21 Tabard Street
11 September 1998
As requested, I enclose a statement detailing MI6s plot to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia in 1992.
When you have read it, lets discuss the best way to proceed.
To whom it may concern:
MI6 1992 proposal to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia
I would like to bring to your attention a proposal by MI6 to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. My motive in doing this is to draw to your attention the casual and cavalier attitude that many MI6 officers have to British and international law. The officer who wrote this proposal clearly could (and in my view, should) be charged with conspiracy to murder. He will no doubt escape unpunished, like many other MI6 officers who routinely break the law. This lack of legal accountability of MI6 officers needs to be addressed urgently.
From March 1992 until September 1993 I worked in the East European controllerate of MI6 under the staff designation of UKA/7. My role was to carry out natural cover operations (undercover as a businessman or journalist etc) in eastern Europe. The Balkan war was in its early stages at this time, and so my responsibilities were increasingly directed to this arena.
My work thus involved frequent contact with the officer responsible for developing and targeting operations in the Balkans. At the time, this was Nicholas Fishwick, who worked under the staff designation of P4/OPS. We would frequently meet in his office on the 11th floor of Century House to discuss proposed and ongoing operations that I was involved in and, indeed, many other operations which I was not myself involved in.
During one such meeting in the summer of 1992 Nick Fishwick casually mentioned that he was working on a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia. I laughed, and dismissed his claim as an idle boast as I (naively) thought that MI6 would never contemplate such an operation. Fishwick insisted that it was true, and appeared somewhat offended that I did not believe him. However, I still presumed that he was just pulling my leg, and thought nothing more of the incident
A few days later, I called in again to Fishwicks office. After a few moments of conversation, he triumphantly 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 indeed a proposal to assassinate President Milosevic of Serbia.
The minute was approximately 2 pages long, and had a yellow minute 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". In the distribution list in the margin were P4 (Head of Balkan operations, then Maurice Kendwrick-Piercey), SBO1/T (Security officer responsible for eastern European operations, then John Ridd), C/CEE (Controller of east European operations, then Richard Fletcher or possibly Andrew Fulton), MODA/SO (The SAS liaison officer attached to MI6, then Major Glynne Evans), and H/SECT (the private secretary to Sir Colin McColl, then Alan Petty).
The first page of the document was a political "justification" to assassinate President Milosevic. Fishwicks justification was basically that there was evidence that Milosevic was providing arms and support to President Radovan Karadzic in the breakaway republic of Bosnian Serbia.
The remainder of the document proposed three methods to assassinate Milosevic. The first method was to train and equip a Serbian paramilitary opposition group to assassinate Milosevic in Serbia. Fishwick argued that this method would have the advantage of deniability, but the disadvantage that control of the operation would be low and the chances of success unpredictable. The second method was to use the Increment (a small cell of the SAS and SBS which is especially selected and trained to carry out operations exclusively for MI5/MI6) to infiltrate Serbia and attack Milosevic either with a bomb or sniper ambush. Fishwick argued that this would plan would be the most reliable, but would be undeniable if it went wrong. Fishwicks third proposal was to kill Milosevic in a staged car crash, possibly during one of his visits to the ICFY (International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia) in Geneva, Switzerland. Fishwick even provided a suggestion about how this could be done, such as by disorientating Milosevics chauffeur using a blinding strobe light as the cavalcade passed through one of Genevas motorway tunnels.
There was no doubt in my mind when I read Fishwicks proposal that he was entirely serious about pursuing his plan. Fishwick was an ambitious and serious officer, who would not frivolise his career by making such a proposal in jest or merely to impress me. However, I heard no more about the progress of this proposal, and did not expect to, as I was not on its distribution list.
I ask you to investigate this matter fully. I believe that legal action should be taken against Fishwick, to show other MI6 officers that they should not assume that they can murder and carry out other illegal acts with impunity.
Editorial comment 1
We repeat that unlike Mr Tomlinson, we are not at all scandalized that somebody wanted to assassinate Milosevic. Most people would considere it to be a public service. What seems to us to be the real scandal is that this project was abandonned for what we suspect were political reasons. The wrong political reasons : the British Government shows every sign of being a secret political ally of Serbia. The latest manifestation of this alliance is the British determination to stop sanctions, such as a ban on Serbian airlines. That the British have a certain nostalgy for their ally of two world wars is understandable if they had not been so many Serbian crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, we suspect darker reasons for this loyalty. Serbian Secret Service corruption of Tory ministers and Members of Parlement is well known. Is there a dossier of Serbian corruption of Labour Party Ministers and MPs waiting to be discovered ? The actual behavior of the British Government in the Tomlinson affaire suggests that this is the case.
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