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Sources: 1993, Alan Clark, 'Diaries', p. 369-374; July 10, 1997 An Phoblacht/Republican News, 'Editor's Desk'; February 1, 1998, News Confidential, 'Jonathan Aitken MI6, CIA?'; 18 June 2000, Sunday Telegraph / Lobster Magazine, Issue 40, winter 2000-2001
Great nephew of Hitler-intimate Lord Beaverbrook, whose son ended up in the 1001 Club. Attended the 1990 Pinay meeting in Oman and the June 2000 meeting in Lisbon. Served as a war correspondent (and MI6 agent) during the 1960s in the Middle-East, Vietnam, and Biafra (short-lived state next to Nigeria). For 18 years he was on the backbenches. Then became a Conservative Member of Parliament in 1974. Admirer of Richard Nixon, who attended meetings of the Cercle after having left the White House. In the 1980s Aitken was a director of BMARC, a company that exported weapons to intermediary countries, who sold these weapons again to the intended countries (Iraq in that case). CEO of TV-Am and chairman of Aitken Hume Plc, a banking and investment group. In 1992 he was appointed as Minister of State for Defense. During this time he stood in close contact with co-Le Cercle member and MI6 head of Middle-East affairs Geoffrey Tantum. Aitken has been a chairman of Le Cercle. Protege of Lord Julian Amery, another former head of Le Cercle with a very significant zionist family history. In 1994, he joined the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, but resigned in 1995 to defend himself against accusations that whilst Minister of Defence Procurement (1993) he violated ministerial rules by allowing an Arab businessman to pay for his stay in the Ritz Hotel Paris (and a stay in Geneva). After telling lie, after lie, after lie, he was jailed in 1999 for 18 months (eventually he served 7), supposedly because he told a lie under oath about a 1500 pound bill. In the end it turns out that Aitken was lobbying for 3 arms contractors, GEC, Marconi and VSEL, in an effort to sell many, many millions worth of arms to Saudi-Arabia. His Saudi business contact was Said Ayas, who worked for Prince Mohammed, son of King Fahd. Through multiple offshore companies in Switzerland and Panama, submarines, howitzers, medium-range laser guided bombs, Black Hawks, and EH101 helicopters were sold and shipped. In 1997 he was asked to resign as chairman of Le Cercle, but within a few years a report surfaced he had been taken up again in this group. Chaired many Parliamentary committees and business groups including The British Saudi Arabian Parliamentary Group. One of the few people who had to resign from the Privy Council. Often the media has been confused about Aitken being an Anglican or a Roman Catholic. June 12, 1999, The Tablet, 'Jonathan Aitken says Sorry': "This week the fall of Jonathan Aitken, once a star in British politics, was complete when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Earlier he had given an assistant editor of The Tablet access to a revealing text in which he bares his soul. "I am a man of unclean lips." The speaker is Jonathan Aitken, and he is referring quite explicitly to his perjury, for which he was sentenced on Tuesday to eighteen months in prison. He is, of course, quoting Isaiah 6:5, but he hastens to add, "I'm not for one second comparing myself to Isaiah"... The trouble with Jonathan Aitken is that the public will never take him seriously again. He held a press conference to launch his libel action against the Guardian and Granada television with these words, "I will cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism with the simple sword of truth", only to be impaled upon his own sword. The Guardian were able to uncover evidence to prove that he had lied over the question of who had paid his hotel bill in Paris. It might seem a small matter, but on it hung allegations of taking secret commission for multi-million-pound arms dealings, over which Aitken had lied not only to the press but also apparently to his own Government. The deceit even involved the corruption of Aitken's own daughter, 13 at the time of the hotel incident, whom he had persuaded to sign a false statement saying she was in Paris. Corruption of the young, and self-enrichment from arms dealings, are commonly put high on the list of mortal sins. How do you emerge from a reputation as a mega-liar?... he has been a church-goer for years. It is a surprise, however, to hear that he has done the Alpha course, not once but three times, graduating from a humble student to a helper who pours coffee. Even more astonishing, he has done Ignatian retreats. His first experience was in the Westminster retreats in daily life, for MPs and others working at Westminster, and in due course he went away to the Coach House in Inverness to make an individually directed eight-day retreat with the Jesuit Gerry W. Hughes." Ignatian retreats refers to the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Gerry Hughes is a well known religious author; his name appears in prayer located on the website of the Jesuit Centre of Ignatian Spirituality, Malta. This same news report also claimed: "... stripped as a bankrupt of his Rolex watch, still able to draw from an unspecified source living expenses of 11,400 [pounds] a month"Aitken, like his follow-up chair at Le Cercle, Lord Lamont, is a serious eurosceptic. September 2, 2005, ePolitix, 'Jonathan Aitken - former Conservative minister': "The times have also changed in that there is no constitution referendum coming, the debate now is not should we go forward with more European integration, it is now should we come out of Europe... People have realised that the dream of a federal Europe with Britain at the centre of it has been a dream that has failed. I and a few others could see that it would fail and it has. The Conservative Party, a party that said under Heath "we are the party of Europe" is now the party of changing our relationship with Europe which is a very healthy thing. So I think that the views of the early eurosceptics has been vindicated."
A few years ago I was told that Aitken had accepted an invitation to speak at a local church and I was asked if I would like to attend the lecture. "Yes please, I'll have some questions ready for him," I replied. But Aitken canceled at the last moment and that was that.

Jonathan Aitken: a timeline, Thursday 4 March 1999 16.14 GMT
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Jonathan Aitken accused of offences under the Official Secrets Act for passing on classified information to the Sunday Telegraph about the Biafran war in Nigeria. He was acquitted of all charges having pleaded that it was his "duty in the interests of the state" to have done so.
Becomes MP for Thanet East constituency.

September 1988
Aitken joins board of BMARC as a non-executive director.

March 1990
Resigns from BMARC.

Aitken becomes Minister of Defence Procurement.

November 1992
John Major sets up the Scott Inquiry to investigate the sale of arms to Iraq in breach of government guidelines during 1984-90.

September 1993
Aitken is spotted at the Paris Ritz hotel. Said Mohammed Ayas and Wafic Said, two former business associates, were also seen there at the same time. His bill is paid by Prince Mohammed bin Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

October 1993
The Guardian is tipped off by Mohamed Al-Fayed about Jonathan Aitken's recent stay at the Paris Ritz. When contacted by the paper, Aitken maintains his wife settled the bill.

November 1993
Guardian sends "cod fax" to Paris Ritz to secure a copy of Jonathan Aitken's bill for his stay in September 1993. The ploy is successful.

February 1994
Aitken cleared of wrongdoing after the correspondence between he and the Guardian is sent to the Cabinet Secretary and John Major.

July 1994
Appointed to the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

October 1994
The Guardian's 'cash for questions' investigation accuses Aitken and three other ministers.

October 1994
John Major announces the setting up of the Nolan Committee on standards in public life. Story of the Guardian's "cod fax" is leaked by the Sunday Telegraph.

November 1994
MPs vote to send "cod fax" investigation to the Committee of Privileges.

March 1995
Fresh allegations that Aitken knew about the arms deals with Iran in breach of the government embargo as he would have routinely seen BMARC company progress reports. Aitken denies knowledge of them.

April 1995
The Guardian reveals that Aitken's Paris Ritz hotel bill was paid by the Saudis. Screening of Granada's World in Action documentary, Jonathan of Arabia, about the business and personal dealings between Aitken and Mohammed bin Fahd. Among the programme's accusations, it is alleged that Aitken pimped for Saudi friends at a health farm.

10 April 1995
Jonathan Aitken announces he has issued writs against the Guardian and its editor-in-chief. Resigning from the Cabinet, he declares, "If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of fair play, so be it."

27 April 1995
Jonathan Aitken issues a writ for defamation against Granada.

June 1995
Commons motion reveals that Jonathan Aitken had signed a controversial "gagging order" - officially called a Public Interest Immunity Certificate (PIIC) - in September 1992 for the Matrix Churchill trial. The documents covered by the PIIC included reports relating to the supply of arms to Iraq by BMARC, of which he was a company director at the relevant time.

December 1995
Aitken sues the Guardian and Granada Television over their allegations about his role in BMARC.

May 1997
Loses his Thanet South seat in the General Election.

June 1997
Aitken's libel case against the Guardian and Granada collapses when evidence shows that he, his family and friends had lied to the court. Airline tickets show that his family could not have been in Paris during Aitken's stay in September 1993, and Aitken's claim that his wife paid the bill is false. He and his wife announce their separation soon afterwards, and he is stripped of his membership of the Privy Council.

March 1998
Aitken becomes a representative for the arms company GEC-Marconi, who are believed to have sought his Saudi connections. His £2m legal bill from the failed libel case remains unpaid. Aitken sells his house in Kent.

March 1998
Daughter Victoria and Said Ayas are arrested in connection with allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Aitken himself is arrested soon afterwards. All are released on police bail.

May 1998
Just before being charged with perjury, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perverting the course of justice, a newspaper report claims that Aitken plans to plea in his defence that he lied in order to conceal his role as a secret government intelligence intermediary. He later denies this and says he will use it only as a 'mitigating factor'. Said Ayas is also charged with conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice and perverting the cause of justice.

August 1998
The case against Victoria Aitken is dropped due to insufficient evidence.

January 1999
Pleads guilty at the Old Bailey to one charge of perjury and one charge of perverting the course of justice. He denies two further charges.

March 1999
The CPS drops charges against Said Ayas. Aitken is reported to have suffered a minor stroke.

May 1999
Aitken is made bankrupt by the High Court. He claims to have been forced into bankruptcy by the Guardian and Granada's refusal to accept a cash settlement of his outstanding legal bill. The Guardian rejects his reasons for bankruptcy, saying 'he has not paid a penny' of the bill he promised to pay 80% of.
A lot of Guardian articles on Aitken's pompous hypocrisy:

Aitken pontificated:

Quote:"If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight. The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it. My fight begins today. Thank you and good afternoon."

The "trusty shield of British fair play" would likely have included getting his teenage daughter to perjure herself.

Quote:The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, last night wrote to Paul Condon, the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dame Barbara Mills, to investigate what he described as 'a well-laid and carefully co-ordinated conspiracy to pervert the course of justice'.

Mr Rusbridger said yesterday: 'Jonathan Aitken seems to have impaled himself on the simple sword of truth. For three years he has lied to newspapers, lied to the Cabinet Secretary, lied to the Prime Minister and lied to his colleagues. Now he has made the fatal mistake of lying on oath to the High Court.

'Worse than that, Aitken - a former cabinet minister and a Privy Counsellor - intended to put his teenage daughter in the witness box to tell further lies to save his skin. This was the man who promised to use the trusty shield of British fair play.' He added: 'The case demonstrated how ineffective official procedures are in exposing dishonesty at the heart of public life.

'That role has almost exclusively been performed by the media in the past five years. But the libel laws make such reporting a dangerous and potentially prohibitive exercise. The Lord Chancellor should move urgently to reform the laws which make London the libel capital of the world.' Aitken also faced other allegations that he:

* Procured prostitutes for Arab guests at a Berkshire health farm, Inglewood.

* Falsely passed himself off as Inglewood's owner to conceal the identity of the hydro's Arab purchasers.

* Lied while a director of TV-am, and covered up a plan to give Arab investors control of the channel.

* Concealed his links, while minister for defence procurement, with a Lebanese arms dealer involved in an arms contract between a British firm and the Lebanese government.

* Became financially dependent on his Arab contacts, including Prince Mohammed, the son of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Quote:Bankruptcy officials have received dramatic new evidence, which they are believed to be investigating, that Jonathan Aitken - the disgraced former cabinet minister who claims to be virtually penniless - had a secret Swiss bank account into which $4m was deposited by a Saudi prince.

Evidence of the existence of this account, at the Lausanne branch of Credit Suisse, has led to the postponement of an agreement that Aitken had hoped to make with his credi tors to escape from bankruptcy without paying much of the debt he owes from his failed libel action.

A pious hypocrite.