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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 20:45 GMT
Body not that of 'vanished spy'
Commander Lionel "Buster" Crabb
Crabb served his country honourably, his family say
The man who formally identified the body of a diver who disappeared while apparently spying on a Soviet warship has said he was told to lie.

Sydney Knowles was the diving partner of Lionel "Buster" Crabb, who vanished when a Russian ship brought the Soviet leader to Portsmouth Harbour in 1956.

When a headless frogman later washed up the Government said Crabb had drowned.

But Mr Knowles, who now lives in Spain, said he did not believe the body he identified was that of Crabb.

'Disillusioned' about Britain

He told BBC News: "I said, 'I know Commander Crabb very well and he had a scar at the back of his leg on the calf, and there's no scar there at all, it's not him'."

He said he was told to say the body discovered was Crabb for the good of the country.

Mr Knowles added that Crabb had been "disillusioned" about Britain and had been talking about moving to Russia.

He said he thought his friend may have been murdered to prevent him from defecting.

The Ordzhonikidze had brought the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev for meetings with the British prime minister Anthony Eden and his ministers.

Last year new evidence emerged of Britain's attempt to cover up Crabb's fate.

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