Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 Apr

Wednesday 30 April 2014

The Defence of Andy Coulson Continues
Counsel for Andy Coulson contines re-examination
Andy Coulson Defence Witness – Conal Austin
Conal Austin questioned by Counsel for Andy Coulson
Andy Coulson Defence Witness – Belinda Sharrier
Belinda Sharrier questioned by Counsel for Andy Coulson
Belinda Sharrier cross-examined by Counsel for Clive Goodman
Belinda Sharrier cross-examined by the Prosecution

The Defence of Andy Coulson Continues
Counsel for Andy Coulson contines re-examination
Justice Saunders explains to #hackingtrial jury that we are getting to the end of the evidence – bar Mr Goodman
Timothy Langdale QC has a few brief points for his client, Andy Coulson, in re-examination.
First is a re-examination is of some NOTW articles: first the Milly Dowler ‘Hoax’ first edition on 14/04/02
Langdale goes to a one column piece about Pierce Brosnan which appears in the first edition, and was moved when Milly Dowler story moved
‘007 at Jubilee Concert’ is itle of the Brosnan piece: in the final edition of NOTW it joins an SBS heroes story to replace Milly Hoax story
“Section 8 warrants” mentioned by Julian Pike at Farrer’s says Section 1 RIPA law does encompass voicemails and emails
Langdale asks about NI lawyer’s advice that Kimberley Quinn voicemail acces “was not against the law’ and adduces another document
April 2006 – Coulson has an email exchange with an NI lawyer.
Justice Saunders says the Langdale’s document was the first in the whole trial that has not been hole punched.
09/08/06 Pike emails various NOTW staff including Coulson: “a draft letter to the police” about Goodman arrest
Edis intervenes with a Langdale question about the autonomy of department heads and value for money:
Coulson: “You trusted people to understand that money spent should be value for money” He mentions MacGuire at the NOTW Sunday Magazine
Coulson says Department Heads had “total latitude” if they kept within budget”
Coulson agrees with Saunders that in “broad terms” he would keep an eye on department heads at NOTW.
Langdale cites a voicemail transcript from a Goodman email.
08/12/05 emails about “standing up” Prince Harry Sandhurst exam story cited. Goodman says to Coulson “thanks for last night”
Langdale want the jury to receive another document. Justice Saunders asks if Spens for Goodman can check it first.
This is something that has already been before the jury. Justice Saunders points out documents are replicated 2 or 3 times at points
Saunders seeks clarification of this Harry Exam voicemail – police transcription of Mulcaire tape matches Goodman’s version in 06 email
24/01/06 email from Goodman to Coulson cited: “Michael Peat… turning his mobile”: Coulson denies he was source of mistress story
Coulson says this is unlikely – because then Goodman would be telling Coulson about something he already knew.
Langdale goes to Kuttner’s evidence on 10/08/06 after Goodman’s arrest and claims security services were providing phone hacking details
Coulson: “Had Clive told me the intelligence services were monitoring.. young royals…I would have been interested as a potential story”
Coulson: “The idea MI5 or MI6 were monitoring the Royal Family would be interesting beyond the Guardian”
“The Guardian have a particular agenda on this” says Coulson: “But I think most the media would have been fascinated by it”
In regard to Temple/Prescott story, Coulson re-iterates he didn’t know MoS journalists were being hacked.
Langdale goes to 30/04/06 NOTW ‘Prezza – the Sex Diaries’ so that Coulson can deal with sequence of events over Prescott story
This NOTW article on Prescott is an earlier edition, Coulson believes.
“We knew Tracey Temple was selling her story… selling her diaries. She’d done a deal with Mail on Sunday” says Coulson
“She’d gone to Max Clifford” says Coulson of Tracey Temple selling Prescott diaries: “Everyone was waiting for the Mail on Sunday”
“There are some limits to quotes you can lift” says Coulson of ‘matching’ the MoS on Prescott story. But quite generous.
Coulson thinks the MoS might have given ‘tasters’ to the media. After reading MoS entire, the third edition would have “all this new detail”
“It was a very big story” says Coulson of lifting and matching Prescott: “Most of the other newspapers would have done the same”
Justice Saunders points out Mulcaire was hacking MoS journos at this point: “you were all desperately waiting for what was happening”
Coulson says “absolutely not” to suggestions the additional Prescott/Temple info came from Mulcaire’s hacking.
Langdale points out that microcassette with Prescott story came from Goodman’s address. Though there may have been more at Mulcaire’s.
Email from Goodman says “good off the record chat with **”: Coulson thinks thinks this could be MD – Mark Dyer
Langdale, in his re-examination of Coulson, goes to Goodman 19/08/05 email to Coulson about “Chelsy driving Harry nuts”
The PH source mentioned in latter Goodman email exchange “someone who helps once in a while” is thought to be Paddy Harverson.
Langdale turns back to the oft cited Calum Best email chain
Langdale points out that Christ Tate email on same day about Lorna Hogan only surfaced during the trial.
Coulson says “it’s clear now we’ve seen this [Tate] email that this ‘leak'” was TO Calum Best not FROM him
Justice Saunders points out that this interpretation of ‘Is Calum a leak” – i.e. not that he is a leak – is not natural English
Coulson says that by “Is Calum a leak” he meant the Calum Best story.
There will be a break for 45 minutes or so while Langdale talks to his client Andy Coulson about his defence witnesses.
Back with #hackingtrial and Coulson’s defence witnesses – a character witness
Andy Coulson Defence Witness – Conal Austin
Conal Austin questioned by Counsel for Andy Coulson
Conal Brian Austin is a paediatric surgeon and consultant for 16 years at Guys and a children’s hospital. He met Coulson in 2004
Austin’s children went to the same school as Coulson: their wives met at dinner parties. Now “very close friends”
Austin set up a charity after a visit to Sri Lanka for paediatric heart problems. Coulson helped funding visits after 2004
NOTW funded a whole trip with 13-14 doctors to Sri Lanka, sent two journalists and wrote a story in 2006
The Evelyn Children’s hospital opened at St Thomas’ Hospital in 2005 but was not kitted out with equipment.
Coulson was on the board of the charitable foundation that raised money for equipment for the Evelyn Children’s hospital.
In 2006, Austin was awarded a Children’s Charitable Hero award sponsored by NOTW and Dr Barnardo’s.
Coulson had a role in the nomination panel; “Andy is very altruistic in my opinion” says Austin of Coulson’s role in publicising the charity
“I’ve known Andy for many years” says Austin: “he’s personable and quiet… he will listen to you.”
“If you have a conversation with Andy he will always remember it” says Austin. “I’ve never seen anything underhand or deceitful”
Andy Coulson Defence Witness – Belinda Sharrier
Belinda Sharrier questioned by Counsel for Andy Coulson
Second defence witness for Coulson called: Belinda Sharrier his former PA: she has previously given evidence
Justice reminds Sharrier she’s already sworn an oath and is bound by it. She became Coulson’s PA in late 2002 when he was still deputy editor
Sharrier remained his PA until Coulson’s retirement in 2007. Before working for Coulson from 1997 she worked for travel company for NI
Sharrier became Colin Myler’s PA and remained in that post until the NOTW was closed in July 2011
Sharrier explains her duties as Coulson’s PA: as well as normal activities she helped organise personal finances and family related events
Sharrier points out her workstation on a plan of the NOTW offices before they were closed: to the right of Coulson’s office in open plan
Deputy editor’s PA used the desk on the left. There were two doors to Coulson’s NOTW editor’s office, but one permanently locked.
Sharrier says meetings with Coulson “weren’t set in stone” but people would ask her first before going to see the editor of NOTW.
Sharrier would be accessible to his staff “depending on how busy he was. If someone wanted to see him, he would see them at some point”
“He was very busy for 99% of the time” says Sharrier of Coulson. He had a “very good” management style. She never saw any bullying of staff
Sharrier explains it was very “rare” that she wasn’t at her desk manning the editor’s desk number.
Two other numbers in Coulson’s office were relatively unknown: “they would have very rarely rung” says Sharrier.
Sharrier also dealt with the post toCoulson: she could open ‘private and confidential’ mail: mail on stories would be passed to desks
Sharrier says Coulson dealt with his emails: she only had access on one or two occasions. His computer was password protected.
Sharrier says she never knew Coulson’s computer password: “once or twice” Coulson gave her the password.
“Later on… with more updated mobiles” Sharrier says Coulson had remote email access to his account. She can’t remember precise date.
On safes at NOTW, Sharrier was only aware of two: one in managing editor’s office and one at the News Desk
Sharrier says there’s no safe she ever knew which was called “the editor’s safe”
On diaries Sharrier’s says she would ‘pencil in’ meetings. Appointments would mainly come in through phone calls – business people, MPs
Sharrier says she would tell Coulson about meetings, but also he would ask her to pencil appointments in.
On changing appointments, Sharrier says she would rub them out “that’s why there were in pencil”
“I would tick it if a meeting happened” says Sharrier of meetings. She is shown original diary from 2005.
A brown A4 desk diary is handed to Sharrier: she turns to 26-28th September 2005 meetings.
Sharrier says only some of the entries on the 27th are hers: Milburn, Jack Straw (but Karen Cornwell’s underneath) Charles Clarke, Jowell
There are two other entries from Sharrier for the 27th. Top line of 28th hers. Geoff Hoon meeting is Karen’s – contact number hers.
John Reid is Sharrier’s writing – Gordon Brown beneath is not hers – a 7.30 meeting is hers.
Sharrier is asked about markings on the diary: a ‘strike through’ is what she did at the end of the day in the NOTW office.
Sharrier says the circle markings “do look like mine.. I would circle.. the way I did the timing”
Sharrier has seen this page and thought about 28/09/05 meetings: Hoon has a tick and CXL underneath telephone numbers
Sharrier says neither of the markings here are hers, but Karen’s: they worked a similar system of markings for Party conferences
Karen was the deputy editor’s PA who ordinarily attended party conferences too, and would join some of Coulson’s meetings.
For Sharrier a “tick would normally mean that meeting happened”: CXL ‘in theory it would have been cancelled”
Sharrier says “at conferences it was very much a moveable thing”. The “political guys” would phone in with changes to meetings
“The CXL’s on this means we cancelled original times but the meetings did happen” says Sharrier. She enter on computer and use next year
“Depending on who was in power” says Sharrier “we’d use this as a template”: a computer entry prepared for Coulson she says.
Sharrier says she “wouldn’t personally communicate changes” to Coulson. Political guys would be “running the show”
“They were on the ground with him there at conference, but as a matter of courtesy they would let me know” says Sharrier of meetings.
By “political guys” Sharrier means “journalists at NOTW”
A 2/2.30 O’clock meeting with John Reid, with 3.15 underneath, probably means Coulson met Home Sec despite CXL.
“I would say CXL means we cancelled the original time and moved it to a different time” says Sharrier.
Looking at Coulson diary entry for Gordon Brown in 2005 Sharrier says: “I would say he definitely met with Gordon Brown”
Sharrier says Coulson did not keep a black tie or evening suit habitually in the NOTW office.
Sharrier is now shown and new bundle and turns to a “post arrest” tab
An email 25/11/06 18.41 to Sharrier from Coulson asks her to print off his draft emails ‘discreetly’: Sharrier has seen this email recently
“To be perfectly honest I didn’t when asked remember this” says Sharrier about draft emails prints. “But I would have done what I was asked”
Sharrier cannot remember “specifically” what Coulson kept in his draft emails. But he kept “Spreadsheets, budgets, general info” there
Sharrier says that after Coulson’s retirement in 2007 “I was told Colin Myler was in London to take over paper so had to clear office”
Sharrier says Coulson left “everything as was” at NOTW when he left in Jan 2007. There were personal items left in his office.
Sharrier says “there was a lot a memorabilia, a punch bag, photos” left in NOTW office when Coulson left. She took his diaries.
Sharrier says Coulson used a big desk pad rather than notebooks when he was editor of NOTW: she would tear sheets off and bin them.
Sharrier can’t recall removing any notebooks when Coulson retired.
Sharrier has no idea what happened to Coulson’s draft emails after she printed them off and handed them to him in a folder.
About two weeks or so after he resigned, he came over to Sharrier’s house and took home most of the contents.
The only thing Coulson didn’t take “were letters from readers saying how wonderful NOTW was” says Sharrier.
“Amazing, brilliant… he was brilliant boss, and as a person the best” says Sharrier of Andy Coulson.
Break till 2.15. Edis says he won’t take long cross examining Sharrier. She’s reminded not to talk to anyone while mid way through evidence
Bob Hoskins has died. With the Long Good Friday he reinvented the British gangster movie. A force of nature. Farewell, Bob. You’ll be missed
One of the most memorable scenes in movies: Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand facing his death and Pierce Brosnan’s gun at end of Long Good Friday
Belinda Sharrier cross-examined by Counsel for Clive Goodman
Back after lunch at the #hackingtrial – Coulson’s PA, Belinda Sharrier, now being cross examined by David Spens QC for Goodman
First questions from David Spens QC for Goodman on Editor’s conferences
Sharrier explains there would be two editor’s conferences on the Fridays at NOTW – she never attended or sat in.
“If any bullying took place at the editor’s conference you wouldn’t have seen it” asks Spens. Sharrier confirms.
Belinda Sharrier cross-examined by the Prosecution
Edis follows up: “It was Mr Coulson’s job to get others to perform… how would he do that?” Sharrier says she wasn’t involved in that
Sharrier can’t address how NOTW journalists got their stories, or cash payments.
12/12/11 Sharrier gave a police statement: Edis reads from it
Sharrier confirms this is her police statement.
“During my time working for Andy Coulson… I’d never heard of phone hacking…. never discussed with Coulson” said Sharrier
Sharrier only worked with any reporter was for ‘Children’s Champions’ said Sharrier in her police statement, and repeats no cash payments
Edis shows Sharrier some documents
Edis explains these are payment forms from 2003 signed by Sharrier – paying cash for stories.
Sharrier says she wrote out the CPRs for another reporter “perhaps Andy requested it”: one is for Coulson
31/10/03 there are cash payments for another NOTW exec.
Sharrier says she knows some of the names for cash payments “not sources as such” – she mentions Frank Bruno’s assistant and car company
Sharrier says as far as she knows these were real names and addresses. She said she signed because it came from her office
Sharrier says that though some of these NOTW journalists were working for other departments these would be stories connected to editors
Sharrier explains why she hadn’t mentioned this as “cash payments for sources”: she saw these as “bits and pieces” – travel etc.
Edis says “you do know how the system works – you’ve just explained it to us” – “Yes,” says Sharrier.
Edis asks “is it really true?” she never heard phone conversations about phone hacking.
“Even after Goodman arrested… never heard Coulson discuss with anyone else” she said to police. Sharrier agrees that wasn’t correct.
Sharrier says she organised meetings but didn’t have a discussion with Coulson about phone hacking after Goodman arrest
13/08/04 Coulson went to see David Blunkett – Sharrier said she knew evening before because she organised transport.
“Did he really never make a note in a notebook?” asks Edis. Sharrier can only think once or twice of Coulson using notebooks.
“I wouldn’t say he never wrote anything down” says Sharrier. He would make notes on note pad. Edis “That was about to become waste paper”
Sharrier says Coulson had no system for record keeping.
Edis asks about meeting Gordon Brown – would Coulson not keep a note? Sharrier says a big of scrap paper. But generally not notes.
“To be frank” says Sharrier, Coulson kept note of NOTW stories in his memory.
Sharrier talks about ‘draft email files’ as a “notebook”
“I wonder what he kept in them” aska Edis. “I didn’t go into his drafts” says Sharrier. “You did once” says Edis.
“What was going on that day 25th November 2006?” asks Edis. It was a Saturday. Sharrier can’t remember Goodman about to appear in court
Edis takes Sharrier to the 25/11/06 email from Coulson requesting her to print out draft emails “discreetly”
“Was it a big job?” asks Edis. “I don’t remember” says Sharrier. Edis points out this was the first time Sharrier went into Coulson’s emails
Sharrier had said “budgets and speeches” Edis “Or were they quite secret?” Sharrier: “I don’t remember”
Sharrier says she could have printed out these drafts without others to see it.
Sharon “could have seen what I was doing. Very discreetly wasn’t odd…we’re a media company… lots private and confidential” says Sharrier
Sharrier says she saw the draft emails again – can’t remember when – at Coulson’s lawyers
“I was just shown a couple of them” says Sharrier of Coulson’s draft emails at his lawyers. She confirmed they were ones she printed out
Sharrier says of copies shown by Coulson’s lawyer: “they looked like draft emails”
Sharrier is shown an email by Edis: she thinks this is one of the ones she saw at Coulson’s lawyers.
Sharrier says she didn’t read it in “full detail” when shown by Coulson’s lawyer. She agrees it isn’t a speech or a budget.
“Why didn’t you mention this kind of thing?” asks Edis about Sharrier’s previous evidence. She says this is covered by “bits of info”
Email to Sharrier says “Bee – please keep a hard copy file”: she says she kept filed in office.
“I did have file copies of bits and pieces” says Sharrier. She didn’t take home when Coulson resigned.
Sharrier confirms she took home Coulson’s desk diaries because they had personal details.
Edis asks about Colin Myler’s diaries: “Some stayed at NI” says Sharrier “I had the last one”
“Why did you take material from your office to your house” asks Edis. Sharrier says clearing out office.
“I was told to clear out office, because he left immediately after announcement” says Sharrier of Coulson resignation
Sharrier 2011 police statement says “Andy asked me to pick up his documents”
Edis asks why Sharrier’s statement has changed since she spoke to the police.
“It was all very dramatic… it happened so suddenly” says Sharrier. Edis says resignation was preplanned “there was loads of time”
Sharrier says she was informed of Coulson’s resignation only just before it happened.
“Not a long time before” says Sharrier of knowing of Coulson’s resignation.
Edis cites 3 meetings from 28/09/04 with Coulson and members of the cabinet: “Why would anyone write cancel alongside meetings that weren’t”
“My take on this is that we cancelled meetings and moved them around” says Sharrier.
Sharrier cites 07/07 Press Club Ball which has both ticks and CXL markings.
Edis asks why Geoff Hoon meeting has got CXL next to it even though time hasn’t changed.
“I’ve thought about this,” says Sharrier “and can’t remember Andy cancelling a wave of meetings like this”
Edis points out the cancellation could have come from the various ministers.
“I do not recall Andy cancelling a wave of meetings like this at conference” says Sharrier.
“You’ve thought about this page quite a bit I accept that” says Edis: “But do you remember what actually happened?”
“There are things there that indicate Mr Coulson had a press ball” says Sharrier: “things went ahead”
Edis cites a Goodman email to Coulson that mentions Sharrier about ‘Matey’: “left a memo with Bee”
“I don’t remember if he left the memo with me” says Sharrier, but he probably did. “I would have given it to Mr Coulson”
“I would have put it in a file…. I had several files. I would have put in a general file” says Sharrier of Goodman memo.
Sharrier says the Goodman memo wouldn’t have been taken to her house.
In witness statement Sharrier said she took 3 or 4 boxes including “paperwork off his desk”
Sharrier says this would be personal stuff.
Sharrier agrees she’s very fond of Mr Coulson. But says the evidence she has given is true.
Sharrier is re-examined by Coulson’s junior counsel on 28/09/04 documents
This is Coulson’s desk diary for the Labour Party Conference in 2005 (correction) when Dan Evans had evidence
Sharrier turns to a Gordon Brown meeting and an electronic entry. Sharrier worked solely with paper diary.
In the electronic diary the Gordon Brown meeting is scheduled for 3.30 rather than 3pm.
Sharrier explains she would be updated by NOTW political team about conference meetings.
“In theory” says Sharrier “the update could have come from Coulson’s desk diary”. She says politicians keen on electronic entries.
The electronic diary entry seems to come from Gordon Brown’s office says Sharrier.
Sharrier is shown a document printed out by Coulson’s instructing solicitor
Edis explains the prosecution have no information where these documents come from
The electronic diary entries mention a meeting with John Reid and a speech from Jack Straw
Sharrier says these look like entries in the electronic diary by another PA – Karen
Sharrier is asked about 8 contributor payments from 2003 shown by the prosecution: she has never seen these since 2003
Sharrier confirms her signature is on all eight of these cash payments
The forms have a payment requested by box: it’s not an authorisation but a request signed by Sharrier.
Sharrier explains that third item, requested by Coulson, that she did do some for her boss. She had nothing to do with actual mechanics.
Sharrier re-examined about her 2011 Police Statement and “never heard of knew anything to do with phone hacking”
Sharrier “Clearly when things happened, and when I had to organise meetings… clearly I heard about phone hacking but not in context asked”
“Even after Clive Goodman arrested… I never discussed with Andy… or heard him discussing” said Sharrier in police statement.
Sharrier says she knew about post Goodman meeting about phone hacking “but I wasn’t privvy to them”
“I probably had a conversation with Andy about organising meetings over phone hacking, but not about it” says Sharrier.
Sharrier leaves the witness box.
Justice Saunders says the jury won’t be needed tomorrow because of case management. They will be back Friday, but not for full day

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

Related Articles
Those Rogue Reporter Emails
Stuart Kuttner Emails to Surrey Police over Milly Dowler
Kuttner Notes of Conversation with Goodman Just After his Arrest
Some of the Mysteries of Phone Hacking – Unlocked
Mulcaire Sanctioned by Spooks – Malign Influence of NI Lawyer on Goodmans Legal Team

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 25 Apr
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 28 Apr
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 Apr

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

3 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 Apr

  1. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  2. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 7 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 8 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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