Socialist and former MSP Tommy Sheridan has accused Lothian and Borders police of mounting a vendetta against himself, his family and his political allies. It certainly seems that way.
Last year police swooped on him in a radio station car park and arrested him for perjury. This followed his successful libel case against the News of the World.
At the same time nine officers raided his family home where the only occupants were Tommy’s wife, Gail, and their two year old daughter. The police took away bags containing perfume, underwear and baby clothes.
Gail Sheridan was subsequently suspended from her job with British Airways – after 23 years service – when police found some miniature bottles of whisky during the raid on the family home. No doubt they’ll be checking their TV licence is up to date.
A Scottish Sunday paper revealed that during Gail’s six-hour long detention police accused her of “acting like an IRA terrorist” when she refused to answer their questions – something she is entirely within her rights to do.
So far £1 million has been spent by Lothian and Borders police on this inquiry, which has taken up 40,000 hours of their time. Six others who appeared on the witness stand in summer 2006 have also been charged with perjury, including Tommy’s father-in-law and former Solidarity MSP Rosemary Byrne.
As the investigation continues, no date has yet been set for a possible trial.
But the case is raising concerns among senior figures in the Scottish legal establishment – not natural supporters of Sheridan – who fear this is stacking up to become a political show trial. There are also questions about why Lothian and Borders police have so much time and cash to spare on this case.
For more information or to send a message of support to Tommy Sheridan’s campaign, go to » www.defendtommysheridan.org