Diana Arrest Drama
Peter Allen – Daily Express June 3, 2006
We covered this story last week
but to their credit – and better late than never – today’s Daily Express has reported on the French police raiding the Cannes home of Richard Tomlinson. Ed.
A raid on the home of a former British spy was sensationally linked to the Princess Diana inquiry last night.
French secret servicemen and police stormed a property owned by renegade MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson.
They arrested the 42-year-old ex-spy before seizing his computer files and personal papers from his home in Cannes on the French Riviera.
Tomlinson’s career put him into a position to give compelling insights into the thinking of Britain’s spymasters about Diana in the years before her death. His position at the heart of the spy network gave him a unique view into what lay behind the Paris crash which killed the Princess, her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and driver Henri Paul in August 1997.
Tomlinson’ yacht, which was moored near his flat, was also “turned upside down”, according to those involved in the raid last week.
The former secret service agent, who has spent time in prison for writing about his spying experiences, is understood to have twice met team members of the Lord Stevens inquiry into the death of Diana and assisted them.
He is believed to have given them vital evidence about Henri Paul’s links with MI6, for whom the driver was a paid agent.
Last night a source told the Daily Express: “The French security services carried out this raid on Tomlinson on the instructions of MI6.
Tomlinson has not committed any offence under French law and this shoews that MI6 and the French security services are joined at the hip – just as they were on the night of Diana’s death.
The Daily Express has learned that moves have been made to give Tomlinson immunity so that he can give evidence at any future inquest. Having already been jailed for breaking the Official Secrets Act, he does not want to risk a second jail term.
“His testament could be crucial”, said a source close to the inquiry.
“This is one of the reasons that the authorities picked him up. There is a feeling that, if Tomlinson agreed to give evidence, there would be all kinds of trouble.”
“The fact that his home and boat have now been raided is very suspicious. It is certainly true that the authorities in France and Britain will stop at nothing to prevent Tomlinson from giving evidence.”
The raid in France was executed by agents of the DST, or Directorate for Territorial Surveillance, the French equivalent of MI5. They were supported by police officers.
It was authorised by local judge, Anna Veilla. No search or international arrest warrants were shown to Tomlinson.
The French authorities would not disclose any information about what was taken or why.
Last night it was not clear whether British agents had been involved in the raid. But the source said: “It is a distinct possibility. They will be made aware of anything that was found.”
It is understood that Tomlinson previously volunteered his assistance and met officers from Operation Paget, the Diana inquiry led by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens.
On one occasion he suggested that a laser gun may have been used to blind Paul, so ensuring that he drove his Mercedes into the wall of the Alma underpass in Paris.
He revealed that the “blinding flash” in the tunnel bore all the hallmarks of a secret service plot. The light described by witnesses was too powerful to be mistaken for a photographer flashgun.
The laser technique is standard training for MI6 officers and is so powerful it can bring down a helicopter by blinding the pilot.
Tomlinson said: “When I heard witnesses in Paris talk about a bright flash before Diana’s car crash it made sense. A tunnel is a perfect place for an assassination, with fewer witnesses.”
Tomlinson has confessed that, when he was an agent, he saw an MI6 file on a paid informant based at the Paris Ritz hotel. It was widely assumed at the time that this was Paul, who was deputy head of security at the luxury hotel where Diana and Dodi ate their last meal before driving to their deaths.
When he died, Paul had more than £2000 in French francs on his person. This cash was thought to have been given to him as payment for his work as an informer. He also had £200,000 stashed away in 14 different bank accounts.
Tomlinson served 12 months for breaching the Official Secrets Act after pleading guilty in 1997 to passing on his inside story of MI6 to an Australian publisher.
He been involved in a cat-and-mouse chase with his former employers ever since he was released from prison in 1997.
After being released following the raid on his property, he said: “Twelve police were outside my home. They took every bit of computer equipment, all my phones my emails, all my personal files, my Psion organiser with my bank account details. It is a complete and utter catastrophe.”
Tomlinson said the British authorities are extremely keen to see all his files and documents, including both his passports. He has duel British and New Zealand nationality.
Tomlinson who has set up an internet site with the provocative title Tomlinson Vs MI6, has posted an aerial photograph of the MI6 training centre at Fort Monchton in Hampshire.
He wrote: “This where new recruits undertake their IONEC (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.”
MI6 is particularly worried that Tomlinson may name those involved in any plot around the death of Princess Diana.
Dodi’s father, Ritz and Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed is convinced that Diana was murdered by the Briish security services.
They were said to be acting on Royal Family fears that Diana was about to have a bab with Dodi, who was a Muslim.
Last updated 06/07/2006