Nicholas Davies (author)

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Nicholas Davies is a British journalist and author. He is not be confused with the British investigative journalist Nick Davies, although he is sometimes known by this version of the name.

Alleged Israeli asset

According to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Davies was recruited as an Israeli intelligence asset in the early 1980s. Hersh's main source, Israeli intelligence agent Ari Ben-Menashe, states that Davies had a friend in Mossad, and attended a meeting in London before accepting an invitation to visit Israel.[1]

Ora Limited

According to Ben-Menashe, he and Davies were partners in an international arms sales firm, known initially as Ora Limited, which was run out of Davies' home from 1983. He told told Hersh that the Israeli government approved their activities as part of a drive to get arms to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, stating: "Davies was my main back-up on all the Iran arms sales".[2]

A second source for the allegation was provided by Davies' ex-wife, the actress Janet Fielding, who told Hersh that she left him because of his arms-trading activities with Ben-Menashe.[3]

Ben-Menashe's files included a 1987 cable to Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, which stated that Davies was an Ora representative with authority to sign contracts in Iraq. Other documents record attempts to set up a communications company in Arizona, to be headed by Robert D. Watters, who confirmed to Hersh that Davies had represented Ora.[4]

Mordechai Vanunu

In 1986, Colombian journalist Oscar E. Guerrero approached the Sunday Mirror on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu, a scientist working on Israel's secret nuclear programme. Ben-Menashe claimed that he was tipped off about the approach by Davies, who was then foreign editor of the Daily Mirror.[5]

Ben-Menashe claims to have been introduced to Guerrero by Davies as an American journalist. He induced Vanunu to hand over photographs, on the pretext of standing up his story, which enabled the Israelis to gauge the extent that of his knowledge of their nuclear programme.[6]

The result, according to Ben-Menashe, was an Israeli-inspired effort to discredit Vanunu, in which Davies worked closely with Mirror Group proprietor Robert Maxwell, setting out the framework for the Sunday Mirror's story of 28 September 1986. Hersh, however, notes that the journalists who wrote the story had no contact with Davies, but were directed by Sunday Mirror editor Michael Molloy who ordered them to hand over Vanunu's photographs and data to the Israeli Embassy.[7]

According to Ben-Menashe, it was Davies who provided information about Vanunu's location in London, which enabled his entrapment by Israeli agent Cindy Hanin Bentov.[8]

Ben-Menashe arrest

According to Hersh, Davies still had business links with Ben-Menashe when the Israeli was arrested in New York in 1989. He successfully resisted efforts to have him testify in the case by lawyers for Ben-Menashe, who claimed that he could prove that the Israeli government had authorised the sale of C-130s to Iran.[9]

Hersh controversy

Both Davies and Robert Maxwell sued following publication of The Samson Option. However Hersh's claims were repeated by MPs Rupert Allason and George Galloway in Parliament allowing the media to report them. One key allegation, that Davies had visited Ohio in 1985 to negotiate an arms deal, was supported with documents provided by Davies' ex-wife. The Mirror rubbished these as forgeries and Davies denied ever having visited the state. However, the Daily Mail published a photograph of Davies in Ohio in 1985 with the wife of an arms-dealer.[10]

Royal Family

Davies was a source for a 2002 documentary about Prince William made by Prince Edward's production company, Ardent Productions, according to the Daily Mail:

Virtually unknown in this country, Davies has published a series of scandalous revelations about the royals abroad to avoid the risk of a libel writ here.
He claims the Royal Family have a serious problem with William. In the programme Davies says: 'He has told his father categorically that he never, never wants to be King.'[11]

Davies told a BBC documentary in 2006 that he believed Princess Diana had been murdered:

"The more we are left with so many unanswered questions, the more we are left saying there is only one answer to this - that she was taken out."[12]

In 2007, Davies named a minor royal as the victim of an alleged sex and drugs blackmail plot on Fox News, circumventing British reporting restrictions.[13]


  • Ten-Thirty-Three, Mainstream Publishing, 1999.
  • Elizabeth: Behind Palace Doors, Mainstream Publishing, 2000.
  • Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover-Up and Murder in Northern Ireland's Dirty War, Mainstream Publishing, 2005.


  1. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, pp.309-310.
  2. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.309.
  3. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.311.
  4. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.310.
  5. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.309.
  6. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, pp.311-312.
  7. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, pp.312-313.
  8. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.315.
  9. Seymour M. Hersh, The Samson Option, Faber and Faber, 1993, p.315.
  10. Seumas Milne, The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners, Verso, 2004, pp.221-222.
  11. Edward 'misled Charles' over royal documentary, Daily Mail, 17 August 2002.
  12. Tests 'prove' Diana driver drunk, The Conspiracy Files, BBC, 8 December 2006.
  13. Andrew Pierce, 'Blackmail' royal is named for first time,, 30 October 2007.