SENIOR MSPs have demanded to know why Police Scotland chiefs are refusing to pay compensation to former officers at the centre of an unlawful molehunt.
An inquiry led by Durham chief constable Mike Barton recommended the force compensate the men for seizing their phone and email records without authority or justification as they tried to uncover journalists’ sources.
The molehunt – launched after a newspaper revealed a forgotten suspect in the 10-year-old inquiry into the murder of Emma Caldwell – has been condemned in a series of official inquiries as unjustified and incompetent.
Without the approval of a judge, Police Scotland’s now defunct Counter Corruption Unit launched a hunt to find out whether officers had passed information to reporters.
The Durham investigation found the men were “gravely wronged” and deserved compensation.
But Police Scotland have written to the men to say they do not agree compensation is justified.
John Finnie MSP, chairman of the Justice sub-committee on policing, has written to both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to express their “surprise” at the decision.
His letter requested: “comprehensive details of the factors that you took into account in coming to your view.”