Huawei Leak Not Considered A Criminal Offense, No Investigation Required

Gavin Williamson
Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, April 2, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo)

Met Police said on Saturday that the Huawei leak during a recent British National Security Council (NSC) meeting did not violate the Official Secrets Act. No investigations will be conducted about the incident.

According to BBC News, Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu pointed out that the leak did not pass for a criminal offense. He said no investigations were needed, slamming requests for a probe on former Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Williamson was removed from his position after he was accused of having been involved in the leak about a supposed deal with Chinese tech giant Huawei. Williamson strongly denied the allegations.

The former MP argued that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and investigative leaders failed to carry out the investigations appropriately. He also said the government's move of probing his potential connections to the leak was a "shabby and discredited witch hunt."

Senior cabinet members who attend the highly-confidential weekly meetings under the NSC have all signed the Official Secrets Acts in efforts to keep information from reaching the public and other countries.

However, the Daily Telegraph reported late last month that May defied the British parliament by allowing Huawei to help develop Great Britain's 5G network under limited access. The outlet said May proceeded with approving the Chinese tech provider's involvement in the project under the disapproval of some cabinet members.

May reportedly told Williamson after a meeting last week that she obtained information indicating the former minister was responsible for leaking confidential details of the Huawei deal to the media.

According to The Guardian, Basu pointed out that Met Police did not receive relevant evidence that could charge Williamson of a crime. "I am clear that the leak did not cause damage to the public interest at a level at which it would be necessary to engage misconduct in a public office," he explained.

Williamson has reiterated that he is welcome to police investigations. He said a proper probe could "absolutely exonerate" him from the allegations. Political analysts said his statements could further escalate already serious tensions with May's government.

Meanwhile, Huawei appears to be unaffected by the latest controversy it has been embroiled in. Business Insider revealed that the popular Chinese tech firm had overtaken Apple as the world's second-largest smartphone maker.

The report further revealed that Huawei sales had retained stability amid a global decline in smartphone sales. Records from the International Data Corp (IDC) showed that the company saw 50.3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2019. The Honor maker has yet to surpass Samsung as the world's top smartphone seller.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Loading...
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts