Wednesday, January 4, 2012

MI6 And The Princess Of Wales

Richard Tomlinson

Attached below is a sworn and testified statement that I have made on 12th May 1999 to the inquiry into the deaths of the Princess of Wales, Dodi Al Fayed, and Henri Paul. I firmly believe that MI6 have information in their files that would assist Judge Stephan's inquiry. Why don't they yield up this information? They should not be entitled to use the Official Secrets Act to protect themselves from investigation into the deaths of three people, particularly in the case of an incident of this magnitude and historical importance.

I, Richard John Charles Tomlinson, former MI6 officer, of Geneva, Switzerland hereby declare: 1.I firmly believe that there exist documents held by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) that would yield important new evidence into the cause and circumstances leading to the deaths of the Princess of Wales, Mr Dodi Al Fayed, and M. Henri Paul in Paris in August 1997.
2.I was employed by MI6 between September 1991 and April 1995. During that time, I saw various documents that I believe would provide new evidence and new leads into the investigation into these deaths. I also heard various rumours - which though I was not able to see supporting documents - I am confident were based on solid fact.
3. In 1992, I was working in the Eastern European Controllerate (Division) of MI6 and I was peripherally involved in a large and complicated operation to smuggle advanced Soviet weaponry out of the then disintegrating and disorganised remnants of the Soviet Union. During 1992, I spent several days reading the substantial files on this operation. These files contain a wide miscellany of contact notes, telegrams, intelligence reports, photographs etc, from which it was possible to build up a detailed understanding of the operation. The operation involved a large cast of officers and agents of MI6. One more than one occasion, meetings between various figures in the operation took place at the Ritz Hotel, Place de Vendome, Paris. There were in the file several intelligence reports on these meetings, which had been written by one of the MI6 officers based in Paris at the time (identified in the file only by a coded designation). The source of the information was an informant in the Ritz Hotel, who again was identified in the files only by a code number. The MI6 officer paid the informant in cash for his information. I became curious to learn more about the identity of this particular informant, because his number cropped up several times and he seemed to have extremely good access to the goings on in the Ritz Hotel. I therefore ordered this informant's personal file from MI6's central file registry. When I read this new file, I was not at all surprised to learn that the informant was a security officer of the Ritz Hotel. Intelligence services always target the security officer's of important hotels because they have such good access to intelligence. I remember, however, being mildly surprised that the nationality of this informant was French, and this stuck in my memory, because it is rare that MI6 succeeds in recruiting a French informer. I cannot claim that I remember from this reading of the file that the name of this person was Henri Paul, but I have no doubt with the benefit of hindsight that this was he. Although I did not subsequently come across Henri Paul again during my time in MI6, I am confident that the relationship between he and MI6 would have continued until his death, because MI6 would never willingly relinquish control over such a well placed informant. I am sure that the personal file of Henri Paul will therefore contain notes of meetings between him and his MI6 controlling officer right up until the point of his death. I firmly believe that these files will contain evidence of crucial importance to the circumstances and causes of the incident that killed M. Paul, together with the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed.
4. The most senior undeclared officer in the local MI6 station would normally control an informant of M. Paul's usefulness and seniority. Officers declared to the local counter-intelligence service (in this case the Directorate de Surveillance Territoire, or DST) would not be used to control such an informant, because it might lead to the identity of the informant becoming known to the local intelligence services. In Paris at the time of M. Paul's death, there were two relatively experienced but undeclared MI6 officers. The first was X. The second was Y. I firmly believe that either one or both of these officers will be well acquainted with M Paul, and most probably also met M. Paul shortly before his death. I believe that either or both of these officers will have knowledge that will be of crucial importance in establishing the sequence of events leading up to the deaths of M. Paul, Dodi Al Fayed and the Princess of Wales. Y in particular was an extremely well connected and influential officer, because he had been, prior to his appointment in Paris, the personal secretary to the Chief of MI6 Mr David SPEDDING. As such, he would have been privy to even the most confidential of MI6 operations. I believe that there may well be significance in the fact that Y was posted to Paris in the month immediately before the deaths.
5. Later in 1992, as the civil war in the former Yugoslavia became increasingly topical, I started to work primarily on operations in Serbia. During this time, I became acquainted with A, born 1958, the MI6 officer who at the time was in charge of planning Balkan operations. During one meeting with A, he casually showed to me a three-page document that on closer inspection turned out to be an outline plan to assassinate the Serbian leader President Slobodan Milosevic. The plan was fully typed, and attached to a yellow "minute board", signifying that this was a formal and accountable document. It will therefore still be in existence. Fishwick had annotated that the document be circulated to the following senior MI6 officers: B, then head of Balkan operations, C, then the security officer for Balkan operations, the SAS liaison officer to MI6 (designation MODA/SO, but I have forgotten his name), the head of the Eastern European Controllerate (then D) and finally E, the personal secretary to the then Chief of MI6, Colin McCOLL. This plan contained a political justification for the assassination of Milosevic, followed by three outline proposals on how to achieve this objective. I firmly believe that the third of these scenarios contained information that could be useful in establishing the causes of death of Henri Paul, the Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed. This third scenario suggested that Milosevic could be assassinated by causing his personal limousine to crash. A proposed to arrange the crash in a tunnel, because the proximity of concrete close to the road would ensure that the crash would be sufficiently violent to cause death or serious injury, and would also reduce the possibility that there might be independent, casual witnesses. A suggested that one way to cause the crash might be to disorientate the chauffeur using a strobe flash gun, a device which is occasionally deployed by special forces to, for example, disorientate helicopter pilots or terrorists, and about which MI6 officers are briefed about during their training. In short, this scenario bore remarkable similarities to the circumstances and witness accounts of the crash that killed the Princess of Wales, Dodi Al Fayed, and Henri Paul. I firmly believe that this document should be yielded by MI6 to the Judge investigating these deaths, and would provide further leads that he could follow.
6. During my service in MI6, I also learnt unofficially and second-hand something of the links between MI6 and the Royal Household. MI6 are frequently and routinely asked by the Royal Household (usually via the Foreign Office) to provide intelligence on potential threats to members of the Royal Family whilst on overseas trips. This service would frequently extend to asking friendly intelligence services (such as the CIA) to place members of the Royal Family under discrete surveillance, ostensibly for their own protection. This was particularly the case for the Princess of Wales, who often insisted on doing without overt personal protection, even on overseas trips. Although contact between MI6 and the Royal Household was officially only via the Foreign Office, I learnt while in MI6 that there was unofficial direct contact between certain senior and influential MI6 officers and senior members of the Royal Household. I did not see any official papers on this subject, but I am confident that the information is correct. I firmly believe that MI6 documents would yield substantial leads on the nature of their links with the Royal Household, and would yield vital information about MI6 surveillance on the Princess of Wales in the days leading to her death.
7.I also learnt while in MI6 that one of the "paparazzi" photographers who routinely followed the Princess of Wales was a member of "UKN", a small corps of part-time MI6 agents who provide miscellaneous services to MI6 such as surveillance and photography expertise. I do not know the identity of this photographer, or whether he was one of the photographers present at the time of the fatal incident. However, I am confident that examination of UKN records would yield the identity of this photographer, and would enable the inquest to eliminate or further investigate that potential line of inquiry.
8. On Friday August 28 1998, I gave much of this information to Judge Hervé Stephan, the French investigative Judge in charge of the inquest into the accident. The lengths which MI6, the CIA and the DST have taken to deter me giving this evidence and subsequently to stop me talking about it, suggests that they have something to hide.
9. 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, which is illegal and caused me great inconvenience and financial cost.
10. On Friday 7th August 1998 I boarded a Qantas flight at Auckland International airport, New Zealand, for a flight to Sydney, Australia where I was due to give a television interview to the Australian Channel Nine television company. I was in my seat, awaiting take off, when an official boarded the plane and told me to get off. At the airbridge, he told me that the airline had received a fax "from Canberra" saying that there was a problem with my travel papers. I immediately asked to see the fax, but I was told that "it was not possible". I believe that this is because it didn't exist. This action was a ploy to keep me in New Zealand so that the New Zealand police could take further action against me. I had been back in my Auckland hotel room for about half an hour when the New Zealand police and NZSIS, the New Zealand Secret Intelligence Service, raided me. After being detained and searched for about three hours, they eventually confiscated from me all my remaining computer equipment that the French DST had not succeeded in taking from me. Again, I didn't get some of these items back until six months later.
11. Moreover, shortly after I had given this evidence to Judge Stephan, I was invited to talk about this evidence in a live television interview on America's NBC television channel. I flew from Geneva to JFK airport on Sunday 30 August to give the interview in New York on the following Monday morning. Shortly after arrival at John F Kennedy airport, the captain of the Swiss Air flight told all passengers to return to their seats. Four US Immigration authority officers entered the plane, came straight to my seat, asked for my passport as identity, and then frogmarched me off the plane. I was taken to the immigration detention centre, photographed, fingerprinted, manacled by my ankle to a chair for seven hours, served with deportation papers (exhibit 1) and then returned on the next available plane to Geneva. I was not allowed to make any telephone calls to the representatives of NBC awaiting me in the airport. The US Immigration Officers - who were all openly sympathetic to my situation and apologised for treating me so badly - openly admitted that they were acting under instructions from the CIA.
12. In January of this year, I booked a chalet in the village of Samoens in the French Alps for a ten day snowboarding holiday with my parents. I picked up my parents from Geneva airport in a hire car on the evening of January 8, and set off for the French border. At the French customs post, our car was stopped and I was detained. Four officers from the DST held me for four hours. At the end of this interview, I was served with the deportation papers below (exhibit 2), and ordered to return to Switzerland. Note that in the papers, my supposed destination has been changed from "Chamonix" to "Samoens". This is because when first questioned by a junior DST officer, I told him that my destination was "Chamonix". When a senior officer arrived an hour or so later, he crossed out the word and changed it to "Samoens", without ever even asking or confirming this with me. I believe this is because MI6 had told them of my true destination, having learnt the information through surveillance on my parent's telephone in the UK. My banning from France is entirely illegal under European law. I have a British passport and am entitled to travel freely within the European Union. MI6 have "done a deal" with the DST to have me banned, and have not used any recognised legal mechanism to deny my rights to freedom of travel. I believe that the DST and MI6 have banned me from France because they wanted to prevent me from giving further evidence to Judge Stephan's inquest, which at the time, I was planning to do.
13. Whatever MI6's role in the events leading to the death of the Princess of Wales, Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul, I am absolutely certain that there is substantial evidence in their files that would provide crucial evidence in establishing the exact causes of this tragedy. I believe that they have gone to considerable lengths to obstruct the course of justice by interfering with my freedom of speech and travel, and this in my view confirms my belief that they have something to hide. I believe that the protection given to MI6 files under the Official Secrets Act should be set aside in the public interest in uncovering once and for all the truth behind these dramatic and historically momentous events.

Richard Tomlinson, 12th May 1999
This version can also be on Mohamed Al Fayed's Website