Detective Chief superintendent David Cook (left) was allegedly under surveillance by News of the World during an investigation into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan (right)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brooks And Coulson Charged With Conspiracy To Hack Milly Dowlers Phone.

Two of Rupert Murdoch’s former editors, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, are being charged with conspiring to hack the phone of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
In all seven senior News of the World journalists are being charged with conspiring to intercept the voicemails of a total of 600 victims, the Crown Prosecution announced today.

Glenn Mulcaire, the paper’s private detective, will also face charges in relation four victims including the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke and TV cook Delia Smith.

They are the first charges for phone hacking to be brought for six years, since 2006 when the News of the World royal editor, Clive Goodman, was prosecuted for hacking the phones of three royal aides.

Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in July last year after it emerged that the Sunday paper had hacked the mobile phone of Milly Dowler.

Anger over the news led to the Prime Minister David Cameron establishing the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

All seven journalists – including former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and news editor Ian Edmondson – will be charged with offences under the 1977 Criminal Law Act at police stations.
At a press conference in central London, the CPS’s senior lawyer Alison Levitt said they were being charged at with conspiring to hack the phones of 600 as yet un-named victims between 2000 and 2006.

They are also all charged with additional conspiracy to intercept communications offences linked to specific victims.

Under these additional offences, Coulson - who became head of communications for the Prime Minister David Cameron - is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler, Calum Best, Charles Clarke and David Blunkett.

Brooks, News International’s chief executive until last July, is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler and the former FBU leader Andrew Gilchrist.

The former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck is charged in relation to seven alleged victims including Milly Dowler and the former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Other former senior NoW staff being charged are news editors Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup.

Ms Levitt said: “All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006. The communications in question are the voicemail messages of well-known people and / or those associated with them. There is a schedule containing the names of over 600 people whom the prosecution will say are the victims of this offence.”

She added: “In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications.”

These are the additional charges – and the victims:

Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges:

1. The first relates to the voicemails of the late Milly Dowler
2. The second to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist

Andrew Coulson will face four additional charges, relating to the following victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
3. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke, and
4. Calum Best

Stuart Kuttner will face two additional charges, relating to:
1. Milly Dowler and
2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

Greg Miskiw will face nine further charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Sven-Goran Eriksson
3. Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie
4. Andrew Gilchrist
5. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
6. Delia Smith
7. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
8. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and
9. Wayne Rooney

Ian Edmondson will face a further eleven charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
2. the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
4. Mark Oaten
5. Wayne Rooney
6. Calum Best
7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills
8. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott
9. Professor John Tulloch
10. Lord Frederick Windsor
11. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Neville Thurlbeck will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Sven-Goran Eriksson
3. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
5. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
6. Mark Oaten
7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

James Weatherup will face a further seven  charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
2. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
4. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
5. Wayne Rooney
6. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott
7. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

For legal reasons Glenn Mulcaire does not face the first of these charges.  However, he will face four charges, relating to:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Andrew Gilchrist
3. Delia Smith
4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

Ms Levitt said: “During June and July 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service received files of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service, relating to thirteen suspects. This has followed a period of consultation and cooperation between police and prosecutors which has taken place over many months.

“All the evidence has now carefully been considered. Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to eight of these thirteen suspects there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to one or more offences.

“I then considered the second stage of the test, applying the DPP’s interim guidelines on assessing the public interest in cases involving the media, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of these eight suspects.

“The eight who will be charged are: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.
“They will face a total of nineteen charges in all.”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Daniel Morgan: Alastair Morgan Will Be Speaking About The Murder Of His Brother Daniel And The Continual Government Cover-Up For More Than 25 Years.


Media, Police and Justice – public meeting next Tuesday 17th July

Posted on 10.07.12

The 3rd event in our very successful public seminar series will bring together victims, campaigners, journalists and lawyers to debate the problems and potential solutions to media-police corruption. Attempts to bring the murderers of Daniel Morgan to justice – a private investigator whose firm was to become embroiled in Hackgate - collapsed for the fifth time last year amidst allegations of rampant police corruption and a justice system not fit for purpose. Both the bereaved and the family of a lead investigator in the case have been victims of comprehensive surveillance by News of the World. Yet calls for a judicial inquiry have so far been rejected by the government and there is little sign of the campaign gaining significant media traction amidst the noise around the Leveson Inquiry. Read more »

Friday, May 25, 2012

#Leveson #pressreform : You have STAMINA Daddy ! Creepy Texts Between Hunt And Murdoch.

  • Creepy texts between Hunt and Murdoch lobbyist
  • The pair repeatedly call each other “Daddy”
  • Hunt compares himself to Clint Eastwood

The text messages between Jeremy Hunt and Murdoch’s lobbyist are just plain embarrassing.
FM: great announcement today. Well done
JH: Merci papa [...]
FM: Full of energy and purpose on Andrew Marr! Liked your answer on Rupert and the BBC! Have a great visit to India. Fred
JH: Merci mon ami
In what is perhaps a reference to mutual fatherhood of new babies — their children were born in the same hospital on the same day — the pair resorted to calling each other “daddy”. At times this drifts off into what could be kindly be referred to as flirting.
FM: You were great on the BBC this week-end!
JH: U too daddy [...]
FM: Great speech. Watched it with cycling team. And I can’t believe you managed to do Newsnight as well! You have stamina daddy!
JH: We all find it somewhere!
When Clint Eastwood complained about Hunt abolishing the UK Film Council:
FM: Be strong! Even Clint Eastwood can’t stop it
JH: If they play Dirty Harry so can I!
And there’s more. We’re updating this page with the best ones.

#Leveson #pressreform : Scotland Yard And Lord Stevens Grim Joke. The MET Are Murdoch's Boys!

Scotland Yard Operation Elveden is a grim in-joke to indicate they would make sure the accusations never went anywhere!
Operation Weeting is the investigation into the News of the World phone hacking itself. Weeting is the village at the southern end of the notorious Elveden traffic jam.” There was never going to be any form of justice for Daniel Morgan ever !

2.25pm: Stevens has now finished his testimony.

2.21pm: Jay asks id Stevens is being "diffident" about his reasons for leaving the News of the World because he was picking up rumours about phone hacking. Stevens says no, this wasn't the reason for ending his column at the News of the World.
[It was the] convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire, my thoughts about that and the thoughts about the admission of that and the resignation of Andy Coulson....
The whole thing just didn't seem right to me and I had to get out.
2.19pm: Stevens is asked about the investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan and if he was aware the News of the World put detective Dave Cook and his wife Jacqui Hames, under surveillance.

Stevens says: "No."

2.18pm: Stevens says he became aware that a number of newspapers were receiving information from an unidentified police officer.

This individual and those surrounding him were selling stories to whoever would buy them. Some of it was "salacious gossip".

2.17pm: They are now talking about private investigator Southern Investigations.
Stevens says he was never aware that News of the World used it.

In his book his says that at the end of the 1990s it kept coming up in the "anti-corruption squad's radar".

The agency was set up by murdered private eye Daniel Morgan.

2.15pm: Stevens says he used to meet the MPA at least once a week. Most of them were experienced people.

Lord Harris of Haringey, the first chair of the MPA, had decided that all of these meetings should be open. Stevens said it was an examination beyond what he had experienced before.

2.05pm: The inquiry has resumed and Jay is revisits Stevens's remarks about "unethical behaviour" that led him to sever his ties with the News of the World, where he was contracted to write a column.

He says this revolved around an article concerning Max Mosley.

Jay points out that the infamous article about Mosley appeared in April 2008, but Stevens had terminated his contract in October 2007.

Stevens is pressed on what he means by "unethical behaviour". "General behaviour," he says.

Asked whether this means phone hacking or behaviour more widely, he says: "Just more widely."

1.00pm: The inquiry has now broken for lunch and will resume at 2pm.

1.00pm: Stevens says he had a system called "ethical testing" and that strategy – which wasn't far from being an "agent provocateur" – did not turn up "any real issue on my watch".

12.58pm: Stevens says he was aware of allegations of corruption in relation to the press.
"Every now and then" he heard stories that people either still employed or retired were being paid for stories or for tipping people off about where raids were taking place.

12.56pm: Asked about politicians, Stevens says the former home secretary David Blunkett briefed the press against him behind his back.

He says Blunkett didn't understand his relationship with the Metropolitan Police Authority.

12.54pm: Jay returns to the issue of leaks – this time in relation to Stevens's Northern Ireland inquiries.

He says he can usually work out who is gaining by the leak, but it is a "very difficult business" identifying the person responsible.

However, there were prosecutions for leaks in Northern Ireland.

He says at the Met his deputy, Ian Blair, would have been responsible for leak inquiries.

12.49pm: Stevens says he does not think "professional relationships could have been fostered without some sort of hospitality".

"This is the way they did business – if you didn't do it that way, they probably wouldn't see you," says Stevens.

12.48pm: Stevens revisits his dealings with Rebekah Wade and Paul Dacre, reiterating that his meetings with the former concerned Sarah's Law and the latter was very keen on the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

12.46pm: Stevens says he has heard people in the Met "are terrified" of picking up the phone to the press in the current climate.

12.37pm: Stevens says he was paid £5,000 each for the first two News of the World articles, which was a vast amount as far as he was concerned, but he "was told this was the going rate". Wallis edited the articles.

He quit after two articles because of the conviction of NoW royal editor Clive Goodman and investigator Glenn Mulcaire for phone hacking in 2007.

Stevens resigned the contract in October 2007 which was nine months or so after the convictions.

He revealed however that when the convictions were taking place, "certain other information was coming to my ears" which alarmed him. "I didn't just want to do it," he adds.
Stevens says:
I didn't complete that contract because of the conviction that took place of the two people in the News of the World, and I saw Colin Myler and Neil Wallis and told them I didn't want to continue. I never gave them specific reasons, but from that night on I never saw them again.
The remaining five articles were negotiated at £7,000 apiece.
"With five articles to write it was throwing away a lot of money," he says.
"I'd never have written the articles had I known what I know now."

12.34pm: Jay moves on to the "revolving door" between police and the press following retirement.
Stevens was hired to write seven articles for the News of the World, arranged by his book publisher through managing editor Stuart Kuttner. This was part of the package negotiated around his autobiography Not for the Faint Hearted.
He reveals he lost all the proceeds from his autobiography after the Northern Rock bank collapsed.

12.30pm: Jay quotes the Met's 2003 gifts and hospitality policy. It says the perception of suspicion is as important as the facts.

It says light working lunches in the region of £10 are acceptable, but £150 dinners are not, except in exceptional circumstances.

Jay says private dinners raise a difficult issue.

12.29pm: Stevens says he found it difficult to get some stories into the papers. For example, Scotland Yard held awards to commend officers on their bravery every six weeks to two months, and it was "incredibly difficult" to get coverage.

12.27pm: Stevens agrees with Condon's evidence that the press should not be "pariahs".
To use Lord Condon's pharase they weren't pariahs; they were highly professional people who I respected immensely.
12.26pm: Stevens says he had to sue the press twice.
Once was when he complained to the PCC after it was reported he believed in legalising cannabis and the second time was inaccurate reporting on his level of pay.

12.22pm: Stevens says he finds it hard to criticise his successors, but says he thinks he would have been "ruthless" on phone hacking.
I would like to have thought the issues that the Guardian raised I would have picked up as commissioner. I think I would have been quite ruthless in pursuing it.
Stevens says he would have gone where the investigation took him wherever that may be.
"I know of no other way of pursuing wrongdoing," he says.

12.22pm: Stevens is asked how he would describe his relationship with Neil Wallis.
"It was totally professional," says Stevens. "I never went to his house or he to mine."

12.19pm: In 2002, there was dinner with Neil Wallis at Convivio. This was one of the two charity events Stevens referred to ealier.

In September 2003, Stevens dined with the News of the World's Wallis, Andy Coulson and Stuart Kutter, as well as Dick Fedorcio. This was part of the general pattern of meeting with editors, he says.

12.16pm: In 2002, there was dinner with Rebekah Wade and her then husband Ross Kemp at the Ivy.

Stevens says from 2000 to 2005, he met up with Wade 12 times, three times of which were for charity.

"Ross Kemp very kindly agreed to front an evening," he says. "My wife was at two of these and on one of those ocassions I personally paid at the Ivy."

12.14pm: In Oct/Nov 2000, there was a meeting with Wallis and Waheed Alii – the former Planet 24 owner and now Labour peer. Stevens wanted Alli, who was a friend of Wallis, as an adviser to the Met.

In June 2001 there was a dinner with Neil Wallis, editor of the People.

12.12pm: On 16 October 2000, Stevens had lunch with Rebekah Wade, editor of the News of the World, with Andy Coulson in a hotel in W1 – he thinks that was the Sanderson Hotel.
"I always saw Rebekah Wade with the DPA," he says. "She was pursuing Sarah's Law and at that stage she had threats to her … so the conversations were Sarah's Law and [issues] pursuant to that."

12.11pm: Stevens's diary details a dinner with Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, at the Birdcage, a restaurant in London W1, in 2000.
Stevens says he met Wallis twice with their wives in relation to a charity.

12.10pm: Stevens's diary shows he had frequent meetings with the press across all newspapers. On occasion there were dinners with Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail.

He says he did not favour one newspaper group and the diary bears this out.

12.09pm: Lord Stevens's witness statement has now been published on the Leveson inquiry website.

12.07pm: Stevens said he had lunches with the editors of all papers but Dick Fedorcio, the director of public affairs, would always attend.

He had more frequent – quarterly – meetings with Evening Standard editors Sir Max Hastings and Veronica Wadley because he considered it the "local newspaper for London".

12.06pm: Lord Condon's witness statement has now been published on the Leveson inquiry website.

12.05pm: Stevens says he was keen to take media on police operations because it showed how the Met was tackling crime.

However, like Condon, he says it shouldn't interfere with an individual's right to a fair trial.

12.04pm: Stevens says the people who are on the frontline tell the story "far better" than senior officers. But there are always inherent risks in allowing officers to speak to journalists.
"The risk is you are exposing people who haven't had full training in dealing with the press," he adds.

11.57am: Stevens explains what he means by "off the record", and says it depended on the context. He says if a police officer is offering comment it is "very dangerous territory".
He says it is in the public interest for the police to give off-the-record briefings to editors, for example, on anti-terrorism.

Stevens adds he is cynical about the phrase "police sources" as it could cover an officer who is not involved in the story or someone who may not even be in the police force.

11.52am: Stevens drew up a policy to reinforce confidence in the force and part of this involved a strategy in relation to the media covering three areas: proactive; reactive; and media training.

He says he was one of first officers to get media training, and was told on an an FBI course: "Never to tell lies to the press."

Stevens says the policy required officers to be "open and honest".

11.49am: The Met's relationship with the media was built on mistrust before he arrived as deputy commissioner in 1998, says Condon.

He adds that the reason people didn't want to deal with the media was because they thought it would be counterproductive and they would be criticised.

11.47am: Stevens is currently the chair of Labour's "independent review" into the future of policing, which has all-party support.

He says he hopes it will take into account the Leveson inquiry's findings and report next year.

11.46am: Stevens says he wanted to engineer a culture change, which he says were successful.
Complaints against the police had dropped 50%; crime was coming down; and the Met had managed to divert IRA terrorist attacks.

11.45am: Stevens says his new policy was not to banish bad news stories – the nature of policing means there are always bad news stories – but he wanted to allow "officers on the street to tell their stories far more in a positive fashion".
"I know good news doesn't sell newspapers or the media, but we were going to try and do some of that," he tells the inquiry.

11.44am: Stevens says the Met was dealing with crisis management, but dealing with the media was only one part of the strategy.
"The media were a major part of it, but it was a matter of getting on the front foot … and getting the anti-corruption practices that we developed at that time.
11.42am: Stevens says the Met lost hundreds of officers in the wake of the Macpherson report and by 2000 it found recruitment difficult.
"No one thought the Met was an organisation worth joining," he adds.

11.40am: As deputy commissioner at the Met from 1998, Stevens oversaw a major anti-corruption initiative.

The Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence was published in 1999 and found the police force was institutionally racist.
Jay asks how that affected his relationship with the media.
Stevens says it had a "massive effect" because ordinary officers felt they were all being painted as racist.

11.39am: Stevens joined the police in 1962 and remained there for 23 years. He took a break and returned to the force in Hampshire and Cambridge.
He had a standout stint in northern Ireland where he led what turned out to be a 20-year investigation into alleged collusion between loyalists and the police force.

11.35am: The inquiry has resumed and Condon's successor as Met commissioner, Lord Stevens, takes the stand.

Robery Jay QC, counsel to the inquiry, is doing the questioning.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

James Hunt Memo To Cameron

 Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt's career prospects could be determined by evidence at the Leveson inquiry today. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
5.15pm: Here's an afternoon summary.

• The Leveson inquiry has been told that Jeremy Hunt drafted a memo for David Cameron in late 2010 saying it would be "totally wrong" to give in to those opposing News Corporation's bid for BSkyB. The document was written about a month before Hunt took responsibility for the bid and, in it, Hunt said: "If we block [the bid] our media sector will suffer for years." Robert Jay, the inquiry counsel, read out extracts from the memo as Adam Smith, Hunt's former special adviser was giving evidence. Smith revealed that he had had no contact with those opposed to the bid, even though he had been in regular contact with News Corp about it. Hunt's aides have been playing down the significance of the memo, pointing out that in it he said - as he always had done - that plurality issues would have to be addressed for the bid to be allowed. There are more details on our Leveson live blog.

#Leveson #pressreform :Hunt to MPs 25/04: No unminuted/unofficial contact with Michel