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Former diplomat claims to have MP's hacked emails

2023-06-08 03:01:42 [Press center9] source:Al Jazeera

A former diplomat has claimed to have obtained an SNP MP's stolen emails.

Craig Murray said he secured Stewart McDonald's emails after making a number of inquiries but had no involvement in the initial hack.

Mr Murray has now vowed to publish material which he deems to be non-personal and in the public interest.

BBC Scotland has asked Mr McDonald and the SNP for comment. Police Scotland said it had received a report and was assessing it.

In a blog post on Friday, Mr Murray - who is a long-standing critic of the SNP leadership - also claimed the cache included emails between Mr McDonald and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Glasgow South MP told the BBC on Wednesday that his emails had been stolen last month and he feared they would be made public.

The group responsible are believed to be linked to Russia's spy services.

The UK's cyber-defence agency has warned about targeted attacks on politicians in recent weeks.

Mr McDonald, the SNP's former defence spokesman, said he decided to go public to warn others of the risks and limit the potential damage as he waits to see what the hackers do with the stolen material.

But on Friday, Mr Murray claimed he had a cache of the politician's missing emails.

Writing on his blog, he said: "I have obtained access to all of Stewart McDonald's emails, after approaching a number of people to find out who might have them.

"I had no hand in obtaining the emails nor prior knowledge. I am grateful they have been so generously shared."

Mr Murray insisted "nothing purely personal" about Mr McDonald would appear.

He also said anything related to the MP's constituents "will remain absolutely and properly confidential".

Mr Murray said he intended to publish material in which he said there was a "legitimate public interest".

This included interactions with Nato, the Ministry of Defence, parliamentary committees, intelligence agencies and foreign powers.

In May 2021, Mr Murray was jailed for eight months over blogs he wrote about the trial of Alex Salmond.

The ex-ambassador posted a series of articles online about the former first minister's High Court trial in 2020.

Prosecutors raised concerns that complainers could be identified via his writing, breaching a court order.

Mr Murray lost a legal challenge over his sentence last March.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "A report has been received and is being assessed."

(editor-in-charge:Press center8)

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