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Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK


MI6 spy denies Internet list

The Sundays suggest MI6 is to investigate Mr al-Fayed

Former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson has again denied publishing a list of officers on the Internet, in an exclusive interview with BBC legal affairs correspondent Joshua Rosenberg.

"I don't think it's accurate, so why they gave it credence I don't understand".

The denied the MI6 agents could have been endangered by the list.

"To suggest that they're in danger is part of the mythology of MI6.

"Most MI6 officers have aliases".

Most of them are known to their host country, he said - and it is Special Branch who are in danger, if anybody.

"I don't dismiss that it looks bad," he said, "And it's been a very diffficult time

"But why did Mr Cook give it credence - to me it looks as though they thought this was an opportunity to get me, rather than protect national security.

"It may sound absurd," he said, "But there hav always been these sort of lists about. All they have to do is say it's fantasy.

"Why they now say it's all true doens't make sense.

"MI6 is very knowledgeable about how to use the media in their favour," he said. "They know perfectly well that to put a D-notice out is the best way to get the media interested in the story".

"All these things suggest that they wanted a huge media storm...they are clever enough to know that if they really wanted to hide a story, they could just dismiss it".

"Everything points very very strongly towards me, but I just do not have a motive to do it.

"I was just about to move to the States and now all that has gone," he said.


"Why is this suddenly the line of attack?" he said.

"My lawyer tells me someone else has been taken in for questioning now - a journalist.

He said he would like the case to go to court, so that he would have the chance to clear his name.

"But i'm not going to go back and spend a year in remand in HMP Belmarsh awaiting trial", he said. "It's a very unpleasant place".

"I've never denied that I met Mohammed Al-Fayed," he said. "I wrote to him because I had information relevant to the inquiry2.

"Mr Al-Fayed said this needed to go to the right authorities".

"I met him briefly in St Tropez, yes.

"I just told him the inforamation I had, which is now in the public domain.

He denied Mr Al-Fayed had paid him, although said he had paid him travel expenses.

He denied that Mr Al-Fayed had given him "wads of cash".

He said he had heard of xxx, but had not realised he was the owner of the Executive Intelligence Review,

"They had an email from womeone who fits your profile".

"Clearly someone's done a good job of framing me," he said.

"Whoever wants to go through my e-mail records may".

Mr Rozenberg asked him if there was a "dirty tricks" department in MI6.

Mr Tomlinson said it sounded strange, but they had been "getting at him in a big way" for a while.

"It's just constant," he said. "They really have been making life extremely difficult".

"I'd love to sort this out," he said. "It's a nightmare situation. They're carrying out a threat they made against me a long time ago to harass me around the world using their global routes.

"I find it extremely frustrating".

He said he had been a junior officer and didn't really know any secrets.

"They're determined ot suppress my outspokenness because it would explain to the public what MI6 really does," he said. "It would demolish the mystique that they've got"

"They want to prolong this myth of MI6 being really important to the state. That myth gets them their budget and keeps them their power in Whitehall."

"I just want to have a quiet life in Australia," he said - but said MI6 had blocked him from getting an Australian visa.

He denied MI6 had tried to make a deal with him when he left the serfice.

"I was given an ultimatum", he said, "Sign it or we'll harass you around the world".

"I'm really not going to go back to Belmarsh for something that I'm innocent of", he said.

He said he did not want to go down the same route as David Shayler.

"I want to put an end to the whole thing", he said.

"I'm waiting for the knock on the door," he said, "but I will fight extradition as I'd rather be in a foreign jail than a British jail".

He said he had been on the run for four years - "It's astressful existence but I've got used to it".

"I'll spend some time in jail again at some point", he said. "But I'll face that when it comes".

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