LONDON (Reuters) – The suspect behind the leakage of confidential memos from the British ambassador to Washington, which triggered a major diplomatic conflict with the United States, was identified, the Sunday Times reported.
FILE PHOTO: British Ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch (C), hears US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa holding a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, USA on January 27, 2017 January 27, 2017. REUTERS / Carlos Barria / File Photo
Last week, British newspaper Mail on Sunday published memos by Kim Darroch, describing Donald Trump's government as "incapable" and "dysfunctional" and an angry reaction from the US Government has triggered US President and has led the envoy to announce his resignation.
British officials have launched an investigation to identify the person responsible for countering leakage and terrorism. She announced on Friday that she had initiated a criminal investigation.
According to the Sunday Times, which cited unnamed sources of government, a suspect was identified and proposals that could be traced back to a computer hack by a foreign state were ruled out.
"They believe they know who caused the leaks," an unnamed government source told the newspaper. "The point now is to work out a case in court, it was someone with access to historical records, they went in and grabbed different materials, it was pretty crude."
Both the Sunday Times and the Mail from Sunday reported that intelligence officers from the GCHQ interception espionage company wanted to join in the investigation to find the suspect by scanning e-mail and telephone records.
The Mail also published further memos from Darroch opposing a warning from the Police said that media that did so could commit a crime.
The newspaper said that Darroch had written to the British government in May 2018 that Trump had decided to "out of personality" Iran's nuclear deal with major powers retire because his predecessor Barack Obama has agreed.
Darroch had said in the cable that the Trump Admini Stration "was set on an act of diplomatic vandalism," it said in the newspaper.
Britain's highest-ranking counter-terrorism officer had warned the media not to print any more leaked documents, claiming it violated the Official Secrets Act. However, he was widely criticized by editors and politicians, including Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and former London Mayor Boris Johnson. The two men fought to replace Theresa May as prime minister when she stepped down in just over a week.
"It's unimaginable that newspapers or other media organizations publishing such material will be prosecuted," said Johnson, the frontrunner.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Jonathan Oatis