Francis Richards

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Francis Richards
Jim Watt

Sir Francis Richards was Director of Government Communications Headquarters from 1998 to 2003.[1]

Omagh bomb

Richards was one month into the job at GCHQ, when 29 people were killed in the Omagh bomb. In 2008, it was reported that the bombers had been under phone-tap surveillance by GCHQ as they crossed the border from the Republic of Ireland to plant the device. The BBC's Panorama programme claimed the evidence was never passed on to police.[1]


Richards sits on the international advisory board of Altimo, an investment business owned by Alfa Group of Russia.[2] According to the Daily Mail, Altimo is "controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, a leading figure in energy group TNK which had a spectacular falling-out with BP" in 2008.[3]


External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Booth, 'Bombers' were tracked across border by GCHQ on their way to Omagh, The Guardian, 15 September 2008.
  2. The International Advisory Board, Altimo, accessed 10 July 2009.
  3. Ben Laurance, CITY FOCUS: Exposed - the new dodgy dossier from Altimo, Daily Mail, 14 November 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 7 November 2014
  5. NSI announces retirement of chairman, Sir Francis Richards, KCMG CVO National Security Inspectorate, 12 August 2013, accessed 7 November 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Francis Richards Bloomberg Businessweek, 7 November 2014, accessed 7 November 2014