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Monday, 7 September, 1998, 02:55 GMT 03:55 UK
Whistle-blower on the web
Shayler website
The British government tried to restrict the website
The bearded face of David Shayler appears behind bars along with his prisoner number: 269151F.

Welcome to the website of David Shayler, a former officer with the domestic intelligence agency, MI5, who fled the United Kingdom after revealing secrets about the workings of MI5.

He has spent the last month in a French jail pending a British government application for his extradition.

Click on Mr Shayler's face, and you get an idea what this is all about: "I'm in prison for telling the truth," reads the headline.

It is a site which the British Government tried to restrict. Even clicking on "government attempts to ban this website" leads to a tantalisingly blank page.

It emerged in July that the government had warned the site's service provider in the US that publishing further allegations would be in breach of an injunction.

But lawyers acting for Mr Shayler said the injunction would not be legally binding in the US and could be safely ignored.

At the moment, the home page provides an easy way of accessing material which has previously been published by and about Mr Shayler.

'Plot to kill Gaddafi'

David Shayler maintains he was imprisoned for telling the truth
The site links to articles from the Mail on Sunday which originally paid Mr Shayler for his story, as well as to other papers.

The articles include Mr Shayler's claims that MI5 failed to act on prior knowledge of the bombing of the Israeli embassy in London in 1994, and his allegations of a plot by the UK's foreign intelligence agency MI6 to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Shayler also uses the site as a platform to defend his case: "I should be protected not prosecuted," he declares.

"Rather than suppressing whistle-blowers the government should set up an independent body to investigate these disclosures. MI5 and MI6 should not be able to hide behind the secrecy legislation."

Clearly, there is more to come, including the "diary" section which at present leads only to the message: "when we hear from David we will flag his messages here".

Also "coming soon to the Shaylergate site" are "David's Damning Report to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Select Committee" and "Progress Reports on the fight against extradition".

See also:

02 Aug 98 | UK
Former MI5 agent arrested
03 Aug 98 | Sci/Tech
Net ties hand of censors
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