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The publication of this deposition has had at least an echo in the British Press : yesterday, the British magazine EuroBusiness published the following text on page 31 of their magazine. EuroBusiness has no Internet Site, so we publish the complete text of the article.



Security services - Judge Herve Stephan, the Frenchman appointed by a Paris court to investigate the death of British Princess Diana has had depositions from a variety of people who used to work for British secret service organisation MI6. Among the most notable is Richard Tomlinson, the spy in the news for supposedly revealing the identities of 116 MI6 agents.


SPY in the news perplexes a French judge

British spy Richard Tomlinson says Princess Diana was being followed by MI6 agents for years before she was killed in a car crash in a Paris underpass in august 1997.


By Jane Tawbase in Paris

Richard Tomlinson's bizarre claims are enhanced by the fact that Princess Diana's driver that fatal night was Fayed employee Henri Paul, who, almost by coincidence, was almost certainly an MI6 informant.

The publication of a list of 116 British spies has brought the whole matter of Princess Diana's to the fore again. The French judge cannot ignore it even if he wanted to.

Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al Fayed, who owns the Ritz Hotel in Paris and Harrods store in London, is convinced his son and Princess Diana were under surveillance by MI6 at the time of the accident. He also, wildly thinks they were murdered, but few agree with him.

However his accusations may not be as wild as some people think they are. There were undoubtedly secret-service connections with the people surrounding the Princess. Her self-confessed best friend, the Hon Rosa Monckton's brother was a serving MI6 officer.

The presence of her brother on Tomlinson's list will cause his sister all sorts of bother. The Hon Anthony Monckton, the brother of Rosa, who is the wife of prominent British Sunday newspaper editor Dominic Lawson, is the most prominent figure on the list. Lawson himself has already been accused in the British Parliament and the British Sunday Business newspaper of being on an MI6 payroll, a charge he has vehemently denied.

A legitimate question is whether Rosa Monckton introduced her brother to the Princess and whether he was part of the MI6 operation. It is almost unthinkable that he was not.

And that brings Rosa's relationship with the Princess into question.

The Moncktons are a British "spy" family. Anthony and Rosa Monckton's grand-father worked for British King Edward VIII and kept a close eye on him on behalf of the security services.

It would indeed be ironic if history had repeated itself and Rosa Monckton performed the same role for MI6 on Princess Diana.

It may well be fanciful but there are questions that need answering. Rosa Monckton's friendship with the Princess was always a strange one.

MI6 has traditionally been loyal to the monarch, rather than to the government of the day, and has always sought to align itself with the sovereign first, rather than the government. The reason in simple. The British sovereign has many exemptions from the laws of the land, and the vestiges of the Royal Prerogative, the virtual right to do as she pleases, still cling to the Queen. This is just what MI6 likes, to be a little above and a little beyond the law.

MI6 commanders would have seen themselves as having a clear duty to the Queen to place surveillance on the Princess as soon as it became clear that her marriage to Charles was in trouble and that she had started having affairs.

But the next question follows from the first. Did MI6 ask Rosa Monckton to do the key job, of moving into the Princess's inner circle and becoming her confidante, just as her grand-father had become the confidante of Edward VIII ? It would have certainly made the job easier.

Monckton, a generation older, made an old friend for the often unhappy princess. A svelte sophisticate and a wealthy working woman, her first relationships and loyalties lay, almost from when she was born, with the Queen. She was a regular visitor to the Royal Household all her life and was, for that reason, more given to loyalty to the crown than to an unhappy and disruptive outsider, one who was seriously damaging the public image of the Royal Family.

Britain's strict libel laws prevent any more reporting of that subject, but if it was the case, it then strengthens Mohamed Al Fayed's assertion that Princess Diana was pregnant by his son and weakens Monckton's assertion that that was impossible because she was menstruating only a week before the accident.

The answers will never be known but the speculations and rumours will take a long time to die.

As for the man who started it all, Richard Tomlinson, is now based in Geneva. Tomlinson is angry about his treatment at he hands of MI6 and is motivated by revenge. But he is a sane, rational man, not the sort to irrationally fabricate a story.

Interestingly Tomlinson does not believe that MI6 had any hand of part in the princess's death. He says clearly and simply, that a number of MI6 informants were connected with the event because of the surveillance and if Judge Herve Stephan wanted to know more he should get the MI6 files. But Tomlinson also believes the British people should now be told the full, unvarnished truth about the MI6 surveillance of the Princess.

He seems determined to get that information out and indicates he has a lot more including material on the Monckton matter.

It is this sort of activity that has led Mohamed Al Fayed to believe that MI6 had a hand in his son's death. It almost certainly did not. But MI6 probably does know the truth behind what happened on that tragic night in Paris.

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