the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

There’s one thing you can always count on government for.

Posted by Jeff Id on January 31, 2010

I made the point recently that the ICO’s admission that a crime had been committed followed by the quick statement that it wouldn’t be followed up, due to an unusual statute of limitations looked like a scam to cover someones butt. My point was that there is always another law. In that post it turned out that the ICO was apparently the same group that told Jones et team, they could break the law in the first place. Now Lucia has an interesting post which points out the statute of limitations doesn’t appear to begin from the time when the crime was committed, but rather when the authorities became aware of it.

Check it out. FOI: Will charges be filed?

The post is based on an article by Christopher Booker here.

If they are right, and the statute of limitations hasn’t run out. Consider what that means with respect to the IOC’s honesty in their reply.

14 Responses to “There’s one thing you can always count on government for.”

  1. Jeff Id said

    I found the law:


    (1) … a magistrates’ court shall not try an information or hear a complaint unless the information was laid, or the complaint made, within 6 months from the time when the offence was committed, or the matter of complaint arose

    The OR is key, it specifically can be read

    court shall not try an information or hear a complaint unless the information was laid, or the complaint made, within 6 months from the time when the matter of complaint arose

  2. Misuse of government funds and conspiring to commit fraud are 2 possible ways of prosecuting this crime that fall outside the 6-month-limit statute. I’m sure there are other possibilities.

  3. The link to Chistoprer Brooker’s article does not work for me, and might be broken.

  4. P Gosselin said

    Something still doesn’t make sense.
    C. Booker thinks it can be tried, the minister Lord Bach implies the same, and 127 (unless it has change) also says it clearly as you point out.
    My question then is why would Katherine Gundersen of the FOIA blog site think it needed to be amended and that punishment could be avoided?
    Did she and the UK Freedom of Information Blog misread 127, or have we missed something?

  5. Jeff Id said

    #3, Thanks for the heads up, I fixed it.

  6. curious said

    4 – I think KG’s view might have been formed by the previous work CFOI did on this clause which, IMO, had a slightly different slant:

    She may not have checked the exact wording of C127 as Jeff quotes above.

    re: Campaign for FOI. They are running a promising sounding course in London Thursday this week:

    Click to access foicoursefeb2010.pdf

  7. Karl said

    I recall a snippet from a crime drama where the police explained to a suspect that the statute of limitations ran from when the crime was discovered, not when it was committed. “That catches a lot of people”, the cop said to the suspect who had turned himself in a day too early.

    I had wondered about that when I read that a six-month statute had expired. But I thought maybe British law differed from US law in that respect.

  8. brent said

    There’s one thing one can always count on government to do. Expand it’s reach and power.
    So following up on Hulme’s comments that IPCC has run it’s course, we see the agenda is to create an even bigger bureaucracy to replace the failed IPCC

    A world environmental organisation would be modelled on the World Health Organisation

  9. JohnRS said

    What about a charge of conspiracy to break the FOI rules? Conspiracy is pretty evident in the way all the cast of ClimateGate were sending each other instructions about what to do to avoid the FOI laws. I would have thought that one would stick – and I dont beleive there is a time limit on conspiracy charges.

    It’s often the cover-up that gets people not the actual crime….maybe that’s what will work here?

  10. BarryW said

    Another point. The clock doesn’t just start when the crime was initiated. This was an ongoing conspiracy which was still active when the crime was discovered i.e., when Climategate occurred. The clock shouldn’t have started till then. This is BS.

  11. Wukkow said

    I guess another possibility is that they were aware of the crime more than six months ago and failed to act.

  12. John F. Pittman said This was doen by someone with experience in litigation. Some of the comments are choice.

  13. John Silver said

    Since they haven’t answered the FOIA request today, the offence was committed today and the 6 months starts today.
    Tomorrow the same and so on, ad infinitum.

    The 6 month rule doesn’t apply.

  14. […] Government protecting its own, […]

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