Extract from 'MI6 withdrawing its spies from the Balkans '
Nacional, 31/08/2004

Berislav Jelinić

Nacional has learned from diplomatic sources that the stories about ties between the British spies with the bosses of the Serbian mob began to circle back when George Benedict Joseph P. Busby was active in the British Embassy in Belgrade. This 44 year old from Suffock (sic) comes from an old English family, and his brother was a high ranking official in the British policy. He began his spy career in Bonn in 1989, and was transferred to Belgrade in 1992. Obviously he did his job well, as from Belgrade, Busby was made head of the MI6 station in Vienna, the main spy centre for the Balkans and Central Europe. Today Busby is in London and is one of the top 6 leading men in that agency.

Media sources from Belgrade remember Busby as a charming diplomat who had very strong ties to Milosevic’s SPS. Despite this, the Serbian DB considers him to be one of the most responsible in bringing down Milosevic, which he directly coordinated with Anthony Monckton.

At the time of Milosevic’s fall, Busby had already for some time been in Vienna, where he formally coordinated the financial assistant for the Serbian opposition forces, which was formally carried out by sending assistance for the so-called civil society groups and network of the leading Serbian tycoons and criminals, which today are considered to be the main burdens to Serbian transition.

Busby is also a personal friend of Dragoljub Marković, the controversial owner of Krmivoproduckt, and is especially close to Vladimir Beba Popović, the former head of the Government Office for Communication under the late Zoran Djindjić. Through Popović’s acquaintances and connections, Busby had excellent connections with the criminal Ljubiša Buha and with the tycoon Karić brothers. Busby was particularly well connected with Nenad Milić, the former Deputy to Serbian Police Minister Dušan Mihaljović.

In attempting to assist the strategic business interests of BAT (British American Tobacco), Busby wholeheartedly helped in lobbying for entry onto the Serbian market, which was supposed to have been carried out through a partnership with Stanko Subotić Cane (alleged to be Serb mafia boss), thought by Hans Jurgen Kolb, German State Prosecutor from Augsburg to be one of Europe’s top 25 cigarette smugglers. In as much, MI6 supported the British economic interests, even at the cost of achieving those through cooperation with organized crime. After Nacional revealed in detail who Subotić was in spring 2001, that business plan fell through.

It would be incorrect to claim that the British spies in one part of their activities in the Balkans had no direct influence on certain important political changes, especially in Serbia. However, they were to a great extent carried out in cooperation with the controversial tycoons and members of organized crime. These people today are the real hurdles to the transition of Serbia and Montenegro. George Busby, who established those ties, today is the very top ranks of the MI6. The British government should at the least ask what kind of message that sends to the world if they professionally honour a man who is personal friends with shady characters from the Serbian underground.

British Guardian did not release the names of the English spies

The British daily The Guardian published a detailed article on Friday 27 August on last week’s Nacional article and the scandal involving the British agents. It is interesting that The Guardian avoided releasing the names of the British spies mentioned in Nacional. That further suggests that the accuracy of the Nacional revelations, in which the British spies in the region are Gareth Lungley, nominally first secretary for political affairs at the British Embassy in Zagreb, Anthony Monckton, until recently an advisor in the British Embassy in Belgrade, Christopher Looms who nominally works in the Hague, Julian Braithwaite, an employee of the Office of the High Representative for BiH Paddy Ashdown and Alistair Sommerlad, British spy from their Embassy in Sarajevo.

The only name they did publish was Anthony Monckton, whose identity, photograph and business card was published several days before Nacional by the Serbian weekly, Nedeljni Telegraf. Nacional has learned from diplomatic sources that the MI6 knew the Guardian was preparing an article in which it would carry Nacional’s findings. Allegedly, MI6 contacted the editors of the Guardian and asked them not to release the names of the spies, as that would harm British national interests. If that is correct, then it is even more interesting to ask why no one in the Guardian asked how it was possible that MI6 knew in advance that they were planning to publish the article on Britain’s intelligence activities in the Balkans.

If the Telegraph article is accurate, then the British spies are very angry with NATO for translating certain sections of the article, together with the names of the British spies in the region. The article was somewhat unclear, but it did mention Nacional’s revelation. According to the Telegraph, the British government will launch an investigation into the case, as they believe that the publication of these names could endanger the lives of their spies. They were particularly angered by the fact that Nacional translated the article and made the article available to the entire world. The author of the article also incorrectly stated that Nacional sells 35 thousand copies weekly in Croatia, when in fact Nacional sells 45-50 thousand copies in Croatia.