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Monday, 7 September, 1998, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Shayler support shows on Internet
David Shayler
David Shayler: Campaigners say he is "up beat"
Campaigners working for the release of the former MI5 agent David Shayler are claiming an "overwhelming" response to their new website

More than 1,100 e-mail messages were posted to the "Shaylergate" site in the first 36 hours.

About 80% are said to be in support of Mr Shayler, whose embarrassing revelations of alleged incompetence and mismanagement in the Security Service were first published last year.

Shaylergate
Shaylergate: The campaigning website
Jeremy Burges, a close friend of Mr Shayler's, said most of the e-mails had been "positive and supportive".

"On the whole people feel that Dave's case is something to be aggrieved about," Mr Burges told News Online.

He said all the messages would be printed off and forwarded to Mr Shayler, who is being held in a French prison awaiting an extradition hearing. Mr Shayler is not allowed a computer in his cell.

Three-man team

Mr Burges helped construct the site with Mr Shayler's brother, also called Jeremy, and another friend.

Its purpose is to highlight Mr Shayler's case, he said, and show him there is support among the public for his case.

Plans to extend the site to carrying more of Mr Shayler's revelations about the Security Service, were being considered, said Jeremy Shayler.

He is consulting his brother's solicitor, John Wadham, about posting a copy of David Shayler's "daming" report on MI5 on the website.

David Shayler originally presented the report to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Select Committee, but members refused to look at it.

Mr Burges described Mr Shayler as "reasonably upbeat". "He's got a TV in his cell and he's determined to make sure that he gets a fair hearing," he said.

As well as regular updates about the campaign, Mr Burges said there were also plans to publish on the site a rolling diary kept by Mr Shayler.

See also:

01 Aug 98 | UK
Former MI5 agent arrested
07 Sep 98 | Europe
Whistle-blower on the web
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