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, 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.
The trial before Mr Justice Thesiger, which was already controversial, achieved greater notoriety when the Government attempted to introduce testimony from three anonymous SIGINT officers, who were successively referred to as Colonel A, Colonel B, and Mr. C.
- 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
- 5 September 1978: Trial opens at the Old Bailey
- 18 September 1978: Trial stopped after jury member exposed as a former SAS officer
- 3 October 1978: Second trial opens
- 24 October 1978: All section 1 charges dropped
- 17 November 1978: Aubrey, Berry and Campbell receive non-custodial sentences
- Campbell, Duncan (1979). Official Secrecy and British Libertarianism
- Aubrey, Crispin (1981). Who's Watching You? Britain's Security Services & the Official Secrets Act (1st ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-022283-9.
- Robertson, Geoffrey (1999). The Justice Game, Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-958191-4
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