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Sinn Fein man wants answers over bugging device claims in book

By Donna Deeney

Published 14/10/2016

Angry: Raymond McCartney
Angry: Raymond McCartney

A Sinn Fein Assembly member has called for the Chief Constable to state whether listening devices planted in his home in an Army operation in 2002 are still there.

Details of the operation are contained in the controversial book Charlie One, by a former British soldier writing under the pen name of Sean Hartnett.

He claimed soldiers fully planted the devices in the home of Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney.

He also claimed agents left behind a book containing detailed information on the layout of Mr McCartney's home by mistake.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hartnett said the Army was monitoring Mr McCartney's home for weeks after he found the book - and the bugging devices could still be there.

"I was part of the operation that planted the device inside Raymond McCartney's home both on the night and during the months of surveillance leading up to the night of the operation," he explained.

"My role was to provide technical support to the operators on the ground. I prepared their covert surveillance vehicles and covert body communications and monitored their communications throughout the operation.

"I also provided technical support to the network of overt and covert surveillance cameras that were monitoring Raymond McCartney's home at the time.

"All the information in the book is of my own first-hand experience of life at The Det (undercover army unit), including the fact that despite searches and sweeps - presumably by private security companies - which we could actively hear in the weeks after Mr McCartney found the book, the device was never found and continued to operate.

"We know because we were actively listening. I am sure if Mr McCartney gets a competent company to search his premises he may well still find what was left behind."

The Foyle MLA confirmed the presence of the Army document, which he found when his family returned from a weekend break in Donegal.

Mr McCartney said he had asked PSNI chief George Hamilton if there were any listening devices left in his home.

"I did return home from a weekend in Inishowen with my family and we did find a book," he added.

"This book contained a number of drawings of keys and locks in our home, and I knew by the nature of it that it wasn't something I owned.

"After consulting with my family, solicitor and my party colleagues in Sinn Fein, I brought it into the public domain.

"I am of the firm opinion that this was indeed British intelligence and that I had a fair degree of suspicion they had placed some sort of listening device in my house.

"I have asked the Chief Constable to confirm if there was a listening device planted in my house at that time and what is its current status.

"After that I will decide on my next step, but I have already spoken about this to my solicitor."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said that while he would not comment on individual cases, "The security of our Armed Forces is paramount and if we deem any publication to threaten that, we request it is withdrawn and take legal action where appropriate".

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