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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 22:46 GMT
Police probe Sheridan 'bug' claim
Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan is an MSP for the Solidarity party
Police are investigating a complaint from Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan that he has been bugged.

The Solidarity MSP's staff called in officers on Thursday after a "device" was found in his car while he was travelling back to Holyrood.

Lothian and Borders Police have taken the item away for examination.

Mr Sheridan said the device had a "wee aerial" on it and that he was "concerned and very angry". He is due to meet officers on Friday.

His car was being kept overnight by the police, who asked him not to release any further details.

Appeal hearing

Last year the former Scottish Socialist Party leader won 200,000 in damages from the News of the World over stories which alleged he was a "swinger" and had cheated on his wife Gail.

Following the verdict prosecutors ordered police to carry out a criminal investigation into allegations of perjury during the defamation case.

The News of the World is seeking to overturn the court's verdict and an appeal is due to be heard in December.

The state has a fine history of trying to destabilise and undermine socialist movements or trade union struggles
Tommy Sheridan

The tabloid later produced a video it claimed showed Mr Sheridan admitting he had visited a swingers' club.

The footage was dismissed as a "concoction" by the MSP, who claimed to be the victim of "sinister forces".

After the tape emerged, Mr Sheridan told a press conference that he believed the British state was orchestrating a plot against him.

He said: "The state has a fine history of trying to destabilise and undermine socialist movements or trade union struggles.

"And when the history of this whole episode is written about, I think you'll find that MI5 certainly was involved."

I don't know who would want to bug Tommy Sheridan
Colin Fox
Scottish Socialist Party convener

The trial split the Scottish Socialist Party, with senior members and MSPs giving evidence for both sides.

The acrimony within the party culminated in Mr Sheridan and another MSP, Rosemary Byrne, leaving to set up the breakaway left-wing party Solidarity.

Colin Fox, who replaced Mr Sheridan as SSP convener, said he was "flabbergasted" by the latest development.

The MSP said: "It's another bizarre twist in the tale.

"I'm as surprised as anybody by this. I don't know who would want to bug Tommy Sheridan.

"I await with interest to find out what this item is that Lothian and Borders Police have picked up."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
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SEE ALSO
Newspaper's Tommy appeal date set
13 Feb 07 |  Scotland
Perjury probe over Sheridan trial
02 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Tabloid launches Sheridan appeal
11 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West
Sheridan victory in court battle
04 Aug 06 |  Scotland

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