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Wednesday, November 18, 1998 Published at 07:32 GMT


MI5 agent waits on French verdict

David Shayler could learn his fate on Wednesday

A French court is expected to decide on Wednesday whether a former British intelligence officer, David Shayler, should be extradited to stand trial in Britain.

The BBC's Joshua Rozenberg outlines the Shayler case
Mr Shayler is accused of breaking the UK's Official Secrets Act by disclosing information to a Sunday newspaper.

He alleged that officers from the UK Government's foreign intelligence service, MI6, tried to organise the assassination of the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi - a claim denied by the UK Government.

Mr Shayler, 32, was arrested by French police at Scotland Yard's request last August.

[ image: John Wadham expects Mr Shayler to be released if extradition fails]
John Wadham expects Mr Shayler to be released if extradition fails
The attempt to get him extradited is the culmination of a 14-month British police investigation which began after the former MI5 operative made his allegations.

Mr Shayler told an extradition hearing in Paris last month that he moved to France after revealing details of secret service life in a Sunday newspaper.

His English lawyer, John Wadham, director of the campaigning organisation Liberty, said that if the extradition request was denied, Mr Shayler would expect to be released from custody immediately.

But if the UK Government request is approved he would be returned to prison to await formal procedures which could take a week before he was sent back to the UK.

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