Climategate – Phil Jones Could Face Fraud Charges
Phil Jones and the CRU have escaped prosecution under the Freedom of Information Act because of the 6 month get out clause, Jones however is still open to prosecution under the 2006 Fraud Act.
What the Times and the rest of the media are overlooking is that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), not the ICO, are responsible for announcing the results of the police investigation into the Climategate scandal. The ICO is merely a non-departmental public body which reports directly to Parliament, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and deals solely with data protection, FOIA regulations, privacy, electronic communications regulations and environmental regulations.
What is not being intelligently reported is that Jones is still liable as lead conspirator in the UK’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and may face prosecution under the United Kingdom Fraud Act (2006). If convicted of the offense of fraud by either false representation, failing to disclose information or fraud by abuse of his position, he stands liable to a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.
In this article I shall demonstrate that the fuss over the FOIA infringement, although in itself succeeding in achieving no conviction, does demonstrate that the ICO has acted improperly and may have prejudiced the outcome of any prosecution Jones may face for far more serious offenses for false representation (section 2) and failing to disclose information (section 3) under the Fraud Act (2006).
Hat tip to John O Sullivan at Climategate.com