HC Deb 14 November 1988 vol 140 cc741-2
67. Mr. Cryer

To ask the Attorney-General what is his policy towards the prosecution of former members of the security services for publication of confidential information.

The Solicitor-General

The policy is in accordance with the criteria set out in the code for Crown prosecutors.

Mr. Cryer

Does that mean that if former members of the secret police reveal that murder, conspiracy to sedition and other serious crimes have taken place attempts will be made by the Government to hush them up and sweep matters under the carpet, as they did with Peter Wright, or are they prepared to heap praise on members of the secret police who reveal that they have undertaken serious crimes—sometimes possibly without the knowledge of Ministers? Will he take action?

The Solicitor-General

I am not aware of any secret police. The answer to the other part of the question is no.

Mr. Lawrence

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the feeling of most people in this country is that those who betray the nation's secrets which are entrusted to them as part of their work, for money or notoriety, should be prosecuted, so as to end this sort of gross injustice?

The Solicitor-General

I well understand that and I am sympathetic to what my hon. and learned Friend has said. No one is above the law in this country, no matter what service he is in.

Mr. Bermingham

When he next meets the Director of Public Prosecutions to discuss the security services, will the hon. and learned Gentleman also take into account the considerable number of wire-tapping cases that are not being reported via the Home Secretary and which clearly show that the security services are exceeding their brief? Does the Solicitor-General intend that such cases will be revealed and prosecuted when necessary?

The Solicitor-General

I am not aware of those cases, but if the hon. Gentleman has evidence of them he should let the DPP know.