Scourge of MI5 Who Would not Be Gagged

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The Independent Online
24 August 1997

Five months after leaving MI5, David Shayler says in The Mail on Sunday that itbugged Labour ministers, including Peter Mandelson and Harriet Harman, before they became MPs. MI5 began an investigation into apparent breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

30 August 1997

The Government wins an order preventing further publication of Mr Shayler's disclosures.

2 November 1997

Mr Shayler says MI5 had failed to act on a warning of a terrorist bombing in London. He says it was told by a "highly reliable source" that an attack was imminent, shortly before the Israeli embassy was bombed in July 1994.

19 June 1998

Mr Shayler makes new claims against MI5 over an IRA bomb attack in the City of London. He says the 1993 Bishopsgate attack, which killed one person and caused pounds 1bn damage, "should not have happened". Shayler also alleged that MI6 had been involved in an assassination attempt on the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

19 July 1998

In an attempt to defy the government gagging order, plans are revealed for a David Shayler site on the Internet.

1 August 1998

He is arrested in Paris and extradition proceedings against him begin.

21 October 1998

He tells the Paris appeals court the case is "purely political"; his offence was to embarrass the Government, because he had given details of how "civilians were killed in a useless way".

18 November 1998

The Government's attempt to extradite Mr Shayler collapses.