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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Lockerbie 'MI6' man dropped
Lockerbie trial briefing unit website
The unit's briefings are available online
A former diplomat has been dropped from an expert panel on the Lockerbie bombing following allegations that he was an MI6 intelligence officer.

Professor Andrew Fulton has been asked to stand down as deputy director of the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit (LTBU) at Glasgow University.

The unit provides "impartial and objective" legal information about the trial of the two Libyans accused of the bombing, which resumes in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

Prof. Fulton, a visiting professor at Glasgow's school of law, has given briefings to the media at Camp Zeist, where the trial is taking place.

Professor Fulton
Prof. Fulton: Worldwide career
But it has been reported that he worked for MI6 during a 30-year career with the Foreign Office which saw postings around the world.

He was included on a list of MI6 officers published on the internet last year by a disaffected agent.

Prof. Fulton's last diplomatic posting before becoming attached to Glasgow University 18 months ago was as a counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington.

At the time, the Foreign Office was involved in delicate negotiations to allow the trial to go ahead.

There has been concern that he may be in a position to influence the way the trial is reported to ensure the minimum of criticism for the activities of the British, and possibly the American, intelligence services.

The decision to ask him to resign, regardless of the truth or otherwise of the allegations, is said to be because of the risk of publicity overshadowing the unit's work.

'Effectiveness jeopardised'

In a statement posted on its web site the unit notes: "It is recognised that while Professor Fulton continues to attract media attention, the effectiveness of the work of the unit is likely to be jeopardised.

"In these circumstances, therefore, Professor Fulton is being asked to stand down from the group.

"The unit is confident that it has held to its role of providing factual information about Scots law in relation to the Lockerbie trial and has not compromised its neutrality by speculating on the evidence or the political background."

Professor James Murdoch, head of the school of law and a member of the LTBU, said: "While we are satisfied that our impartiality has been maintained at all times, we are aware that the external perception of the unit could be jeopardised if Professor Fulton continued as a member of the group."

Prof. Fulton is believed to be on holiday in Skye and no-one from the university has been able to contact him.

His position as a visiting professor at the university's law school has not been affected by the allegations.

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