Snowden writer's partner begins legal action over UK detention

LONDON Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:34am EDT

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LONDON Aug 20 (Reuters) - David Miranda, the partner of a journalist who has written reports based on leaks by Edward Snowden, has begun legal action to stop the British authorities inspecting data they seized from him, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Miranda's lawyer Gwendolen Morgan said her client was seeking a judicial review of the legal basis for his detention at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday under anti-terrorism laws and wanted assurances from the authorities that property seized from him would not be examined before this.

"We've sought undertakings that there will be no inspection, copying, disclosure, transfer or interference in any other way with our client's data pending determination of his judicial review," Morgan told Reuters.

"We're waiting to hear back this afternoon from both the defendants. Failing that we will be left with no option but to issue urgent proceedings in the High Court tomorrow."

She said the "letter before action" had been sent to London's police chief and the Home Secretary. It also demanded that they detail whether Miranda's data had already been passed on to anyone else, and if so, who that was and why. (Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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