Specialist teams in the British Intelligence Services and CIA were using images from defendants’ social media profiles to create incriminating CCTV footage and plant it in live feeds for patsies (or ‘truffle hogs’, as they called them) to find. When their intelligence about a defendant’s guilt had been gained via methods that made it inadmissible in court – through phone hacking, for example – they used “correction” to create evidence that would be admissible. According to MI5, they weren’t faking evidence but re-enacting what really happened so it would lead to a conviction. They’d “corrected” Faisal’s footage, and footage that led to several terror suspects being sent away in what was known as Operation Sycamore.
The unwitting truffle hog who’d found the planted CCTV footage in Operation Sycamore was fast-track detective DCI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger). Sycamore had earned Rachel a promotion from Counter-Terrorism to Homicide, where she was made Senior Investigating Officer in the disappearance of Hannah Roberts, working with DS Flynn (Cavan Clerkin) and DS Latif (Ginny Holder).
Hannah was one of the barristers who’d worked on Shaun Emery’s retrial and was last seen on CCTV being assaulted and dragged away by Shaun hours after his release. Rachel duly arrested Shaun but he swore blind that he hadn’t hurt Hannah and the CCTV was a lie. So began a cat-and-mouse game that saw Rachel gradually realise that Shaun was telling the truth and that she was being lied to by her bosses, including Commander Danny Hart (secretly an MI5 operative), with whom she’d been having an affair.
The Pilgrims of Justice
Shaun’s footage had indeed been faked, but not by MI5 or the CIA. Eli – apparently a whistle blower in the CIA correction team – had worked with the Pilgrims of Justice to stage Shaun’s assault using an actor and Hannah’s cooperation, and hacked it into a live CCTV feed. The plan was to get Shaun arrested on the basis of the footage and attract a lot of media and public attention. Hannah would be hidden away for a few days before emerging safe and well to reveal that that the footage used to charge Shaun was fake, thereby exposing the practice of correction and getting CCTV-based convictions including Faisal’s overturned. (Faisal’s sister was a member of the Pilgrims).
Unfortunately for Hannah, Frank Napier (Ron Perlman) the CIA agent running the Correction programme sniffed out Eli the whistle blower, who told him where to find Hannah. Frank couldn’t afford for correction to be exposed, so his only course of action was to make the ‘Shaun abducted and killed Hannah’ story true. Frank had Hannah murdered and her body planted in the boot of a car Shaun was found driving.
Frank then needed Shaun to confess to Hannah’s murder, so he abducted Shaun’s young daughter from school to force his hand. Frank’s team secretly filmed Shaun playing with his daughter, to gain footage that could be used to fake him appearing to do terrible things, possibly to her, on screen. That blackmail, along with the assurance that Shaun and his daughter would both be looked after if he went along with it, convinced Shaun to make a false confession. He pleaded guilty to killing Hannah on grounds of diminished responsibility due to PTSD and was sentenced. As Shaun saw it, justice had simply caught up with him, because he knew that he really had unlawfully killed the unarmed insurgent in Helmand and that he shouldn’t have been acquitted in the first place.