LONDON — Britain has launched a criminal investigation into Edward Snowden’s leak of classified material to the Guardian newspaper and is sifting through documents it seized from the partner of one of the paper’s journalists, a government lawyer said Thursday.
The revelation by lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw came at London’s High Court, where lawyers for David Miranda — the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald — unsuccessfully sued to stop police from combing through digital material seized from him Sunday at Heathrow Airport.
It was the British government’s first mention of a criminal investigation linked to the seized material, which included a laptop, cellphone, DVDs, and memory sticks.
Greenwald has been at the center of the Guardian’s disclosures about the National Security Agency, which have pulled back the curtain on the American government’s secret domestic espionage program. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.