- Mohamed al-Fayed has denied he is involved
in the naming of MI6 agents on the Internet.
- UK newspapers say the Harrods tycoon
is to face a security service investigation over the "damaging"
- But Mr al-Fayed has confirmed he was
contacted by "rogue spy" Richard Tomlinson, who has denied Foreign
Office accusations that he himself is responsible.
- Mr al-Fayed said his contacts with Mr
Tomlinson were in connection with the 1997 car crash that killed his son,
Dodi, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
- He said he told the former MI6 agent
to direct any information he had to the proper authorities.
- Al-Fayed 'to be questioned'
- The emergence on the Internet of a list
of 116 people apparently involved in secret work for MI6 has been an embarrassment
for the government.
- Copies of the list have already spread
to a number of mirror sites.
- Several Sunday newspapers suggest the
Egyptian businessman will be questioned about his links with the Website
Executive Intelligence Review, which published an early copy of the list
- The Sunday Times reports that Mr al-Fayed
has twice met Jeffrey Steinberg, a senior correspondent with EIR. The paper
says they shared information about MI6's alleged involvement in Diana's,
Princess of Wales, death.
- The Sunday Telegraph says Mr Tomlinson
and Mr al-Fayed met last year in France, and it reports that Mr al-Fayed
has links with EIR publisher Lyndon LaRouche.
- The paper says the MI6 list was published
on the EIR site with an accompanying article highlighting Mr al-Fayed's
attempts to prove that the Paris crash was not an accident.
- E-mail death threats
- The Sunday Telegraph says the security
investigation into Mr al-Fayed will be prompted by Tory MP Gerald Howarth
tabling a Commons motion.
- A spokesman for Mr al-Fayed said: "While
Mr al-Fayed believes in a more open society, he does not condone the publication
of the names of secret agents, which could expose them to danger.
- "Any suggestion to the contrary
is wholly irresponsible.
- "Tomlinson approached Mr al-Fayed's
lawyers, claiming he had information relating to the circumstances of the
crash in Paris.
- "He was advised to communicate any
information to the investigating judge."
- Mr Tomlinson told the BBC he has been
e-mailed death threats since being accused of publishing the list of names.
- Police investigation
- He has denied any part in the scandal
and has gone into hiding.
- He said: "I don't think I'm in danger
from MI6, but I did wonder about some of the death threats I received by
- Police are investigating the leak. The
alleged agents are said to include a Cambridge University academic and
the son of a former minister.
- LONDON (AFP) - Millionaire entrepreneur
Mohammed al-Fayed was linked by a British Sunday newspaper to the publication
of a list of more than 100 alleged British secret service officers on the
- The owner of Harrods department store
in London, who was incandescent when he was again refused a British passport
last week, was being investigated by MI6, Britain's overseas intelligence
service, The Sunday Times said.
- The paper said MI6 had evidence that
Fayed had assembled the list of 116 operatives whose names, dates of birth
and location were released on the Internet earlier this week.
- It added, however, that there was no
evidence that Fayed had released the list, and a spokesman for Fayed told
AFP late Saturday that any suggestion that he had done so was "wholly
- "While Mr. al-Fayed believes in
a more open society, he does not condone the publications of the names
of secret agents," said the spokesman.
- Asked to explain the relationship between
Fayed and Richard Tomlinson, the renegade MI6 agent accused by London of
being behind the publication, the spokesman said Tomlinson had once approached
Fayed over information he said he had over the death of Fayed's son Dodi
and Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash in Paris in August 1997.
- "He (Tomlinson) was advised to go
to the investigating authorities," said the spokesman.
- However the spokesman offered no comment
on Fayed's relationship with Executive Intelligence Review, the American
magazine which received an e-mail of the 116 alleged agents and published
them on the Internet on Monday.
- Senior correspondent Jeffrey Steiner
was quoted as telling the paper that he had met Fayed twice and often spoke
to his staff.
- Finally The Sunday Times pointed to similarities
between remarks Fayed made to it and to the text of the e-mail.
- A week ago, Fayed told the paper: "Really
that is (an) Al Capone system, you know, and you see the KGB building over
there, that is MI5 and MI6. Who created this Official Secrets Act? It is
the establishment and the (royal) household, right? They are above the
law, accountable to nobody."
- The e-mail, published three days later,
read: "They are accountable to nobody. They are subordinated to the
elite people of this country, for example the royal household and the establishment.
This 'Al Capone' style organisation has removed the human rights of ordinary
people, not only in this country but worldwide."
- The paper said Fayed had spoken of an
alleged MI6 "execution officer" named on the published list,
and had told it that his information came from Tomlinson.
- Tomlinson denied Friday that he released
the names on the Internet.
- But London said it remained convinced
that Tomlinson, who has never pardoned his dismissal from MI6 in 1995,
was the source for the highly embarrassing disclosures.
- A Foreign Office spokesman said Friday:
"There is no-one else in the frame. Even if he did not physically
put the names on the Internet, there's no real difference if he provided
the names for someone else to do it."
- Tomlinson admitted that he had threatened
in the past to reveal the names of former colleagues, but he added, "I
didn't actually do this".
- Frantic efforts were made to contain
the spread of the information after it was disclosed on Wednesday that
a US-based website existed containing the top-secret details.
- But the Foreign Office admitted Friday
that another website had published the names.
- Tomlinson, 35, who lives in Geneva, was
jailed for six months in Britain in late 1997 after he showed the synopsis
of a book on his MI6 career to an Australian publisher. He claims persecution
by the British authorities.
- Following Princess Diana's death, Tomlinson
claimed that the driver of her car, Henri Paul, worked for MI6. He was
interviewed by the French magistrate investigating the case.