Reviewed by: Peter Adams
Author: James Edmiston
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
The Sterling Redemption is a story of alleged skulduggery and, possibly, criminal acts in the form of alleged perverting of the course of justice by the authorities, and it should be bedside reading for everybody who believes in the rule of law.
The story bears a strong resemblance to the Matrix Churchill affair. It is this: James Edmiston owned a successful manufacturer of light machine guns – the Sterling Armaments Company. Sterling accepted and packaged for delivery a legitimate order for Jordan, but at the docks these were seized by Customs, which asserted that they comprised an unlawful order destined for Iraq. A slow process of prosecution followed. James was acquitted following a month-long trial, but in the process he lost the company, and ultimately his home and marriage.
Following the Matrix Churchill trial, the Scott Inquiry uncovered communication between Customs and the Foreign Office which may have been intended to put pressure on the Jordanian embassy to stop witnesses appearing for the defence. The matter of whether this was illegal or not has never been tested in court.
Edmiston has received compensation. But how do you compensate a person for the destruction of his career, and the loss of his home and marriage? It is a truly shocking story, and the troubling part is that it is likely to be repeated unless lessons are learned.
The book is written in narrative style by Edmiston, and Lawrence Kormornick, who acted for him; it is an easy read and not long. It has been written in succession to The Sterling Years: Small Arms and the Men.
To lawyers it is the underlying story of miscarriage of justice exposed that will be both fascinating and outrageous.
Peter Adams is director of A4 Consulting Ltd