Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 Mar

Thursday 6 March 2014

Rebekah Brooks Cross Examination continues on Count 1 – Hacking
Brooks questioned by Anthony Edis QC for the Crown
Financial Performance
Cost Reduction
Greg Miskiw Promotion
Neville Thurlbeck Promotion
Glen Mulcaire Contract and Payments
Brooks questioned on Phone and Voicemail interception
Brooks Contract and Financial Control
Rebekah Brooks Letter to Andy Coulson
Brooks questioned on Sophie Wessex
Greg Miskiw reminded to stay within the law
Brooks questioned on Blunkett Story
Rebekah Brooks Cross Examined on Count 5 – Illegal Payments
Payments to Police Officers

Rebekah Brooks Cross Examination continues on Count 1 – Hacking
Brooks questioned by Anthony Edis QC for the Crown
Some legal argument this morning and now back with the jury at the #hackingtrial with Brooks being cross examined by Edis for the Crown
Saunders reminds the jury that they have tomorrow off. Edis is back at the spreadsheets from NOTW during her editorship.
Financial Performance
Edis says NOTW’s “financial position was disappointing”. Brooks “that’s not what my bosses said” Edis: “Really. What did they say?”
Brooks says they complained about the overspend but she managed to procure more money for editorial: “I never got that feedback”
Edis talks of the £16 million shortfall. Brooks “You have to look at businesses as a whole. Decline of newspapers taken as a fact”
“To say the Time or the ST was having a bad year, Les Hinton would allocate costs,” says Brooks: “I never got criticised as a bad business”
“We were very proud of our relative circulation success,” says Brooks.
“The following year you did much better,” says Edis of 2002. Brooks: “My second year I managed to increase £23-£27m editorial”
“I was told because I got that increase I had to stick to that budget. Our weekly spending limit was pretty huge by Fleet St standards”
“You were good at your job in turning things round” says Edis in £3m increase in revenue, and very close to budget spend.
“A pretty good financial ship run that year,” says Edis. Brooks talks of the conflict between ads and content and circulation.
“So many other business decisions,” says Brooks: “the editor is consulted but it’s a business decision”
Brooks says her focus was on the £23 million editorial spend. “I didn’t live in a business world where I was criticised for underperforming”
Brooks argues she got a extra £5m on editorial in her second year, and another £2m for her third.
Cost Reduction
Edis examines the costs reduction at the News Desk: “It looks like someone on the news desk was really counting the pennies”
Brooks explains about the bonus scheme which Greg Miskiw regularly succeeded at.
“The third point that emerges from this document is how extremely well Miskiw and Thurlbeck did under your editorship” says Edis.
Greg Miskiw Promotion
“You promoted them,” says Edis. Brooks accepts she promoted both Miskiw and Thurlbeck. “What made you think Miskiw would be good?”
“Not love lost on the rivalry front,” says Brooks of Miskiw: “He was a bit old school, but I thought he would be good in that role”
“You must have talked to him about how he was to investigate things” says Edis of Miskiw. “Yes,” says Brooks.
Brooks on Miskiw: “He knew how seriously I took the code… I was quite good friends with Mazer Mahmoud. I’d talk to him directly”
“But what did Greg Miskiw bring to the party?” asks Edis. “I was still relatively young to have that job… he’d been there forever.”
“I was very keen because of my age and experience to have wise heads around me,” Edis says: “You’d been a deputy editor for 5 years”
Brooks: “I’m not saying I haven’t. But I was 26 when I got that job. I was 29 when I went to the Sun, they never had a female at that role”
“You were deputy editor of the Sun over several 100 editions.” “They wouldn’t have given me NOTW if they didn’t think I could handle it”
Brooks says a Sunday paper can be even harder because things can fall apart.
“You chose your staff with some care,” says Edis: “I inherited a lot,” says Brooks. She brought in Harry Scott.
Brooks talks about bringing in two senior editors: Harry Scott in production.
Brooks confirms Miskiw would come to daily conferences at NOTW when head of investigations. “He’d tell you how he was getting on?” asks Edis
Brooks accepts she could spend longer on investigations at the NOTW than the Sun.
“In a Sunday paper there’s a lot more planning into what can go into the paper in advance” says Edis. Brooks: “Thats fair to say got longer
“You can mull over the content more thoroughly” says Edis. “As a principle that’s fair,” says Brooks.
“One of the pitfalls of NOTW that you don’t have at the Sun is that your stories can go during the week,” adds Brooks.
Neville Thurlbeck Promotion
Edis turns to the promotions of Thurlbeck – acquitted during a trial in 2000. Brooks “fought his corner” for a salary bump to £60k in 2000
Milner wasn’t “happy about Thurlbeck getting a pay rise” says Edis. Brooks agrees, over PAYE etc.
“On having a member of staff on £92k a year, Mr Milner wouldn’t be very happy about that,” says Edis. Brooks explains fixed costs of staff
Even Brooks “surprised” by the costs of “hiring Michael Winner” back at NOTW.
“The state of affairs that if you’d asked Mr Milner to approve for a member of staff on £92k you would have felt he probably would not”
“I remember I had a lot of fights with managing editor, but I could remember not getting what I asked for at NOTW,” says Brooks.
Glen Mulcaire Contract and Payments
Brooks addresses hypothetical: “we’re using 10 detectives at 500k but could get one doing same work for £92k – Milner would be delighted”
“Because Mr Hinton was a trained journalist,” says Brooks: “I have a dotted line…. I reported in to Mr Hinton and Mr Murdoch.”
Brooks disagrees with the proposition Mulcaire’s contract was hidden because it dealt with “criminality”
“I did use detectives at NOTW… I mean we… but we did use them legitimately” says Brooks. “Were any others hidden?” asks Edis
“I can’t name them all. I can name one,” says Brooks of PI. Edis “effectively the books were cooked to prevent anyone finding out”
“I didn’t cook any books,” says Brooks. Edis says: “The books were cooked though”. Brooks “I don’t quite know what you mean by cooked books”
Brooks accepts the Mulcaire payment “was never visible to me” but I would not have an issue if Miskiw could reduce costs of tracing agents
“You do accept this contract was hidden?” says Edis. Mr Kuttner “approved every payment” says Brooks.
Some filing now and snap of ring binders.
Edis turns to some receipts from Nine Consultancy – payments for ‘lineage’ not on contract for Mulcaire.
‘Lots of lineage payments… all expressed by reference to a story” Edis points out about payments to Mulcaire.
Edis points out how the headline would identify the story the lineage was paid for. “I wouldn’t see the CPRs in this form” says Brooks.
“The records however they were kept married up the payment with the story,” says Edis.
Brooks points out that the contract was Euro Research, different from Nine Consultancy:”it’s not the name of the company I’m talking about”
“Private detectives are hired to do research,” says Brooks. Edis replies “But these are lineage payments.”
Edis points out how the weekly payment to Mulcaire was never married up to any work “so no one could see what he had done”
Edis cites 26/07/01 document: Brooks’ first budget. For 2001-02.
Edis asks where the budget figures for “each desk is actually arrived at”
“What we try and do is look forward to the coming year to see if there are any obvious big spends coming up,” says Brooks of budgeting
She talks of big sporting events, buying big books coming up (Alex Ferguson she uses as an example).
Edis says “you’d have to talk to the editors about how much they wanted to spend.” Brooks says the managing editor would do that.
“You’d have to go to America and tell them you wanted £4m on your news desks,” says Edis. “No it wouldn’t happen like that.” says Brooks
Brooks agrees she’d have to justify her budget in the US.
Edis says they have documents from Coulson’s editorship showing him discussing budgetary items: “Did you have the same in your time?”
Brooks agrees she have briefings from Kuttner before she went to America about “top line stuff” like pictures.
“In terms of before I went to America ‘that didn’t happen'” says Brooks of going through desk budgets with Kuttner.
Brooks agrees she had to explain her “overspend to Mr Hinton”. “You had to be satisfied in your mind the budget… you could deliver”
“You couldn’t do that,” says Edis of budgeting. “Without understanding the figures.” “Yes,” says Brooks.
Brooks said she had to oversee budget after 9/11. Edis says “this was the year Mulcaire was given his contract… drawing down 1.4k per week
Brooks replies to Edis’ point about Mulcaire costs: “Out of a budget of 4 million”
Brooks agrees she would look at the budget to express her ‘editorial priorities’: “the high points” she adds.
“The point is the amount of money free to spend on stories is only £940k on editorial… on News only £2.2m” free per annum.
“What he was actually spending £92k on was Mr Mulcaire,” says Edis of Miskiw’s annual budget.
Brooks talks about weekly spending limits and bonus given to Miskiw.
“Let’s look to the setting up of this contract,’ says Edis of Mulcaire deal.
Edis turns to a newspaper article Brooks has put into her own bundle: a Media Week article from Nov 2000.
“You wanted to find ‘serious campaigning journalism'” says Media Week article on Brooks’ appointment to editor of NOTW.
“That required a greater degree of investigative journalism” ask Edis. “I think it’s a different tone…. NOTW going 168 yrs…” says Brooks
“You did set up an investigations unit,” says Edis: “Indeed that’s the first thing you did when you became an editor.”
“What methods of investigations could this unit use when following your agenda” says Edis. “Subterfuge – with the Fake Sheikh”
Edis asks about ‘binology’ “Mr Mulcaire submitted an invoice once on binology”. “I don’t like it,” says Brooks. “Did you tell him not to?”
“I stressed I stuck to the code,” says Brooks of Miskiw. Edis asks if she directly forbade binology.
“Did you take any steps at all to make sure that that didn’t happen?’ asks Edis of binology. Brooks says she stressed PCC code.
Brooks questioned on Phone and Voicemail interception
“When we did those campaigns we had to be above the law… I mean within the law,” Brooks in a slip. She can’t remember forbidding binology
Brooks says she did approve undercover recordings. But never had a story that involved intercepting voice mail recordings.
BREAKING: Brooks says that – in exceptional circumstances – she may in principle have agreed to intercept phone calls. But didn’t happen
“You didn’t know it was illegal did you?” asks Edis. “I think I did know intercepting voice calls was illegal” but not voicemails she says
“You thought voicemail was legal, so you would have approved that more easily than phone tapping,” asks Brooks. Brooks says no.
“So that fact one was illegal and the other wasn’t didn’t make any difference’ says Edis. “It didn’t come up during my editorship,” Brooks
“But you had heard of the practice,” asks Edis. “Yes,” says Brooks.
Saunders tries to establish whether Brooks was aware of the ‘possiblity’ of phone hacking by journos or reality of it.
“In that state of mind, it might seem an obvious thing to do, to use that tactic in appropriate cases,” says Edis. “I never asked anyone”
Saunders asks about phone hacking revealed to Brooks after the event rather than asking prior approval from editors.
Brooks talks about a journo posing as a security guard “just found Abbi Titmuss has had her hair done” being a waste of time.
Brooks says she never pre-warned against phone hacking: “you instil a news room where ethics are high… done by the book.”
Saunder asks about pre notification on testing like taking knife on plane: “usually if there is a high chance of arrest,” says Brooks
Brooks says she wasn’t always told in advance: talks about an arrest of journo who planted St George flag on Arc de Triomphe.
Edis references am email about a “white van man” and “five degree shift” in the NOTW coverage. Break for 15 mins.
Brooks Contract and Financial Control
Brooks is asked about another email and the value of “self generating journalists” at NOTW.
Edis turns to Brooks’ contract which gives her control of budget and expenditure and contributors.
“Taking the legal language out of it: the board sets the annual budget…” says Edis. Brooks reminds us NGN actually didn’t have a board.
“When I was CEO I was director of 27 or 28 companies’ says Brooks: “that was for the tax reasons the way things are set up”
Brooks agrees she has “complete autonomy” within the annual budget; “It’s not anyone else’s job but yours” says Edis. Brooks agrees.
Contract also says Brooks has powers “to employ and engagement… at her discretion”: “You could hire and fire,” says Edis.
“Who worked for this company was your responsibility and no-one else’s” says Edis.
“Entering into an engagement with Mulcaire was something only you could do,” says Edis. “Dept heads entered into contracts all the time”
“I’m talking about engaging someone on a year contract was your job” says Edis. “It should have come to me and Stuart,” says Brooks.
“If you had discovered the contract you would have asked Mr Miskiw: ‘why did you do this? This is my job'” says Edis.
Brooks says “If I’d discovered it had been done behind my back I would have asked those questions” about Mulcaire.
NOTW contract talks about editor’s responsibility for accurate and libellous content. “That’s your job” says Edis. “Yes” says Brooks
NOTW contract talks about “keep budgets in control and supervision”; “You have to control or supervise expenditure,” says Edis.
“How did you set about doing that,” asks Edis of contractural role of NOTW editor to “control and supervise expenditure”
Brooks says she looked at “trends” in weekly spending limit and weekly bonus.
“Is what you’re saying is that you left it to the Managing editors office, introduced a bonus scheme, and left it at that?” Edis asks Brooks
Brooks talks about using managing editors’ budget as a contingency for overspends.
Brooks talks about a finance controller at NOTW – Steve Mears: Brooks thinks he sat on the NOTW floor.
Mears writes to department heads in 2001 asking for details of new retainers, current rates of lineage, from heads of department.
Mears email talks about expenditure going through strict editorial review.
Edis: “So there would be quite close scrutiny of what everyone was spending”. Brooks: “if they asked for more money they’d have to say why”
Edis asks if Kuttner could “approve payments to private investigators”. “Yes,” says Brooks. Edis asks about “auditing and monitoring”
“He’d had to know where that money was going?” asks Edis. “Yes,” says Brooks. “And he reported to you” asks Edis. “Yes’, says Brooks
Edis adduces the chart Brooks drew up of NOTW structure which puts Brooks on same level as Kuttner: “You were his boss” says Edis.
Brooks agrees hierarchical diagram is wrong: she should be above Kuttner. He came to editorial conferences. Wrote leaders.
Brooks agrees Kuttner shouldn’t really be under ‘finance’ – he worked very closely with her.
“Most the emails relating to [another NOTW journo] relate to pictures,” points out Edis, correcting this organogram Brooks helped construct
Edis cites an email to Kuttner copied to a lot of people, but not Brooks, about tax situation of full time regular contributors
Brooks explains that casual workers working full time became an issue at the Sun. Brooks says she’s sure Kuttner talked to her at NOTW.
“Ultimately it’s your responsibility isn’t it?” says Edis. Brooks says “yes”. Edis points out Mulcaire contract began the next week.
“Is that something you would have tolerated?” ask Edis about rules of paying contributors net of tax instead of gross.
“I don’t think I would have made those distinctions particularly… I don’t know if I would have tolerated it… remember a big prob at Sun”
“You were passionately interested in improving editorial content of NOTW” says Edis. “I hope so,” says Brooks.
“Would Mr Kuttner have been in trouble” asks Edis: “if you’d found out about this contract?”
“Can’t say he would’ve been in trouble, because I don’t know what explanation would have been. The person in trouble would have been Miskiw”
Brooks says private detectives weren’t a particular concern prior to 2003. “The desk heads… a pretty regular occurrence… legitimate work”
“You had a duty to control expenditure… how did you control expenditure on private detectives,” asks Edis.
Brooks says the autonomy of desk heads was like them “having their own business”
“In addition to that budget control, Mr Kuttner send around an email ask for every story costing more than 4k” says Edis. Brooks agrees.
Brooks agrees Kuttner would have talked to her about overspends on individual stories. He had a duty to consult her.
Edis cites Brooks email saying “why on earth are you paying £7k” for a Bulger story.
Edis turns to an email about the £4.5 m overspend: £275k attributable to Sarah’s Law campaign.
Brooks explains Sarah’s Law costs: “That’s not what it says,” says Edis. Brooks clarifies about allocation for end of year costs.
There is some debate about managing editor approval of all payments prior to and after Brooks’s editorship of NOTW.
Edis cites a NOTW conference in December 2001 with a section on budget control “monthly meetings with heads of department”
Brooks says she didn’t have monthly meeting of heads of department: “but Mr Kuttner might have done”
Edis talks about the Bulger contract for Mulcaire which costs £7k which became a subject of debate.
Saunders establishes this extra fee to Mulcaire for Bulger was actually £7.5 k
Brooks emails Miskiw and Thurlbeck saying anything more than £1k has to be approved by her after Bulger agreement for a month.
Edis says “a level had to be introduced which the editor had to approve”: Saunders establishes “prior authority rather than post authority”
Rebekah Brooks Letter to Andy Coulson
Edis says he has a few questions “only a few I promise you” about the letter to Coulson.
“The part I have twice read to the jury,” says Edis “starts “the least of our worries” The bit I have to ask you about is this…”
Edis cites “I confide in you – I seek your advice” and that included work, didn’t it?” Brooks “It could have done”
“Confide equals trust.. It would include secrets related to work” says Edis. “It could do,” says Brooks. “It would do,” says Edis.
“We would talk about work,” says Brooks. “More confidential than an ordinary work colleague,” asks Edis: “Yes,” says Brooks.
Edis goes on to the section of the unsent love letter which covers Brooks and Coulsons work relation when she was editor of Sun and him NOTW
“The work complexities by the jobs we have… the state of the relationship we had… made things very difficult, not easier” says Brooks
Edis: “the evidence you have given… is that Sun and NOTW were actually in competition with each other,” Brooks: “A long tradition”
Edis points out the four years Brooks and Coulson were both editors: “some of that time you have a close relationship”
Edis: “What I’m suggesting to you that during that time the two newspapers were co-operating more than at any other time in their history”
Brooks denied Sun and NOTW co-operating more. Affair “made things more difficult… the competition was a more traditional thing”
“I think I said last week it was a complication… the jobs we held,” says Brooks. “That may be,” says Edis. “But you two would co-operate”
“There were times we did co-operate in the way you said, unlike other editors, but it was the exception rather than the rule,” says Brooks
Edis cites 2004 letter “obviously I can’t discuss my worries and concerns at work with you anymore”
Brooks agrees that this meant they did have a time when they co-operated a lot at work. “But it didn’t actually stop, did it?” says Edis
“It did resume afterwards, didn’t it? By the summer of that year you were on close speaking terms with him again.” says Edis.
“By August 2004 you were back talking ‘confidentially’ again” asks Edis. “Yes we would have been back to confiding… by then” says Brooks
“The only reason I ask you this” says Edis turning “reference to last six years” … “for six years”
“There would be no reason for you to lie, would there?” “No,” replies Brooks. “For six years I’ve waited…” says letter.
“I was in a very emotional state when I wrote this letter,” says Brooks, “It’s your heartfelt anguish which is absolutely genuine” says Edis
Edis says he and Brooks disagrees over whether the affair lasted six years. “Police found this letter on my computer and served as evidence”
“I think at that time,” says Brooks, “when we were first together in 1998. It was the emotion of the moment.”
“In that time I had got married to Ross, bought a house, tried to have a baby…. Mr Coulson had got married.”
“I hadn’t been sitting there like Miss Havisham waiting for six years,” says Brooks. “We didn’t have an affair for 6 years. We were close”
“You understand… you had communications with Mr Coulson in 2002… at that time were you talking to him in that confidential way?” Edis
“I trusted him as a friend and my deputy editor,” says Brooks. “Was it more than that… if a deputy was committing a crime would tell ed”
Edis: “Was the relationship in April 2002 such that he would trust you with anything?” “Yes,” says Brooks
Back after lunch at #hackingtrial
Brooks questioned on Sophie Wessex
Edis: “Change of subject… I need to ask you a few questions about Sophie Wessex”
Edis: “You had a story you didn’t think was as good as you thought” Brooks: “It was good on business partner but not on Sophie Wessex”
Brooks: “Spoke to the palace to explain we had story on business partner but decided to run interview” Edis: “But you ran story anyway”
“Why did you run story about business partner?” asks Edis. Brooks “another newspaper “presumably on leak from palace” ran story on Sophie”
Brooks says “there were some misquotes…. there was a lot of publicity generated by leaked story in the other paper… inaccuracies…”
“In the end we thought it better to run original story,” says Brooks. “Did the palace agree to that?” asks Edis. “No…. I don’t think so”
“This was regarded as a great success for your paper?” asks Edis. “Yes it was a good story.” “Everyone got bonus cheques” “Yes”
“I think we’ll all agree it was a great shakedown that make NOTW the talk of the world,” Edis quotes from internal email.
“Some people might question the ethical standard of agreeing an interview for not running a story, and running it anyway,” says Edis.
“Worse than the original story was out there than the original story,” says Brooks.”By following Sunday… right thing do to put real story”
Brooks email to Miskiw cited by Edis: “We have to learn lessons from Sophie…. I know Sophie was 110 justified…”
Greg Miskiw reminded to stay within the law
“Why were you reminding Greg Miskiw of the need to remain within the law?” Edis asks Brooks.
Brooks: “there was a lot of speculation on the Fake Sheikh operation. I was reminding the head of investigations of the standards”
Brooks denies that Miskiw had never threatened to do anything that broke the law.
“He must have come to me about breaking the law” Brooks says of operations at NOTW. “Had anything unlawful been involved in this story?”
Brooks says that the Sophie Wessex story involved hidden cameras, subterfuge “But I don’t think there was” anything unlawful.
“As we now know Greg Miskiw has a criminal conviction,” Edis says. “What made you ask this of him about staying in the law?”
“I was concerned about fishing operations,” says Brooks. “These are all code issues,” says Edis: “I’m sticking to what was against the law”
“There had been times,” says Brooks “which had involved – say purchasing crack cocaine – which would be technically against the law”
Edis asks about “learning lessons”: “that’s usually something you say when something has gone wrong. Had something gone wrong?”
“I felt that we hadn’t actually got the story as promised,” says Brooks. “Do you mount a Fake Sheikh operation… on business partner”
Brooks says she launched the investigation on the basis the Countess of Wessex was selling access. Turned out to be false.
Saunders intervenes: “the jury are very good at spotting things.” He asks for the scheduled bundle on Sophie Wessex.
05/04/01 tasking from Greg Miskiw to Mulcaire relates to Sophie Wessex comes between two NOTW articles Saunders points out.
“It was a newsdesk operation… Mazer might have asked Greg to check a name out,” says Brooks of Mulcaire tasking
“Mazer Mahmoud might have asked Greg to make some inquiries” says Brooks of this tasking.
Brooks questioned on Blunkett Story
Edis moves onto the story Blunkett in August 2004 and some “telephone material” in his cross examination of Rebekah Brooks at #hackingtrial
Brooks remembers the taped conversation from 13/08/04 between Coulson and Blunkett at 10 a.m.
Only call data from Coulson’s phone is available from 13/08/04 – calls Brooks for 81 seconds “just walking into Blunkett’s office”
Brooks does not remember what Coulson said in that call
BREAKING: Coulson called Brooks 15 minutes before meeting with Blunkett in Sheffield over Kimberley Quinn
BREAKING: Brooks says Andy Coulson did not mention he was just about to see Blunkett “because he knew I was close to Blunkett”
“I can see why he wouldn’t tell me,” says Brooks of Coulson’s visit to see Blunkett. “He was going to run the story on Sunday” says Edis
“It would have been very much a betrayal if you published this story on Saturday,” says Edis: “It’s not something he would have done”
“He may have thought I already knew,” says Brooks. “I was close to Blunkett and one of our special advisors”
“Our relationship was complicated enough. I do not believe he would have told me in advance about meeting Blunkett,” says Brooks
“Did he tell you the story was based on phone hacking,” asks Edis “No he did not,” says Brooks.
“I’d had dinner with Mr Blunkett relatively recently… was aware things weren’t great. But he didn’t mention why he was upset” says Brooks
Brooks said she didn’t know the affair before NOTW broke the story. “Or any relationship?” “No,” says Brooks.
Brooks: “I think Andy first told me on the Saturday night… or rather early evening….. I had put two and two together… but it was news”
“Mr Coulson and Mr Blunkett having come to agreement they wouldn’t name the woman involved, you did name her?” “Yes,” says Brooks
“Where did you get that piece of information from?” asks Edis of Brooks naming Blunkett’s lover.
“Distance and time… I think there were ‘cuts’ taking about them out together… I can’t remember if I asked Andy if name was right”
Brooks says Huw Evans “stood the story up by not denying it”; Evans’ evidence was he wasn’t going to confirm it but wasn’t going to lie
Edis adduces an article from the Observer which could have been a source of Brooks “cuts” or cuttings on Kimberley Quinn/Blunkett story
14/09/03 Observer article about Kimberley Quinn taking over Spectator: Blunkett is mentioned along with other people.”Indelicate suggestion”
The Observer article cites Kimberley Quinn joking about having a relationship with a blind man, convincing him she was tall and blond
“I think the reason we got to run it was because we had good contacts with the Blunkett camp,” says Brooks. “It was half a punt…”
“It does have a flirtatious suggestion I suppose,” says Brooks of Observer piece. “I think it was the diary item” alerted her.
Diary talks about Kimberley Quinn sat next to Blunkett at Clinton dinner. “They did not come as a couple” says article.
21/11/03 Daily Mail diary piece cited. “Was that the article which made you put the suggestion as fact?” asks Edis.
Brooks says a number of articles “the name Kimberley Fortier was swirling around… good old fashioned journalist… put it to Evans”
“It’s a classic line of journalism pretending you know something and have a very good source, and them confirming it” says Brooks.
“I don’t remember Andy Coulson told me on the Sunday… I don’t remember him being involved in helping me” says Brooks.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him giving it to me,” says Brooks: “But I don’t think that happened”
“Swirling around… doesn’t mean a source… it means you don’t know” says Edis.
Brooks agrees with Saunders that you run a story like that past Blunkett’s team even if knew it was true.
“You probably do that if you knew it was a phone hacking story.” says Edis. “I didn’t know it was a phone hacking story.” says Brooks
“It was a big story…. front page…. Blunkett was a friend of yours… and you really can’t remember how you got the name?” says Edis
“Surely the truth of this Andy Coulson told you what was going on,” says Edis. “I remember having to get it out of Hugh,” says Brooks.
“If he had told you, the first thing you’d ask is how he knew. And we know how he got the story,” says Edis of Blunkett story.
“Andy did not tell me he got this story from phone hacking” says Brooks.
“Sometimes people do deny true stories, and you’d ring an NGN. Pretty tough chinese walls between the papers. But might give you a nod”
Rebekah Brooks Cross Examined on Count 5 – Illegal Payments
Payments to Police Officers
Edis is going to deal with Count 6 and 7 and Milly Dowler on Monday. Now going to Count 5 and payments to Bettina Jordan-Barber.
Edis adduces a Goodman email to Andy Coulson 24/01/03
Laidlaw intervenes. Break for legal argument.
Jury back in: Edis makes clear to the jury that there’s no suggestion Brooks knew about Goodman payment to police officer
“What I want is your assistance how this kind of… acquisition was run under your editorship of NOTW” asks Edis.
“The general principle on paying police officer… unless there’s an overwhelming public interest principle… it isn’t done” says Brooks.
“On this occasion an internal phone directory seems to have been bought… is that something you would have sanctioned?” Saunder disallows
Saunders disallows the question because the circumstances too speculative.
Edis cites a document, seen before, of “Farish payments” 06/12/02 for £750 and asks Brooks about ‘cash payments’
“What precautions were in place for making of cash payments during your time at NOTW” asks Edis. Brooks: “I think desk head could approve”
“But they weren’t supposed to be made to anonymous people?” asks Edis. “They were made to confidential sources” says Brooks.
Edis points out identities of Farish and Anderson were false. Brooks; “they were supposed to put name and address on docket”
Brooks says “there may have been anonymous payments…”
On checking name and address: “I don’t think managing editor made checks into name and address”
“Mr Spens reminded me Mr Goodman had been promoted… during my editorship… but he didn’t have a desk. Not sure what he’s approval level”
“I stood corrected,” Brooks says of Goodman’s promotion.
Internal email from Sun 01/07/95 about a police tip off about a celebrity seen earlier.
“Some people will supply information… some people because they want to be paid,” says Edis. “This is a policeman… did you inquire?”
“I read that as he didnt give his name or detail…. he says he is a policemen rather than DCI or whatever…” says Brooks
“He sounded like a disgruntled custody sergeant or whatever’ says Brooks. “Police aren’t supposed to do these things” Brooks “But they do”
“In my experience policeman would ring up with free information because they wanted publicity… difficult to generalise,” says Brooks,
“It might be wise to investigate,” says Edis whether payment involved. “My assumption is there wouldn’t be payment involved” says Brooks.
“Most of the time… press and police work together not for money but exchange for information,” says Brooks.
“It wasn’t unusual to be tipped off about high profile arrests… that’s just my experience” says Brooks.
Sun email 03/02/06 about a celebrity drug dealer, and “cozzer” posing as a hitman: “Not sure it’s wise putting this down on email”
Brooks says saying policeman would “rarely” ask for money – but can’t think of any occasion when she had paid a police officer.
Brooks: “in the main police did not ask for money… but occasionally they might ask… and it would go to the editor”
Sun email appears to be asking for £500 for two police cases: “That’s one reading of it,” says Brooks.
Brooks says this was experienced editor who “cultivated contacts”. Information exchange, few pints of beer or money might be currrency
“I could see that could be a point,” says Brooks about the line about putting stuff on email. “He’s annoyed he had to get it approved”
Brooks doesn’t particularly remember this 2006 – but she accepts she read it.
“Surely it’s the only possible way of reading this. He wants to pay £500 to a policeman… he’s annoyed because it’s a crime” says Edis
“That’s not the kind of thing he would say or do,” says Brooks: “He know the rules about paying serving policemen:
Back after the short break at the #hackingtrial
Saunder explains to jury that he can’t sit tomorrow but it’s nothing to do with the day of action by lawyers: “genuine commitment of mine”
Monday we’ll sit from 10 till 2.
29/03/06 email to Sun Journalist from Brooks about a prison source on Huntley. “Did you ask?” about source, asks Edis. “May have done”
“The company needed to know the identity of the person who had to be paid,” says Edis of this prison source. “The records kept in finance”
Saunders recalls evidence on anonymous dockets: Edis says: “general rule is source is confidential… the paper would know but I protected”
Brooks agrees that if she wanted to know the identity of sources from the payment: “source not confidential within the organisation”
“Within the company the journalist has told the finance who they paid,” says Edis.
“The protection for the source is not damaged by the journalist telling the paper who to pay,” says Edis.
“What details they give is in their gift,” says Brooks. “What sources they have is confidential”.
11/04/06 another anonymous payment request for £1k to Brook. “because the contact is serving police officer”
“That is telling you a serving police officer is being paid £1k for selling a story,” says Edis. “No suggestion he got it during…work”
Edis asks if Brooks talked to this Sun journo. “If I did get it… I would have spoken to news editor about it…” says Brooks.
“I certainly discussed it with the News editor,” says Brooks. “Did you give instructions,” ask Edis: “This is quite serious”
“Again… 8 years ago… I don’t particularly remember the story.. it could have been a serving officer getting info not at work” Brooks
“That’s wishful thinking,” says Edis.”Would be quite wrong to pay a police officer for this information. The possibility committing a crime”
“I don’t remember this,” says Brooks. “Was it frequent?” “No…” “Paying police officers is a significant thing” says Edis. Brooks agrees
Brooks asked about “experience” of reporters: “young reporters get much more interrogation”
“So if you’re experienced no one asks about what you do,” ask Edis. “No, I think you’re less policed” says Brooks.
“Can I ask you about a word you used… the word ‘policing’… in your evidence of payments of £37k… what were you doing if not policing”
“You’re not interrogating them to the level you would a junior reporter” says Brooks.
“You are the editor. You are supposed to consider payment requests for cash. Having ascertained enough for yourself,” says Edis.
“If it’s merely just a rubber stamp. It’s not just a rubber stamp, it’s a smokescreen,” Edis says of editor approval of payments.
“What I’m saying is that I didn’t act as a police officer to senior people,” says Brooks.
“The prosecution case is that you knew enough about the recipient of the money to approve very quickly” says Edis.
“I did not know…. we were paying a public official” says Brooks.
Edis points out that that finance knew the name of Bettina Jordan Barber because of Thomas Cooke payments.
“Strangely enough that finance statement means I didn’t need to police him” says Brooks of Sun journo.
“if you wanted to know the name of the source all you had to do is pick up the phone” and call finance says Edis. “I suppose could have done
“It was really no secret,” says Edis. “I don’t think anyone in the paper knew she was a public official” says Brooks.
Saunders asks about email: “wouldn’t it have rung alarm bells that he has supplied us with numerous tips” Brooks “people supply for free”
Early break today and not back until Monday.

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

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Half Time at the Phone Hacking Trial

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 3 Mar
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 4 Mar
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 5 Mar

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

4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 Mar

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  4. Pingback: Mulcaire, Miskiw, Mahmood and the Special Investigations Unit set up by Rebekah Brooks at News of the World | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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