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Tuesday
May232006

Spook poking tongue out at MI6 again

"MI6 took out an injunction against me in 2001 in order to prevent me receiving the funds from my autobiography "The Big Breach".

The injunction was based on the argument that as a former member of MI6, I supposedly have a "lifelong duty of confidentiality" to them. I find it astonishingly pompous of them that they expect me to be loyal to them after they sacked me with no warning from a stimulating and well-paid job, allowed me no right of appeal, offered no retraining, and resettlement advice that was limited to banalities like "how about a good job in the city".

Eleven years on, I still have not managed to find a new career even remotely as well-paid, stable, or stimulating as working in MI6, so it can hardly surprise them that I am as motivated as ever to write this blog...

MI6 should just learn to treat their employees fairly - it would save them a lot of work and the tax payer a lot of money. I have written to them privately on many occasions to suggest that they could sort out this dispute with me very easily and fairly, but still they prefer to waste the time and budget of the Treasury Solicitor and Special Branch police in taking out injunctions, confiscating my property, and making them read my really crap blog in case I give them reason to have me arrested again."

This story is only going to get bigger. From The Guardian -

"Britain's Secret Intelligence Service is bracing itself for a fresh series of security leaks about its operations on an internet blog launched by a former top-ranking MI6 officer.
Richard Tomlinson who was jailed in 1998 for breaching the Official Secrets Act, has been quiet since fleeing to Russia in 2001 to publish a book about covert MI6 activities. He is back now and seems intent on taking revenge on the secret service which sacked him in 1995.

Tomlinson, who claims he now lives in the South of France and works as a yacht broker, began the blog last month with a warning: 'Let the game begin...'
The blog, called 'Richard Tomlinson v MI6', has already created a stir in the intelligence community: his most recent posting published an aerial photograph of MI6's training facility at Fort Monckton, on the south coast. He states on the blog: 'This is where new recruits undertake their IONEC [a six-month training course]. It is also where pre-posting refresher training takes place, as well as courses for liaison officers from other friendly intelligence services.'

The Treasury Solicitor has written asking him to take the names of two SIS officers off his site in a posting he wrote on the 11th anniversary of his arrest. Tomlinson complied. 'It is a most encouraging first response from MI6 and the Treasury Solicitor. If they had approached things as sensibly as this 11 years ago, the dispute between us need never have happened,' he said.

The blog gives no clues on what information he will post in future, but on past form they could be dramatic. After he was sacked, he claimed that Henri Paul, the man driving Princess Diana on the night she died, was a paid MI6 informant. He has accused the service of planning to kill Slobodan Milosevic when he ruled Serbia. It in turn accused him of endangering the lives of more than 100 MI6 agents by putting their names on the internet - a posting he denied.

While in the SIS Tomlinson was involved in a number of sensitive undercover missions. His book disclosed how he smuggled out of Moscow details of Russian ballistic missile tests and how MI6 set up a surrogate news agency in central London as a front for recruiting Russians to spy for Britain.

In November 1993 Tomlinson was posted to Bosnia as a covert intelligence officer. He injured a leg after being knocked over from the shock wave of a Bosnian Serb shell during the siege of Sarajevo. He was sacked by MI6 in 1995 for poor service when he became depressed. He failed in an attempt to go to an employment tribunal to claim unfair dismissal. Instead he went to Australia and handed a synopsis of his book to a potential publisher, for which he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment under the Official Secrets Act. He served six monthsin Belmarsh prison, London.

Tomlinson said: 'If their past history of vindictively silencing me is anything to go by, MI6 will probably attempt to shut down this website, just as they previously succeeded in shutting down my old site. But just maybe, blogging may make a difference, and MI6 may try a different tactic this time. But I doubt it...'"

More here - richardtomlinson.typepad.com

And read his interesting deposition on the Diana and Dodo (as in dead as) case to the French Magistrate back in 1999. Here's an extract -

"On Friday 31 July 1998, shortly before my appointment with Judge Hervé Stephan, the DST arrested me in my Paris hotel room. Although I have no record of violent conduct I was arrested with such ferocity and at gunpoint that I received a broken rib. I was taken to the headquarters of the DST and interrogated for 38 hours. Despite my repeated requests, I was never given any justification for the arrest and was not shown the arrest warrant. Even though I was released without charge, the DST confiscated from me my laptop computer and Psion organiser. They illegally gave these to MI6 who took them back to the UK. They were not returned for six months..."

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