Witness: Accused spy met Tony Blair

LONDON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A former British army interpreter on trial for espionage was part of the group meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair in Afghanistan, a witness says.

Daniel James, an Iranian-born salsa dance instructor from Brighton, is charged with passing coded messages to Iran.


Sgt. Gareth Podesta testified that James took pictures as Blair arrived by helicopter at the headquarters of coalition forces in Kabul. Gen. David Richards met Blair accompanied by his security detail, aides and James.

Podesta testified by video link between the courtroom in London's Old Bailey and Afghanistan.

"There was nobody else apart from the general and his close staff, and the protection team such as myself," Podesta said. "It seemed strange why he was there."

James, 45, served in the Territorial Army. He was sent to Afghanistan in 2006 after being called up.

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