Monday, 25 July 2011

Heathrow security

Duty-free store detective became Heathrow security chief - and she lives with airport boss

Last updated at 00:02 30 March 2008

The woman in charge of security at Heathrow - Britain's biggest single terrorist target - was a store detective at the airport's duty-free shops just six years ago.
Donna Boote, 37, is now not only in charge of thousands of security staff, but also shares a £1.2million home with Heathrow's managing director Mark Bullock - the man with overall responsibility for last week's disastrous opening of Terminal 5.
Yesterday, the airport's authorities refused to answer questions about the couple's relationship - including whether they are married - or confirm any details of Ms Boote's career path.

Donna Boote Victory: Donna Boote after she won a sex discrimination case against the Army in 2004. She was divorced from her soldier husband about that time
However, in the light of the chaos at the £4.3billion fifth terminal - which has seen thousands of passengers forced to abandon their bags and hundreds of flights cancelled - the security chief's rapid promotion and her relationship with Heathrow's MD must raise questions about Spanish-owned BAA's suitability to run Britain's biggest airport.
Ms Boote, a 37-year-old mother of two, was formerly in the Military Police, which she joined aged 17, and eventually became a sergeant in the Special Investigations Branch.
But she quit the Army in 2000, claiming she was forced to leave after becoming a mother for the second time.
She later successfully sued the Ministry of Defence for sex discrimination.
In 2002, Ms Boote began working at Heathrow, starting out as a store detective in the duty-free area.
Donna Boote Red cap: Ms Boote in her Army days
A former colleague said: "She was one of two full-time BAA staff working on loss prevention at the World Duty Free stores to minimise theft by staff or passengers.
"This involved her working undercover on the shop floor, monitoring CCTV cameras and supervising agency staff."
Ms Boote later transferred to the small team helping oversee security of a duty-free bonded warehouse off the airport complex, where her boss was a former military police major.
Yesterday, BAA refused to give a full breakdown of her career path but confirmed that after six years Miss Boote had risen to the post of head of airport security at Heathrow.
The Mail on Sunday understands that she was given the job by Heathrow's former managing director in late 2005.
Her rapid rise surprised other aviation security experts.
Despite having no civilian policing, counter-terrorism or intelligence service experience, she became chief in the face of stiff competition from senior retired Army and police officers who were interviewed for the job.
Ms Boote now has legal responsibility at Heathrow for compliance with the National Aviation Security Programme, which sets strict standards for screening people at airports to prevent hijackings and terrorism.
Her role also includes liaison with the Home Office, senior Government Ministers, the police and MI5.
And last year it was Ms Boote who issued the BAA security notice banning liquids on flights after MI5 exposed an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets using explosives disguised as soft drinks.
At the time she said: "BAA has long been a world leader in airport security. We intend to retain that position. Heathrow is working hard to make sure that the airport continues to be secure for our passengers."
Since 2006, Ms Boote has lived with Heathrow managing director Mr Bullock at his newly-built £1.2million home in Ascot, Berkshire.
Some neighbours on the private estate said they married last year.
Mr Bullock, 44, an accountant who previously worked for a large distribution company and electricity suppliers EDF, joined Heathrow in 2004 to oversee the design and building of Terminal 5.

Passengers queue in their hundreds for flight information during chaos at Terminal 5
Mark Bullock, Heathrow MD Flight information is the responsibility of Ms Boote's partner, Heathrow MD Mark Bullock
A fitness fanatic, he describes his interests as rowing, running, skiing, wakeboarding, motoring, rugby, music and reading.
According to his BAA profile, he is accountable for "assuring cost, time, quality and safety" and "directly responsible for finance, commercial and risk management".
He had ultimate responsibility for the new Terminal 5 opening on time and is accountable for its "operational success".
In 2006, he was made managing director of the whole of Heathrow.
Mr Bullock explained his overall approach on the airport's website with the words: "If we are to be successful we need to build a business which provides a predictably good experience for passengers. Not just some days, but 365 days a year.
"This is the hugely important job that all of us who work at the airport have and one I am committed to.
"It is true that we are now operating in a different market due to a number of external factors, such as our change of ownership, the global terror threat and the issue of climate change.
"These things will require us to be more commercial, delivering value for money and great service."
Ms Boote was previously married to fellow Red Cap John Boote but the pair split around the time of her tribunal against the Army.
The hearing was told how her dispute with the military centred on a document she was required to sign, which was a condition of service.

Suitcases are piled up in storage at Terminal 3 during this week's Heathrow chaos
It contained a clause requiring her to be deployed overseas at short notice at the same time as her soldier husband.
Ms Boote, who had served in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Northern Ireland, said she could not agree to that because it would mean having to put her children into care - and claimed sex discrimination.
After her divorce, she moved out of the couple's £140,000 home in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Last night Julia Gillam, Heathrow's passenger communications manager, said she was "not going to get into a debate" about Ms Boote's competence and experience.
Ms Gillam said: "I can confirm she is the head of security at Heathrow.
"She is absolutely ultimately responsible and has very competent, very senior staff reporting to her who will manage projects."
The spokeswoman refused to discuss Ms Boote's relationship with Heathrow's managing director.
She added: "Donna was appointed to her current position before Mark Bullock became managing director.
"Both Mark and Donna always keep their professional roles and private lives absolutely separate."

The MI5 agent's wife.


How an MI5's involvement in a sex-scandal led to a high-speed car chase through London

By Jason Lewis
Last updated at 11:05 AM on 08th June 2008

An MI5 agent's involvement in the Max Mosley sex scandal was unmasked after an extraordinary sequence of cloak and dagger events that can be revealed for the first time today.
His exposure came after a car chase through London, fears of a terrorist plot and a sophisticated surveillance operation by detectives working for former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens, the man who headed the inquiry into the death of Princess Diana.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that the MI5 officer's connection emerged after he was targeted by a surveillance team from Lord Stevens's investigation firm Quest.
Max Mosley
Under fire: FIA president Max Mosley faced calls to be sacked in the wake of allegations that he had participated in a 'Nazi-style' encounter with prostitutes

The firm had been hired by motor racing chief Mosley, 68, to identify who was behind newspaper revelations that he had paid five prostitutes to take part in a five-hour bondage session.
So days after the damaging disclosures, when the MI5 man left his home in Milton Keynes, where he lived with his wife, the professional dominatrix known as Mistress Abi who was at the centre of the affair, he was followed by the detectives.
But the highly trained officer, alert for danger because of his sensitive role tracking terror suspects, spotted the tail and put in an urgent call to MI5's duty officer. MI5 immediately feared that a major antiterrorist operation had been compromised, potentially putting agents lives at risk.
It put its staff on high alert and deployed all the sophisticated counter-surveillance methods at its disposal to identify the source of the threat.
A team at MI5's headquarters at Thames House, near the House of Commons, began to track the £30,000-a-year surveillance officer's route looking for evidence that he was being tailed.
With access to feeds from traffic cameras and sophisticated number plate recognition equipment, the team was quickly able to identify the vehicle following their colleague as belonging to Quest, the company headed by Lord Stevens that carried out the Premier League investigation into 'bungs' in football transfers.
The Quest team apparently followed their target to Thames House. It was only then that they realised he was a Security Service officer.
High-level discussions between MI5 and Quest bosses - thought to include Lord Stevens himself and Security Service chief Jonathan Evans - followed, in an effort to ensure that no anti-terrorist operations had been put at risk.
Yesterday a spokesman for Quest said it was company policy 'never to discuss client matters'.
The MI5 officer was later forced to resign after it was revealed that his wife - a 38-year-old mother-of-two who charged £120 an hour for her services - had secretly filmed the bondage session, using a camera hidden in her bra, and sold it to a newspaper.
Mistress Abi, who cannot be identified, in one of the milder shots from her website
Mistress Abi, who cannot be identified, in one of the milder shots from her website

Investigations by The Mail on Sunday raise new questions about the background to the sordid affair. Official sources said that the officer, a former Royal Marine commando, had kept his bosses in the dark about his relationship with Mistress Abi and failed to inform MI5 when the couple married in August last year.
Neither Mistress Abi nor her husband could be contacted by The Mail on Sunday last week.
But a source with detailed knowledge of the disgraced officer's work at MI5 said he had made no secret of what his wife did for a living.
He said the officer had regularly bragged about her activities and even showed colleagues pornographic pictures of her on a website advertising her services.
Guests at the couple's church wedding in Milton Keynes also dispute MI5 claims not to have known he had married. They say several of his 'work colleagues' had attended the reception and 'heckled loudly' during the speeches.
It is still unclear why MI5's routine vetting procedures failed to unearth Mistress Abi activities.
Her personal website - removed from the internet in the wake of the Mosley affair - gives a full breakdown of her specialities', which include caning or flogging ('light to severe'), face-slapping and even 'blackmail'. It also shows pictures of her in military uniforms similar to those she and the four other prostitutes wore during their five-hour session with Mosley, who is the son of the wartime British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
The website was designed by Simon Edwards, a film director who makes promotional films for BT and Land Rover and is currently trying to raise the money to start work on his first feature film, called Legion --Dawn Of Evil, a horror movie which is set in ancient Rome.
He said last night: 'She is a long-time friend of mine and I designed the website for her as a favour when she first decided to become a professional dominatrix.'
He said that he had met Mistress Abi's husband on only a few occasions but knew he had been in the Marines and 'worked in surveillance'.
He added: 'I think they met at some kind of holiday camp when she was away with her two children. I'm sure she would have told him very early on about what she did for a living - she's always been very upfront about it.'
Last night, Whitehall sources said the Mosley scandal had led to a major review of the MI5's vetting procedures.
Mosley has begun court proceedings for invasion of privacy over the revelations and a High Court judge has issued an order banning the identification of any of the five prostitutes involved in the case.

EXCLUSIVE: MI5 officer whose wife was exposed as a prostitute in Max Mosley orgy says the ordeal has devastated their lives

By Jason Lewis

Last updated at 2:43 AM on 20th July 2008

MI5 officer
Devastated: A former MI5 officer was forced to quite over the role of his 'dominatrix' wife in the Mosley orgy
The MI5 officer who quit after his wife was exposed as a prostitute in a sadomasochistic orgy with Max Mosley has told for the first time how the affair has ruined their lives.
The spy was forced to resign after confessing he was married to the ‘professional dominatrix’, who secretly videoed the sex session with the F1 motor racing boss and sold details to a newspaper.
The former £30,000-a-year mobile surveillance officer – who tracked terror suspects – said he quit to spare his bosses embarrassment.
He would not discuss how much he knew about his wife’s involvement in setting up the sting against Mosley, or if he played any part.
Nor would he be drawn on why, as has been claimed, he kept his MI5 bosses in the dark about his wife and her ‘job’.
The man, who cannot be named for security and legal reasons, said: ‘You know what has happened to me. And you know what has happened to xxx  [my wife].
'It has had a devastating effect on xxx [my wife] and a reasonably bad effect on me.’
Known only as Woman E in the High Court privacy case brought by Mosley over the affair, his wife was excused from giving evidence due to her ‘emotional and mental state’.
He said: ‘Our parents only found out what xxx [his wife] did for a living from reading the papers. It’s caused problems and hurt.
‘Now I have got to look after myself and my wife and get the best out of a bad situation.
'I’m not going to moan about it and get myself in a worse position than I am already in.

‘I am losing everything I have ever worked for. I’ve lost more than Mosley’s lost, in that respect.’
He described the moment he finally owned up to bosses about his wife’s ‘job’ and the sex session with Mosley, published in the News of the World.
He said: ‘They just went mental, particularly regarding the tape.
‘I loved my work but I wanted to cause as little embarrassment as I possibly could, so I decided to resign quietly.
'I could have stuck it out, I could have got round it, I think.
‘Now I have just got to be very careful. There is a lot I could say, a lot that has not come out, but I don’t want to get into it because I don’t want to get in the cack with work.’
The agent's wife, who cannot be named for legal and security reasons, poses on her website
He fears his former bosses could make it hard to get another job.
He said: ‘The first thing people are going to do is write for a reference and if I speak out they could say I’m not getting one.’
The ex-Royal Marine commando added: ‘I never had trouble misleading people about what I did. I like people thinking I’m boring.
'I thought it quite amusing. In some ways it was the same with my wife. Do you think she told people what she does?’
He was exposed when a surveillance team from former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens’ investigation firm Quest tailed him from his home near Milton Keynes to MI5’s Thames House headquarters.
Max Mosley
Privacy case: Max Mosley is suing after the orgy was revealed in a newspaper
The firm was hired by Mosley, 68, to identify who was behind the revelations.
It is still unclear why MI5’s routine vetting failed to unearth the activities of the spy’s wife.
Her personal website – now taken down – gives a full breakdown of her ‘specialities’, which include caning or flogging.
It also shows her in military uniforms similar to those she and four other prostitutes wore during their session with Mosley, son of wartime fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
Many of the website pictures were clearly taken at the couple’s home.
The racing boss denies News of the World claims that the orgy was Nazi themed.
Mr Justice Eady has reserved judgment in proceedings for invasion of privacy brought by Mosley.

(IN June 2011 Max Mosley has launched an appeal after losing his bid to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives.
His lawyers said he would continue his campaign despite losing a human rights challenge over News of the World revelations about his sex life.
The European Court of Human Rights rejected his attempt to force a change in UK privacy laws.
A seven-judge panel ruled that would have a "chilling effect" on journalism.
Mr Mosley has applied for an appeal hearing before a 17-judge grand chamber of the same court - the last legal avenue open to him.)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Czech spy

The traitor in a headscarf: How Czech spy Agent Hammer worked secretly inside Parliament for years

By Jason Lewis

Last updated at 1:58 AM on 16th November 2008

Labour was rocked by a Cold War spy scandal last night over allegations that a Party activist linked to two members of Tony Blair's Cabinet spied for the Czech Government when the country was controlled by the Soviet Union.
Left-wing activist Cynthia Roberts, who stood as a Labour Parliamentary candidate, worked for the Communists under the codename Agent Hammer, according to documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
The files, held by the Czech security service, state that she wrote secret dossiers for the communist regime on Tory politicians including Margaret Thatcher and ex-Cabinet Minister David Mellor after moving to Prague in 1985. She also gave the Czechs details of a British arms factory.
Cynthia RobertsCynthia Roberts
Soviet sympathiser: Cynthia Roberts as a would-be Labour MP in 1979 and, right, in Prague last week
Mrs Roberts moved to the Czech capital from London, where she used a House of Commons office to run the controversial Labour Action for Peace (LAP) group, which opposed nuclear weapons, and had links to Soviet Moscow.
Labour MPs involved in the group, which still exists today, included two politicians who went on to serve in Mr Blair's Cabinet, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and Transport Minister Gavin Strang.

Other prominent Labour MPs linked to LAP include Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn.
The disclosures are a reminder of how close some elements of the Labour Party were to the Soviet Union before the fall of communism 20 years ago.
Russia's KGB and its allies in other Eastern bloc nations such as Czechoslovakia targeted Labour politicians and other Establishment figures known to have Left-wing sympathies in an attempt to unearth information that could be used against the West.
The Cold War led to a series of major spy scandals in Britain, most famously the spy ring of Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Kim Philby.
Astonishingly, Mrs Roberts's activities, including her move to Prague, appear to have escaped the attentions of British security services.
As honorary secretary of LAP, much of Mrs Roberts' work was conducted from the Commons office of Scottish Labour MP Willie McKelvey, who is thought to have provided her with a Parliamentary pass.
In 1983, when Mrs Thatcher had enraged the Russians by allowing the US  to base nuclear missiles in Britain, Mrs Roberts accompanied Mr Cook and Mr Strang on a five-day trip to Moscow.
The files held by the Czech secret service state her role was 'to contribute towards the downfall of capitalism'. They say she boasted of working for the East Germans and was sent on 'missions' by her Czech handlers.
In one report, Mrs Thatcher was referred to by the codename ‘Sako’, which means ‘jacket’ in Czech.
Roberts' file on David Mellor,  written in 1988 when he was a Foreign Office Minister, said she did not know if Mr Mellor 'has any weakness for women.'
Asked yesterday if  she considered herself a traitor, Roberts, who still lives in Prague, said: 'I have nothing to say. I was not a spy.'
With her headscarf tied tightly against the November chill, she looks like any other pensioner going about her daily business in Prague. But this 72-year-old, who once worked in the heart of Westminster alongside such leading Labour Party figures as Robin Cook, is at the centre of extraordinary claims that she spied for Eastern Bloc regimes under the codename Agent Hammer.
Cynthia Roberts
Cold warrior: Former spy Cynthia Roberts emerges from her Prague flat
According to documents held by the Czech security service, Cynthia Roberts, who stood as a Labour candidate in the 1979 General Election, provided intelligence dossiers on Margaret Thatcher and David Mellor after she, her husband and two teenage children moved from London to Prague in 1985.
Despite being highly unusual, the family’s relocation to the Czech capital appears not to have attracted the attention of the British security services.
In the five years before she emigrated, Roberts was honorary secretary of Labour Action for Peace (LAP), which was then a highly influential anti-nuclear group. Much of her work was carried out from the House of Commons office of Labour MP William McKelvey, who represented Kilmarnock from 1979 until 1997.
The Left-wing pressure group was founded in 1940 and is still active today, describing itself as ‘an organisation of Labour Party members and supporters working for peace, socialism and disarmament, and seeking to make these issues the forefront of Labour Party policy’.
During its heyday in the early Eighties, LAP staged a series of high-profile meetings at party conferences and inside the House of Commons.
Among the prominent Labour figures who were active within the group were Cook, who served as Foreign Secretary during Tony Blair’s administration, and Gavin Strang, who was Transport Minister from 1997 to 1998.
According to a newsletter published by the LAP, Roberts accompanied Cook and Strang on a five-day trip to Moscow in December 1983.
Other leading Labour figures associated with the LAP during Roberts’ tenure include Tony Benn, who wrote an article about Nato for the group in 1985, and former executive committee member Dennis Skinner.
The claims that Roberts worked as a spy will further fuel concerns that leading Labour politicians were sympathetic to communist regimes during the Cold War.
The documents held by the Czech security service Statni Tajna Bezpecnost (STB) and seen by this newspaper reveal that Roberts apparently boasted of working for the East Germans while based at Westminster, and later was sent on ‘missions’ by her Czech handlers.
About 100 pages of the files still exist, although references within them suggest that a further 600 pages are missing – almost certainly destroyed as communist bosses attempted to cover up details of their activities when the country was swept by democratic change.
But the pages that remain paint a damning picture of her role, which, in the words of her STB handlers, was ‘to contribute towards the downfall of capitalism’.
They consist of two reports written in English, apparently by Roberts, and a series of handwritten accounts in Czech prepared by security chiefs detailing their meetings with her and the tasks they set her. The surviving files detail a total of 19 meetings between Roberts and her STB contacts.
Last week, The Mail on Sunday tracked down Roberts to a communist-era block of flats on the outskirts of Prague. The name plate on her letterbox in the entrance hall reads ‘Robertsovi’ and bears the message ‘Please do not post advertising fliers in this mailbox’.
Dreary: Mrs Roberts lives in this estate in Prague
Dreary: Mrs Roberts lives in this estate in Prague
Mrs Roberts carried out the rubbish from her fourth-floor apartment in the drab prefabricated block, which overlooks the rest of the huge graffiti-scrawled estate on one side and a busy ring road on the other.
Asked why she had spied for the STB against Britain and whether she regarded herself as a traitor, she said: ‘I do not want to talk to you. I do not talk to the Press.’
She refused to discuss whether she had worked for the Soviet intelligence services either in Britain or after she moved to Prague.
When told we had a copy of her file, which stated that she was an STB agent, she said: ‘I have nothing to say. I was not a spy.’
Asked whether she should be prosecuted for her treachery, she said: ‘I have no quarrel with Britain. I am sorry but I am not going to talk to you.’
According to STB files, the Roberts family arrived in Prague on October 19, 1985. Mrs Roberts was accompanied by her photographer husband Denis, daughter Mary, then 19, and 15-year-old Christopher.
Their departure from Britain was mentioned in the 1985 LAP annual report, which says: ‘Cynthia Roberts, who has been honorary secretary of LAP for five years, went with her husband to live in Czechoslovakia.’
She was given a job as an editor with the state-run news agency on a monthly salary of 5,000 Czech koruny (about £150 at today’s exchange rates) – at least double the average wage. But the files make clear that her main role was to work for the STB.
Initially given the codename ‘Kilburn’, Roberts appears to have so impressed her handlers in the first few months after arriving in Prague that her status was upgraded to ‘agent’ and she was given her new codename, Hammer.
Roberts now calls herself Robertsovi. Her letterbox deters advertising fliers
Roberts now calls herself Robertsovi. Her letterbox deters advertising fliers
A file entry dated April 2, 1986, says Roberts was to be ‘used on the problems of British intelligence services’.
It says she would also be used to ‘gain information on the internal politics of Great Britain [and answer] questions of the peace movement in capitalist countries and in Britain specifically’.
The entry goes on: ‘KILBURN can be evaluated as a person valuable for operational use from the side of intelligence work. To gain her co-operation we can use her satisfaction with her stay in Czechoslovakia ... and her good relations with the whole communist ideology. [Roberts] will continue to be used for British problems.’
One of her first jobs was to complete a report and character assessment on Margaret Thatcher who, the file reveals, had been given the codename ‘Sako’ – which means ‘jacket’ in Czech – by the STB.
This document is missing from the file, but it appears that Roberts completed the report.
A file dated April 15, 1987, returns to the subject of her work on Prime Minister Thatcher. ‘Top Secret.
16.15 KILBURN contacted in Slezka Street, Prague, and taken in a 'company' car to another location, a private flat, named as 'Balt'.
'We then talked to Kilburn about the state of her work on Sako [Thatcher], and she said that she had already finished the report and only had to type it up and make some corrections.
'We told KILBURN we greatly valued her help and said we would like to continue our co-operation and expand it. KILBURN was visibly delighted with our valuing her work.
'We told her we were interested in raising our co-operation to a higher level and that we would ask her for information and character analysis of people she knew from her previous political activities in Great Britain.’
The file adds: ‘We said that we had to have guarantees that she would remain silent on these matters and on our meetings. KILBURN said these issues were clear.’

Activist: Cynthia Roberts pictured with her husband Denis in a book they wrote, titled How To Secure Peace In Europe, which was published in 1985
Activist: Cynthia Roberts pictured with her husband Denis in a book they wrote, titled How To Secure Peace In Europe, which was published in 1985
The document adds: ‘At the end after we explained our reasons [for protecting her identity] she chose the codename HAMMER.’
At the meeting, Roberts was told she would meet her handlers at least once a month. She was given a number to contact in case of ‘urgency’ and the password to be used: ‘I have many regards from Vaclav for you.’
She was also asked to produce a detailed report on the then head of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Meg Beresford.
The STB officer reports that Roberts ‘willingly agreed to co-operate’ and also agreed to ‘recruit help’ – suggesting she actively tried to persuade others to spy for the Soviet Bloc.
But it is Roberts’ typewritten report on Beresford that gives the only clue to her activities in the UK while working at the House of Commons.
In the undated document, Roberts says she suspects that Beresford is a CIA plant and claims Beresford is involved in ‘subversion’ in East Germany, encouraging groups of dissidents to set up ties with churches in the country.
She suggests Beresford also attempted to organise women’s rights groups and was preparing them for mass protests, including calling on soldiers to become conscientious objectors.
The papers add: ‘The most interesting feature of all was that after I reported these facts to the [East German] embassy in London, some time later I was told by the diplomat with whom I used to work that the information had been extremely useful and was found to be accurate.’
This reference is the only indication that she may have been engaged in espionage before she moved to the Eastern Bloc. It suggests that she had regular contacts with an East German diplomat and raises questions about whether she was spying for the feared Stasi. Papers written in Czech by an STB agent and dated October 16, 1986, a year after she moved to Prague, suggest that she had passed on information from her father, a former prison officer, about an unnamed military installation in the West Country.
It states: ‘Meeting took place in a public place ... The source gave information relating to a newly  built military arms factory in South-West England near Taunton.’
Damning evidence: STB files show the intelligence report Roberts compiled about David Mellor when he was a Tory Foreign Office Minister
Damning evidence: STB files show the intelligence report Roberts compiled about David Mellor when he was a Tory Foreign Office Minister
The files say the information came from her father, who told Roberts he had ‘noticed the new building and the sign "MoD Property" ... He found out from his Labour MP that the MoD bought the land for a plant to manufacture components for warheads and navigation equipment’.
The files claim that Roberts was then used to target various Western officials to try to obtain useful information from them or to identify ways they might be recruited by the KGB.
Among those she targeted were a senior Nato official she met at a Czech trade fair, a businessman from a computer firm based in Windsor and a female British diplomat from the Prague embassy.
Roberts was also used to help build up a picture of British politicians who were visiting the former Czechoslovakia. A file note dated May 19, 1988, says: ‘The source was asked to report on David Mellor, a Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry in relation to his expected visit to Czechoslovakia.’
Roberts' report is written in English. Neighbours in the cramped block close to Prague’s ring-road claim that she and her husband Denis, now 85, have struggled to master the language since their arrival.
Their son Christopher, 38, is said to have returned to Britain, while their daughter Mary, who studied to be a doctor after their move to Prague, is believed to have died last year.
The Mellor report says: ‘He will try, without mentioning a word, to find out any possible way he can of damaging our political and business interests in the Middle East, particularly with Libya and Syria...
‘Dangers also apply to our relationship with Ethiopia. Within two weeks of being first elected to Westminster in 1979, MELLOR was out in Iran advising the Shah how to deal with insurgency both in terms of strategy and weapons.
'Within the last two years he has “given” the Colombian government six British helicopters to deal with their drug problem. He worked extensively with the CIA and the FBI on this issue, among who he has many contacts, as he undoubtedly would have also among the British Special Services.’
The document goes on to describe Mellor as a ‘highly sophisticated cunning politician’ and a ‘slick operator – a smooth-tongued oily character, who is undoubtedly sustained by his image of himself and his own inflated sense of self-importance. His danger is that he is cunning and calculating.
‘He probably drinks brandy at the end of dinner – most Tory MPs do, it’s considered the “done thing” at Westminster. Many a slip of the tongue has been made after several brandies.’
Mellor was later forced to resign from the Government after his high-profile affair with Antonia de Sancha was revealed in 1992. In her report, written four years earlier, Roberts wrote that she was not aware ‘whether he has any weakness for women or not’.
She added: ‘The only place Mellor will speak the truth is when he is in the “safe” room of the British Embassy. The rest of the time ... he will be speaking to an audience [the bugs]
‘I would regard this man, without any hesitation whatsoever, as a most deadly enemy of the Czechoslovak people and their Government.’
Last night David Mellor said he remembered his trip to Czechoslovakia very well as it had hinged on him being allowed to meet the dissident playwright Vaclav Havel, who later became the Czech president.
Of the report on him, he said: ‘I think it shows up the futility of the whole old Eastern European system and the pointless intelligence gathering they engaged in.
‘But the far more important question is how this woman was able to mix with senior figures in the Labour Party, to secure a House of Commons pass and to come close to becoming an MP when she was within an ace of defecting to the Eastern Bloc. It says an awful lot about the Labour Party.’
Gavin Strang said: ‘I remember Cynthia because she was around for a few years at that time with Labour Action for Peace. The one thing I remember is that she struck me as ultra-sympathetic towards the Soviet Union – excessively so at that time.
‘Obviously at that time there was concern about the build-up of medium and short-range nuclear weapons by both the US and Russia. But her excessive sympathy for the Soviet Union was very noticeable and certainly something I remember.
‘But her behaviour was not something I was worried about enough to report or make anyone aware of. Everybody is entitled to their own views and opinions.’
Tony Benn, who is listed as a member of the LAP in the group’s annual report for 1985-1986, said: ‘I do not recall meeting Cynthia Roberts and there is no reference to her in my diary, which I have checked. I became chairman of Labour Action for Peace in the Nineties.’
Dennis Skinner, who is named in LAP documents of the same year as a member of the LAP’s executive committee, said: ‘Don’t know the woman, never heard of her, don’t know what you’re on about. You’d best try Tony Benn.’
Current LAP president Jeremy Corbyn MP said: ‘I don’t know Cynthia Roberts at all. Of course I’m surprised. I didn’t know her and this was long before I was involved in the organisation. I’m not going to be able to comment on people like Cynthia Roberts. The issue of the Cold War is one that has long passed.’
A spokesman for the Czech Embassy in London said: ‘We are not aware of the details of this particular case. The Czech Embassy is not in a position to comment.’
A Czech government source added: ‘This sort of espionage relates to the previous communist regime. It is a thing of the past and not something our country would engage in now.’
Additional reporting by Nigel Rosser and Katka Krosnar

Traitor in a headscarf tried to 'turn' MI6 woman

By Jason Lewis

Last updated at 10:05 PM on 22nd November 2008
Cynthia Roberts
British spy Cynthia Roberts, who now lives in Prague
The Labour Party activist exposed as a Czech spy was involved in an elaborate plot to entrap a female MI6 officer working undercover behind the Iron Curtain.
Cynthia Roberts, codenamed Agent Hammer, was ordered by her handlers to target the woman, who was officially listed as a diplomat at the British Embassy in Prague.
Her name is known to The Mail on Sunday but we have agreed not to publish her identity.
Last week, this newspaper told how Roberts, who once stood as a parliamentary candidate, moved to then Czechoslovakia in 1985 from London, where she had run an anti-nuclear weapons campaign group from the House of Commons office of Labour MP William McKelvey.
According to documents held by the Czech security service STB, in 1988 Roberts was sent to meet the MI6 officer at a technology trade fair in the city of Brno, 120 miles from Prague.
Roberts, who still lives in Prague, was subsequently tasked with arranging another meeting at the British Embassy under the pretext of joining an expatriate organisation. STB officials were so excited that they even briefed her on the best route to the embassy from an underground station.
Part of the papers state: ‘Meeting with Hammer . . . discuss again the instructions ahead of her meeting at the ZU [British Embassy] in Prague, specifically with [the MI6 officer].’
They add: ‘Today I had a meeting with Hammer. She was familiarised with the layout, such as the entry path from the Malostranska metro station into the British Embassy. After this phase we went over the fine details of her visit.’
Last week, the family of the MI6 officer said she did not wish to comment on the alleged plot. She was sent home in 1989 and never had a subsequent posting in Eastern Europe, suggesting that officials knew she had been compromised.
She was given ‘Special Unpaid Leave’ in the early Nineties after marrying another diplomat.
There are no further details about the contacts. All subsequent pages of the STB file have been removed.
After her mysterious ‘defection’ to Czechoslovakia, Roberts wrote dossiers on Tory politicians including Margaret Thatcher and was sent on a series of spying missions.

But it has now emerged that Roberts had also been in secret contact with KGB agents while still working in London alongside senior Labour figures Robin Cook and Gavin Strang, who both served in Tony Blair’s first Cabinet.

Yury Mazour, a KGB officer in Russia’s London embassy in the Eighties, confirmed he knew Roberts and that they had met regularly for ‘chats’.
But he denied knowing she had spied for the Czechs. Roberts’s son Christopher has claimed his mother’s activities were the result of ‘youthful errors of judgment’.


Police investigate new computer hacking claims linked to News International

A police investigation is taking place into claims private investigators working for News International were involved in computer hacking.

Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister
The probe was prompted by allegations that Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP, was a British spy Photo: PA
The investigation is being carried out by detectives from Scotland Yard's Specialist Crime Directorate. It is separate from the phone hacking investigation.
The team of officers from Operation Tuleta are looking at the activities of individuals who were paid by News International, including a firm of private detectives offering "ethical hacking".
Officers are understood to be collecting evidence about the activities of a former Army intelligence officer who is said to have offered hacking services to the journalists.
The probe was prompted by allegations that Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein MP, was a British spy. They first surfaced in Irish newspapers five years ago and were vehemently denied by Republicans.
Unpublished documents relating to the claims have now been unearthed by Scotland Yard.
The allegations focus on the use of "Trojan" emails. These involve a hacker sending a computer virus to the target's computer. The virus then allows full access to the computer's contents.
The investigation will examine allegations that information was then written up into memo form and faxed to the News of the World.
It is understood that some of this information was allegedly sent to the News International bureau in Dublin, although it is not known who it was sent to there. The private detectives, including a former member of the Force Research Unit (FRU) of the British Army, cannot be named for legal reasons.
Two of those targeted are believed to be Kevin Fulton, an alleged former British agent within the IRA, and Martin Ingram, a former British army intelligence officer. Mr Ingram, who was a member of the FRU, is the co-author of a book, Stakeknife, in which he disclosed details of the most highly placed British spy in the IRA, saying he was a man called Freddie Scappaticci. Mr Scappaticci denies he was an intelligence source.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that Mr Fulton met detectives last week and was asked if information from his computer had ever appeared in print without permission.
Mr Fulton told detectives of material relating to Mr McGuinness that had been stored on his computer.
Mr Fulton had believed that some of the information had been leaked by police who had seized his computer in a raid on this home in 2005. This alleged leak led Mr Fulton to complain to the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, but his complaint was rejected due to lack of evidence.
The new discoveries apparently exonerate the police and suggest the information may have been stolen from his computer by a hacker. Mr Fulton wrote to the police in April alleging that some of his emails had been intercepted in 2006 by people acting on behalf of News International. In response, the Metropolitan Police replied to him: "As a result of the new inquiry being conducted by the [Met] into the unlawful interception of voicemail messages (Operation Weeting) and the various court actions relating to News International, the [Met] has received a large number of inquiries and allegations relating to access to private data that are broader than voicemail interception ...
"The [Met] has set up a small team in order to assess the various allegations that have been made with a view to establishing whether there is available evidence and if it would be appropriate to conduct any further investigation into these activities."
The latest disclosures follow a BBC Panorama investigating into the computer hacking claims.
The programme named Alex Marunchak, a former News of the World executive, as having obtained the emails. He denies any involvement.
In the programme, Mr Ingram said: "The BBC has shown me documents which contained parts of emails exchanged between me and a number of other people while I was living in France and some of these were later faxed to the Dublin office of the News of the World.
"The irony of the illegal procurement of information from my computer is that it was obtained by someone who also once worked for the Force Research Unit in the British Army. This person was being paid by News International to hack into my computer."
It is understood that the officers investigating the computer hacking claims have had no contact with News International.
News International declined to comment.