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Friday, 8 October, 1999, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Shayler stays clear of British soil
Mr Shayler risked arrest if he went into the British Embassy in Paris
Shayler risked arrest if he entered the British Embassy
Former MI5 agent David Shayler has opted against stepping on British soil by applying to renew his passport at the British embassy in Paris.

Mr Shayler, who faces arrest if he re-enters the UK, was warned by his French lawyers that he risked being detained if he went inside the embassy and on to what is technically British territory.

Instead, his girlfriend Annie Machon took the passport into the building.

Girlfriend Annie Machon went inside to renew the ex-MI5 agent's passport
Girlfriend Annie Machon drops off his passport
Later, speaking from his Paris flat, Mr Shayler said he was not sure the British authorities could have arrested him because it would have meant taking him back on to French soil before getting him out of the country.

Mr Shayler said he could not see any reason why British authorities should obstruct or deny his application.

But he added: "The government has used every single trick it can to try to make my life as tough as possible so they could do it again."

Ms Machon said the atmosphere inside the embassy when she approached the passport desk was "blandly efficient".

She said: "They took the passport plus the 473 francs (47.30) renewal fee and said it would be with us in five working days."

Mr Shayler, has evaded previous attempts by the UK government to extradite him.

The authorities say he has breached the Official Secrets Act.

See also:

24 Feb 99 | UK
Shayler: A 'moral stand'
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