21 January 1999 Edition

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Glasgow police terrorise man

By Peadar Whelan

A 30 year old Scottish man is living in fear of his life in Belfast after the Scottish Special Branch tried to coerce him into becoming an informer and to spy on republicans in both Belfast and Glasgow.

Although the incident happened at the end of last November it has only come to light now. The man was living in semi seclusion and was too frightened to come forward, but the 30 year old said that he is determined to get his life back together and ``not let them terrorise me''.

According to the man, who has no involvement in politics, he parked his car one day last November and two men driving an old type Jaguar pulled in behind him.

``One of the men approached me and flashed an ID card. He said he was Special Branch and asked me to get into the Jag, that they wanted to speak to me for five minutes''.

The pair drove the man into the hills of East Kilbride, an isolated area outside the city, and questioned him for over an hour about his visits to Belfast.

The man, whose girlfriend is from Belfast, said that the Branch men said they had been monitoring his ``activities'' and told him the RUC was also watching him.

``It was like they were threatening me, and they kept saying that I must drink in republican clubs when I'm in Belfast and warned me they would `put your name out that you have been talking to us'. They said I must know something and kept pushing me''.

The pair listed some names from Belfast and Glasgow whom the Branch wanted the man to find out about and watch.

Given the amount of information the Branch had on the man it was clear this was a serious, well thought out plan to recruit him.

They were aware that although off sick from work, suffering stress, he had gone in one afternoon to clear his locker. They told him when and where he was while holidaying in the 26 Counties last year. They also spoke to a member of security staff where the man works, although the security officer said it was a ``routine matter''.

``They threatened to tell my employers I was involved in republican politics,'' the man said.

The man saw a lawyer after the approach and the next day came to Ireland where he reported the matter to a law firm in Belfast who wrote to Strathclyde Police.

In a bizarre twist to the story Strathclyde Police admitted that they had talked to the man and attempted to justify their approach saying it was because he drank in republican clubs and associated with republicans.

``I am still fearful of my life and although I want to return to Scotland I'm too afraid,'' the man said.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1