Samantha’s lawyer Richard Hall walked into the police station and spoke with the officer on the reception desk who led him straight into C.I Jones’ office. The office configured to seat only 4 people, including the swivel chair behind the desk used by Hilary Jones. Inspector Rigsby was having to make do by leaning against the wall by the door while the MI5 agents interrogated Samantha Conway. Now with a 6th person joining the group, C.I Jones asked the officer from the reception desk to bring in two more chairs. After quick introductions and exchange of legal muscle flexing between MI5 and Richard Hall, the lines of battle were clearly drawn.
Hall: Do you gentlemen suspect my client of any wrongdoing?
Smythe: We are not saying that
Hall: What are you saying then?
Smythe: She is a potential material witness
Hall: How do you base this judgment?
Cavendish: Mr Hall, your client has a husband who is missing, presumed dead by suicide by her own account; she approached a private detective who was mysteriously killed within minutes of her visit; the company her husband worked for is blown sky high and miraculously, she discovered she was a multi millionaire on shares from the very same company. Wouldn’t you say this is ground for us to take interest in her?
Hall: All of what you have said is purely circumstantial, Agent Cavendish. You have to have more solid evidence to detain my client
Cavendish: At this stage, we are not proposing to detain her Mr Hall. All we ask is for her to cooperate with us and answer our questions. Now, if you really insist on your “Circumstantial” argument, I am quite happy to make a phone call and arrange for Mrs Conway to be detained under the “Terrorism Act” for weeks, if not months. What is your next move Mr Hall?
Hall: Would you people excuse my client and me? I would like to speak to her in private if I may
Jones: There is an interrogation room down the hall you are welcome to use
Hall: If it is all the same to you, I would rather step outside and speak to her in the open, like the car park at the back of the building. I have learnt not to trust your interrogation rooms
Cavendish: We are okay with that. Chief Inspector, would you be kind enough and have a couple of police officers keep an eye on them while they talk in the car park?
Sam: What are your thoughts Richard?
Richard Hall was David’s school friend and he always handled their legal affairs from house buying to neighbours disputes, to preparing wills for them both. He was best man at their wedding and was David’s confidant. Sam was impressed and somewhat shocked with Richard’s ability to remain detached and professional given the disappearance of his best friend. However, she was too busy dealing with all the mess she found herself in to go in to that issue or even ask Richard how he felt about David’s disappearance.
Hall: Those agents have little to go on Sam, they need to present us with hard facts. It didn’t help you telling them you have some £20 million worth of shares in David’s company but, what happened happened
Sam: But can they detain me indefinitely as they seem to suggest?
Hall: Theoretically they can but what would they gain from doing that?
Sam: I have no idea. So, what do I do now?
Hall: I know this is unusual but I think you should buy time for 24 hours or so and then go away somewhere for a few days. This way they will concentrate on other leads and leave you alone
Sam: Christ almighty Richard! Are you saying I should go on the run?
Hall: Not exactly, just lie low. I can arrange for you to go somewhere in the country
Sam: How will that help? And for how long do I lie low?
Hall: Just until things cool down a bit
Sam: So, how do I buy 24 hours from these agents?
Hall: Leave it to me; I think I can fix it
Sam: Okay Richard, one other question. You never said anything about David’s disappearance, are you not curious about your best friend’s whereabouts?
Hall: Of course I am. I just feel there are higher priorities to deal with right now
Sam followed Richard Hall to Hilary Jones’ office where the other four were waiting for them. Richard Hall restarted the discussion.
Hall: Gentlemen, my client has nothing to hide and she has given you every piece of information available to her. She is willing to answer further questions provided you put them to her through me.
Smythe: We would like to search her apartment
Hall: Certainly but, you have to get a search warrant first
Smythe: We may just do that. While we are all here, we would like to ask her a couple of questions about her husband’s employer, Global Software
Hall: They are his ex-employer and as I said earlier, please submit the questions to me and I will discuss them with my client
Sam: One moment please
Hall: Sam, leave this to me please
Sam: No I won’t. Richard Hall you are fired, I no longer wish you to represent me
Hall: I beg your pardon?
Sam: You heard me, I no longer wish you to represent me as my lawyer. Chief Inspector Jones, I would like to remain at this station until I arrange for an alternative lawyer if I may
Jones: Yes of course, Mrs Conway
Sam: Now gentlemen, I will be happy to answer your questions as soon as Mr Hall leaves this office. The room fell completely silent for what seemed like eternity. Finally, Richard Hall, red faced with rage, broke the silence. He stood up and pushed his chair back so violently, it toppled over and made a huge noise on the parquet floor, straightened his tie and jacket, picked up his brown leather briefcase and walked out.
Chief Inspector Jones gave the MI5 agents and Samantha Conway her office and she and Inspector Rigsby left them to continue their discussion. For the next 3 hours the two agents went through every detail of Samantha Conway’s story starting with the original argument between her and David before he left for Scotland. They concentrated on her knowledge of Global Software and whether she had any regular contact with people in that company. They asked about the shares and how they came to her possession. They asked if her husband had ever shown signs of unfaithfulness. They asked about their trips abroad and if they visited unusual countries. On and on they questioned her and she surprised herself by how patient she was with them. In those few minutes she spent with Richard Hall walking around the police station car park, Sam concluded that she was in sufficient danger to seek official protection rather than rely on “the system” to give her justice. She also realised there was something worrying about Richard Hall and his advice to her, as well as his casual attitude towards the disappearance of David, his best friend. She decided she no longer trusted him to be her lawyer and she would rather rely on the people in the police station than her own lawyer. It was a risk she instinctively felt she was right to take.
Chief Inspector Hilary Jones was not being courteous or polite offering those two stuck up MI5 agents her office. She was still smarting from the fact that Commander Sir Derek Dedman (Deadly Derek) took her off the case barely hours after giving her the assignment. He had said orders came from the Home Secretary to hand the matter over to MI5 but he declined to elaborate further. C.I Jones felt she had the situation under control and asked for 48 hours but Deadly Derek said no. As soon as she left the MI5 agents and Samantha Conway to continue their discussion, she and Inspector Rigsby took the office next door and continued their investigation as though nothing had changed. It was a risk she was prepared to take and thought: “in case those two clowns mess things up”, she would be ready to pick up the case and bring it to conclusion. Besides, she had some unfinished business of finding out who was behind the assassination of her friend Rob Daley.
Jones: Okay Jack, have you sent someone to bring in Rob Daley’s contact at Vodafone, Tom Willoughby?
Rigsby: It’s Tom Wetherby Ma’am. Indeed I have but I am afraid we have a small problem there.
Jones: Oh! What is the problem?
Rigsby: Tom Wetherby has vanished Ma’am, without a trace
Jones: Jesus Christ! This is getting way out of hand.
Rigsby: I would say so Ma’am. I have never experienced anything like it
Jones: Okay, we will do something about this poor man in due course. Now, let us review what we managed to get out of him before he conveniently disappeared. Rob Daley called him and asked if he could find out the activities of David Conway’s mobile phone. Within the hour he got back to Rob and said a gentleman had reported at one of Vodafone’s showrooms that his phone was damaged in an accident and requested a replacement, which he paid for in cash.
Rigsby: Indeed, this took place the day after David Conway’s alleged suicide
Jones: And the Vodafone shop David Conway walked in to was in Cirencester, right?
Rigsby: indeed, a small town in the Cotswolds Ma’am
Jones: I know Cirencester very well, I have an estate agent friend who lives and works there; we visit each other every now and again. What else did we find out from Tom Wetherby?
Rigsby: There were a number of unlisted incoming calls to David Conway’s number, including three international ones from Jordan, Lebanon and Colombia. There were also a lot of calls in both directions to two specific UK mobile numbers. Neither is to his wife Samantha
Jones: What’s so interesting about that?
Rigsby: They took place before and after his alleged suicide
Jones: In other words, the calls were exchanged using the old mobile phone and the Cirencester phone
Rigsby: Yes Ma’am
Jones: Have we found out the holders of these two numbers yet?
Rigsby: Not quite Ma’am. I have W.P.C Rita Appleby working on that as we speak
Jones: Appleby? Is she good at this sort of thing?
Rigsby: The best Ma’am. She reminds me of you when you were starting out in the Force Ma’am
Jones: Does she now? Okay, let’s hope Constable Appleby lives up to your description Jack
Rigsby: Indeed. What did you make of the dramatic scene between Samantha Conway and her lawyer Ma’am?
Jones: That was great to watch but, I would love to know what took place in the car park; I don’t suppose our officers managed to listen in on their conversation, did they?
Rigsby: I rather doubt it Ma’am. When I looked out of the window, they had kept a fair distance away from Mrs Conway and Mr Hall
Jones; I actually like Samantha Conway and believe she is clean in this messy business. I think she knows more than she thinks she does and we need to help her get it out
Rigsby: I have a theory Ma’am. I reckon her lawyer told her something or advised her to do something against her instinct so, she fired him because her instinct told her to cooperate with us
Jones: Good point Jack! In that case she would be prepared to talk to us after she finishes talking to those arrogant twats from MI5. Make sure she doesn’t leave before we talk to her.
There was a soft knock at the door of the office occupied by C.I Jones and Inspector Rigsby
Jones: Come in!
Appleby: Excuse me Ma’am and Sir, I have found out about the two mobile numbers you asked me to research
Jones: Well done Constable, whose are they?
Appleby: The first number belongs to Steve McGill and the second one to Richard Hall
Jones: Can you repeat these two names again Constable?
To be continued…