A British information officer has been charged with violating the country's official secrets act by allowing more than a hundred pages of classified government documents to fall into the hands of a small London magazine.
Robin Gordon-Walker, 36, son of a former foreign minister, was charged under a provision of the law that implies negligence rather than a deliberate leak of official material. A story about the documents, which dealt with such sensitive issues as the U.S.-European dispute over the Siberian natural gas pipeline, was published in the magazine City Limits in October. The London Observer and The Washington Post also published summaries of the documents.
An intensive security investigation ended with the allegation against Gordon-Walker. There was no indication in the announcement of how the documents went to City Limits. However, sources said, Gordon-Walker traveled with Foreign Secretary Francis Pym to a European Community meeting in Brussels in September and allegedly lost the documents somewhere in transit.
Gordon-Walker, whose father was a Labor foreign minister in the mid-1960s, works as a senior information officer at the Central Office of Information. If convicted, he could be sentenced to two years in jail.