[What follows is excerpted from a report published on the BBC News website on this date in 1998:]
The BBC has broadcast an interview with the former MI5 officier David Shayler in which he spoke about an alleged plot by the UK's Secret Intelligence Service to kill Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. (...)
The revelations, after investigations by BBC journalist Mark Urban, are among the most damaging against the security services for decades and will put further pressure on the government to examine allegations that it has dismissed as "inconceivable".
They could also jeopardise moves to try two Libyan men accused of the Lockerbie airline bombing, which killed nearly 300 people in 1988.
An announcement is imminent over whether, after years of negotiations, Libya will hand over the suspects for trial in a neutral country.
Mr Shayler said he was not worried about the effect his allegations would have on the case because having seen the intelligence reports he said there was no chance of the two being handed over.
But Dr Jim Swire, campaigning for the Lockerbie relatives, said: "It is now over 500 weeks since my daughter was murdered at Lockerbie and this week the head of the Arab League is discussing a neutral country trial under Scottish law with Gaddafi in Tripoli and the last thing we wanted were allegations that British organisations had been trying to kill him."