Defiant Mosley alleges plot against him
Max Mosley, president of world motorsport’s governing body (FIA), claimed on Tuesday that he had been the victim of a covert surveillance operation orchestrated by unknown enemies of his so as to force him to resign his post.
However, the 67-year-old son of pre-World War II British fascist leader Oswald Mosley insisted that he would not step down, but that he would stay away from this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, not because he was asked to, but so as he could mend fences with his family.
Mosley, a lawyer and former candidate for the Conservative Party, was pictured in a British Sunday newspaper allegedly participating in an orgy with prostitutes dressed as Nazi guards.
Mosley, who has said he will take legal action against the perpetrators of the covert action, apologised in a statement for any embarrassment caused to the organisation and its members.
“I will not allow any of this to impede my commitment to the FIA,” said Mosley, who has been president of FIA—an unpaid role—since 1993.
“From information provided to me by an impeccable high-level source close to the United Kingdom police and security services, I understand that over the last two weeks or so, a covert investigation of my private life and background has been undertaken by a group specialising in such things, for reasons and clients as yet unknown. I have had similar but less well-sourced information from France.
“Regrettably you are now familiar with the results of this covert investigation and I am very sorry if this has embarrassed you or the club.
“Not content with publicising highly personal and private activities, which are, to say the least, embarrassing, a British tabloid newspaper published the story with the claim that there was some sort of Nazi connotation to the matter. This is entirely false.
“It is against the law in most countries to publish details of a person’s private life without good reason. The publications by the News of the World are a wholly unwarranted invasion of my privacy and I intend to issue legal proceedings against the newspaper in the UK and other jurisdictions.
“I have received a very large number of messages of sympathy and support from those within the FIA and the motorsport and motoring communities generally, suggesting that my private life is not relevant to my work and that I should continue in my role. I am grateful and, with your support [FIA], intend to follow this advice.
“I shall now devote some time to those responsible for putting this into the public domain but, above all, I need to repair the damage to my immediate family who are the innocent and unsuspecting victims of this deliberate and calculated personal attack.”
Earlier Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, a close friend of Mosley, had warned him off going to the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“He shouldn’t go,” Ecclestone told Tuesday’s edition of the Times. “The problem is he would take all the ink away from the race and put it on something which, honestly and truly, is nobody else’s business anyway.”
Asked how the Bahraini royal family might react to Mosley’s presence, Ecclestone said: “They wouldn’t like it.”
However, Ecclestone distanced himself from growing calls for Mosley’s resignation.
“What Max should do is what he thinks is right because it is only him that’s involved, not the FIA,” said Ecclestone. “He must do what he believes, in his heart of hearts, is the right thing.”—AFP