Information relating to any police investigation into Tony Blair and misconduct in public office over 2003 invasion of Iraq

christopher lamb made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

christopher lamb

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I ask for disclosure of information on whether a police investigation has begun to determine whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair committed the common law criminal offence of misconduct in public office over decisions he took which resulted in the military invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003 by British forces. If an investigation has not already started, will an investigation be mounted using evidence from the Chilcot Report and from any other relevant sources?

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Lamb

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Lamb

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2016080000763

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 16/08/2016.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

"Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I ask for
disclosure of information on whether a police investigation has begun to
determine whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair committed the common
law criminal offence of misconduct in public office over decisions he took
which resulted in the military invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003 by
British forces. If an investigation has not already started, will an
investigation be mounted using evidence from the Chilcot Report and from
any other relevant sources?"

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act).  You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act.  

If you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact
us at [email address] or on the phone at 0207 161 3500, quoting the
reference number above. Should your enquiry relate to the logging or
allocations process we will be able to assist you directly and where your
enquiry relates to other matters (such as the status of the request) we
will be able to pass on a message and/or advise you of the relevant
contact details.

Yours sincerely

R. Loizou
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team
 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Lamb

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2016080000763

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 16/08/2016.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

* Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I ask for
disclosure of information on whether a police investigation has begun
to determine whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair committed the
common law criminal offence of misconduct in public office over
decisions he took which resulted in the military invasion of Iraq on
20 March 2003 by British forces.

If an investigation has not already started, will an investigation be
mounted using evidence from the Chilcot Report and from any other relevant
sources?

I am sorry to inform you that we have not been able to complete our
response to your request by the date originally stated.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), we have 20 working
days to respond to a request for information unless we are considering
whether the information requested is covered by one of the 'qualified
exemptions' (exemptions which must be tested against the public interest
before deciding whether they apply to the information in question).

Where we are considering the public interest test against the application
of relevant qualified exemptions, Section 17(2)(b) provides that we can
extend the 20 day deadline.  Please see the legal annex for further
information on this section of the Act.

For your information we are considering the following exemption:

Section 31 - Law Enforcement

I can now advise you that the amended date for a response is 11/10/2016.

May I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me on via email at [email address], quoting
the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

C. Gayle-Petrou
Information Manager

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(2) provides:

(2) Where-

a) in relation to any request for information, a public authority is, as
respects any information, relying on a claim-
i) that any provision of Part II which relates to the duty to confirm or
deny and is not specified in section 2(3) is relevant to the request, or
ii) that the information is exempt information only by virtue of a
provision not specified in section 2(3), and
b) at the time when the notice under subsection (1) is given to the
applicant, the public authority (or, in a case falling within section
66(3) or (4), the responsible authority) has not yet reached a decision as
to the application of subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b) of section 2,
the notice under subsection (1) must indicate that no decision as to the
application of that provision has yet been reached and must contain an
estimate of the date by which the authority expects that such a decision
will have been reached.

 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk
Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

May I remind you that the extension of time to respond has now expired. I, therefore, ask for a reply to my request.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Charmine,

Please see the below in respect of 2016080000763.

Regards,

David.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Lamb

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2016080000763

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 16/08/2016.  I note you seek
access to the following information:

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I ask for
disclosure of information on whether a police investigation has begun to
determine whether former Prime Minister Tony Blair committed the common
law criminal offence of misconduct in public office over decisions he took
which resulted in the military invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003 by
British forces. If an investigation has not already started, will an
investigation be mounted using evidence from the Chilcot Report and from
any other relevant sources?.

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service can neither confirm nor deny whether it
holds the information that you requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) does not apply by virtue of
the following exemptions:

Section 30(3) - Criminal Investigations
Section 40(5) - Personal Information

Please see the legal annex for further information on the exemptions
applied in respect of your request.

REASONS FOR DECISION

This request attracts a NCND response, as to confirm or deny that
information is held prevents disclosure of whether or not an investigation
was conducted by SO15 (Counter Terrorism Command), therefore engaging
Sections 30(3) of the Act.   In addition, Section 40(5) is engaged as to
confirm or deny whether a named individual was of interest to the MPS
would be disclosing personal information.

Please note this response should not be taken to as an indication of
whether or not the requested information is held.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me via email at [email address], quoting the reference
number above.

Yours sincerely

Karen Fox
Information Manager

LEGAL ANNEX

Section 17(1) of the Act provides:

(1)        A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings conducted by public
authorities

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information
which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt
information by virtue of subsection (1) or (2).

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

This is a qualified exemption for which I am required to conduct a public
interest test.

Public Interest Test

Factors favouring confirmation or denial for S30 – A statement confirming
or denying whether or not information is held (e.g. whether Tony Blair in
relation to War Crimes has been of interest to the Counter Terrorism
Command, or that any investigation has taken place) would enhance the
transparency and accountability of the force and its operations. This
would provide an insight into the police service and enable the public to
have better understanding of effectiveness of the police, particularly, in
relation to the spending of public funds and the decisions taken by
officers. This may also enhance public confidence in the police.

If we confirmed or denied that information was held this would allow the
public to make informed decisions about how police gather intelligence.
This would greatly assist in the quality and accuracy of public debate,
which would otherwise likely be steeped in rumour and speculation.  

Factors against confirmation or denial for S30 – To confirm or deny the
existence of any information in relation to Tony Blair and War Crimes
would disclose MPS practices used, thereby exposing operational procedures
and investigative protocols.  Information relating to investigative
tactics and protocol will rarely be disclosed under the Act and only where
there is a strong public interest consideration favouring disclosure.  

To confirm or deny that this level of policing activity has or has not
occurred in any specific area would enable those engaged in criminal,
terrorist or extremist activity to identify the focus of policing activity
and any tactics that may or may not be deployed.

To confirm or deny the existence of such information would also reveal
policing tactics regarding who was of interest to the police generally.
 This could be to the detriment of providing an efficient policing service
and a failure in providing a duty of care to all members of the public.

Balancing Test - Confirming or denying that any information is held, would
reassure the public that any investigation is being or has been properly
conducted and would allow for a greater understanding of how information
is gathered. Confirming or denying that any information relevant to the
request is held, would however, enable criminals/terrorists/extremists to
identify the focus of policing activity and evade prosecution.  Therefore,
by neither confirming or denying that information is held protects any
ongoing investigation that the MPS may be conducting.  After weighing up
the competing interests, I believe that the balance test favours neither
confirmation or denial.

Section 40 - Personal information

The Metropolitan Police Service neither confirms nor denies that it holds
the information you have requested as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the Section
40(5) exemption.  

A Freedom of Information Act request is not a private transaction. Both
the request itself, and any information disclosed, are considered suitable
for open publication. This is because, under Freedom of Information, any
information disclosed is released into the wider public domain,
effectively to the world and not just to one individual.

In most cases Personal Data is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act as I will explain below.

To confirm or deny whether personal information exists in response to your
request could publicly reveal information about an individual or
individuals, thereby breaching the right to privacy afforded to persons
under the Data Protection Act.

Where an individual is requesting his or her own personal data the
information is always exempt.  Such information can be requested under
other legislation (please see the advice and assistance section below).

Where an individual is requesting third party personal data the MPS must
ensure that any action taken adheres to the principles of the Data
Protection Act 1998.  To clarify, the Freedom of Information Act only
allows disclosure of personal data if that disclosure would be compliant
with the Data Protection Act.

This notice does not confirm or deny that the MPS holds the information
that you have requested.

 
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome to discuss the
response with the case officer who dealt with your request.  

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Information Rights Unit
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively, write to or
phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Information relating to any police investigation into Tony Blair and misconduct in public office over 2003 invasion of Iraq'.

I am seeking an internal review because my request asked for information relating to an investigation into whether the common law criminal charge of misconduct applies to the decisions made by former Prime Minister Tony Blair which launched the UK into a military invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003. My request made no reference to an investigation into any alleged war crimes that this former Prime Minister may have been guilty of. As my request was not about war crimes I question the appropriateness of the Section 30 exemption applied.

As the common law crime of 'misconduct in public office' applies by virtue of the public office held, I would ask for the internal review of my request to consider disclosure of information sought in relation to the Prime Minister holding office in the lead up to the invasion of 20 March 2003, not explicitly for a named individual.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Lamb

Freedom of Information Review Reference No: 2016100001003

I write in connection with your request for a review of the handling
and/or decision relating to  2016080000763 which was received by the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on  22/10/2016.  

A review will now be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice
issued under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
 The reviewing officer will reconsider the original request before
responding to you with their findings.

There is no statutory time limit in relation to the completion of an
Internal Review.  However, the MPS aim to complete Internal Reviews within
20 working days or in exceptional cases, within 40 working days.  This is
based upon guidance published by the Information Commissioner.

If it is not possible to complete the Internal Review within this
timescale you will be informed at the earliest opportunity.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of an Internal Review you may wish to
refer the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

For information on how to make an application to the Information
Commissioner please visit their website at www.ico.org.uk.  Alternatively,
write to or phone:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone:  0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Support Officer - Freedom of Information Triage Team

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),
I would like to point out that I have been waiting a considerable time for the internal review I have requested for the FoI request stated in the subject line.

I think it also necessary to point out that your reply to my request did not address what the request asked for as it failed to consider the criminal office of misconduct in public office, which is quite different to the crime of aggression and is open for prosecution in a UK court.

I also point out that, following the publication of the Chilcot Report, former DPP Lord (Ken) Mcdonald made a public statement reported in the press that there were serious grounds upon which former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, could be investigated for misconduct in relation to decision making over initiating the US-UK led 2003 invasion of Iraq. In particular, he pointed to Blair's 'unequivocal view' that Iraq was in further material breach of its UN treaty obligations and had used up its final opportunity, a unilateral declaration which precipitated the decision to invade (without a majority mandate from the UN Security Council).

The Chilcot Inquiry reported that no 'strong factual' evidence was made available to it to corroborate Blair's view. Former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, had made it a condition for the legality of military force under the US revival doctrine that there had to be strong factual grounds and a compelling case that Iraq was in further material breach. The UN weapons inspectorates had reported that there was no Iraqi nuclear weapons programme (IAEA) and improved co-operation in disarming other weapons systems (UNMOVIC).

Lord McDonald suggested that unilaterally proceeding with military force in defiance of the UN Security Council and without the strong factual evidence to show a compelling case of further material breach was an example of misconduct under the common law criminal offence.

I would be very grateful if you can furnish an internal review without further delay.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I have passed this matter onto the Information Commissioner's Office as an absurd amount of time has elapsed between my request for an internal review (and your acknowledgement) and now- today's date.

I would urge you again to respond without any further delay in providing an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb

Freedom of Information Internal Review Reference No: 2016100001003

Please find attached the MPS response to your request for an internal
review in relation to your FoIA request for information regarding whether
a police investigation has commenced in relation to misconduct in public
office (FoIA ref:2016080000763).

Yours sincerely

 
Brian Wilson
Information Law Advisor

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your
communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are
here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

 

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system.  To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law.  Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents.  The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

 

Find us at:

Facebook: Facebook.com/metpoliceuk

Twitter: @metpoliceuk