Today we are releasing another tranche of files from MI5 covering a range of suspected communists, and German and Russian agents. These files offer a glimpse into the murky world of state-sponsored espionage and shed light on some of the extraordinary stories of its participants.
One of those whose file is contained in this release is Desmond Patrick Costello, universally known as Paddy. Costello was a New Zealand born academic, soldier and diplomat, who remains as controversial now as he was during his lifetime.
Costello has been widely regarded as a Soviet spy, but these allegations have never been proven. Recently intelligence historian Professor Christopher Andrew has, based on KGB files, asserted that Costello was an agent code named LONG who provided the Russians with particularly valuable information. 1 Despite this, many have long felt that Costello was a victim of a smear campaign; the New Zealand author Sir James McNeish has written a biography of him disputing many of these claims. The newly-released files shed considerable light on this fascinating story, and will undoubtedly provide further ammunition for both sides of the debate. Continue reading »
- 1. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, ‘The Mitrokhin Archive: the KGB in Europe and the West’ (Allen Lane, 1999) pg. 534, 600 ^