Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 11:27 UK

In full: CPS Green statement

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer's statement on the decision not to prosecute Conservative MP Damian Green and Home Office civil servant Christopher Galley after a police investigation into leaks from the Home Office.

Mr Starmer said: "The evidence I have considered includes all the relevant documents seized by the police following searches of the homes of Mr Galley and Mr Green, and of Mr Green's Constituency and Parliamentary offices, as well as other material including previous judgements and advice from counsel.

"I considered an alleged offence of misconduct in public office against Mr Galley and an alleged offence against Mr Green of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the alleged offence against Mr Galley, and of conspiring with Mr Galley for him to commit misconduct in public office.

"There is a high threshold before criminal proceedings can properly be brought for misconduct in public office. In considering whether the conduct of Mr Galley and Mr Green reached that threshold and in particular whether it represented such a serious departure from acceptable standards, and abuse of trust as to constitute a criminal offence, I have considered the extent to which there has been any actual damage arising, or the extent of any potential damage that could have arisen, as a result of their conduct.

"I have also had regard to the freedom of the press to publish information and ideas on matters of public interest.

"I have concluded that there is evidence upon which a jury might find that there was damage to the proper functioning of the Home Office. Such damage should not be underestimated. However, it has to be recognised that some damage to the proper functioning of public institutions is almost inevitable in every case where restricted and/or confidential information is leaked.

"In this case, therefore, I have considered whether there is evidence of any additional damage caused by the leaks in question. I have concluded that the information leaked was not secret information or information affecting national security:

"It did not relate to military, policing or intelligence matters. It did not expose anyone to a risk of injury or death. Nor, in many respects, was it highly confidential. Much of it was known to others outside the civil service, for example, in the security industry or the Labour Party or Parliament. Moreover, some of the information leaked undoubtedly touched on matters of legitimate public interest, which were reported in the press.

"I have therefore decided there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction against Mr Galley or Mr Green.

"This should not be taken to mean that in future cases, a prosecution on other facts would not be brought. My decision is made on the particular facts of this case and the unauthorised leaking of restricted and/or confidential information is not beyond the reach of the criminal law."

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