Friday 15 November 2019

Ian Bailey claims gardai used nearby phone mast to illegally bug his calls

Georgina O'Halloran

IAN Bailey has claimed that a former member of an Garda Siochana told him that two other officers had fixed a recording device to a mast near his home to carry out phone-tapping without the necessary legal authority.

Speaking at his home in Toormore, in west Cork , Bailey said that he had received information very recently, that "as far back as early 1997" he and his partner Jules Thomas, "were subjected to unauthorised, illegal phone tapping".

Mr Bailey, who was a one-time suspect in the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996, claimed that in early October a former garda told him that two gardai had fixed a recording device to a telephone mast in the close vicinity of his home in the early part of 1997, without the correct legal authority.

"I spoke to the individual, who gave me the details and names of the two gardai who had installed the device," said Mr Bailey.

If gardai wish to tap a suspect's phone, a warrant must be obtained, which must be requsted by the Garda Commissioner and signed by a judge and the Minister for Justice.

Mr Bailey added he suspected that a box, which was found on a telephone mast just 200 yards from his house, and which was pointed out to him by a neighbour on Friday, might be the bugging device referred to by the former Garda.

"But I suspect it would have long been obsolete," he said.

Mr Bailey said he suspected the phone tapping by gardai was still going on.

Mr Bailey, a law graduate, said he had already lodged a complaint with Judge Carroll Moran, a circuit court judge who investigates allegations of phone-tapping.

His complaint is that between 1997 and 2012 he was unlawfully subjected to surveillance by the gardai, who he believes had been monitoring his telephone communications and his movements.

He has also informed Judge Moran of the information he received in relation to the recording device, allegedly placed on a mast near his home more than 14 years ago.

"He (Judge Moran) has accepted the investigation and is going to look backwards from now until January 2008," said Mr Bailey.

Mr Bailey was arrested twice for questioning about the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home near Schull in west Cork in 1996.

He has always protested his innocence and has denied any involvement in the murder.

The Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is carrying out an investigation into the treatment of Mr Bailey by gardai investigating the murder of Ms du Plantier.

Mr Bailey is also taking a civil action against the State.

A spokesman for the Garda said they could not comment, as the GSOC was carrying out an investigation.

Irish Independent

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