Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Police say UK leak from Huawei discussion isn't a crime

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu says the disclosure from a National Security Council meeting does not violate the Official Secrets Act

Signage is seen at the Huawei offices in Reading, Britain. Reuters
Signage is seen at the Huawei offices in Reading, Britain. Reuters

The leak of details from a secret UK government discussion about Chinese telecommunications company Huawei does not amount to a crime, London's Metropolitan Police force said on Saturday.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said he was satisfied the disclosure from a National Security Council meeting did not violate the Official Secrets Act.

"No crime has been committed, and this is not a matter for the police," Mr Basu said.

The government launched an investigation after news reports came out saying the security council agreed, against the advice of the United States, to let Huawei participate in aspects of Britain's new 5G wireless communications network.

Opposition politicians had also called for police to investigate the leak.

Prime Minister Theresa May fired Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on Wednesday, saying there was "compelling evidence" he was to blame for the leak. Williamson strongly denied responsibility and said a police investigation would exonerate him.

Responding to the conclusion of Metropolitan Police, Mr Williamson said he was the victim of a "shabby and discredited witch hunt" and called for a "full and impartial" investigation.

The United States has lobbied allies such as Britain to exclude Huawei from all 5G networks, claiming the Chinese government could force the company to give it backdoor access to data on its networks.

Updated: May 5, 2019 08:55 AM

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