Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 9 Dec

Monday 9 December 2013

The Prosecution Case Continues
Back at the Hacking Trial
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks on Bribing Charges
Witness – Brigadier John Donnelly (Director of Army Personnel Services)
Prosecution Counsel Rebecca Chalkley QC questions Brigadier John Donnelly
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines Brigadier Donnelly
Further Prosecution questions to Brigadier Donnelly
Witness – Operation Elveden Detective DC Briddon
Prosecution Counsel questions DC Briddon
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines DC Briddon

The Prosecution Case Continues
Back at the Hacking Trial
Back at the #hackingtrial for what looks like a full uninterrupted week
Chalkley for the crown recalls DC Tilbury who has done some checking for Brooks’ counsel, Mr Laidlaw over a spreadsheet of payments
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks on Bribing Charges
Laidlaw is going over the charges against Brooks alleging she bribed public officials.
Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks, looks at a cash payment to the wife of a public official on the 27th June 2006.
“No need to take that attitude with me,” says Laidlaw to DC Tilbury who answers quickly about cash payments: “just wait…”
Counsel for Brooks hones on the precise dates of payment, clearance, and arrival of funds from News International to wife of public official
DC Tilbury evidence is on payment for alleged Will in Bikini photos to wife of Sandhurst official, prior to publication, collected in cash
Witness – Brigadier John Donnelly (Director of Army Personnel Services)
Prosecution Counsel Rebecca Chalkley QC questions Brigadier John Donnelly
Chalkley for prosecution calls Brigadier John Donnelly; director of personnel services, responsible for discipline and policy etc
Between 2006-9 one of Donnellys employees was Bettina Jordan-Barber, alleged to have received £40k in payments from the Sun
Donnelly cannot talk about matters which might prejudice an ongoing investigation and court martial
The amount of comment over a court martial is very tightly controlled to prevent prejudice of the ongoing investigation, says Brigadier
Internally within the secretariat, only the rank and offence of those investigated in a court martial are revealed
Donnelly explains that after a court martial, the name of accused and nature of offence, would be released to the public.
Brigadier Donnelly has been asked to comment on two specific Sun stories: the first about the death of a decorated soldier from early 2007
Donnelly says the article was published before the authorities had a chance to conclude investigation and inform family of dead corporal
Donnelly explains the army prefer to “brief the family sensitively” and so family have some control over what is released into public domain
Chalkley for the crown now turns to second Sun story about the death of Prince Willam’s platoon commander, Major Roberts
Donnelly explains Sun 07 article was published before “we fully briefed the family… we were not allowed to completely our… duty of care.”
Donnelly duty to care to soldiers ‘they have to trust us to handle their information securely and discreetly.” Early release “undermines trust”
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines Brigadier Donnelly
Laidlaw for Brooks cross examines Brigadier Donnelly on these two Sun stories.
Brigadier Donnelly is explains more about Sun story of Major Roberts death: he was killed on 04/10/07. Sun frontpage 06/10/07
Brigadier Donnelly had said the Sun “went too early”: Laidlaw shows Donnelly the MOD press release published once next of kin informed and ready
Laidlaw points out that the date on the press release was the 5th October 2007, day after Major Alexis Roberts killed by an IED.
The press release gives photo, military background, time with Gurkha rifles, time at Sandhurst, with heartfelt tributes for other officers
Brigadier Donnelly confirms that Major Roberts was a deeply respected and admired figure.
The Brigadier confirms that by 5th of October all the essential preparation seems to have been done before Sun publication
Laidlaw: “I don’t want to take advantage you… but if the police had shown you this before, would you not have made statement on oath”
Brigadier Donnelly: “I made the claim on basis of what I was shown,” in response his statement the Sun went too early with Major Roberts death
Laidlaw shows how other papers pickup and follow the Major Roberts death story on 6th October: telegraph online, CNN, BBC online
Brigadier is shown a ‘restricted management’ pack over MOD media briefing over the repatriation of Major Roberts’ body.
Laidlaw produces another internal MOD document about coverage of inquest over Major Roberts’ death in July 2008
Laidlaw for Brooks shows the jury the press’s coverage of Major Robert’s funeral
Laidlaw for Brooks takes Brigadier Donnelly to the second Sun story about the death of a member of the parachute regiment.
Laidlaw tries to summarise Donnelly’s concern “there had been publicity before investigation completed… and could inform widow”
“I understand the difference between the public interest and the interest to the public,” says Connelly. Saunders replies… 1/2
Saunders to Brigadier Donnelly: “I wish you would explain it to me sometime.” Laughter from court
Laidlaw goes through timeline for para corporal: he died 20/08/06 in Sangin during a firefight with Taliban, three others injured
Laidlaw shows another MOD press release with biography of killed soldier, photo etc. He says the Guardian was the first to report his death
Sun’s coverage printed starts on 22nd August 06 and an article about Corporal Budd’s death.
Laidlaw moves forward to October 2006 and Sun article on circumstances of the parachute corporal’s death
The Sun article is about the “extraordinary actions” of “soldier hero” who saved 7 others, and suggestion of a posthumous Victoria Cross
Donnelly remembers the Sun story Laidlaw has just read out. Agrees it is “very positive” coverage.
Brigadier Donnelly says MOD has “a very tried and tested procedure for medals… not dependent on media coverage.”
By the December of 06 Corporal Budd had been awarded the Victoria Cross. Then Feb 07 Laidlaw there was “surprising turn of events.”
A forensic examination of Corporal Budd’s body found fragments of NATO stock bullets. Military definition of friendly fire is fratricide
Brigadier Donnelly explains this is not abnormal: the risk comes from close quarter combat covering fire.
Donnelly contends MOD need to investigate such incidents without major publicity: at least for the sake of other soldiers concerned
Laidlaw shows the jury the first page of MOD briefing which is marked “not for release”: RMC special investigations branch to contact widow
Laidlaw now goes to ‘if pressed… lines to take’ from MOD release into friendly fire investigation & ‘dynamics of close quarter battle”
Donnelly confirms friendly fire doesn’t effect Victoria Cross: “The bravery of the man is the same whoever fired the shot,” adds Saunders
The friendly fire investigation had been reported on the 16th by other papers: on the 17th Sun quote widow and relatives.
In late November 2007 Oxfordshire coroner finds one of the shots that contributed to 3 Para Corporal’s death was of Nato stock.
Laidlaw asks Donnelly if there “has been some debate” about court martials. The Brigadier says they are compliant with human rights act
Donelly doesn’t agreed with Laidlaw’s suggestion debate has changed the nature of court martials. “Not during my time,” says the Brigadier
Laidlaw goes to Guardian article 05/09/11, “MOD agrees to more openness on courts martial.”
The Guardian article is about an incident in Basra, and how the MOD has agreed to become more transparent about courts martial
Donnelly says he cannot answer Laidlaw because he was posted away, and he can’t answer on behalf of the prosecuting authorities
Donnelly says public and press aren’t excluded for courts martial, but there may be an accessibility issue because they’re based in barracks
Laidlaw asks Donnelly if practice had changed: Donnelly “just as civilian justice system evolves, so does the military system.”
Further Prosecution questions to Brigadier Donnelly
Chalkley for prosecution re-examines the Brigadier about investigation into death of Corporal Budd.
Donnelly said the investigation had not concluded by the time of publication of Sun report.
Normally, information would be released after a ‘service inquiry’.
Chalkley goes back to the fatality notice for Major Alexis Roberts shown Donnelly earlier: once on MOD website safe for newspapers to report
Chalkley goes to the two editions of the Sun story: the first story has “the officer who cannot be named” with an exclusive tag
The third edition of Sun article which names Major Roberts.
Donnelly said the Corporal Budd information was not ‘complete’ so they were not ready to release the details.
Families are given ‘a few hours of grace’ before information about fatalities
10 minute break
Witness – Operation Elveden Detective DC Briddon
Prosecution Counsel questions DC Briddon
Prosecution recall DC Briddon and asks the jury to turn to a news stories related to corruption: in this case the William in a Bikini story
Now an exclusive from October 06 comparing it with internal MOD news briefs. “It is known that the Sun newspaper has acquired this story”
Another Sun story about a female soldier dying in Iraq has no MOD internal newsbrief attached
Another Sun exclusive 06 about accident at an army training camp has internal MOD newsbrief: Yorkshire Post, Mirror, NOTW, followed up
Prosecution compare another Aug Sun army training camp exclusive about an engagement with internal memo: in Mail, Mirror etc after
The Jury are shown the Sun frontpage about death of Major Roberts. Newsbrief on repatriation dated 08/10 but the story on the 06/10 in Sun
Another story about Prince William‘s attendance at funeral is also reported in other papers
A draft MOD newsbrief from 14/11/07 and then a Sun exclusive three days later.
An MOD newsbrief for a sex swinger major, another Sun exclusive, was drafted the day after it was published.
Back to April 08 military story: the source of the internal MOD newbrief is marked ‘Betsy Jordan-Barber’
Another Sun article and matching MOD internal news brief sourced to Betsy Jordan-Barber
All these stories, now being connected to MOD internal news briefs, were covered last week in relation to Sun payments to Jordan-Barber
Sun story of drugs on ship, covered. So too an allegation of sexual misconduct. First covered elsewhere: second only in Sun
Many of these MOD ‘newsbriefs’ are ‘defensive’ because of a story appearing in the Sun, and followed up by other newspapers
Another MOD defensive newsbrief suspects Mail on Sunday has got hold of military story – but it is only published in Sun, says DC Briddon
The Sun’s spring 09 exclusives on fake medals is covered on same day by Times and police confirm source was Bettina Jordan-Barber
Jury shown again Sun headlines about illegal immigrant using military transport and army appearances in June 09
Jury shown a Sun exclusive from Aug 09 about swine flu in barracks, which is followed up by a dozen other papers
Email between Brooks and Sun employee shown to jury 01/07/05
Email 05/07 from one Sun journo to another about ‘ace military contact’ “don’t want to put name in email for security reasons”.
“The source is really good but has to be so careful,” Sun journalist explains to another in email cash payments to ‘ace military source’
29/03/06 Brendan Malinsky emails to Brooks about a “prison source story” 11/04 John Coles to Brooks on ‘cash payments”
BREAKING: Sun journalist to Brooks email on cash payments: “I’d like to keep this secret as the source is a serving police officer”
Email April 06 asking for cash payment from Brooks: “guy who got us picture works at Sandhurst…. doesn’t want it traced back to him”
06/01/09 From Sun Journalist to Brooks, cc Mohan and Kavanagh: “Man at five…. spooks are keeping an open mind.”
Back after lunchbreak at the #hackingtrial with Chalkley for the crown going over Sun stories with an ‘ace military source’
Jury shown Sun website asking Sandhurst officer or cadets to make contact
Email to Brooks on ‘Harry’: “from my guys serving along side, he’s been moved up…. as a forward air controller. Dodging the bullets”
10/01/08 Sun article about blood transfusion contamination of soldiers: BBC cover it that afternoon
January 2008 another son article, followed by other coverage. Chalkley shows Bettina Jordan-Barber collecting payment for £5k for story
The end of the section shows selection of emails from Brooks thanking the Sun journalist for his work for the newspaper
Chalkley for the crown now takes the jury “Brooks – Jordan-Barber” timeline.
Timeline has Brooks as a pink line with events (e.g. a payment authorisation), Sun stories and Jordan-Barber’s leave, posting etc,
A parallel document in the Brooks/Jordan-Barber timeline connects payments to her, Sun journalist, collection, story etc.
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines DC Briddon
Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks, has some questions for DC Briddon case officer for count 5 – asks him how long he’s held that role (March 12)
Briddon corrects himself – he joined Elveden on March 12, and became case officer: ‘around about August’ last year
A case officer collates evidence gathered by other officers. Laidlaw asks “Are you confident you can deal with questions?” Briddon says yes
DC Briddon has produced spreadsheets. Laidlaw intends to “proceed at some length into the detailed material”
Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks, makes some ‘general propositions’: first article linked to Jordan-Barber from Jan 2004 to August 2011
Laidlaw points out that during this period Britain was involved in armed conflict throughout this time.
Laidlaw subdivides Jordan-Barber stories in three categories: 1. Deaths in Action. 2. Injuries to Serving Officers 3. Alleged misconduct
Laidlaw comes up with a fourth category dealing with less serious matters in military stories – sexual misconduct, lost property
Laidlaw asks Briddon if he had information from News International suggesting Sun journalist other paid military sources. He says he didn’t
Brooks QC puts before the jury an Operation Elveden document about cash payments by Sun journalist concerned (not named for legal reasons)
DC Briddon says he’s seen this Elveden document before but cannot say he’s analysed for other sources of stories other than Jordan-Barber
28/08/08 Sun Navy story has another cash payment made for £250.
Laidlaw makes another general question about ‘pre-notification’ of army press office by Sun journalist
Laidlaw points out there were two periods Jordan-Barber was on maternity leave in 2004 and 2006
Laidlaw counsel for Brooks points out Bettina Jordan-Barber left one department on 27/04/09
Laidlaw asks about stories Jordan-Barber acquired during maternity and when she left secretariat
DC Briddon confirms Jordan-Barber was a friend of Major Alexis Roberts he was alive “Yes, but no way of knowing which story came from where”
DC Briddon explains police only did comparison of Sun exclusive to newsbank articles on 3rd December this year
Stories are sourced from Jordan-Barber during her maternity leave, and call data with Sun journalist from that time.
First Brooks recorded approval for Jordan-Barber payment is an email from late 2006
Laidlaw is suggesting that DC Briddon missed another article on this Sun/MOD timeline
Laidlaw, Brooks’ counsel, is looking at a story about the deaths of four soldiers on the Shat-al-Arra waterway in Basra in 2006.
The Sun publishes the first article in 2006 about the Basra casualties including a female intelligence officer.
Laidlaw goes through the ministry of defence website document on four soldiers killed on Basra operation in 2006 including Sharon Emlett
Laidlaw goes to an article about bullying in Catterick Barracks in November 2006.
The internal MOD “newsbrief” goes into a recruit who is hospitalised with a blood clot, which may be related to incident at Catterick
Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks, then goes to the court martial of the officer accused of injuring a recruited. DC says sourced to Jordan-Barber
Laidlaw is going through other Sun/MOD stories sourced to Jordan-Barber, the MOD briefings and other news coverage
In 2007 a number of payments april, may to July to Barber Jordan but without apparent authorisation through email, DC confirms
Saunders clarifies with Brooks’ counselthat Telegraph and Birmingham mail article actually followed Sun story published earlier that day
Laidlaw on emails from Sun journalist about Jordan-Barber payments which Brooks doesn’t reply to: he writes to Richard Barun to process
Three payments to Jordan-Barber, paid through Charlotte Hull, were authorised by Richard Barun at the Sun
On Telegraph copying Sun story, Laidlaw explains to jury how other papers steal ‘exclusives’ from first editions of other papers.
On two occasions in 2007, Brooks appears to have been asked twice to approve Jordan-Barber payments; first no reply, second ‘of course’
In 2008 no recovered response from Brooks to another email from Sun Journo approval of Jordan-Barber payment but executive editor signs off.
Laidlaw establishes that a Sun story Jordan-Barber was paid for seems to have another source paid in cash
Laidlaw summarises 2008: Brooks email three occasions for Jordan-Barber payments. One was not replied to
10 am tomorrow
CORRECTION: live tweets today had two mentions of a Richard Baron – that should be BARUN, a deputy managing editor of the Sun at time

Note: All the defendants deny all the charges. The trial continues.

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Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 27 Nov
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 28 Nov
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 5 Dec

Links: The Trial So Far | Full Trial Summary | Indexed Evidence | Breaking News

4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 9 Dec

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