David Shayler has lost an appeal which argued he should be able
to claim he
revealed state secrets in the interest of the public.
The Court of Appeal has backed an earlier decision that Shayler, 35, need not have gone public with revelations about alleged illegal activity in the security services.
Lawyers for the former spy had argued his human rights would be infringed during next months Official Secrets Act trial if he was prevented using the public interest defence.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, sitting with Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice Leveson, refused leave to appeal to the House of Lords, but Mr Shayler's lawyers can still apply directly to the Lords.
Shayler's solicitor John Wadham, director of civil rights group Liberty, said: "We are definitely going to appeal to the House of Lords, particularly because we want to see the Official Secrets Act reformed and we hope the House of Lords will be able to help on that."
The Court of Appeal concluded that there was no basis on which Mr Shayler could identify the action by some external agency which was going to create imminent threats to life or limb of members of the public as a result of the alleged abuses or to identify the members of the public at risk.
After his appeal was dismissed, Shayler said politicians and judges were complicit in allowing MI5 and MI6 to get away with murder and to ignore evidence of impending terror strikes.
"In the context of what's happening today it will be an enormous tragedy if MI5 had information and did not react to it," said Shayler outside the High Court."
(c) Copyright Ananova Ltd 2001, all rights reserved.
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