Monday, 10 August, 2020


United Kingdom police investigate Kim Darroch cables

United Kingdom police investigate Kim Darroch cables United Kingdom police investigate Kim Darroch cables
Bennie Garza | 13 July, 2019, 20:57

Almost a week after the cables were leaked, Basu's announcement of the investigation ended with a pointed call to the media.

Sir Alan, who is supporting Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt in the Conservative leadership race, told Sky News that Mr Johnson had "basically thrown [Sir Kim] under the bus".

Trump also said that the U.S. would "no longer deal with him".

The Foreign Office criticized the leak but did not challenge the authenticity of the memos, which characterized the Trump administration as chaotic and inept.

Mr Johnson said any such prosecution would amount to an "infringement of press freedom" and would have a "chilling effect" on public debate.

His rival, Jeremy Hunt, tweeted that the leaks had "damaged UK/US relations and cost a loyal ambassador his job, so the person responsible must be held fully to account".

Scotland Yard has said it respects the rights of the media, but that the recent publication of leaked diplomatic memos was not in the public interest.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said publishing the emails could be a criminal offence. "Once you start prosecuting the media for publishing stuff you don't like, that is a very risky place to be", Bob Seely, a Tory MP who sits on the Commons Foreign Affairs committee, told the Telegraph.

Norman Lamb, the former health minister who now heads the science and technology committee as a Liberal Democratic MP, said: "We can't contemplate any slippery slope to a police state that accepts that sort of limitation on the freedom of the press to report".

"Going after the leaker is fair game, going after the media is not", he said.

"As a result the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, who take national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, has launched a criminal investigation", Basu added.

"We are however a body charged with enforcing the law, and we have received legal advice that has caused us to start a criminal enquiry into the leak of these specific documents as a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act (OSA)".

"If they are receiving stolen material they should give it back to their rightful owner", he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Kim Darroch resigned on Wednesday after a scandal with leaked diplomatic cables that contained unvarnished assessments of the USA administration, according to media reports. "That has not happened and so the police have been involved and I think that is a normal process".

The US President reacted by lashing out in a series of tweets, calling Darroch a "wacky Ambassador" and "very stupid guy".

Hunt's response to the police statement was echoed by both the media and his fellow Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson, who said: "It can not be conceivably right that newspapers or any other media organization publishing such material should face prosecution". You can stop this now. "Turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences", Basu's statement read.

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