Shayler will be arrested when he returns today

Click to follow
Indy Politics

David Shayler, the former MI5 officer, is expected to be bailed by magistrates in London later today after returning home to face trial for leaking official secrets.

David Shayler, the former MI5 officer, is expected to be bailed by magistrates in London later today after returning home to face trial for leaking official secrets.

The dissident Security Service officer will leave the Channel port of Calais today after striking a deal with Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, which has allowed him to end his three-year exile in France.

He will be arrested at Dover this morning, and charged with two breaches of the Official Secrets Act, linked to his alleged release of documents showing MI6 was implicated in a plot to assassinate the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

In a final press conference in France last night, Mr Shayler, 34, also claimed MI5 had suppressed evidence that Jack Jones, late head of the Transport and General Workers Union, had been a KGB spy.

Mr Shayler, originally from Middlesbrough, said: "I did what I did because I love my country. I am not a traitor to it." He said he had acted in the national interest, and none of his revelations had damaged national security.

"Everyone should be concerned about whether theGovernment is lying to us, especially in the run-up to the election," he added. "I think the Government doesn't want to see me in open court because that raises more problems for them than it does for me." If they did prosecute, he continued, "I will do my best to put my case to 12 good people and true."

Mr Shayler produced a letter from Commander Roger C Pearce, head of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, on official notepaper, informing his lawyer, John Wadham, from the civil rights group Liberty, that officers were "continuing to assess" his allegations".

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said no active investigation was under way but she confirmed officers were examining whether one should be launched, after consulting the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Wadham said he had been in discussions with the force about its legal position in investigating crimes committed overseas. Officers had been convinced that, if Mr Shayler's allegations could be proved, MI6 officers could face prosecution in the UK and the former agent would be questioned "not as a suspect but as a witness" over the allegations.

Comments