Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Scotland Yard launches investigation into Trump diplomatic leak

Scotland Yard launches investigation into Trump diplomatic leak

US President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barack Obama, claimed a new leaked memo written by Kim Darroch, the UK's former ambassador to the US.

"The administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons - it was Obama's deal", ambassador Darroch wrote in a diplomatic cable in May 2018.

In 2015, the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia and Germany signed a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for a partial lifting of worldwide economic sanctions.

After a Whitehall investigation failed to identify the source of the leak, Scotland Yard announced on Friday it had launched a criminal investigation, suggesting the government believed the Official Secrets Act had been breached.

"The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause may also be a criminal matter".

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

Boris Johnson (L) refused to back British ambassador Kim Darroch (R) during a televised debate.

"He was given a perfectly easy opportunity to say: "I'm sorry about this, he's an excellent ambassador and has my support", which we ought to give him because he is undoubtedly a superb ambassador and a very good civil servant, and he chose quite deliberately not to".

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The Darroch leaks were published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper last weekend, and officials are braced for more revelations this Sunday.

He faced a backlash, however, after he advised individuals and the media not to publish leaked government documents and to instead hand them over to the police or return them to their rightful owner.

Basu - who also heads counter terrorism policing at the Metropolitan Police, the specialist branch of the service that deals with intelligence - also urged anyone with knowledge relating to the leak to come forward.

In a statement, a spokesman for The Mail on Sunday said it was publishing the latest leaked details - despite the threat of prosecution - because "a free press is vital to our democracy".

Peter Spiegel, Financial Times US managing editor, wrote: "Well, this is rather chilling from a major police force in a western democracy".

Hunt said he would "defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them and judge them to be in the public interest", The Guardian reported.

"We have a duty to prevent as well as detect crime and the previous statement was meant to alert to the risk of breaching the OSA", he said. "And, even when you pressed, none had anything much to say about the day after, or a Plan B, beyond reimposition of U.S. sanctions".

The government has already opened an internal inquiry into the publication of the memos, which were critical of the Trump administration - and prompted a furious reaction from the United States president, who said he would no longer deal with Sir Kim.

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