Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 8 Jan

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Summary
Prosecution Case continues with Evidence on Cheryl Carter
Giving Evidence – Operation Sasha Detective DS John Massey
Witness – Susan Panuccio (former Chief Financial Officer of News Group Ltd)
Prosecution Present Evidence about Payments
Prosecution Counsel questions Susan Panuccio
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines Susan Panuccio
Counsel for Stuart Kuttner cross examines Susan Panuccio
Further Prosecution questions to Susan Panuccio
Jury questions to Susan Panuccio
Witness – Gary Keegan (Husband of Deborah Keegan – PA to Rebekah Brooks)
Prosecution Counsel questions Gary Keegan
Counsel for Cheryl Carter cross examines Gary Keegan
Witness – Deborah Keegan (PA to Rebekah Brooks)
Prosecution Counsel questions Deborah Keegan
Counsel for Cheryl Carter cross examines Deborah Keegan

Prosecution Case continues with Evidence on Cheryl Carter
Giving Evidence – Operation Sasha Detective DS John Massey
The jury is back in for the #hackingtrial – continuing with the evidence of DS John Massey, interviewing Cheryl Carter, Brooks’ PA
Back at Carter’s third police interview tape. DS Massey has a serious of questions and wants to “cut to the chase”
Massey says Gary Keegan – Brooks’ driver – was in London collecting her. “I’m sure she was off,” says Carter of Brooks
Carter says she trusts Gary Keegan, and says he would not provide an untrue account: “I’m sure she was off that week,’ says Carter
“I never have stored things under my name – maybe he would have allowed me or maybe he wouldn’t,” says Carter
“You described it as “shit'”, DS Massey says to Carter of her archived material. “But these notebooks and everything don’t seem like ‘shit'”
Continued police interview with Carter: “When we moved I would have just picked up a bundle of everthing…. just getting it out the way”
Carter explains to police they were only given a couple of days notice when Brooks was elevated to CEO of News International
DS Massey asks Carter why archivist Nick Mays would have “singled her out”. It didn’t seem unusual or odd, said Carter
Carter explains that as a beauty editor she used to get a lot of material at the main gate, which her son Nick would pick up
Nick Carter was an editorial assistant in advertising: Carter would ask him to do favours “because he was my son”
“Nick doesn’t ask questions, he’s not that kind of person. It was my business,” says Carter of the seven boxes she took from archives
DS Massey asks what Nick is going to do in Australia: Carter: “He won’t work for the paper (Perth Sunday Times)… he will travel around”
BREAKING: Carter says Brooks organised job as a secretary on Perth Sunday Times: “She spoke to John Hart… I’m going to be on £30k a year”
“Did it cross your mind when you saw the boxes that this might be… interpreted as suspicious or illegal?” “No,” says Carter
“100 percent, no. On my children’s life…” Carter denies police suggestion that Perth job organised by Brooks was a “payment in kind”
Witness – Susan Panuccio (former Chief Financial Officer of News Group Ltd)
Prosecution Present Evidence about Payments
Anthony Edis QC, lead prosecution counsel, reads a statement to the jury about payments from News International.
Mr Michael Gill, a previous witness, group financial controller for NI explains “to be deleted” tag on Stuart Kuttner
The “to be deleted” tag is not sinister, but part of the accounting tags for staff who have left NI
Prosecution Counsel questions Susan Panuccio
Edis for the prosecution calls Susan Panuccio at #hackingtrial
Edis is not going to ask Panuccio much about her statement and her admissions: “real purpose so other counsel can explore matters”
In 2008 Panuccio became CFO of News Group Ltd – she remained in post till Sept 2012 and is now CFO with News Corp Australia
Panuccio started working for NI newspapers in 2004, but she’s only been quizzed about time post 2008 when promoted to CFO
Panuccio never worked on the editorial floor, but would work with managing editors – she dealt with Mr Kuttner before retirement in 09
Panuccio explains the admin, HR and external events organised by the managing editor at a NI title
Panuccio says is the responsibility to make sure payments aren’t made for illegal actions belongs to journalists and editors
Edis asks about how a contract like Mulcaire’s £105k annual contract should have been dealt with, though paid weekly
Panuccio says would query why a contract was being dealt with that way. Contracts over £50k would have been dealt with at editorial level
Laidlaw for Brooks cross examines Panuccio over the financial requests made to her by the police
Panuccio agrees with Laidlaw that the police quizzed her over her role as CFO and historical payments
Panuccio explains James Murdoch replaced Les Hinton in late 2007, and James brought Panuccio in as CFO in 2008
Panuccio agrees James Murdoch saw that “improvements could be made” in News International
James Murdoch remained CEO of News International until September 09, when he is replaced by Rebekah Brooks. He became chair of NI
Panuccio agrees she inherited a “financial governance system that had been in place for some time” and planned to “refresh” it
Panuccio agrees James M and Brooks planned to “tighten up the governance” of NI. The executive team was extended.
Mr Cheeseborough Chief Information officer was added. Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg added by Brooks to executive team
Counsel for Rebekah Brooks cross examines Susan Panuccio
Laidlaw for Brooks asks former CFO Panuccio about “challenges… Mrs Brooks faced… First chief executive job…. no previous experience”
Laidlaw explains the revenue of News International was “£1 billion plus at this time”: Panuccio says “she was on a steep learning curve”
Panuccio reported to Brooks. Brooks to James Murdoch. James to his father Rupert (or perhaps Chase) in New York
Panuccio agrees that Will Lewis was hired to deal with the developing phone hacking problem, which would become a crisis
Panuccio agrees that the years Brooks was CEO were successful: “Yes, we hit our financial targets.”
Laidlaw asks about Kuttner: Panuccio agrees he was deeply experienced and good at his job.
Laidlaw asks about NOTW in 2000-03. Panuccio had never heard of Mulcaire and his companies until his arrest in 2006
Panuccio is quizzed about payments to third parties on the ECS system at News International by Laidlaw, counsel for Brooks.
Panuccio says she does not know at what level editors would have been involved in contributor payments – each arrangement different
“The profitability was lower so there was more analysis of the numbers,” says former NI CFO Susan Panuccio of the year 2008-9: worst results
The £50k editorial approval threshold did not change in 2008, says Panuccio, just the person NI editors had to report to: it became her
Even as far as September 2011, cash payments were permissible by NI papers
Laidlaw puts Brooks’ recollection on Thomas Cooke payments while she was a the Sun circa 2006 to Susan Panuccio
Laidlaw for Brooks says she remembers Thomas Cooke payments being treated differently from cash: Panuccio can’t confirm
Panuccio can’t comment if the forms for Thomas Cooke payments were different, or had different accountancy codes
Laidlaw says Brooks recalls that Thomas Cooke payments weren’t anonymous: Panuccio says she can’t comment on that
Laidlaw for Brooks goes on to cross examine Panuccio, former CFO, on the issue of contracts.
Panuccio implemented a new contracts policy in 2008, but this did not affect editorial – so she can’t comment on managing editors etc.
Panuccio says there’s no automatic system picking up broken up payments accumulating in excess of £50k: would have to be referred
“It should have gone up the MGN director,” Panuccio says of Mulcaire contract.
Laidlaw asks Panuccio about the ’email deletion’ email from Brooks: “she had 10k emails in her in-box” says former CFO
Apologies for temporary suspension of #hackingtrial service. Stomach pains and nausea but rescued by @GaetanPortal and @jamesdoleman
Counsel for Stuart Kuttner cross examines Susan Panuccio
Caplan for Kuttner cross examines Panuccio on Kuttner’s qualities: A man of integrity? “As far as I could see,” says former NI CFO
Caplan for Kuttner refers to NOTW budget cuts for Nine Consultancy (Mulcaire) and exchange with Steve Mears of Finance.
Further Prosecution questions to Susan Panuccio
Edis has further questions for Panuccio: “how much do you know about NOTW in 2000-03?” Panuccio shrugs: “Nothing”
Edis asks Panuccio if she conducted some kind of inquiry into Mulcaire payments: “Yes, I have.”
As for the NOTW budget 2005-6 about Nine Consultancy from 24/02/05 Panuccio can’t confirm whether Mulcaire’s payments were reduced
As for the NOTW budget June 2006-07 about Nine Consultancy in Feb 06 Panuccio can’t confirm whether Mulcaire’s payments were reduced
Edis goes to Panuccio’s statement about her financial oversight: they wouldn’t go through things “line by line” – i.e. by transaction
“How does that expression ‘line by line’ fit with a system where payments have to be authorised?” asks Edis of Panuccio, former NI CEO
Panuccio is asked how long it would take her, as an accountant, to run her eye over hundreds of payments: “If I understood, pretty quickly”
Panuccio says she has no knowledge of budgetary pressure on NOTW 00-03. 04-06 some knowledge of fall of circulation from high of 3.8million
Justice Saunders gets Panuccio to clarify that the Mulcaire contract may have been discussed with Steve Mears at corporate level
Panuccio confirms that any payments over £50k should have gone to managing director of NGN before she took over as CFO
Panuccio says that she remembers Brooks having a blackberry, and iPhone and an iPad
Jury questions to Susan Panuccio
Jury asks about audits of payments – usually 10-15 across the company says Panuccio, though not all editorial
Jury asks through Saunders, whether any audit picked up the Mulcaire payment: “A risk was flagged,” says Panuccio: “I can’t recollect”
Break to 1.10 pm. I’ll look for a Boots, dioralyte solution and ginger beer!
Witness – Gary Keegan (Husband of Deborah Keegan – PA to Rebekah Brooks)
Prosecution Counsel questions Gary Keegan
Bryant Heron for the crown calls Gary Keegan as a witness: he was Brooks’ occasional driver and helped move 7 archive boxes on 08/07/11
Keegan explains his wife Deborah was a PA to Brooks in 2011. He helped out occasionally as a driver
Keegan cannot remember exactly what time of day he asked to help out, but he was already at Thomas More Square
Keegan was “just there in case (Brooks) needed a drive home.” His wife Deborah called to ask if he could help with some boxes.
Keegan said he received a call from his wife “from Cheryl Carter”. In his statement he remembers going to executive 10th Floor Office at TMS
At the moment he can’t remember if he went up there. But he met up with Cheryl and her son Nick and went to TMS 5 to help remove some books
Keegan can’t remember how many boxes “but they were very heavy and we had to commandeer a trolley”
They took the trolley by lift to loading bay in the basement. Keegan waited by the boxes while Nick Carter got his mini, and the loaded up
Nick Carter then drove off with the boxes.
Counsel for Cheryl Carter cross examines Gary Keegan
Burke, counsel for Cheryl Carter, cross examines Gary Keegan. He doesn’t think he bought Brooks to work, but merely to give life back
Keegan says he doesn’t think she needed a lift back that day. By this time he’d been a relief driver for a couple of years
Burke for Carter establishes that his wife Deborah, PA for Brooks, would use her to run errands: “Anything heavy,” says Keegan
“Always it would be Deborah who called me,” says Keegan. Burke asserts it was immediately: “Completely out to the blue,” says Keegan
“It could be,” says Keegan about the timing of 4pm. He says he was “good friends” with Cheryl and Nick Carter
Keegan is shown the NI archive boxes and confirms they were the ones he picked up in 2011. He can’t remember returning the trolley
Of Keegan’s failure to return the trolley to archives, Justice Saunders jokes “We’ll need a special verdict on that.”
In his statement, Keegan says Nick Carter told him they were full of his mother’s stuff. Now he can’t remember he says, relies on statement
Witness – Deborah Keegan (PA to Rebekah Brooks)
Prosecution Counsel questions Deborah Keegan
Edis for the prosecution calls Deborah Keegan, Brooks’ second PA along with Cheryl Carter
Deborah Keegan has made two written statements but – as per normal – must ask permission to refer to them in court
Edis asks about the removal of the 7 boxes on 8th July, and asks D Keegan about first mention of the boxes: that afternoons she says
Edis asks D Keegan about a witness statement made in early Jan 2012: “what was it Nick Mayes asked you to retrieve at archive?”
“Who decided what went in the boxes?” asks Edis. “Not so much a choice but a matter of space… didn’t feel right to bin it.”
“If I filled the from in I don’t recall,” says D Keegan of archiving material
On the 8th July 2011 when she called her husband “I assumed the job was done,” says D Keegan of the 7 boxes
Edis shows D Keegan a document from “Cheryl Carter defence file”
Keegan is shown the Brooks 7 boxes archiving form from September 09 and recognises it as a newer form.
“You would write anything on it,” says Keegan of archive form: “I don’t want to sound flippant but you just wanted to get the job done.”
Counsel for Cheryl Carter cross examines Deborah Keegan
Burke for Carter establishes that Carter and Keegan were “very old friends” but she notified NI lawyers about subsequent meetings
In all meetings between Keegan and Carter there was always a third party present
Keegan is shown floor plan with Brooks’ private office “more like a cloakroom” says former PA. CC and DK – initials of PAs – shared office
The filing space for the PAs, says Burke for Carter, “extremely limited”
23/05/11 a temp Teresa Zanuski emails Cheryl and Deborah a filing list itemising where items were filed
The list is “fairly particular” over the filing cabinets – nominating drawers with share certificates, marriage certificate, gun licence
Zanussi particularised Brooks’ property in JULY list of 131 pages
Page 130 of July 2011 list details Rebekah Brooks notebooks. Keegan remembers a safe that didn’t work, but never had leave to go to it
Keegan describes “thick carpet land” of executive floor for James and Rupert Murdoch, who did not like clutter (unlike the Sun offices)
Late summer of 2009 Brooks moves to RKM’s office divided in two: half to Brooks, and the other half to James
Keegan confirms she did not get to know Carter until Brooks moved in as editor
Keegan confirms that Carter wrote a weekly Sun beauty column for 7 years: and had many magazines for inspiration, and samples send
Keegan confirms Carter pasted all her cuttings in her notebooks.
Keegan says Carter was unhappy leaving the Sun, had to write articles at home: weeks off work due to illness, very unhappy in corp land
Brooks “probably took her notebooks to corporateland” says D Keegan: she never kept an kind of inventory
“Legally we had to keep stuff for seven year, but we had stuff ten years old” says Keegan of clearing Brooks’ office
Burke asks about the “nee Wade” filing of 7 archive boxes: “we wouldn’t hark back,” says Brooks former PA Deborah Keegan
Burke then focuses on the twelve years of desk diaries in Brooks’ office written in by both PAs and Brooks herself
Carter had to travel from Essex. They would open the post, flagging up letters for Rebekah. They’d bring her breakfast
There were events in the evening as well. This was a ‘pretty average day” says Deborah Keegan. Brooks would close the doors for meetings
“You effectively run her life,” Keegan agreed of her time with Brooks: deal with finance, mother, mortgages “Anything,” says Keegan
Keegan says she would email Brooks and Carter even though the latter was sat next to her. Burke for Carter cites a message about RJM calling
“Chery silly question – have you a receipt for Charlies’ hotel in Doncaster” Burke cites another of Keegan’s work emails
Other emails about Rebekah leaving her keys in the flat etc. shown to Jury by counsel for Carter, Trevor Burke, to explain nature of work
Other emails to the PAs talk of setting up dinner with KRM, getting shopping from M&S: both PAs always shared emails
Brooks had two personal trainer: Zac at the local London gym: Calum who ran ‘boot camps’ in Oxford
Keegan can’t remember archivist Nick Mays emailing her about Brooks’ memorabilia: “I didn’t pay much attention” says Keegan in May 2011
Keegan laughs at Carter’s memory of saying: “Where the fuck do we put this stuff?”
Brooks PA Keegan cannot remember conversation with fellow PA Carter about storing the 7 archive boxes in her office
Keegan can only “very vaguely” checking Brooks’ bank records to get her location when the Milly Dowler story broke in July 2011
Keegan says that she, Brooks and Carter were “very upset” when the Milly Dowler story brokes. “Rebekah would not do that,” says Keegan
Keegan laughs at the suggestion she would have every thought her boss, Mrs Brooks, “would be of interest to police”
Brooks resigned while Keegan was on holiday in Italy: “I expected to come back and find things the same,” she tells Trevor Burke, QC
Keegan says “there was a lot of toing and fro’ing out of Brooks’ office: though never gave advance notice of NOTW closure – only rumours
Hong Kong and Shanghai bank called back re Brooks’ banking statement, and movements around the time of Milly Dowler hacking
Another call from Brooks’ mother ‘Betty’ concerned for her daughter: PAs reassure her that Brooks is OK
One email talks about Brooks’ to all staff talks of “a town hall meeting” with NOTW staff
The email identifies a town hall NOTW meeting led by Brooks at 4pm – round the same time Carter removed 7 boxes from archive
Keegan says she doesn’t believe Brooks was involved in storage or retrieval of boxes.
Brooks’ bootcamp was, according to emails to Calum shown to the jury, rescheduled from Milly Dowler scandal week to end of July.
Burke has two more ‘discrete’ topics he wants to explore with Brooks’ second PA.
Keegan remembers Cheryl Carter started their own make up brand and got the product into Superdrug in 2011
Keegan agrees there was a falling out over Carter’s company – lawyers were involved, it was very unpleasant
Carter “only shared her ambitions to go to Australia until after she took redundancy,” agrees Keegan. “And the window was getting smaller”
Keegan remembers a man called Evan Hammer coming to London to interview Carter for new Australian
By Jan 2012 Keegan knew all about Carter’s plans to emigrate
“It was a tough atmosphere to work in because Rebekah was very demanding… but we could say what we thought,” says Keegan former PA
Keegan agrees that Cheryl would be a ‘intermediary’ sometimes: but she was an upright person.
Laidlaw wants to cross examine D Keegan, but this will continue 10 am tomorrow
Coming up: some of the tweets from Edis’ questioning of Brooks’ PA Deborah Keegan, that got locked out of twitter
Phone-hacking trial: Brooks was very upset at Dowler allegations says her PA http://po.st/XwqkvF via @thedrum
Please RT to get Twitter @support to change my settings so that my #hackingtrial tweets aren’t blocked as spam, and I get locked out

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

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Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 19 Dec
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 Jan
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Links: The Trial So Far | Full Trial Summary | Indexed Evidence | Breaking News

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4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 8 Jan

  1. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 8 Jan | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 13 Jan | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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