Guardian staff may face terrorism charges

December 4, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

The Guardian | Reuters

“It appears possible that some people may have committed offences. We need to establish whether they have or haven’t. That involves scoping a huge amount of material,” Scotland Yard’s head of counter-terrorism, Cressida Dick, said Tuesday before the House of Commons.

Alan Travis reported in the Guardian Tuesday on the hearing and questions about whether or not police were investigating The Guardian for terrorism charges.

Dick said that the police were continuing with their examination of the “large amount of material” which was seized from (David) Miranda, who is the partner of the former Guardian journalist, Glenn Greenwald, when he was stopped at Heathrow airport in August. Dick confirmed that the material was being examined to see if Official Secrets Act or terrorism offences had been committed.

“We are continuing with that inquiry. We are taking that carefully. There is a lot of difficult material to find our way into. We will go where the evidence takes us. We will be proportionate and careful about every step we take,” she said.

William James and Michael Holden reported for Reuters Tuesday that Rusbridger was told he “had committed an offence under Section 58A of the Terrorism Act which says it is a crime to publish or communicate any information about members of the armed forces or intelligence services.”

It wasn’t just about publishing that information, one MP said several times, but communicating that information. Some of that information is simply embarrassing to the government, Rusbridger said. But some includes information about intelligence officials.

Police appeared at the hearing after the House of Commons grilled The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in an often-puzzling and sometimes-funny exchange. You can find some highlights here.

Asked one MP: “Do you love this country?”

“We live in a democracy and most of the people working on this story are British people who have families in this country, who love this country,” Rusbridger replied. “I’m slightly surprised to be asked the question but yes, we are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of democracy, the nature of a free press and the fact that one can in this country discuss and report these things.”