to support his claims, but he stated that he was unable to do so in the timeframe required, although he did not specify what that timeframe was. Instead he supplied the UN with a list of previous customers, suggesting that UNIFIL procurement office make contact with them on the basis that they would back up his claims. In the context of UN requests for supporting evidence McCormick stated that:

"I have nothing to hide......and every confidence that end users would respond positively." He also criticised the testing that had suggested problems, by stating that the tests had not taken into account that the ADE was "...designed to narrow down the area when further equipment would then be required." McCormick maintains that whenever rigorous double blind testing was carried out on this type of device that suggested it is ineffective, there was always something wrong with the tests and not the device.

Throughout his evidence McCormick endeavours to suggest that demonstrations are the equivalent of proper rigorous testing, and that anecdotal customer testimonials from such demos are valid evidence of effectiveness.

Defence counsel took McCormick through invoices showing sales he had made via various agents to, for example, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Niger, Kenya, Thailand, China, Mexico, India, Hong Kong and Iraq, following which he claims he never received any complaints, other than a request for repairs to one unit sold to a hotel in Bahrain which the customer suggested had stopped working, and which McCormick replaced.

It will be fascinating to see how the Prosecution counsel handles his cross-examination of McCormick, scheduled to commence after lunch on Thursday this week. There are a lot of pertinent questions.

GUARDIAN ARTICLE HERE








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