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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50178913
  • Date: 24 November 2008
  • Public Authority: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Summary: The complainant requested copies of all information the then Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe received which cast doubt on the evidence given by Carmen Proetta in the television programme ‘Death on the Rock’ which was broadcast in April 1988. This programme investigated the events surrounding the shooting of three IRA members by the SAS in Gibraltar in March 1988 and in the programme Mrs Proetta claimed she had witnessed the shooting and gave her account of the actions of the SAS. Although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed to the complainant that it held information falling within the scope of his request, it refused to disclose this information because it considered it to be exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 40(2) and 40(3) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act). The Commissioner has reviewed the withheld information and has established that it constitutes the sensitive personal data of Mrs Proetta and as none of the conditions in Schedule 3 of the Data Protection Act can be met, disclosure would breach sections 40(2) and 40(3) of the FOI Act. However, in handling this request the Commissioner has concluded that the FCO breached section 17(1) by failing to provide a refusal notice within 20 working days. Information Tribunal appeal EA/2008/0098 part allowed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]