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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50188323
  • Date: 31 March 2009
  • Public Authority: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) concerning the identification of the voice heard in the video that shows the beheading of the British hostage, Kenneth Bigley. The FCO replied refusing to confirm or deny that it held information relevant to the request, as the duty in section 1(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act (the “Act”) did not apply in this case by virtue of sections 23(5) and 24(2) of the Act. The Commissioner upheld the refusal of the request, having concluded that FCO was entitled to rely on both sections of the Act and that, as regards section 24(2), in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighed the public interest in disclosing whether FCO held the information.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]