U.K. whistleblower cleared

Feb. 25, 2004 at 12:11 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A British whistleblower who was accused of breaking the country's Official Secrets Act has been cleared after the case against her was dropped Tuesday.

Katharine Gun, a former translator for the Government Communications Headquarters, Britain's eavesdropping center, was cleared of leaking a memo to the Observer newspaper that said the U.S. government carried out a "dirty tricks" campaign at the United Nations ahead of the war on Iraq. The prosecution offered no evidence against her.

"The prosecution offered no evidence against the defendant on this indictment as there is no longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction," prosecutor Mark Ellison told the court. "It would not be appropriate to go into the reasons for this decision."

Gun said she was she "delighted" and "relieved" at the decision, adding: "I would like to know why they charged me and then four months later decided to drop it." She also said given a chance she "would do it again."

Gun, 29, was accused of breaking Britain's Official Secrets Act by leaking to the media the fact a U.S. National Security Agency official had sought help from British intelligence to tap the telephones of U.N. security council delegates before the war on Iraq.

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