Crime Expiration Date in British Law Protects Global Warming Scammers
Scientists broke the law by hiding climate change data: But legal loophole means they won’t be prosecuted
By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 11:21 PM on 28th January 2010
Scientist at the heart of the ‘Climategate’ email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled.
The Information Commissioner’s office said University of East Anglia researchers breached the Freedom of Information Act when handling requests from climate change sceptics.
But the scientists will escape prosecution because the offences took place more than six months ago.
The revelation comes after a string of embarrassing blunders and gaffes for climate scientists and will fuel concerns that key researchers are too secretive and too arrogant.
It will pile pressure on the director of the university’s climate change unit, Professor Phil Jones, who has stood aside while an investigation is carried out, and make it harder for him to return.
The ruling followed a complaint from retired engineer David Holland-66, whose Freedom of Information-requests were ignored.
Last night Mr Holland welcomed the watchdog’s decision but said it was disappointing the researchers would not be prosecuted.
‘All we are trying to do is make the scientists follow their own professional rules by being open, transparent and honest,’ he said. ‘We are not trying to show that human beings don’t affect the climate, but to show that the science is not settled.’
The Climategate [argument] broke in November when hundreds of [ALLEGEDLY] stolen emails from the world-renowned Climate Research Unit in Norwich were posted online.