In a comment to a previous post, my brother put the Climategate fraud in perspective when he suggested that in any other industry, their actions would be prosecutable. The analogy was made that if a drug trial was falsified, they would be in court facing legal charges and the scorn of society.
Early reports suggested that while parliament is investigating CRU’s actions, they might not be prosecuted due to a 6 month statute of limitations. As with most mainstream media reports regarding these issues, this one was also incorrect. That time limit only applied to the Information Commissioner’s Office, a parliamentary board. The Crown Prosecution Service will likely be bringing charges of fraud against the CRU and they have no such restrictions. The penalties carry a maximum jail time of ten years.
For a legal explanation of what constitutes fraud in the UK and the ample evidence in the CRU case for prosecution see here.