Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/522/3831
Scotland - Vendetta against Tommy Sheridan condemned
Defend the charged seven!
Tommy Sheridan in 2007
A total of seven people including Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail have now been charged with perjury by Lothian and Borders Police. Under the Freedom of Information legislation, the party Solidarity forced the police to reveal last week that they have spent a colossal 40,000 hours of officers' time so far on this investigation.
Philip Stott, Dundee
A minimum of 14 police officers have been involved at all times, and for some periods many more than that. The total bill so far is £1 million in police pay plus a further £115,000 in other costs.
Moreover the police also admitted that they have conducted no perjury investigations following any other civil case in the last decade.
The reality of the vendetta being carried out by Lothian and Borders police was underlined when they also charged Gail Sheridan with theft last week. This was in relation to the claim that 14 miniature bottles of spirits were removed when the police raided the Sheridan's home in December.
Gail's employer, British Airways, had reported no theft or missing items and it was not until two months later when the police informed BA of the miniatures that she was suspended from work. It was no coincidence that she was charged on the day that Solidarity received the freedom of information request response from the police, in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the publicity this would receive.
It failed and in fact has backfired spectacularly.
For many people this was the last straw. The 'Defend Tommy Sheridan - Defend the Sheridan 7 campaign' was inundated with support in the towns and cities across Scotland last week.
Newspaper columnists, including in the Daily Telegraph, the Scotsman and the Sunday Herald have been queuing up to condemn the actions of the police and have argued that this witch-hunt is bringing the legal system into disrepute.
The pressure on Lothian and Borders police and the Scottish crown office (who will make the decision on whether any trial takes place) must be increased.
See www.defendtommysheridan.org for more information on what you can do.
In The Socialist 27 February 2008:
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