Obituary — Paul Harris, Maverick Reporter & MI6 Agent (July 22, 1948 – May 24, 2018)

“Of course, I still care about this appalling miscarriage of justice [Lockerbie].  My view is that Bollier was a CIA agent. That is still my view based on my personal experience.”

Paul Harris — Email to Intel Today (November 16 2017)

Paul Harris alongside the Radio North Sea International (1971)

Paul Anthony Harris was born on July 22 1948 at Bexleyheath in Kent. He died on May 24 2018. Paul Harris has been the co-founder of a pirate radio station, a journalist, a writer and a publisher.

Harris reported not only from the Balkan conflict, but from war zones in Asia and Africa, filing stories from more than 50 countries. He also worked as an analyst on global insurgency and terrorism for Jane’s Intelligence Review. He was awarded the David Blundy Award certificate for work in Croatia and Bosnia at the 1992 British Press Awards.

He was also a former MI6 agent. And therefore, not surprisingly, Harris had a keen life-long interest in the Lockerbie Affair. He was convinced that this case was a spectacular miscarriage of justice. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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His obituary published by the Telegraph reads in part:

War correspondent: Bosnian border (Christmas Day 1991)

In 1970 Harris and others established Capital Radio (not to be confused with the later British radio station of the same name) off the Dutch coast.

“We did it for the thrill. There was a magic to having a ship floating on the seas broadcasting music to literally millions of people,” he recalled. “Eventually our ship went to drift on the Dutch coast when someone sawed through the anchor chain. A salvage company dug us off the beach and we were all arrested.”

The experience led Harris to write a second book, To Be A Pirate King (1971), and, as he claimed in an article in the Glasgow Herald in 2001, to his being recruited by MI6 to infiltrate the operations of a mysterious Zurich-based company which had launched another radio ship nearby, Radio North Sea International, controlled from an office in the Grand Hotel in Scheveningen on the Dutch coast.

The company, Mebo Telecommunications, founded by Edwin Bollier and Erwin Meister, would be named during the trial of suspects in the Lockerbie bombing case in 2000-1 because a Mebo timing device was alleged to have been used to trigger the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21 1988, killing 270 people.

In his evidence at the trial, Bollier, who denied any involvement in the bombing, accepted that a fragment of circuit board found at the site, which the prosecution claimed was from the timer, had been manufactured by his company.

He admitted selling timers to the Libyan secret service, having developed a relationship when Mebo sold its radio ships to Libya in the mid-1970s – a relationship which continued up until the time of the Lockerbie bombing. He also admitted supplying the Institut fur Technische Untersuchungen (ITU) in East Berlin, knowing it was a front organisation for the Stasi.

Under the headline: “How MI6 was told of Stasi spy who supplied the timer”, Harris claimed that during his investigations in Scheveningen he had become aware of “shipments of radio transmitter parts to East Germany and discovered in the outgoing mail copies of air freight waybills addressed to the ITU in East Berlin”.

“I spirited away the mail that looked interesting, steamed it open using a technique learned from the Eagle annual, photocopied it, popped it back in the post, and laid the copies aside for my next trip back to the UK,” Harris wrote. “Then … I would be contacted by a Special Branch officer who would set up my meeting with ‘W’, the man from MI6.”

In the summer of 1971, Harris claimed to have given his handler an envelope containing proof that Bollier was working for the Stasi.

“The world’s intelligence community knew all about Edwin Bollier,” he wrote in 2001. “The enduring question must be why his activities were tolerated.”

Harris claimed that he was never paid for his “minuscule part in winning the Cold War”.  As there was a warrant out for his arrest under the Marine Offences Act, however, he was granted immunity from prosecution.

Paul Harris on Lockerbie

In a piece published by The Herald on February 1 2001, Paul Harris wrote:

“The problem with the Lockerbie trial has been that the man who supplied the timer for the bomb which brought down the aircraft was never put on trial. Western intelligence agencies knew of the activities of Edwin Bollier as far back as 1971.

The envelope which should have brought Edwin Bollier’s career to an end — he was then an agent for the Stasi East German intelligence — was handed to MI6 in the summer of 1971.

I know because I handed the envelope containing the evidence to “W”, my MI6 controller, retired Perth Detective Superintendent, in an office in Guild Street, Aberdee”

In an email to Intel Today (November 16 2017), Harris told me that he believes that Bollier had become a CIA agent. Harris was convinced that the CIA connection explains why Bollier’s illegal activities were tolerated, and perhaps encouraged.

Harris had also an opinion regarding the true culprit of the Lockerbie tragedy.

“There is little doubt in my mind that the Libyans did NOT carry out the Lockerbie bombing, but rather that it was carried out by the Palestinian terror group PFLP-GC, based in Damascus, acting upon Iranian instructions in response to the 1988 downing of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes.”

In 1970 Harris and others established Capital Radio

Paul Harris and Li Ruiyou in the Coldingham Gallery

RNI TV footage seventies

REFERENCES

Obituary – Paul Harris, publisher and journalist — Herald

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Obituary — Paul Harris, Maverick Reporter & MI6 Agent (July 22, 1948 – May 24, 2018)

 

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