LONDON - The partner of the US journalist behind the Edward Snowden leaks launched legal action against Britain on Tuesday for holding him under anti-terror laws as the government admitted it was kept informed about his detention.
David Miranda, a Brazilian national who has been working with his boyfriend Glenn Greenwald on the US intelligence leaks, was held and questioned for almost nine hours at London Heathrow Airport.
The Guardian meanwhile said the British government had forced it to destroy files or face a court battle over its publication of US security secrets leaked by Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.
"David Miranda is taking a civil action over his material and the way that he was treated," Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, whose newspaper has worked with Greenwald and Snowden, told the BBC.
British police confiscated Miranda's mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles, according to The Guardian.
"He wants that material back and he doesn't want it copied," Rusbridger said.
The detention of Miranda, 28, has caused an international outcry and sparked protests from Brazil. He was travelling home to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin at the time and was held in a Heathrow transit lounge.
The British government has faced questions about its involvement after the White House said it had received a "heads up" that police were about to arrest Miranda.