That Bugging Thing

Seriously?

Lawyers, including the human rights solicitors Gareth Peirce and Mudassar Arani, were allegedly "routinely bugged" by police during visits to see clients at Woodhill prison. Listening devices were said to have been concealed in tables at the jail.

Nationally it is thought that many more people may have been covertly recorded.

Serious criminals, including the Soham murderer Ian Huntley and the letter bomber Miles Cooper, are also thought to have been targeted by the alleged secret bugging.

They\’ve been routinely bugging defense solicitors talking with their clients?

Words fail me.

6 comments on “That Bugging Thing

  1. “Words fail me.”

    I’m sure DK will be sharpening a few. And for once won’t even come close to expressing the outrage.

  2. In the US, eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversation can be done legally but only with a warrant obtained from a judge upon presentation of evidence (of the prima facie sort) that the lawyer and client are criminal conspirators. Only eavesdropping evidence consistent with such conspiracy is admissable, including evidence gathered independently as the result of information gained through such inadmissable evidence.

    Eavesdropping of the sort played a role in the case against Lynn Stewart (defense lawyer for the “blind sheik” in the first WTC bombing case).

  3. In a notorious (at the time) FBI case in Philly against the Testa branch of the Mafia, many convictions (including that of the defense counsel) were won primarily on the basis of such eavesdropping (via tapped phones).

    A somewhat humorous aspect to the case was that one of the convicted defendants (a long-time “soldati”) had to listen in court to some of his co-defendants discuss plans for “whacking” him because of his penchant for violent action and the potential liability so posed. A well-known figure in the small town in which I live, he died in prison of a long-extant heart condition. I think the lawyer’s still in.

    Not so many years ago, the entire group of judges comprising the municipal court of Philadelphia were tried on bribery charges in which each had accepted a paper bag of cash from a union “local” after rendering a series of favorable decisions in union violence cases. All were convicted except one–a gal whose defense argued successfully that, because of her limited on-the-job experience, she couldn’t have any reason to suspect that the bag of cash was anything other than a routine campaign contribution. I suspect that another bag of cash may have figured in that one.

  4. Hm. And yet they won’t make the obvious move of permitting a thorough search of the lawyer on the way in and the way out . How very odd.

  5. I can’t help thinking that all lawyer/client discussions should be recorded and sealed, and the tapes only examined as a result of a warrant issued by a Judge. It would give crooked lawyers pause for thought.

  6. If these people freely choose to associate themselves with dodgy characters like lawyers and politicians, then they deserve to have their conversations recorded.

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