Former US President RICHARD NIXON tried to get John Lennon deported from America by fabricating drug charges, because he feared the late beatle's protests against the Vietnam War would end his presidency, according to FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) papers.

Nixon ordered secret agents to stalk Lennon in 1972, because he was anxious the IMAGINE star's publicised support of anti-Republican organisation ELECTION YEAR STRATEGY INFORMATION CENTER would threaten his plans for a second term in office.

The President's aides discovered Lennon had been arrested for the possession of narcotics in 1968 and made-up further drug charges in an attempt to have the singer thrown out of America, but Lennon fought a four-year battle against deportation and won.

One of the 1972 FBI papers reads, "Lennon is reportedly a heavy user of narcotics known as 'downers'. This information should be emphasised to local law enforcement agencies covering, with regards to subject being arrested if at all possible on possession of narcotics charge.

"NYPD (New York Police Department) Narcotics Division is aware of subject's recent use of narcotics and are attempting to obtain enough info to arrest both subject and wife Yoko Ono based on investigation."

The FBI documents detailing its surveillance of Lennon have just been released on website SMOKINGGUN.COM by Lennon expert PROFESSOR JON WIENER, who has spent decades fighting for more access to the files.

22/10/2004 14:16