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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 15:52 GMT
MI6 'Diana-style' plot dismissed
Richard Tomlinson
Richard Tomlinson was dismissed as an MI6 agent in 1995
A former MI6 agent who told Mohamed Al Fayed of plans to kill Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in a car crash admits he may have got his facts wrong.

Richard Tomlinson told Mr Al Fayed in 2001 he had seen an MI6 document suggesting causing a crash by shining a bright light into a tunnel.

He claimed the scenario bore an "eerie similarity" to the crash that killed Mr Al Fayed's son Dodi and Princess Diana.

But he told the Diana inquest in London he may have got the details confused.

'Genocidal ambitions'

Mr Tomlinson told Mr Al Fayed the alleged plan was one of several options set out as possible ways of killing Mr Milosevic in an MI6 document, which he saw during his time working for the organisation in around 1992.

He said the plan had been justified by the Serb leader's "destabilising" plans for a Greater Serbia, covert support for former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic - now wanted for war crimes - and suspected genocidal ambitions towards the Albanian population of Kosovo.

He said it had involved using a strobe gun to flash bight light into a tunnel while Mr Milosevic was at a peace conference in Geneva.

Clearly the credibility of Richard Tomlinson has been dented because he doesn't have really the evidence to back up what he told Mohammed al Fayed nine years ago
Daniela Relph

Giving evidence to the London inquest by video link from France, he conceded the alleged plan may not have involved a bright light and that the intended target may not have been Mr Milosevic.

But he said such specifics were a "distraction" from the central issue of whether MI6 was ever involved in assassination attempts in principle.

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died when their car crashed in an underpass in Paris in 1997.

The inquest jury heard another witness - an unnamed MI6 agent - had admitted drawing up such a document but said Mr Milosevic was not the target and that, in any case, the plan had been dismissed as "out of the question" by his MI6 superiors.

'No evidence'

Mr Tomlinson also told Mr Al Fayed he believed Dodi and Diana's driver, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash, to have been a paid-up member of the British intelligence services.

But he told the inquest that, while he believed Mr Paul would have been of interest to MI6, he had no evidence that he was in fact an agent.

The BBC's Daniela Relph said Mr Tomlinson's evidence had caused "problems" for Mr Al Fayed and his legal team at the inquest, as they had been using his arguments as a "centrepiece" for their arguments.

She said: "Clearly the credibility of Richard Tomlinson has been dented because he doesn't have really the evidence to back up what he told Mohammed al Fayed nine years ago."

She said Mr Tomlinson, who was once jailed for leaking government secrets and was dismissed by MI6 in 1995, admitted he had no sense of loyalty to MI6 and that he had, in the past, wanted to cause the organisation embarrassment and difficulty.



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