Queen Elizabeth escaped 1970 murder plot in Australia: Detective

January 28th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 28 (DPA) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were the targets of an assassination attempt in Australia almost 40 years ago, a retired detective said Wednesday.Cliff McHardy told a Sydney radio station that suspected republican activists put a log on railway tracks to derail the royal train.

McHardy, 81, said the queen and her husband were unaware of the April 29, 1970, incident. The Lithgow Plot, as it was known, was kept under wraps to spare Canberra embarrassment, he said.

McHardy, who was the investigating officer, said he was breaking his silence because he wants the mystery solved.

“It was one of the big regrets of my police service,” McHardy told Macquarie Radio. “We never came up with any decent suspects because if we interviewed people, we seemed to be talking in riddles. We couldn’t disclose what our inquiries were about.”

The locomotive of the train pushed the log 200 metres before coming to a halt at a level crossing. If the train had derailed, it would have crashed into an embankment.

The train was travelling from Sydney across the Blue Mountains to the town of Orange.

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