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By John Helmer, Moscow

It’s an evil place which keeps evil secrets of murder. Leicester town (lead, logo) is one.

The ancient and the recent secrets in this place form a line between five hundred years of falsification of the death of King Richard III on August 22, 1485; the delayed coroner’s findings on the death of Richard Mayne on July 17, 2014; and the still hidden pathologists’ report on the death of Dawn Sturgess on June 30, 2018.  The public papers of all three are propaganda  concealing the truth of crimes for the benefit of potentates in London, one hundred miles to the south of Leicester.

An almost invisible and crooked line but a direct one connects Leicester,  its university,  its coronial court and coroner, the university’s forensic professors,  and a Leicester newspaper from the Battle of Bosworth Field, to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and several poisonings attributed by the British Crown to Russian assasssins between March and June of 2018.

This is how to draw the line, and the lesson to be drawn from it.

As putsch and assassination propaganda goes, the London Times, Guardian, and New York Times aren’t a patch on what William Shakespeare did for the Tudor usurpers of the English kingdom after the Battle of Bosworth Field, near Leicester, in 1485.

At that battle the army of Richard III, the English king, was defeated by a force of French, Breton, Scots,  and Welsh mercenaries, plus English opportunists,  paid by Henry Tudor. Richard was murdered on the field by Henry’s men to prevent his surviving to challenge the putsch which stole his crown and turned Henry into the king. Richard’s body was paraded,  stripped and mutilated,  through the streets of Leicester, then dumped in a monastery grave. That disappeared when Henry’s succeeding son Henry VIII expropriated the monastery and its lands.

Henry’s successors included Elizabeth I whom Shakespeare dared not offend. Accordingly, he justified Richard’s overthrow in a play  which was first staged in 1594 when Elizabeth still had nine years to go. But as the queen had not produced an heir, there was considerable speculation and scheming on who should take power next.  

Shakespeare portrays Richard as a physical weakling, coward, pathological killer, sexually ambiguous,  ugly and hump-backed. All of this was false.  Getting rid of the body and its tell-tale wounds was only the start. Pre-dating the start of Henry Tudor’s rule to the day before the battle, then executing the surviving commanders of Richard’s army, followed. Doctoring portraits of Richard came next. Shakespeare’s Richard III added another 429 years of propaganda to this faking operation.

Until, that is, a woman named Philippa Langley spent twelve years to find Richard’s grave in Leicester; exhume the skeleton; prove the identification;  and ultimately bury the king royally in Leicester Cathedral. Langley reversed the criminal and the victim in the history. But in the recent film of how she did it, the lying, scheming rapacity of the University of Leicester and the Leicester City Council have also been exposed publicly.

The film is called The Lost King.  Langley’s telling of the story can be read here

Left to right: Richard III in the surviving official portrait which X-rays have revealed to have been altered; the execution wounds to the king’s skull as photographed in 2014; the reconstruction of Richard’s face from his skull; an official portrait of Henry Tudor.  The forensic analysis of Richard’s skeleton was reported in The Lancet by Leicester university pathologist Dr Guy Rutty and others; Dr Michael Biggs supervised the scanning of the skeleton.   Their report reveals the fatal blows were inflicted on Richard after his battle helmet had been removed. “The injuries are highly consistent with the body having been in a prone position or on its knees with the head pointing downwards. If the head was in a neutral position, it is hard to see how this injury would be caused, because there are no other skeletal injuries; the head had to be forward and flexed from the neck to expose this part of the head and cervical spine… the postcranial trauma was probably delivered after the torso had been stripped of the plates and arming doublet.” This is evidence of execution of a disarmed man. Stab wounds also identified on the body had been inflicted after he had been stripped of his armour. In addition, a sword or dagger wound through the buttocks was inflicted on the king’s corpse when he was strapped across a horse.

Richard Mayne (right) died when the Malaysia Airlines flight he was on was shot down over the Donbass battlefield on July 17, 2014. Mayne was
in seat 18G of the main economy-class cabin.  His body was recovered intact, and returned to Leicester with a Ukrainian death certificate. A post-mortem was carried out by Dr Michael Biggs of  the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit of the University of Leicester.  Biggs then
testified on the cause of Mayne’s death at the Leicester coroner’s court inquest, presided over by Senior Coroner Catherine Mason.

Mason had opened the inquest on September 2014. The cases of Mayne and four other British passengers killed on MH17 – John Alder, Liam Sweeney, Ben Pocock and Glenn Thomas — were combined. This was the first judicial hearing into the facts of the MH17 shootdown conducted in public according to the requirements of the UK Coroners Act   and according to the rules of evidence of Anglo-American law. Mason postponed it immediately.*

She was asked at the time how many MH17 victim inquests she was conducting and their individual names. What circumstances, she was asked, “have you deemed to be appropriate for suspension in these cases? Have you delegated authority for evidence-gathering and forensic testing in these cases to another body, British or foreign? To whom has this delegation been made, and on what authority?” Finally, Mason was asked what post-mortem or autopsy evidence of the victims’ remains she was holdng.

Mason refused to answer. A source at her court said Mason was deferring “while inquiries are conducted abroad.” The source implied the British government had decided to rely on the Dutch for evidence.  

In fact, Mason was getting her running orders from London and her evidence from the Metropolitan Police’s special officers covering Russia,  who were in turn coordinating with MI6 and other security agencies.  Mason was no stranger to these operations. Before she became a coroner, Mason had been a captain in the British army’s nursing corps;  a specialist in burns and explosives; she had done a tour with British combat forces in the Middle East and after a vehicle accident she was reassigned by the government to the Leicester coroner’s court.

Mason reopened the Mayne inquest on July 1, 2022, combining it with inquests for Alder, Sweeney, Pocock and Thomas. At that time, the Dutch court had concluded its hearings but had not delivered a verdict. That did not come until four and half months later, in November 2022.  The  final public presentation by the Dutch investigators followed in February 2023.    

The Anglo-American rules of evidence are far stricter than the Dutch court and law allow.   Secret witnesses and secret reports in The Netherlands are not permitted in a British coroner’s court. The UK statute — like the Australian one* —  is also prohibitive: “a determination under subsection (1)(a) may not be framed in such a way as to appear to determine any question of— (a)criminal liability on the part of a named person…”  

Ignoring this, for her evidence in the inquest on Mayne and the others, Mason took hearsay from the police and MI6 in London.  This came from Dominic Murphy, who is reported to have testified in Mason’s court last July 1. Murphy’s official title is Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) in the Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police (Met).   In operational terms, he is charge of the Met’s war crimes team; this has publicly announced it is gathering evidence from the regime in Kiev for alleged war crimes committed by Russia. According to Murphy, he is supporting the British prosecution of President Vladimir Putin at the International Criminal Court (ICC).    

Murphy has also been directly involved in the alleged Novichok attacks of 2018 on Sergei and Yulia Skripal  and the investigation of the death of Dawn Sturgess. For that and related work he was rewarded by the government with a Queen’s Police Medal in December 2019.   In the same awards list, three of Murphy’s Wiltshire and Thames Valley police colleagues also engaged in the Skripal-Sturgess cases  were given rewards – Francis Habgood, David Minty, and Paul Mills.  Follow the medals here.  

Forensically and legally, in the Mayne inquest Mason had the duty to cross-examine both Murphy’s police evidence indirectly sourced from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and the medical evidence taken directly at autopsy by the pathologist Michael Biggs.

At Leicester University, Biggs is a friend and colleague of Dr Guy Rutty. Together, they have co-authored forensic research papers.   They also collaborated in the analysis of Richard III’s remains, concluding from the pattern and nature of the pre-mortem and post-mortem wounds that most likely he had been executed after surrender and his corpse mutilated.

Left: Associate Professor Michael Biggs supervising scanning of Richard III’s remains.   Centre: Detective Chief Superintendent Dominic Murphy at Scotland Yard; right, Senior Coroner Catherine Mason.

Rutty is one of two government pathologists responsible for the post-mortem of Dawn Sturgess.  This means that Biggs’ and Rutty’s reports are the principal sources for the conclusions already announced by government officials of Russian state culpability in the deaths of Mayne and of Sturgess. Rutty did not testify at the Sturgess inquest before it was converted last year into a public inquiry, though part of his report had been referred to earlier in the coroner’s record by Baronness Heather Hallett in March 2021.   Hallett was then replaced and the coroner’s inquest turned into a public inquiry which  has postponed open hearings for at least another year. Click to follow.  

By email at his Leicester office Biggs was asked this week “whether you found evidence of an earlier post-mortem by the Ukrainians at the Kharkov mortuary and/ or by the team at the Dutch Hilversun mortuary after the bodies were first repatriated? Did you record evidence of shrapnel or other metal in the post-mortems you carried out in Leicester? What cause of death did you record? What cause of death did the Ukrainian death certificates record for the British subjects you assessed?”

Biggs was also asked to explain a newspaper report of what he had said to Mason in court last July. “You are quoted as saying: ‘There may have been people in the aircraft killed by the missile.’ What was the evidential basis for your reference to the missile? Were you relying on the court testimony of DCS Murphy?”

Biggs refused to answer. Instead, through a spokesman he claimed: “We are not permitted to release post-mortem reports, as although we produce the reports they effectively belong to HM Coroner, and only HM Coroner can authorise their release.   The specific office who dealt with these cases can be contacted via  Similarly, when it comes to answering specific queries then all such enquiries need to be made via HM Coroner’s office, as they must be kept informed of all communications  relating to their cases…It may also be worthwhile contacting the journalist who wrote the online article in your provided link, as they may have made notes of additional details during the court discussions that are not included in the online article.”

The reporter Biggs was referring to was Tom Mack. This is his report in the Leicester Mercury from the coroner’s court on July 1, 2022.  Mack was asked four questions about what he had heard in court:

Mack has refused to reply.

Coroner Mason was asked for the status of the postponed inquests because an internet search of her court’s case archive had returned the response: “no matching records found”. There was no answer from Mason.

Source: https://coroners.leicester.gov.uk/

She was then asked to provide the records of her public hearing of July 1, 2022, including the witness list, the police, pathologist and other witness testimony, and a copy of the inquest findings.

There has been no reply. This is unlawful concealment of a public record.

Apart from reporters present in the Leicester court who have published part of what they heard, the only official record which has been unearthed of Mason’s MH17 inquest is a 5-paragraph, single-page “Record of Inquest”:

Section 5(2) of the Coroners and Justice Act authorises Mason to “ascertain[ing] in what circumstances the deceased came by his or her death”.  This did not allow Mason to assign criminal responsibility to “Pro-Russian Separatists” for causing the deaths of Mayne and the others. Mason lacked legal power to accept and adopt by implication the named accused in the Dutch trial who were identified by the Met policeman in his court testimony.

Murphy had said, according to the Leicester Mercury, “Russian-backed separatists had been coming under fire from Ukraine’s air force and so a Buk missile system was sent to the separatists from Russia to shoot down Ukrainian bombers. Instead, the system was used to shoot down flight MH17… Detective Chief Supt Murphy said a report by Dutch investigators concluded the missile’s warhead had exploded just above the cockpit, killing the three crew members immediately before the plane broke up in the air, falling from a height of 33,000ft to the ground below. Fragments inside the wreckage helped identify the type of missile used and photographic evidence was found showing the system being transported from Russia.”

Murphy’s references to “a report by Dutch investigators” and “photographic evidence” have been traced to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and discredited as inadmissible in an Anglo-American court of law; in secret, Australian police had told the Dutch prosecutors this much in early 2016.    Corroborating satellite pictures from the US have failed to substantiate the claims;  Dutch military intelligence reports also do not substantiate Murphy’s evidence.   Follow the book of evidence in the Dutch trial.

Left to right: the newspaper of Leicester owned by Trinity Mirror, also known as Reach Plc, one of the largest newspaper groups in the UK and virulently anti-Russian. Its share price has collapsed by 67% since the war began. Centre, Major-General Onno Eichelsheim, who was head of the Dutch military intelligence agency (MIVD) in 2016, when he reported there was no radar or satellite intelligence from a US or NATO source to corroborate the firing of a Russian BUK missile at MH17 from a location on either side of the Ukrainian border.  Right, the only book published in English of the forensic evidence in the case and the attempts by the Dutch court to exclude or ignore it.

But Mason repeated the fabrications in court, announcing: “what we do know is that a Buk missile system was brought into eastern Ukraine and that a surface-to-air missile was fired. I am satisfied that MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Russian separatists.”  

Mason’s conclusion has been turned into state propaganda for the war against Russia. Dramatising this, the Leicester Mercury  and the Guardian  aren’t up to the Shakespearian standard for falsifying the evidence of the crime. The new Leicester fabrications aren’t buried as deeply as Richard III; it may happen they may be uncovered and exposed more swiftly.   

[*] Following Mason’s 2014 postponement, only two other coroner’s court inquests for MH17 victims have followed. On December 15, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia, deputy coroner Iain West took sworn evidence from an Australian Federal Police officer and a state pathologist. Follow the evidence here.  In his 11-page coroner’s ruling the next day, West said:  “I find that each of the 17 Victorian deceased died of injury sustained in a high altitude disruption.” The coroner did not identify weapon, perpetrator, or criminal cause. “Whilst the evidence before me enables me to find that the deaths of the 17 Victorian residents were the result of the actions of another person or persons, I am not able to make any findings as to who caused the deaths. I note that the criminal investigation of the crash is ongoing. It is the role of the criminal investigation to assign criminal responsibility or blame for the deaths.”  Click to read in full.  

The legal and propaganda differences between West’s inquest findings and Mason’s inquest record are obvious. Mason’s document is a fabrication against the law.  

There was a second Australian coroner’s court inquest; this took place in Sydney in May 2016. In that case, the coroner overruled a legal warning from the Crown Solicitor not to draw conclusions of criminal responsibility from inadequate evidence. The coroner then classified the evidence he had relied on as secret. Read the details here.  

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