Snooping Scottish plod to be taken to tribunal by spied-on detective

Talking about a bungled murder inquiry? You'll be targeted under terror powers

A former detective for Police Scotland who raised concerns regarding a bungled murder inquiry, and was subsequently targeted by anti-terrorism powers, has stated he will follow his complaint through to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

According to the Scottish Sunday Mail, which had pursued the initial story, Gerry Gallacher was among those targeted under RIPA without the force having attempted to obtain a judicial warrant.

Judicial warrants became necessary for police attempting to uncover a journalist's source in March, after a number of incidents suggesting police were failing to act properly in such instances. An inspection by the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) into the incident determined that force's failures were "reckless".

Gallacher had raised concerns about the investigation of a murdered woman, Emma Caldwell. The Sunday Mail had reported that Police Scotland had ignored a significant suspect in the inquiry, instead wrongly focusing their two-year investigation on Turkish suspects. Charges against those suspects were eventually dropped, and nobody has yet been brought to justice for the murder.

Gallacher stated that "Anyone reading [the Mail's] reports that Sunday morning would have thought the police had a very a simple decision to take. But instead of ordering an immediate review of the new information, [Police Scotland] launched a hunt to find the source of that information. That is, I’m afraid, a dereliction of duty, a shameful decision."

According to the Sunday Mail, Gallacher now intends to follow his complaint about the illegal surveillance through to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

Several Members of the Scottish Parliament have stated their concern over Police Scotland's decision to pursue whistleblowers citing investigative failures, rather than renewing the investigation itself. The Register understands the targeting of whistleblowers will be raised before the Justice Committee at Holyrood. ®


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