Irish Republican News · December 5, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Bugging lawyers unlawful, says judge

The bugging of conversations between lawyers and clients has been ruled unlawful by a British judge.

A ruling by the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Kerr, said the monitoring of such conversations will be unlawful, unless it is authorised by an independent person.

A lawyer is awaiting trial on charges of attempting to incite murder and pervert the course of justice after a conversation he had with a client was spied on.

The allegations, which he denies, are based on conversations he had with clients at Antrim police station.

Until now, such surveillance could be authorised by a deputy chief constable.

But this week the Lord Chief Justice said that would no longer be the case.

* A member of Republican Sinn Féin in east Tyrone warned last week that British agents have been actively seeking to recruit him in East Tyrone.

The chairperson of Republican Sinn Féin in east Tyrone said this week he had been the subject of two attempts by British intelligence to recruit him as an informer.

“They informed me that I was being monitored for some time and made detailed reference to my movements. My family and girlfriend were also mentioned, and an attempt was made to give me a contact number,” he said.

They pointed to a car and told me that it could be his. On another occasion, he was told that he needed “protection” and would continue to enjoy this for as long as I was passing on information. They said that I could get up to whatever I wanted ... they didn’t care.

“Enquiring as to why I would need protection, they replied: ‘We don’t need any evidence to arrest you - look at what we did at Sixmilecross [an arrest operation]. Do you want us to come to your house next?’

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© 2007 Irish Republican News