MI6 `kill Milosevic' plot

Paul Lashmar
Sunday 20 September 1998 23:02 BST

JOHN WADHAM, the lawyer for the former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson, will today hand the Government a dossier of allegations of "illegal activities" by the secret service.

They include a sensational plan to assassinate Serbia's leader, Slobodan Milosevic. One of the methods considered was to disorientate the Serbian strongman's driver in a tunnel in Geneva with a strobe light.

Mr Tomlinson said the officer responsible ought to be charged with conspiracy to murder. Mr Wadham said he hoped the file would prompt Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, to start an investigation. But he said that was "unlikely" given the Government's pursuit of another former spy, the ex-MI5 agent David Shayler, who is in a Paris jail awaiting extradition to Britain to face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

Papers will be handed to the Treasury Solicitor, to be passed on to Mr Cook and the former Tory Defence Secretary Tom King, chair of the Commons Security and Intelligence Select Committee.

In his allegations, Mr Tomlinson said he came across the plan to kill Mr Milosevic quite casually, while working as an undercover agent in eastern Europe during the height of the Bosnian war in 1992-93. In a conversation with a colleague, he "pulled out a document from a file on his desk, tossed it over to me, and suggested I read it.

"To my astonishment, it was a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia.

"It was approximately two pages long, and had a yellow card attached to it which signified that it was an accountable document rather than a draft proposal. It was entitled `The need to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia'."

The proposed three methods to assassinate Mr Milosevic were: train a Serbian paramilitary opposition group to assassinate him in Serbia; send the SAS in to infiltrate Serbia and attack Mr Milosevic with a bomb or sniper ambush, or kill him in a staged car crash, possibly during one of his visits to Geneva.

A copy of the dossier will also be passed to the Commons committee, which scrutinises the security services. Mr Wadham said the papers would be passed to the Treasury Solicitor to ensure they reach their destinations "by a secure route".

Mr Tomlinson served six months in jail for breaching the Official Secrets Act and is now in Switzerland. Mr Wadham said no proceedings were pending against him.

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