16 February 2000. Thanks to Julie-Ann Davies.
Source: Digital files.

See transcription of Qadhafi plot document cited here: http://cryptome.org/qadahfi-plot.htm

Public Friend No. 1

Amnesty for David Shayler       Accountability for MI5/6


Press Release

February 16, 2000

David Shayler vindicated over existence of Qadhafi Plot

This press release is being put out as a reaction to The Sunday Times report of 13 February 2000, "Revealed: Cook misled public over Libya Plot".

Key Points


David downloaded the document from the website in question,

www.geocities.com/byanymeans_2000/document.html [unavailable on February 17, 2000]

on Saturday afternoon after The Sunday Times alerted him to its existence. David has confirmed the document is genuine. He also believes that:

  1. it is the document that he saw in December 1995 at the time of issue.
  2. he copied the original document to his line manager in MI5, G9A/1 and filed it on SF754-0168.

David has kept a downloaded copy of the document as he was afraid the government might try to ban The Sunday Times story in the same way that it initially banned the Mail on Sunday and the Panorama programme on the Qadhafi Plot in August 1998. He believes the document can be disseminated because it is in the public domain already and it raises issues of enormous public interest.

David's representatives passed a full account of the Qadhafi Plot to the government on November 25, 1999. A censored version, which the government has given PF1 permission to put out, is attached.

David has been advised by his lawyers not to comment on the provenance of the document as legal proceedings are still outstanding against him.

On 10 August 1998, the Foreign Secretary was reported in the Daily Telegraph as saying:

"I do wish people would recognise that somebody who has left another service - not the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, he was never in MI6 - is making allegations, no doubt for his own reasons. I have pursued these allegations. I am absolutely satisfied that the previous Foreign Secretary did not authorise any such assassination attempt. I'm perfectly satisfied that MI6 never put forward any such proposal.

"Nor have I seen anything in the 15 months I have been in the job which would suggest that MI6 has any interest, any role or any experience over the decades of any such escapade. There was no Government-inspired plan to assassinate Gaddafi. There was no SIS proposal to do it, and I'm fairly clear there has never been any SIS involvement. I'm perfectly clear that these allegations have no basis in fact. It is pure fantasy."

David Shayler said today: "In August 1998, after Cook denied the Qadhafi Plot, many people thought I was a fantasist. It is good to now be vindicated. This whole episode highlights the complete lack of democratic accountability in this country. I hope those who ignored me are now honourable enough to apologise to me and to make amends by ensuring that in future ministers are not allowed to collude with the intelligence services to cover up a murder plot.

"All those who ignored my evidence, including MPs and in particular, the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, now look negligent and foolish. They failed to uphold the rule of law. In doing so, they sided with a suspected murderer in the Establishment rather than listen to the evidence of a public-spirited whistleblower. They should not compound their shame by continuing to refuse to investigate my evidence.

"I was in prison when Cook said the Qadhafi Plot was "pure fantasy". I'm sure he did it to support the British government's extradition application against me so I could be returned to England for trial without the public or parliament knowing that I was telling the truth about the Qadhafi Plot. If either Cook or Blair had a scrap of honour, they would resign forthwith."

Contact: Annie Machon, 00 33 149 290 145


November 24, 1999

The Rt Hon Jack Straw
Home Secretary
The Home Office
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9AT

Dear Mr Straw

Submission regarding serious crimes

Please find attached the following:

A full account of how I was briefed on the Qadhafi Plot. I am prepared to make the same statement to a court of law.

The identities of the two spies/traitors who have never been prosecuted for their crimes.

I have sent you this information, as I cannot be sure MI5 will have passed it to you. You should also be aware that this submission has been released to the media. I have taken steps to remove information not already in the public domain.

The Melita Norwood case was a vindication of the position I took when I went on the record over two years ago: excessive secrecy works against the public interest. In the past, the government has tried to argue that the identities of British citizens who spied for the KGB during the Cold War should be kept secret. The public clearly disagrees. It expects the police or MI5 to at least interview those suspected of breaking the law and to help as far as possible in their prosecution. Its reaction was no different in the cases of Norwood, Robin Pearson, John Symonds et al.

In normal circumstances, we judge that the public's right to know should outweigh respect for the privacy of those suspected of breaking the law or other unethical matters. These cases are no different. Censoring this information can no longer be justified by national security arguments. The Soviet Union is no more. The Cold War is over. We should therefore expect some form of statement at least of the facts from the government.

You cannot argue in either of the cases I have provided that the public interest is better served by allowing suspected criminals to evade prosecution and by covering up MI5's shortcomings. You should be aware that I intend to use the information in this submission as part of my defence, should I stand trial for my alleged offences under the Official Secrets Act.

I believe that you should name the two traitors in parliament, pointing out how the failure of MI5 let them escape, and then draw a line under the matter. In your statement, you might like to include how and when the government was briefed on these matters, if at all (before receiving this letter). This is particularly important for my case as it is clear that ministers decided to go ahead with my prosecution without knowing that suspected traitors had been treated much more leniently.

I am obliged to live in exile for writing newspaper articles which didn't even damage national security. Meanwhile, a self-confessed traitor of forty years and an MI6 officer who paid for someone to be murdered both live in freedom in Britain. What sort of message does this send out to the disillusioned intelligence officer? That murder and treachery are acceptable if carried out in secret while whistleblowing is not because it drags the intelligence services into the public domain?

This kind of thinking would be worthy of a Whitehall farce, if its implications for our democracy weren't so serious. I have tried to use the democratic system to support my actions but the relevant bodies continue to block my evidence. I suggest therefore that you pass the information contained in this letter to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security committee and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to investigate as openly as possible. Any investigation could begin with interviews with those mentioned in my submission who know about the Qadhafi Plot.

I would obviously be happy to discuss this and other matters with the government, at your convenience.

David Shayler

How I was briefed on the Qadhafi plot

In late summer 1995, at the time PT16/B in MI6, asked to meet to discuss an unusual case which he could not mention over the phone. At the subsequent meeting, PT16/B told me that:

At some point, PT16/B told me that the Libyan was codenamed TUNWORTH. At some point in the following weeks, I saw the printout of SIS's record of TUNWORTH [censored]. I checked the Libyan's name against DURBAR and STAR [censored].

PT16/B issued one or two CX reports detailing intelligence provided by TUNWORTH at his meeting with the SIS officer [censored] for it so G9 assessed that TUNWORTH had some access to the regime.

Throughout this process, I briefed [censored] at the time G9A/1 and my line manager, about these developments. I told him that this might be more 'Boys' Own stuff' on the part of SIS and that we shouldn't take it too seriously although we agreed to review this in the light of new information. I don't know if G9A/1 passed this information to his manager, [censored], at the time G9/0.

Shortly after, PT16/B told me that he had met TUNWORTH, in [censored] and paid him £30,000. A couple of months after the walk-in, [censored] at the time G9A/15, told me that PT16/B had told her the same information "in confidence".

In December 1995, [censored], at the time [censored] at MI6, circulated a CX report to Whitehall and other addressees. On it was the SIS agent file number for TUNWORTH. It reported intelligence of a potential coup in Libya. The report also detailed the requirements of the group in terms of equipment and weaponry. The report was much longer than a usual CX report. It was three or four sides of A4.

The name of the agent and the fact that he was involved in the plot were not made clear in the CX report as is usual in such cases. (If MI6 had not issued the report, it would have been criticised by those not privy to its role in the plot for failing to gather prior intelligence of it). I filed MI5's copy of the report on file SF754-0168, called I think Matters of Security Interest in Libya. I copied the report to other members of staff, including I think G9/0. I then discussed the copy with G9A/1. He was happy to deal with the repercussions.

During routine G9/PT16 meetings around this time, officers occasionally mentioned the plot. [Censored] both held the position of G9A/17 at this time and may have heard it being discussed.

PT16/B then met TUNWORTH on two further occasions early in 1996. I don't know of any further details except that PT16/B mentioned that he had paid "similar sums" to TUNWORTH on each occasion.

At some point -- I can't be sure when exactly -- PT16/B mentioned that the submission, SIS jargon for the letter requesting permission from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for sensitive operations, was going to go "all the way to the top". In about January 1996, PT16/B told me that the submission had been successful, indicating that the Foreign Secretary himself had signed the document permitting the operation. (This information is challenged by the findings of the Panorama investigation).

In either February or March 1996, I read two [censored] quoting independent sources. I think they were [censored] and [censored]. I also vaguely remember a third report. They all stated that an attack had been made on Colonel Qadhafi in Sirte, Libya. Two of the reports indicated that the attackers had tried to assassinate Qadhafi when he was part of a cavalcade but had failed as they had targeted the wrong car. As a result of the explosion and the ensuing chaos in which shots were fired, civilians and security police were maimed and killed.

At a meeting shortly after, PT16/B ventured to me in a note of triumph that TUNWORTH had been responsible for the attack. I believe that [censored], at the time G9A/15 or G9A/15 designate, [censored], G9A/17, and [censored] , at the time PT16/B1, also attended this meeting. I promptly passed the information on to my line manager, G9A/1. He said he would deal with the matter.

The two spies/traitors

These are summaries of what I know in these cases. I can provide more detail if it is required.

When I was in MI5, a well-placed officer told me that the former trade union leader, [censored] had been a long term agent of the KGB. From the 1970s onwards, he had met [censored] KGB officer [censored] gave [censored] cash for his activities although it is not clear whether this was meant to fund disruption in the UK or as a reward for [censored] work on behalf of the KGB.

I understand that although MI5 had its suspicions about [censored] mainly based on his trips to the Soviet Union, it had no idea of the extent of his role until [censored] told MI 5 that [censored] had used his position on [censored] in the late 1970s to obtain the details of Polaris, the British nuclear deterrent. Through [censored] the Soviets obtained key information about the roll out programme, the technical specifications and the planned sites of the warheads.

[censored]  [censored]

The following information is not in the public domain. When army intelligence and MI5 interviewed [censored] she confessed to her involvement in passing secrets to the KGB. One of the MI5 officers involved in the interrogation told me that it lasted for days. [censored] was charged with secrets offences. However, the charges had to be dropped when army and MI5 lawyers pointed out that [censored] was not informed her right to silence before being interviewed, making her confession inadmissible.

Comment: I appreciate that [censored] cannot now be prosecuted for her crimes. However, her treatment stands starkly at odds with mine. She clearly damaged national security yet she received [censored] in compensation because MI5 and the army made a mistake.

Converted to HTML by Cryptome.