- Eleven years after former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell plunged from his luxury yacht to a watery grave, his death still arouses intense interest.Many different
theories have circulated about what really happened on board the Lady Ghislaine that night in May 1991. Some believe the 67-year-old tycoon simply slipped into the sea, perhaps after a few drinks .
think Maxwell took his own life amid increasing troubles in his business empire - after his death investigators discovered he had been secretly diverting millions of pounds from two of his companies and from employee pension funds in an effort to keep solvent.But
now, after two and a half years of investigative journalism, we believe we have unearthed the true story of Maxwell's death and can reveal how he was murdered by the Israeli secret service, Mossad.
work, supported by documents, including FBI reports and secret intelligence files from behind the Iron Curtain, shows Maxwell had worked as a secret super spy for Mossad for six years. The Jewish millionaire and former Labour MP [born Ludvik Hoch in Czechoslovakia]
died the way he had lived - threatening.He had threatened his wife. Threatened his children. Threatened the staff of this newspaper.But finally he issued one threat too many - he threatened Mossad.
- He told them that unless they gave him £400million to save his crumbling empire, he would expose all he had done for them.In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing
Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe. On top of that he had built himself a position of power within the crime families of eastern Europe, teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from
drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.Maxwell passed on all the secrets he learned to Mossad in Tel Aviv. In turn, they tolerated his excesses, vanities and insatiable appetite for a luxurious lifestyle and women .He
told his controllers who they should target and how they should do it. He appointed himself as Israel's unofficial ambassador to the Soviet Bloc. Mossad saw the advantage in that.
- Having learned many of
the key secrets of the Soviet empire, Maxwell was given his greatest chance to be a super spy.Mossad had stolen from America the most important piece of software in the US arsenal. Maxwell was given the job of marketing the stolen software, called Promis.Mossad
had reconstructed the software and inserted into it a device which enabled them to track the use any purchaser made of the it. Sitting in Israel, Mossad would know exactly what was going on inside all the intelligence services that bought it. In all, Maxwell
sold it to 42 countries, including China and Soviet Bloc nations. But his greatest triumph was selling it to Los Alamos, the very heart of the US nuclear defence system.
- The more successful Maxwell became
the more risks he took and the more dangerous he was to Mossad. At the same time, the very public side of Maxwell, who then owned 400 companies, began to unwind .He spent lavishly and lost money on deals. The more he lost, the more he tried to claw money from
the banks. Then he saw a way out of his problems .
- He was approached by Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB. Spymaster and tycoon met in the utmost secrecy in the Kremlin . Kryuchkov had an extraordinary
proposal. He wanted Maxwell to help orchestrate the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist Soviet leader. That would bring to an end a fledgling democracy and a return to the Cold War days.In return, Maxwell's massive debts would be wiped out by a grateful
Kryuchkov, who planned to replace Gorbachev. The KGB chief wanted Maxwell to use the Lady Ghislaine, named after Maxwell's daughter, as a meeting place between the Russian plotters, Mossad chiefs and Israel's top politicians. The plan was for the Israelis
to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control. In return, Kryuchkov would guarantee to free hundreds of thousands
of Jews and dissidents in the Soviet republics. Kryuchkov told Maxwell that he would be seen as a saviour of all those Jews. It was a proposal he could not refuse. But when he put it to his Mossad controllers they were horrified. They said Israel would have
no part in such a madcap plan.
- For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should
receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties . Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad
had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects.The group of Mossad plotters sensed, like Solomon, he could
bring their temple tumbling down and cause incalculable harm to Israel. The plan to kill him was prepared in the utmost secrecy. A four-man squad was briefed.
- Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to
fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told.On the night of November 4, 1991, the Lady Ghislaine, one
of the world's biggest yachts, was at sea. Unknown to its crew, the death squad had cast an electronic net over the yacht to block all radio transmissions. The security cameras on board had been switched off .After midnight there were only two men on the bridge.
One hundred and twenty feet behind them, Maxwell appeared on deck .He had been instructed to do so in a previous message from Mossad .A small boat came alongside. On board were four black-suited men. Three scrambled on to the yacht. In a second it was all
over.Two held Maxwell. The third plunged a syringe into his neck behind his ear. A measured dose of nerve agent was injected. Robert Maxwell was immobilised. He was lowered off the deck into the water.As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On
that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over."
- The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen
autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death .