Leicestershire police refuse FOI requests on McCanns because of 'national security'

By Jon Clements on Feb 18, 09 02:55 PM

A few days ago I received an interesting letter from Leicestershire police about the Madeleine McCann investigation.

I had asked them, in July, if they had got any warrants (under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to use surveillance powers - such as phone tapping and email interception on behalf of the Portuguese police.

The force initially stalled saying it needed to "consult other Agencies" before replying.

After a six month delay, Leicestershire has now claimed it is exempt from Freedom of Information laws in this case due to "national security".

I've put in dozens of FoI requests to police forces over the years, some you get and some you don't but "national security" is a new one on me.

To make matters even murkier, Leicestershire claimed a second exemption because the information I requested could relate to "the Security bodies".

A quick look at the FoI Act reveals "Security bodies" are MI5, MI6, GCHQ (pictured above), special forces (such as the SAS) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.


Despite claiming these exemptions, Leicestershire seem at pains to neither confirm nor deny they hold any information relevant to my request anyway.

Check out (slowly I suggest) the tortuous conclusion to the three page letter explaining their stance.

"It is our decision that the Leicestershire Constabulary must maintain a position of neither confirming nor denying that any relevant information is held and that this response, which neither confirms nor denies that information is held, should not be taken as conclusive evidence that the information you have requested exists or does not exist".

Thanks, but I think that is a rather long-winded way of saying Foxtrot Oscar.

However, it does beg the question just who was bugging the McCanns after they returned from Praia da Luz?

And what has the answer got to do with national security ?

Source: Mirror
McCanns FoI request PDF

Comment by Tony Bennett of The Madeleine Foundation:

Indeed, two vital new bits of information - 'national security' and 'the Security bodies'.

I would refer you to my posting just a few days ago on one of the 'Clarence' threads where I explained that a media figure had informed me in recent weeks, off the record, of these three (claimed) facts:

* Clarence Mitchell is very close to the very top brass in MI5

* Clarence Mitchell was actually described as 'being on the MI5 payroll', and

* He was said to have access to *all* of the most top secret MI5 information and thereby had access to *everything* secret about anybody who is anybody.
Discussions at the 3 arguidos:
Jeff Edwards + Jon Clements of Mirror Group ??
Forensics in the Freezer
McCanns Intensive Bugging and Paedophile Investigations?

Jon Clements has now deleted all the comments from his post - pity he complains about lack of freedom of information and then bars freedom of speech - but the deleted comments are here:

Things were going ok until McCann supporter Rhodes turned up.