Friday, January 29, 2010

Leading Climate Scientists may get 10 years for Fraud

In a comment to a previous post, my brother put the Climategate fraud in perspective when he suggested that in any other industry, their actions would be prosecutable. The analogy was made that if a drug trial was falsified, they would be in court facing legal charges and the scorn of society.

Early reports suggested that while parliament is investigating CRU's actions, they might not be prosecuted due to a 6 month statute of limitations. As with most mainstream media reports regarding these issues, this one was also incorrect. That time limit only applied to the Information Commissioner's Office, a parliamentary board. The Crown Prosecution Service will likely be bringing charges of fraud against the CRU and they have no such restrictions. The penalties carry a maximum jail time of ten years.

For a legal explanation of what constitutes fraud in the UK and the ample evidence in the CRU case for prosecution see here.


Kevin Aschim said...

It would also be interesting to read the funding contracts signed by the UEA CRU specific to the "work" that they were undertaking and charging their time towards. If they were charging time towards these contracts that matches time stamps on incriminating emails, well there is the smoking gun.

There are likely to be template style clauses in these funding contracts that specify accuracy and ethical conduct as well as clauses that "upon violation of any of the terms herein" comprise breach of contract.

Since these terms were obviously violated, it is now incumbent upon funding agencies, particularly those with taxpayer contributions to withdraw and/or cancel these contracts or potentially sue for recovery.

In the US, I have read, that there are even funding contracts with reward clauses built in for whistleblowers in the event of any improprieties.

Given the fraud that now appears to be rampant in NASA's GISS and NOAA research, with its own FOIA violations, this is a story that will be replayed on this side of the pond.

"Houston, we have a problem".

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