Sample email referring to the ten attacks on the research assistant's home and "theft" of his research materials.
Presented to the Formal Enquiry Panel as Exhibit 44.
The key passages have been highlighted.
1st December 2003
The existing collaboration agreement between the PedSALi partners ended on October 31st, 2003. I have been sent three copies of a three month extension to the agreement for me to sign. I notice that Dow have not added their signature yet.
I am not sure if it is advisable for Cheshire Innovation to sign and would appreciate some comments from Dow, to help me decide.
1 INCLUSION OF A VEHICLE MANUFACTURER, FOR VEHICLE CRASH TESTS
In order for the PedSALi project to achieve its goals, we need to bring a vehicle manufacturer on board. However, with only nine months of project time left, can we achieve this?
I have two concerns:
1.1 To date, we have no convincing experimental evidence, to encourage a manufacturer to join us.
1.2 If a manufacturer joins us and then discovers that Cheshire Innovation and the University are in contractual dispute over the Smart CrashSALi project, will they think that we have mislead them? I don't want to be blamed for the project going wrong because Cheshire Innovation have failed to reveal vital information.
2 REQUEST TO DOW FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES OF SCONAPOR
The University require more Sconapor because 50% of the pre-expanded Sconapor F038/F438 supplied by Dow for the PedSALi project has either been sabotaged or stolen.
On January 14th, 2003, Dr. Xinqun Zhu informed me that two unopened boxes of Sconapor, sent by Dow from Germany had gone missing. These were large boxes, each holding about one cubic metre of Sconapor, so they were difficult to lose by accident. Dr. Zhu, the technicians and myself conducted an extensive search of the School of Engineering Building and asked a lot of questions, but the boxes were never found.
I suspected that somebody might be trying to intimidate Dr. Zhu or sabotage the PedSALi project because other strange things were happening at this time. Dr. Zhu's home was attacked at least ten times. His telephone lines were cut three times and his television cable ten times. I was aware of these attacks, because I had been negotiating on his behalf, when the telephone company tried to make him pay for the damage.
I held a meeting with Dr. Oyadiji and Professor Wright on January 15th, where I advised that Dow and the police should be informed about the sabotage/theft. I don't think that the matter was reported to the police.
Were Dow informed of what had happened?
3 PRESS PUBLICITY & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Because I'm a private inventor, SALi technology has aroused a lot of media interest in Britain and Europe. In addition, questions have been asked about the PedSALi Project in the British Parliament. (Hansard, House of Commons Debates, 25th October 2001.)
I have recently been contacted by Max Glaskin, a journalist who writes for Auto Express. He wanted an update on the CrashSALi and PedSALi projects, because he was planning to write a "knocking" article which would be critical of car manufactures, suggesting they were ignoring the safety related inventions offered to them by private inventors. On this occasion my reply was, "No comment". I cannot keep repeating this answer to journalists, without them suspecting that there is an interesting story worth investigating.
If the PedSALi project fails to achieve its goals, it would be most unfair to both Dow and Cheshire Innovation, if we were blamed for its failure by politicians or the media. We need to prepare our defence strategy together in advance, in case the worst happens.
On present evidence, the Smart funded CrashSALi project will fail, because of problems at the University, so some bad publicity for my technology is inevitable. I need to minimise this damage.
An advantage of not signing an extension to the existing collaboration agreement is that it sends a very clear signal to the Foresight Secretariat, politicians, media etc., about where responsibility for the problems with the PedSALi project originate.
(i) The University was requesting an extension
to the collaboration agreement because they had fallen 27 months behind
schedule. They implied that one reason for this delay was that they had
done son many tests on the Sconapor material supplied by Dow that they had
run out of materials. This was why they were requesting additional
(ii) Subsequently it emerged that the police were not informed and the answer to Bill's question, "Were Dow informed of what had happened?" was "No".
(iii) Two months after the "theft" of his research materials, the research assistant handed in his resignation. But neither Dow or Bill Courtney were informed until his resignation had been accepted and the research assistant had booked his flight back home to China.