Glasgow Bombing Suspect: My Car was Bugged
In Scotland, there was a recent attempt on the lives of Neil Lennon, Paul McBride, and Trish Godman, three high ranking officials in the Scottish government. Since the attack, two men have been caught and are currently facing charges with severe penalties. However, in a new turn of events, it has come to light that the car of one of the suspects may have been bugged as part of the investigation.
Neil McKenzie and Trevor Muirhead, the two defendants in this case, have consistently denied their participation in the conspiracy to murder Celtic manager Neil Lennon, QC Paul McBride and former MSP Trish Godman. The attempt on their lives was made in May 2011.
In reference to the bugging accusations, the surveillance officers who were investigating the case told the High Court in Glasgow that there were “set objectives to follow Mr. McKenzie”.
As part of her own individual investigation, a detective said she later discovered a bugging device had been placed in Mr. McKenzie’s car. Detective Constable Carrie Brown, 34, released a statement saying that she had discovered McKenzie’s black Ford Focus had been bugged and that McKenzie the subject of a covert surveillance operation.
Detective Constable Brown agreed with defense QC Donald Findlay, who said that the police had “sneaked away his car and planted a bug in it”. The jury heard all of the evidence concerning the bugging of Mr. McKenzie. It was confirmed that the police had followed Mr. McKenzie in Ayrshire. They followed him in more ways than one, relying on patrolmen both in cars and on foot. McKenzie was followed for three days on May 3rd, May 4th and May 5th of 2011.
Detectives told the court they had watched Mr. McKenzie in the Ayrshire towns of Saltcoats, Irvine and Stevenston.
Officers said they had seen Mr. McKenzie visit B&M stores, B&Q, Asda, Morrisons and a solicitors office.
The court also heard that Mr. McKenzie had apparently taken his elderly mother to vote in the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 5 May.
Under cross examination from Mr. Findlay, QC for Mr. McKenzie, Det Con Brown agreed that the suspect had adopted no anti-surveillance techniques and had behaved mundanely and normally.
Mr. Muirhead, from Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, and Mr. McKenzie, from Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, are charged with conspiring to assault and murder Mr. Lennon, Ms Godman, Mr. McBride and occupants of the Cairde na h’Eireann offices by sending them devices they believed were capable of exploding.
It is understandable in a case such as this that police officers and other investigators would want to gather as much information about their subject as possible. But is there a line? When does good investigative work end and invasion of privacy begin? In the United States, that issue is constantly addressed. There was a recent case in the Supreme Court that ruled that placing a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle without a proper warrant was unconstitutional. However, other concerns do still prevail. If you have any reason to believe that you are the target of a hidden camera or bugging device, don’t delay. Act today.