9 December 2000: Add Part 2. More extended portions of this paper were posted on former MI5 officer David Shayler's Web site from November 1999 to March 2000. Shayler's site was closed, according to him, after coming under sustained attack.
Another party has provided these postings: http://cryptome.org/markov-file2.htm
8 December 2000
From: Gordon Logan
Subject: The Moscow Coup and MI6's Murders
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 05:36:48 +0300
I am sending the text of a letter that I sent to the British Home Office a few months ago. I have been told that a reply was sent but it hasn't reached me for some reason.
What is it all about? Well, I and Sir Teddy Taylor [letters below] (a British Member of Parliament) are trying to force the British government to investigate two murders that the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) were directly responsible for. They are the 'Bulgarian Umbrella' murder of Georgi Markov in 1978 (a British double agent tricked the Bulgarians into murdering him) and the murder of the newspaper owner Robert Maxwell in 1991. Both murders are related to the failed KGB coup in Moscow in August 1991, with which I was fairly directly connected. A large file exists which gives the evidence for all this in considerable detail. There is now a copy of it in the House of Commons Library in London, although the Security Services had arranged its concealment for some months. Other copies disappeared from my mother's home in Scotland during the spring. At present, the Home Office and the Foreign Office are tossing the ball between them.
This is one of the biggest intelligence stories in years, and is supported by a lot of evidence, which is why the file has been the object of such attention on the part of the British Security Services. For several reasons, these two murders are extremely sensitive matters for MI6/SIS and if they are even discussed in the media, there will be 'hell to pay', which is the main reason for the new top level censorship committee that was set up in London earlier this year. These matters are still playing an important role in determining certain international events even today, nine years after the coup, and twenty-two years after Markov's death. (Notice for example, how the Foreign Office cozies up to Moscow while the rest of the European Union has been giving the Russians the cold shoulder because of Chechnya.)
If you are interested and would like more information, I would be glad to supply it. In any case I would be grateful if you would e-mail me an acknowledgment of receiving this, since my e-mail has sometimes been behaving strangely lately.
Gordon E. H. I. Logan
The English Language Centre,
Jubail Industrial College,
P.O. Box 10099, Jubail Industrial City 31961, Saudi Arabia
Tel. +966 3 340 2138 Fax +966 3 340 2009
30th September 2000
Intelligence and Security Liaison Unit,
50 Queen Anne's Gate,
London SW1H 9AT
Thank you for your letter dated 26th May regarding my mailing to a number of Members of Parliament regarding my allegations of MI6 involvement in the murders of Georgi Markov and Robert Maxwell. I am glad to hear that the Members of Parliament concerned have gone to the trouble of bothering the Intelligence and Security Liaison Unit with these copious and well-founded accusations. Following my mailing, I sent a file of about 120 pages to Sir Teddy Taylor MP in February concerning the murders, and how they were related to the abortive KGB-led Moscow coup in August 1991. Sir Teddy wrote to me to say that the 'frightening and fascinating' file would be placed in the documents section of the House of Commons library. The day after the file arrived in the Commons, it was reported that ex-President Bush telephoned ex-President Yeltsin.
I left Britain a week later for the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, and gave some of the few existing copies of the file to my mother, who placed them in her bedroom. I regret to say that when I returned to Britain some months later, she told me that these copies were missing. Since I received several threats and warnings during these months, I can only conclude that the Security Services were taking routine precautions to ensure that my family would not have any incriminating material to hand in the event of my succumbing to sudden health problems in some convenient foreign jurisdiction.
The covert entry of my mother's house is merely further evidence against Britain's Security Services and the unique unaccountability that has been created to conceal their cock-ups and crimes. After the arrival of the Markov file in the Commons library (where it was promptly concealed and could only be found after Sir Teddy threatened the librarians with another copy), and the burglary at my mother's house, somebody posted two long and damning articles by me on David Shayler's website on March 16th. Three days later, on 19th March, the Observer, in two articles, drew attention to the uncensorability of the Internet, and with the headline: 'Shayler - the truth is out there on the Net', directed its readers to www.shayler.com. As if that wasn't enough, the Observer ran a third article, headlined 'Why the spooks are out to get us', and announced in a further headline that 'The free press has been declared the enemy in a new cold war being waged by the secret services'.
Any semblance of a free press in Britain has had to be abandoned because MI6's murderers are clumsier than a village drunk. The troublesome Princess Diana 'destroyed herself' according to the Daily Mail, as if a Fiat Uno and an ambulance that took an hour to get to a hospital a few minutes away had nothing to do with it. Richard Dearlove, who was visiting the British Embassy in Paris on the night of Diana's death, didn't manage to stop the Princess from 'destroying herself', but that didn't stop him getting a knighthood and being made DG of MI6 last year.
Because of MI6's involvement in obvious murders, JIC Chairman Michael Pakenham has had to create a top secret committee the existence of which has leaked (Sunday Times, May 21st). Its job is to manage the 'gagging of the British media' as it hasn't been gagged for years, ostensibly because of an article that appeared in October 1999. Of course the fact that the media are gagged cannot be excessively publicized, so not a single newspaper has dared to campaign for the lifting of the gag. They merely report it, then carry on business as usual.
Does any other country outside the Third World put up with this sort of nonsense? I doubt it. But then no other developed country has Security Services so foolish and indiscreet (e.g. Baroness Park, who bragged about the Markov murder on 'Panorama', for God's sake) that they are obliged to assign the job of keeping their secrets to the mass media.
With regard to the Markov murder, it would be useful if the investigators (if such have ever really existed) established who in fact removed the metal pellet from Mr. Markov's thigh. From the accounts of the doctors at the time of the inquest, it seems that none of them actually removed the pellet. It seems it was not found by Dr. Crompton during the autopsy in London, but was instead found at Porton Down by Dr. Gall on the surface of the skin of the piece of flesh taken from Markov's thigh. That would mean of course that the Security Services must have removed the pellet themselves in transit to Porton Down, in order to ensure its discovery and the exploitation of Mr. Markov's death, and Mrs. Markov's grief, for propaganda purposes.
These (and other) murders must be the subject of serious and honest investigation, and the old public school bullies that run the Security Services must be removed, so that these organizations can be placed on a legal foundation similar to that of normal countries. The present clumsy muzzling of the press is bound to fail.
Surprisingly, the Foreign Office has still not come up with a denial, although I have an old letter from the former Head of Chancery in Sofia, advising me to 'take care to refute any suggestion of British involvement in Mr. Markov's death'. So far, all the 'Foreign Office' has done is burgle my mother's bedroom, monkey around in the House of Commons library, and set up a press gagging committee.
Since you received my accusations from a Member of Parliament, I think that it is a matter of elementary respect to the House of Commons to ensure not merely that there is a public reply, but to ensure that Mrs. MacDermott and Mrs. Bartlett are investigated and questioned. How does Mrs. MacDermott (who earned very little convertible currency during her many years as a teacher in Bulgaria), manage to live comfortably? Have her sources of income been examined? Does she deny receiving the Order of Cyril and Methodius? Why was the citation never published in 1979, if she did not receive it for organizing the third and final attempt to kill Georgi Markov? Has British diplomat Graham Wicks been questioned? He turned gray when I suggested to him in 1991 that Mrs. MacDermott was a double agent, and behind the Markov murder. Mrs MacDermott was on excellent terms with President Zhivkov (she called him 'Todor'), and with Alexander Lilov, who was directly responsible for the suppression of dissidents like Georgi Markov. When Mercia MacDermott slipped the idea of getting rid of Markov, she did it with a one liner: "He's not very discreet is he?" Baroness Park bragged about MI6 getting a person murdered with that one line. If she claims that Georgi Markov wasn't the victim, then somebody should ask the Baroness who the victim was.
I have revised two of the articles in the Markov File, and removed a couple of inaccuracies. The rest of the file stands, and needs to be answered, and the British Parliament has a right to an answer.
From: Gordon Logan
To: John Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: The Moscow Coup and MI6's Murders
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 02:05:14 +0300
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. You may publish the letter that I e-mailed on 5th December. I am now sending you a brief introduction to the Markov File, along with a slightly updated version of the article that started it all when I posted it on David Shayler's website at the begining of November 1999. You're welcome to publish these too. I will also fax you some relevant documents in substantiaton.
The file now known as the 'Markov File', is a compilation of documents that was placed in the British House of Commons Library in February 2000, and then disappeared. Other copies of the file, which had been kept at the author's home, disappeared also, following a covert entry by the Security Services. Following complaints, the House of Commons copy reappeared again in August 2000, by which time the Joint Intelligence Committee had set up a top level censorship committee, the existence of which was reported in the Sunday Times on 21st May. Some of the material in the file was posted on former MI5 officer David Shayler's web site in November 1999, and caused the Security Services to heavily spam the site for months so as to make the material difficult to access.
The file describes how the Secret Intelligence Service (also known as MI6) used a double agent to trick the communist Bulgarian Intelligence Service into murdering the Bulgarian writer and broadcaster Georgi Markov in London in September 1978 in circumstances that would be very embarrassing for the Bulgarians. Markov was unpopular with powerful colleagues at the BBC, who were connected with the British Security Services, and was excessively critical of the BBC's much vaunted 'neutrality'. Subsequently, in August 1985, it was revealed in the British press that BBC Foreign Section Heads were required to sign the Official Secrets Act, and were in effect in double employment.
In 1985, the Bulgarians uncovered the double agent that had tricked them into murdering Markov. Her discovery (she was a British woman who had posed for years as a communist) gave the KGB and the Bulgarians a powerful weapon that they have used periodically against the Foreign Office ever since - notably to prevent the arrest of the Bulgarian culprits and to induce Western complicity in two attempts to bring down reforming governments - successfully in 1992 and unsuccessfully in April 2000.
The file also describes how British newspaper owner Robert Maxwell received compromising documents relating to the Markov case from former Communist Prime Minister, Andrei Lukanov in September 1991 - thus resulting in Maxwell's murder by MI6 a few months later, and a very crude media cover-up in Britain, necessitated by the damning evidence pointing to Maxwell's murder that had appeared in the French press.
Lastly, the file contains a documented account of the abortive KGB-led Moscow Coup of August 1991, which was triggered by events in Bulgaria, in which the author was directly involved.
The author is motivated by his knowledge of the incompetence of MI6 in the Cold War and since, and by its refusal to accept any significant oversight by the British Government and the British Parliament, while interfering in domestic politics by means of leaks aimed at damaging governments and individual ministers who dare to show the slightest independence in their dealings with the Security Services. The latter have proved by their murders and the legislation that they have forced through Parliament that they have no respect whatever for law and traditional liberties.
Copyright Gordon Logan 2000
Revised and corrected, December 2000
Introduction: This was the first of a series of articles that first appeared on renegade MI5 officer David Shaylers web site in November 1999, and caused an avalanche of spam from Britain's political police. Somebody reposted it on 16th March and the following Sunday, The Observer directed its readers to www.shayler.com with the headline Shayler - the truth is out there on the Net'. Significantly, Shayler closed down his website before returning to face trial in Britain. The closure of the website, which was a unique forum and inaccessible to Britain's political police, was no doubt a condition for Shayler's return to Britain after over two years of exile. The story was being investigated by at least three journalists until Whitehalls Joint Intelligence Committee implemented the most severe censorship clampdown for many years (Observer, 19.3.00) by creating a special top-level gagging committee, headed by the JIC Chairman himself, Michael Pakenham (Sunday Times, 21.5.00). Both newspapers deplored the new censorship restrictions in unambiguous terms, just once, and went no further, no doubt because being censored is not something that newspapers care to boast about.
The author spent twelve years in Bulgaria from 1980 to 1992. He investigated the Bulgarian umbrella murder (of defector and BBC broadcaster Georgi Markov in 1978). An MI6 double agent was responsible for tricking the Bulgarian communists into killing Georgi Markov in London in 1978, in circumstances that would clearly identify the culprits, thus creating a unique propaganda opportunity. Some years later, in 1985, The Observer discovered that the Security Services were involved in the management of the BBC, and that an MI5 officer was responsible for the political vetting of job applicants. This interference was justified by suggestions of the possibility of British subjects being involved in the murder of Markov, who had been working at the BBC before his death. On the very day of The Observers awkward BBC disclosures, a story conveniently surfaced in the Sunday Telegraph saying that Scotland Yard was investigating the possible involvement of British subjects in the Markov murder.
Six years after that, in April 1991, the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency announced the code names of two non-Bulgarians that received medals in 1979 for their involvement in the Markov murder. The author identifies the two agents, one of whom was a British double agent who now lives in Britain. Baroness Park referred to the agent, a woman, on the BBC's Panorama in 1994, when praising the work of female agents in the Cold War, and also described her role in causing a murder, which was in fact the Markov murder. CIA officer Aldrich Ames betrayed the agent to the KGB in 1985.
Robert Maxwell was murdered by MI6 in 1991 because, eight weeks prior to his death, he had received transcripts and audio cassettes of the agents interrogation that would have incriminated MI6. The widow of Georgi Markov has been manipulated by the British security services for over twenty years, spending a large amount of her own money in futile attempts to bring her husbands murderers to justice. She will be glad to know that, thanks to the author, Georgi Markov's murder led fairly directly to the downfall of the Soviet Union, which is described with considerable documentation in the 'Markov File' currently in the House of Commons library in London. This article is from the file.
1. The link between the murders of Georgi Markov and Robert Maxwell
The murder of British media magnate Robert Maxwell was MI6's most costly blunder (for Cap'n Bob's pensioners at least). A video of the second autopsy (the real one, for his life assurance) was made in Israel and was the subject of extensive coverage in the French magazine Paris Match in January 1992. Maxwell had been beaten up in his stateroom so as to get him to divulge the numbers of the combination lock of his safe. He was finally stabbed in the abdomen and thrown overboard. Of course, all this was ignored by the British media, and certainly by Maxwells MI6 approved biographer Tom Bower. Why was it considered necessary to murder Maxwell? Well, eight weeks prior to his murder he had received a visit from Andrei Lukanov, the former communist Prime Minister of Bulgaria, who was probably Maxwell's closest associate in the Eastern Bloc. Lukanov gave Maxwell a selection of documents, including no doubt audiocassettes, from the Markov file.
The documents related to the famous Bulgarian umbrella case - the murder of Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov in London in September 1978. In 1991, a report appeared in the Bulgarian press to the effect that an unknown person had paid a Bulgarian state security officer the sum of fifty thousand dollars in Singapore to have the file concealed. Though the document published in support of the claim was a canard, the claim itself was probably true, and raised the interesting question of what organization might be willing to pay the Bulgarian State Security a large sum of money in convertible currency to have the Markov file removed from circulation. A copy of the Markov file existed in the central KGB files in Moscow, and was hastily removed from public access at MI6's request after the Moscow coup of August 1991.
In fact, two defectors were attacked in 1978: Markov on September 7th and another defector, Vladimir Kostov, in Paris a few weeks earlier. Both attacks involved the use of platinum pellets containing the very potent toxin, ricin. Two Bulgarian defectors, two pellets - the culprits were obvious. The truth however is not so simple. The organizer of the killings was none other than a remarkable British double agent, Mrs. Mercia MacDermott, who must certainly have been betrayed by Aldrich Ames in 1985, when her star in Bulgaria visibly began to decline. After her unmasking she remained in Bulgaria for a few more years as part of the cover-up. Her detection provided the Bulgarian State Security with a trump card that permitted it to take outrageous liberties with the Markov investigation after the end of the Cold War.
Mrs. MacDermott was and is a well-known name in Bulgaria. During the seventies, she distinguished herself by surpassing the efforts of communist hacks in writing readable biographies of the country's national heroes, and became known in the Bulgarian press as Bulgarias great friend. She was greatly respected by Alexander Lilov, Politburo member responsible for ideology (and dissidents), who in 1978 was seeking (with KGB approval) to become the heir of the long-standing Bulgarian dictator, Todor Zhivkov. It was decided to have Markov murdered on Zhivkov's birthday. Markov had been staked out in London prior to his murder by another elderly English lady, a Mrs Bartlett, who of course had no idea she was really working for MI6. Immediately before the killing, Mrs. Bartlett was conveniently flown to Sofia, where she still lives.
The MI6 veteran, Baroness Park (now retired), in a remarkably indiscrete tribute to female secret agents, referred to the murder of Markov in a Panorama interview a few years ago, when she explained how MI6 liked to get their enemies to do their dirty work for them. That Markov should be got rid of was suggested by one short sentence in Alexander Lilovs ear: "He's not very discrete, is he?" Once the communists had failed twice to kill Markov, Mrs. Macdermott intervened a second time with the cunning suggestion of the telltale poison pellets, which resulted in the attacks of Kostov and Markov.
In April 1991, in order to get conclusive confirmation that Mrs. Macdermott was indeed involved in the Markov murder, and was really an MI6 agent, I paid a visit to British Vice Consul Graham Wicks at the British embassy in Sofia. I put it to him that Mrs. Macdermott was behind the Markov murder. Graham reacted very calmly, as if this was old news, and expressed no surprise at all. I then told him that I had heard that Mrs. Macdermott had been a British agent. The change was, to say the least, dramatic. Graham was very shocked, his face literally turning gray. He did not even venture a denial.
The attacks on Markov and Kostov were a brilliant propaganda coup for MI6, and were intended be the final masterpiece of Director-General Sir Maurice Oldfield, prior to his retirement. The problem of course was that the bachelor Oldfield had discounted Markov's wife, who had loved her husband very much, and has spent twenty years (and a large amount of money) trying to bring his murderers to book. We shall pass over the appalling taste underlying the exploitation of Markov's widow for many years for propaganda purposes. In Bulgaria itself, the Markov skeleton has meant that the Bulgarian State Security has never been properly cleaned up, with devastating consequences for the country that continue to this day.
Andrei Lukanov had been sent to Maxwell by Vladimir Kryuchkov, who was languishing with his associates in prison after the failure of the Moscow Coup of August 1991. Kryuchkov had been hoping to use Maxwells influence as the owner of some of Britains leading newspapers to force the Foreign Office to pressure Yeltsin for leniency for the plotters. In fact, Kryuchkov himself risked being murdered like his KGB colleague General Pugo, and was hoping to use Maxwell for life assurance. As it turns out, the plotters got leniency anyway. Maxwell's family knows that he was murdered and no doubt knows who was responsible. Hence the remarkable charade of the Maxwell brothers' court case, and the panache with which they have refused to cooperate with the Department of Trade and Industry's investigations.
Over the last twenty years, dozens of MI6 officers and diplomats have been faced with the unpleasant task of lying to, and bamboozling Markov's widow, Annabel, and this has caused considerable resentment in the Foreign Office.
2. The murder of Georgi Markov
Since the fall of communism, most Bulgarian political journalists have been briefed that there is a British involvement in the Markov murder, though they don't know quite what it is. To this day, nothing of substance has appeared in Britain about the Markov case. In Bulgaria, however, a lot of contradictory and sometimes important bits and pieces have appeared over the years.
On 24th April 1991 on Bulgarian Television, the communists leaked the code names of two foreign nationals who had received medals for the Markov assassination. The leak was in fact aimed at embarrassing the Foreign Office, but was used to justify an official secrets clampdown in Bulgaria, which suited the communists fine, and continues to this day - because of the MacDermott case. The code names of the two foreigners were 'Hector' and 'Atanas'. It was disclosed that 'Hector' had received the Order of Cyril and Methodius (Second Class) and 'Atanas' had received the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. Mrs MacDermott's former friends in Sofia know very well that she received the Order, since she told everyone about it, but they probably didn't know that it was a 'secret' one, and that no citation had appeared in the State Gazette. Mrs. Bartlett was of course 'Atanas'.
Has there been any suggestion of the involvement of British subjects in the Markov case? Indeed there has. In 1985, The Observer discovered that there was an army officer working at the BBC for MI5, and that his job was to vet job applicants. This caused a bit of a stir at the time, and the officer's presence (and other things besides) was justified by the necessity of protecting Eastern bloc defectors working at the BBC from hostile infiltrators - foreign OR British. Not surprisingly, an investigation into the possible involvement of British subjects in the Markov murder turned out to be fruitless. After all, those involved had to be protected.
It might interest readers to know that that there was no air gun mounted in the umbrella. The famous umbrella is merely a part of the mythology. Before he died in hospital, Markov said that he had turned round to see the assailant picking up an umbrella. Of course the assassin hadn't dropped his weapon. In fact, the umbrella was merely a prop that the killer was to drop with his left hand so that he could bend down and pull out an air pistol with his right hand and shoot Markov at point blank range in the thigh.
This artifice had been made necessary because of the survival of Vladimir Kostov, who had been shot in the back from about twenty yards in a Paris metro station a few weeks before. The Bulgarian intelligence chiefs in Sofia decided that the pellet couldn't have penetrated Kostov's clothes. In fact, it had entered Kostov's back but by a miracle he survived. The failure of the attack on Kostov caused them to order the killer to shoot Markov at point blank range in the thigh, i.e. through only one layer of clothing. Kostov may well have been told about the British connection, but if he has, he's keeping quiet. Of course, the totally fictitious air gun mounted in the umbrella has become a part of Cold War spy mythology. They've even gone so far as to publish diagrams of a specially adapted umbrella that never existed!
In fact, the term 'Bulgarian Umbrella' was used by the Bulgarian State Security mafia to refer to the immunity conferred on them by the Markov case. In early 1992, a former Bulgarian agent, Pencho Spassov, who had defected and unwisely begun to write on the Markov case, died only four weeks later of an incurable and undiagnosed fever in an Augsburg hospital. An anonymous visitor in a white coat approached Spassov as he lay dying and told him he would not survive more than five days. Later his family received threats in the name of the 'Bulgarian Umbrella'. Of course this unusual death received no publicity in the West. Mrs. Macdermott had created a minefield in which anyone who strayed was liable to be murdered.
3. Peter Uvaliev and the murder of Georgi Markov
What was the reason for the deterioration in the attitude of MI6 chief Maurice Oldfield to Georgi Markov? Mrs. Markov knows that her husband was on poor terms with a man called Peter Uvaliev. Uvaliev, who died recently, was a scholar, essayist, and scriptwriter, who also broadcast, like Markov, on the Bulgarian Service of the BBC. He had been a diplomat at the Bulgarian embassy in London after the war, and defected in 1947, and became well connected with the British security services. In 1969, Uvaliev lured Markov out of Bulgaria with promises that he would help him to become a screenwriter for the Italian cinema. More than twenty years later, being well aware of the wall that existed between the rather well-policed British media, and the leaky post-Zhivkov media, and feeling confident that nothing of what he said would be allowed to leak back into the British media, Uvaliev permitted himself some remarkable indiscretions in the Bulgarian newspapers, in a series of interviews in which he did nothing the conceal his hatred of Markov. Five years after the fall of communism, referring to Markovs broadcasts, he said, I am against anybody that writes against Bulgaria. Such authors have to know that they are spitting in the wind, and that they will get it back in the face. At one point, he even suggests to his audience of unreconstructed communists that Markov might not have been murdered at all, and goes so far as to suggest that Markovs heirs were out to make easy money. Uvaliev also tells, amongst other things, how Markov had difficulty finding inspiration to write in London, and that he had been unhappy at the BBC, (not surprisingly with the influential Uvaliev as an enemy). Relations between Uvaliev and Markov were indeed so bad that at one point both believed the other to be a Bulgarian agent
In the confined hothouse of MI6, Uvaliev's hostility inevitably became Oldfield's hostility, all the more so since the murder of Markov would improve Mrs. McDermott's standing with the communist State Security, and of course provide excellent material for the propaganda war, especially after the communists had failed to kill Markov twice, and Mrs. MacDermott intervened with the cunning idea of the poison pellets, one for Kostov and one for Markov - obviously KGB technology. The murder of Markov, initiated by Mrs. Macdermott through her puppet, Alexander Lilov, a leading Politburo member, (and KGB/MI6 supported candidate for Party General Secretary Zhivkov's job), made them long term partners. So true is this, even after her exposure 15 years ago, that Mrs. MacDermott, who to my knowledge has never returned to her beloved Bulgaria, wrote Lilov comradely letters of solidarity before I got him kicked out of his job as Communist leader in December 1991.
Through Mrs. MacDermott, Oldfield was able to establish that Markov was indeed alone, and was not passing information to Bulgarian Intelligence. Not only that, he discovered that the Bulgarian defector, well known for his broadcasts criticizing the communist satraps, had been homesick, and in a bout of depression had sent a secret letter at the end of 1977 to Deputy Minister of the Interior General Stoyan Savov, via the Balkan Airlines representative in Brussels, asking what his sentence would be if he went back home. Markov was not the sort of defector they like in MI6.
Markov had nothing going for him amongst MI6s cold warriors, after hundreds of anticommunist broadcasts he was a squeezed lemon that could be thrown away. Moreover, a sacrifice was needed good for Fleet Street, good for the Free World. As Baroness Park proudly told BBC Panorama viewers in 1994, the crucial suggestion was conveyed by the sentence to Lilov, "He's not very discrete, is he?" She was dead right, Georgi Markov hadnt been at all discrete. Tricking the communists into killing him cant have been very difficult.
Most people forget that there was a second sudden death in the BBC Bulgarian service in September 1978 that went virtually unnoticed. Vladimir Simeonov, a young colleague of Markovs, was found dead in his home soon after the Markov murder. Scotland Yard had questioned him in connection with Markovs death for all of two days. Simeonov didnt drink, but there were two washed glasses in the sink with no fingerprints. The mark of a bottle was on the tablecloth, but the bottle was missing. Somebody (Uvaliev?) had paid Simeonov a visit, no doubt to get him to drink to the memory of poor Georgi.
That was how Scotland Yard protected its witnesses in those days. To this day, Scotland Yard has said nothing about those two days of interrogation, and there seems to have been no attempt to identify Simeonovs last visitor. If, as is likely, Simeonov were working for the Bulgarians, wouldn't he have been more useful to Scotland Yard alive?
Before we finish with the salient points of the Markov case, it might be worthwhile quoting the seemingly enigmatic words of communist Interior Minister Semerdzhiev in 1991, who admitted that some of his Ministrys officers may have been involved in the Markov case, but categorically denied that they had organized it. Quite right, the murder of Georgi Markov was a straightforward case of sub-contracting.
Having ensured the disappearance of the Markov File, and murdered Robert Maxwell in order to get hold of the material from the file given to him by former communist Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov, the Security Services have managed to sell the idea that an investigation cannot proceed without the requisite KGB file. This fudge has been raised again in recent potentially embarrassing cases, and seems to have become a permanent addition to the armory of the security services. No file, no case. In effect, the only acceptable form of evidence has become documents provided by the guilty party. The reader can imagine the judicial paralysis that would arise if that absurd principle were applied across the board.
The truth is that the Security Services have too often been mired by court cases, and would much rather use more effective and discrete instruments for dealing with people they dont like, such as troublesome MPs. Targets can be damaged or destroyed by their many friends in the media, for example. Few MPs would relish the enmity of the Security Services, and blackmail is not merely the prerogative of party whips. The age of digitalization and techint provides a remarkable range of new and easy opportunities for discrete and deniable personal surveillance and intervention. Unfortunately these methods have proved unsuccessful in dealing with real enemies, such as terrorists, as the repeated bombing of London by the IRA has proved. The total inability of the massive secret state to deal with the epidemic of illegal drug importation and manufacture is common knowledge. Its control of the mass media is however impeccable.
Markovs murder was not only a cynical and sadistic crime, but a blunder on the part of MI6, because Maurice Oldfield hadnt asked himself what the consequences would be if Mrs. MacDermott were to be discovered. The identification of Mrs. MacDermott as a British agent gave the KGB a very strong card, entirely because of her involvement in the murder of Georgi Markov. Her other operations were not ones that the KGB had any desire to disclose. The Markov murder was very different however. A leak there would partially exonerate the KGB and the Bulgarian communists, while at the same time exposing MI6 to a tide of public criticism in Britain, with Markovs aggrieved widow playing the key role. This is the sort of thing that tabloids would still find irresistible if Britain still had a free press.
Gordon Logan December 2000
MI6, through their agent Mrs. MacDermott, tried to trick the Bulgarians into murdering the author in rather similar circumstances to Markovs in the summer of 1984. Television viewers would have seen the authors wife on the Six O'clock News bewailing his death at the hands of the Bulgarians. Following further totally unjustified dirty tricks on the part of the public school bullies that dominate the Secret Intelligence Service, he worked for Bulgarian counter-intelligence for several years, during which he did his best to give MI6 a hard time. In June 1991, the author forced Britain and the United States into a confrontation with the Moscow hardliners, and in August of the same year, he caused KGB Chairman Kryuchkov to launch the abortive Moscow Coup of August 1991, which was defeated by a wide-ranging conspiracy. The author is at present alive and well, in spite of receiving threats and warnings in several languages, including one on David Shaylers Shaylergate Forum.
Copyright Gordon Logan 1999, 2000
[Fax, 1 page.]
SIR TEDDY TAYLOR M.P.
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Tel: 0171 219 3476/5868
Mr. G. Logan
38 Craigleith Drive
Edinburgh EH4 3JU.
15 February 2000
Dear Mr Logan,
Thank you very much for your letter of 10th February and for enclosing the quite fascinating file.
It is really quite fascinating and quite frightening file of papers and I would like to pass it on
for others to read but I will not do so without your permission. Have you any particular
[Fax, 1 page.]
HOUSE OF COMMONS LIBRARY
London SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3666
Fax: 020 7219 5910
Our ref: hh/tt
25 Agusut 2000
Dear Sir Teddy,
Papers on the Markov Case and the death of Robert Maxwell
Thank you for your letter of 21 August, addressed to my colleague Keith Parry, enclosing
another set of the above papers, originally supplied to you by Mr Gordon Logan. I am
replying on behalf of Keith who is on leave at present.
Keith had also asked me to look for the first set of papers and I did manage to find them
earlier this week, on my return from leave, just before your letter of 21 August arrived. I do
apologise for the delay in tracing them and for the inconvenience you have been caused in
sending another set to the Library.
I have spoken to colleagues in the Home Affairs Section of the Libary who will add the
papers to their stock and will record them on the POLIS database. This should enable them
to be readily located in the future.
Keith, has, of course, explained in his letter of 14 August to your assistant Mrs Day, that non-
parliamentary papers can only be placed in the Library for permanent retention by Ministers
and by the Speaker. Anything else is evaluated according to its usefulness to Members and
Library staff working on behalf of Members. If such documents are added to Library stock
we cannot guarantee to retain them in perpetuity. However, if colleagues in Home Affairs
did at a later datee decide to withdraw the Markov papers from stock they would contact you
and offer to return them to you.
I hope this is helpful.
Parliamentary Reference Specialist
Reference and Reader Services Section
Sir Teddy Taylor MP
House of Commons
[Fax, 1 page.]
QUEEN ANNE'S GATE LONDON SW1H 9AT
Sir Teddy Taylor MP
House of Commons
Our Ref: ISLU 00 9/7/3/284
31 OCT 2000
Thank you for your letter of 9 October enclosing attached correspondence
from Mr Gordon Logan at the English Language Center in Jubail, Saudi Arabia,
who claims that MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service) was involved in the deaths
of Georgi Markov and Robert Maxwell.
As you probably know, responsibility for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)
rests with the Foreign Secretary. I understand that an official in the Home
Office Intelligence and Security Liaison Unit advised Mr Logan of this on 26 May
when they originally received the claims that you have now forwarded. They
offered further advice when they wrote to Mr Logan on 12 October.
I am sorry but there is nothing that I can usefully add to what
Mr Logan was told on both May 26 and again on 12 October when he was
advised to do following the alleged burglary at his mother's home in
Edinburgh. I enclose a copy of both these letters. I have, however, sent a copy
of this correspondence to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for any
[Fax, 1 page.]
SIR TEDDY TAYLOR M.P.
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Tel: 0171 219 3476/5868
Mr. G. Logan
The English Language Centre
Jubail Industrial College
P.O. Box 10099
Jubail Industrial City 31961
03 November 2000
Dear Mr Logan,
I thought I should let you see the latest replies I have had from Jack Straw which don't really tell us
anything at all.
I have sent a very strong letter back and hope it will achieve something.
Sir Teddy Taylor M.P.
[1 page fax of part of frontpage of a Russian-language newspaper, annotated:]
"The Press Report of the Press Conference on 5th August 1991:
'British Citizen Accuses Lilov of Being Involved in the Markov Murder.' "
[Added 9 December 2000.]
The abortive coup attempt led by KGB Chairman, Vladimir Kryuchkov is known to involve an unknown factor. Many of the Russians involved have said that this will never be known. Yeltsin has said that this 'can never be told', as he put it in August 1994 when General Varrenikov was acquitted after choosing to stand trial for treason. Varennikov spoke of a Western provocation - the 'provocation of the century'. It has even been said that President Bush knew more about the coup than anyone in Moscow. Western reporters have ignored or dismissed the rumours, although sometimes they have been very explicit. The wife of Anatolii Lukyanov, who was one of the plotters, has spoken of an unkown person behind the scenes who pushed the plotters into the coup. Yeltsin himself has referred to a 'ninth' conspirator.
1. The Malta Sell-Out.
In December 1989, at the summit meeting in Malta between President Bush and General Secretary Gorbachev, it was secretly agreed that Bulgaria would remain in the Soviet field of influence. All of the rest of the Eastern Europe was up for grabs. Bulgaria was in effect to become a sixteenth state of the Soviet Union, with a 'reform' programme made in hell by Bulgarian Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov, and approved by the KGB. The centre-piece of the reform programme was Decree 56, a cunning document designed to help the officers of the Bulgarian Intelligence Service (The First Directorate) to become rich overnight, and smuggle all the country's wealth abroad.
The selling out of Bulgaria to the Soviets at Malta was a direct consequence of the KGB detecting Mrs. Macdermott, alias "Hector'. How could the West allow the opposition to take full control in Bulgaria, when one of the first imperatives of any new government would be to investigate the murder of Georgi Markov? Even British Foreign Secretaries were kept in the dark. The Markov case remains an awkward one for the Bulgarian President and the Foreign Office/MI6 to this day.
On 10th November 1989, prior to the Malta agreement, the KGB tricked Zhivkov into resigning, by offering him an acceptable candidate for the General Secretary's job, Foreign Minister Peter Mladenov. A few months later, Alexander Lilov, the murderer of Zhivkov's daughter, replaced Mladenov as General Secretary. He was to be the new KGB appointee, Mr. Clean, with a past that the public would never know. Who would be better than Lilov himself to ensure that nothing leaked out about Mrs. Macdermott and the murders that he had caused as her puppet in the Politburo?
2. MI6 and the 'Hector' syndrome.
At the beginning of 1991, MI6 was in bad shape. The Cold War gains that had been made possible paradoxically by none other than Aldrich Ames, whose recruitment had lulled Vladimir Kryuchkov into a false sense of security, were counterbalanced by the fact that the KGB had become impenetrable overnight. In 1985, both MI6 and the CIA had ceased to have effective agents in place in the Soviet Union.
MI6 was not only ineffective, the murder of Georgi Markov had made it vulnerable, because back in 1978 Maurice Oldfield hadn't asked himself what the consequences would be if Mrs. Macdermott alias 'Hector' were to be discovered. The KGB had a club with which they could beat MI6 at any time, through their agent, the media magnate Robert Maxwell. This threat concentrated the mind of MI6 right up until they murdered Maxwell in November 1991. The prospect of having Georgi Markov's widow, Annabel, denouncing MI6 has horrified them for years, and still does. The consequences of the 'Hector syndrome' were in fact totally negative until I intervened in the summer of 1991
My interest in Mrs. Macdermott dated back to 1984, when I had been told that the Bulgarians suspected me of being a British spy, and might kill me. I subsequently learnt that she was behind the accusation. As a widow, my wife would have found herself in exactly the same position as Mrs. Markov, being interviewed on BBC Television News bewailing the death of her husband at the hands of the Bulgarians.
3. The 'Hector' Leak
In May 1991, a blonde KGB agent called Valya had tried to set me up. I had been investigating the Markov murder and had identified Mrs. Macdermott as one of the culprits. Although I wasn't sure she was a British agent, that danger had always been in the back of my mind. Anyway, I'd been a bit of a troublemaker in Bulgaria, and I had enemies, so the KGB decided to do one of them, a man called Yurukov, a favour. They ordered Valya to reveal to me that Mrs. Macdermott was in fact a British agent. She told me that Kryuchkov had been furious when he learnt that the British had used the KGB to get rid of Markov. She said that the KGB would like me to 'publicize' the British involvement. I must admit I didn't find this proposal attractive, or even plausible. In fact the Soviets were going to use my murder to mark out Bulgaria as their territory. As a part of the operation, I was tricked into receiving a medical certificate stating that I was suffering from terminal cardiovascular disease. Vladimir Kryuchkov had decided to promote Soviet-British friendship by killing me using lyophilized snake poison (snake poison is the drug of preference for political assassinations and mimics terminal cardiovascular disease). I got Valya drunk and actually got a verbal confession out of her. I telephoned a retired diplomat friend in England and discussed the matter with him, and he offered to pay for a flight back to Britain, but I did not take up his offer till the following year, since it seemed to me that the situation that had arisen offered considerable opportunities. I therefore made our Head of Chancery, Les Buchanan, an offer he couldn't refuse - that of covering up Mrs. Macdermott and exposing her puppet, Alexander Lilov.
4. The First Explosion - June 1991.
The KGB involvement in the Markov murder was supervised by General Oleg Kalugin. Kalugin has become an active reformer and has obligingly helped MI6 in the cover-up, in particular perpetuating the story about the non-existent 'poison' umbrella. (Although, incidentally, even he is on record as saying that there is something about the Markov case that the British want to hide.) According to Kalugin, it was Vladimir Kryuchkov himself, who as Head of the First Directorate, 'sold' Mrs. Macdermott's proposal of the poison pellets to KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. Kryuchkov was furious when he later discovered how the British had tricked him.
After being told by Valya about Kryuchkov's fury at the British, it seemed to be a pity not to get to work on it. What he didn't know at the time, was that I was also on the track of Mrs. Macdermott's puppet, Lilov. After the failed attempt to kill me, I had a unique window of opportunity that gave me the freedom that I needed. A second attempt would have been too high profile, although I was told that they would have dearly loved to try it. On June 10th, I wrote a long letter, ostensibly to our Head of Chancery, accusing Lilov of being behind the murders of Markov and Lyudmila Zhivkova. I faxed a copy of the letter to my cousin in Scotland. I sent the fax from the Central Post Office. For some reason the ladies that operated the fax machine were having problems - for some reason the fax wouldn't 'go' - probably because the Bulgarian counter-intelligence directorate was concealed in the Central Telephone Exchange across the street, and had intercepted the fax and its disastrous contents. The ladies spent the best part of half an hour trying to send it. Meanwhile one of them could read English and was translating aloud its shocking and very plausible contents to her colleagues and the small crowd that had gathered.
For the Soviet Embassy and Kryuchkov, the implications of the fax were obvious. In violation of the Malta agreement, the West was suddenly staking a claim to Bulgaria, and were threatening, at one fell swoop, to decapitate not only the Socialist Party, but the Bulgarian Intelligence Service. Moreover, the fax had the desired effect of making the KGB think that our Embassy, who knew that the Russians had leaked Mrs. Macdermott's real allegiance to me, had told me about Lilov as a tit for tat measure. Kryuchkov was no doubt distressed to see that his toxicological attempt to promote Soviet-British friendship had been rejected.
The following day, I noticed that some of my friends were in a state of shock. They must have been called in for questioning in order to establish who had leaked Lilov's involvement to me. Of course, nobody had. On 17th June, Vladimir Kryuchkov exploded in a secret speech to the Supreme Soviet claiming that the United States and certain Western countries thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union was certain, and had a plan for occupying the Soviet Union, that the CIA had recruited Russian spies and was trying to place them in top positions in the Soviet economy. All this might have been convincing but for the fact that the CIA had been quite impotent for six years, due to the activities of KGB spy, Aldrich Ames. Kryuchkov's anger had other causes: firstly, the fact that the West had reneged on the Malta agreement without warning, and secondly, that Aldrich Ames suddenly seemed to be no longer in the loop, thus forcing Kryuchkov to conclude that his number one master-spy had been detected. It should be noted that if it had not been for the sense of confidence induced by Ames, the Soviet opening to the West would probably have been impossible.
Kryuchkov's speech was followed by Prime Minister Pavlov's attempt to get additional powers, in the so-called constitutional coup. On 20th June, James Baker warned Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh in Berlin of the danger of a coup, and perhaps of the reason for Kryuchkov's rage. The result was that an alliance was forged between the arch-enemies Gorbachev and Yeltsin, who was able to touch base with the military in July, and ensure the loyalty of key figures like Shaposhnikov, in the event of the KGB undertaking anything.
5. The Second Explosion - August 1991.
In drawing up their plans for Bulgaria, the KGB had made two mistakes. The first was that, after consultation with Andrei Lukanov, they had agreed to the idea that, if the largely puppet opposition were to be given the Presidency, then the new President should be Zhelyu Zhelev, a former communist professor of philosophy, who had been repressed under Zhivkov. The Communist Prime Minister Lukanov assured Gorbachev personally that Zhelev would be a docile president. However, there are puppets and puppets, and Zhelev was not to prove as docile as they had thought.
The second mistake that they made was that they gave the President the power of hiring and firing the Chiefs of the Security Services. This power in fact meant nothing, since Zhelev was systematically kept out of the loop. When he asked the Bulgarian Intelligence Service chiefs about the Markov case, they simply told him that 'the West' didn't want them to disclose any information to him, which was in fact true. These two mistakes were all I needed.
On August 5th 1991, I exposed Lilov's role in the murders of Georgi Markov and Lyudmila Zhivkova at a press conference which was reported in the two leading Bulgarian newspapers. The following morning, August 6th, in Moscow, KGB boss Kryuchkov called three of his officers and ordered them to draft the documents for a state of emergency. Two days later they persuaded him to call it off. In Sofia, there was a TV debate between CP boss Lilov and opposition leader Philip Dimitrov in which they discussed my accusations. On Monday 12th, I circulated a shamelessly inflammatory 'proof' of Lilov's guilt. The following afternoon, on the 13th, at two o'clock I visited opposition leader Philip Dimitrov in his office at the opposition headquarters. We sat down at his coffee table and I placed a piece of paper on it. On the paper I had written that behind Lilov lay a British double agent, Mercia Macdermott. I told him that the President could use this information to tame the State Security chiefs. The same day, President Zhelev fired the two chiefs of the Intelligence Service. The next morning Kryuchkov called his three officers and once more ordered them to start writing. According to Paris Match, that night in Moscow a KGB officer had put on an anorak for the rain, pulled up the hood, and walked out of his office for a secret meeting with two French journalists to tell them Vladimir Kryuchkov had decided to launch his coup - instead of the state of emergency which it is claimed had been agreed on with Gorbachev and was to have been voted by the Supreme Soviet at the end of August. That was the only concession that Gorbachev says he was willing to make to the hardliners, and that is why he turned away the plotters that arrived in Foros. It is also why Kryuchkov had difficulty persuading the other plotters, such as Lukyanov and Bessmertnikh, to sign up on the Sunday night. What complicated things further was that his real motivation was a secret one, and he couldn't tell them where he was 'coming from' although KGB General Pugo must certainly have known, which is why he and his wife were murdered. Incidentally, nobody in Moscow believes that Pugo and his wife committed suicide. In selling the idea of launching a state of emergency in Gorbachev's absence to the others (and perhaps to Gorbachev himself), Kryuchkov made the point that Gorbachev himself would not be compromised, as Yanayev surely would sooner or later, and could be returned to power, much to the relief of the West.
After the coup, rumours were circulating in Sofia that there had been a connection between events in Sofia and events in Moscow, and newspapers were full of speculation about what it was. The President's party newspaper hinted at the link between the removal of the Intelligence chiefs and the Moscow coup, but never followed it up. Yeltsin sent a delegation to deny that there was any connection, and there was a public argument between Dimitrov and General Oleg Kalugin, who was one of the KGB officers involved in the Markov murder.
It is remarkable that only one book, by Martin Sixmith, has been 'permitted' on the coup. Sixsmith's main contribution was to cover up the responsibility of Kryuchkov, since the British wanted to get the KGB role hushed up. Sixsmith wastes a lot of time on Anatoly Lukyanov (not to be confused with the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Andrei Lukanov), claiming that he was the 'mastermind' responsible for summoning the plotters to the Kremlin. Initially Lukyanov was to carry the can because he had written a few notes objecting to the draft Union Treaty, which was one reason why the non-KGB plotters got involved. The treaty itself was probably a provocation, published by unknown persons on the Friday, no doubt to push the non-KGB plotters into the trap. Yeltsin and Nazarbayev were in fact the two republican leaders who foiled the plotters. Nazarbayev played an important role in harassing his old hunting buddy, Marshal Yazov, over the phone, persuading him not to allow the soldiers to shoot.
The secret British involvement in foiling the long-awaited hardliners' coup gave MI6 an international reputation second to none. The Secret Intelligence Service, which had been so ineffective and, and as I think I have demonstrated, vulnerable, was able to 'walk tall' again. So much so that in Eastern Europe, at least three countries have chosen MI6, rather than the CIA, to advise them on the reforming of their intelligence services. Back in London, Sir Colin MacCall acquired the massive new building at Vauxhall Cross, although MI6 hadn't penetrated the KGB for years.
Copyright Gordon Logan 1999, 2000
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