Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 May

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

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Summary
The Defence of Andy Coulson Continues
Justice Saunders explains the proceedings for the day
Witness Statements for Andy Coulson
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Joanna Elm
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Baroness Varsi
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Murdoch McClennan
Justice Saunders provides Directions of Law to the Jury
Changes to the Indictment Sheet
Explanation of Conspiracy Charges
Legal Direction on Count 1
Legal Direction on Count 4
Legal Direction on Count 6
Legal Direction on Count 7

The Defence of Andy Coulson Continues
Justice Saunders explains the proceedings for the day
#Hackingtrial will now resume at 2pm after some brief legal argument this morning.
Back at the #hackingtrial after a break.
Clive Goodman has been re-admitted to hospital with pneumonia and it is still not known when he will be fit to return
This afternoon Saunders will give legal directions – the bulk of the evidence is over bar Clive Goodman
Saunders tells the jury Cheryl Carter has suffered a family bereavement and cannot attend.
Witness Statements for Andy Coulson
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Joanna Elm
The characters statements on Andy Coulson are read to the jury: first from Helen Fisher a freelance journalist
Fisher has know Coulson for 25 years when he was 19: they met through a mutual friend: he is likeable, easy going and generous
“He was very generous with his time – all my children tremendously fond of him” says Fisher of Coulson, who became a godfather to their son
“Andy is someone who never assumes he knows it all. He rose to the top of his profession by his ability” says Fisher.
“He has no airs or graces” says Fisher of Coulson who arranged for her to fly out to LA when her husband was ill there.
“Andy has… always been humble about his success and has never let it go to his head” says Fisher who describes him as “easygoing and calm”
“I’ve never known Andy to behave as Mr Big, he’s always mild mannered and interested in other people” says Fisher of Coulson
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Baroness Varsi
2nd witness statement for Coulson is from Baroness Varsi
Warsi explains her time as solicitor and the CPS in her written character statement for Coulson.
Warsi got to know Coulson as a shadow cabinet minister and life peer in 2007 “a normal and grounded person in heady world of politics”
Warsi describes Coulson as a “team person” and always available for advice. He advised her over appearance @bbcquestiontime with BNP leader
Warsi says she only knew Coulson professionally, but he advised her calmly and helpfully on press coverage
Witness Statement for Andy Coulson – Murdoch McClennan
Third character witness Murdoch McClennan – CEO of Telegraph Media Group
Saunders establishes that reference to BNP leader was Nick Griffin (read out as Griffiths)
McClennan has had 40 years experience in newspaper business
Since 2010 McClennan has been head of the Press Association since 2010
McClennan says Coulson ran a top investigative paper with many breaking stories. He maintained contact when Coulson went to Conservative GQ
“He’s done some of the most difficult jobs in press and politics” says McClennan of Coulson.
McClennan talks of Coulson’s devotion to his children through the last few difficult years.
McClennan talks of his professionalism and knowledge as Downing St Press officer, which “hasn’t been matched since”
McClennan says Coulson is “extremely honest and reliable”
Mark Bryant Heron has some more admissions over Marva Ingham and the black bin bags
Marva Ingram’s fingerprints were found on the same bin bag as Daryl Jorsling – jury shown diagrams identifying them
Ingram supplied the police with her fingerprints which we identified by police on the bin bags recovered from compactor at Chelsea Harbour
Marva Ingham’s fingerprints also found on the third bin bag
Ingham’s fingerprints also found on second bin bag, consistent – say the experts – with holding it open
Saunders tells the jury that the significance of these fingerprints will no doubt be explained later. Meanwhile a 15 minute break for jury
Justice Saunders provides Directions of Law to the Jury
Changes to the Indictment Sheet
The jury add the admission to their bundles. Justice Saunders adds a new indictment sheet. He explain differences and why
Edmondson has been removed from list as defendant, but now is a co-conspirator.
BREAKING: Count 7 – against Charlie Brooks – has changed. It’s no longer a ‘conspiracy’ charge.
This is a technical changed to a substantive charge of perverting the course of justice on Charge 7
Justice Saunders gives “directions of law” – not all the directions: normally this becomes part of summing up
Saunders says with Goodman still absent he will give some directions of law “you must take them from me and apply them – the law is my job”
“It is my job to make sure directions of law are clear” says Saunders. He will give further directions when closing speeches are over.
In his summing up Saunders will review the evidence but “it’s entirely irrelevant to your considerations… it’s your view of the facts”
Saunders says to ignore his considerations of fact. He will now explain what the charges mean, and then summarise into questions
“The questions will reflect what the prosecution have to prove… to make you sure of guilt” says Saunders.
Explanation of Conspiracy Charges
Saunders explains conspiracy charges – “an agreement with two or more persons…. will involve a commission of offence”
“The facts of the agreement may be kept secret, it may not be spoken… what matter is a meeting of minds” says Saunders.
“Mere knowledge is not sufficient… an agreement must be proved” says Saunders on conspiracy.
“A conspirator can leave a conspiracy… or join it at a later date” explains Saunders.
Legal Direction on Count 1
Saunders turns to the Count 1 conspiracy charges against Brooks, Coulson and Kuttner – must be considered separately.
Finding one guilty does not mean the others have to be found guilty – explains Saunders of conspiracy charge.
Saunder explains on phone hacking that none of the victims gave consent, nor was a court order obtained (except by police for Milly Dowler)
Mulcaire, Goodman and Evans all admitted breaking the law on phone hacking.
“Unlawful interception of communications” applies equally to listened to as new phone messages.
If any of the defendants agree to this they guilty.
“Ignorance of the law is no defence” says Saunders of the defendants who didn’t know phone hacking is illegal
“It is not a defence to this criminal charge that it was in the public interest” says Saunders of the public interest defences in PCC code.
Saunders explains the CPS took the public interest into account in bringing charges.
“You know that several people have pleaded guilty to this offence of conspiracy” says Saunders
“They were not parties to the conspiracy for the whole period of the charges considered” says Saunders.
Saunders says Goodman’s evidence was that he “joined an ongoing conspiracy”
“Are you sure that person was party of a conspiracy” says Saunders of the questions the jury had to address.
Saunders talks of the competitive advantage for NOTW by obtaining stories through phone hacking.
“Are you sure the defendant… agreed with another person… which would involve unlawfully accessing voicemails” says Saunders
“If you’re sure the verdict is guilty. If you’re not sure your verdict is not guilty” says Saunders
Saunders talks about case about Brooks: she must have become aware while Milly Dowler story was running – she had control of finances
“That could only happen because she agreed or implied agreement” says Saunders of prosecution. She would have stopped it.
Saunders goes to Brooks defence – that there was no phone hacking before 2002, and limited through 2003.
“If you are sure she did know at some point during her editorship.. you have to be sure she agreed” says Saunders.
“Ought to have known” is not the test says Saunders of Brooks and phone hacking. The test is ‘knowing’ and agreed with another journo or ed
Saunders goes to the Charge 1 case against Coulson: that “he must have known” and expressly or implicitly agreed to it.
Saunders goes through the other guilty pleas during Coulson’s editorship of NOTW, including Clive Goodman and Dan Evans
“It is not disputed that he was phone hacking at NOTW” says Saunders of Dan Evans: but the Sienna Miller voicemail hack is disputed
Saunders says that Coulson says he knew of Thurlbeck hacking Blunkett voicemail messages
Again “even if you decide he ought to have known about phone hacking that does not make him guilty” says Saunders of Coulson.
The same points about “knowledge’ and “agreement” apply to Coulson’s conspiracy charge.
Saunders summarises the “must have known” element of prosecution case against Stuart Kuttner.
“If you’re sure he knew” says Saunder “then go on to consider ” if Kuttner “agreed with one or more of the other conspirators”
“Are you surviving” asks Saunders of jury, saying the “summing up” is one of the most boring parts of a trial
Legal Direction on Count 4
Saunders now turns to Count 4 against Brooks – paying a public official Bettina Jordan Barber.
Saunders explains the “abuse of public trust” by Jordan Barber and her “duty not to disclosed information she held in confidence”
It would amount to Misconduct in public office if Jordan Barber disclosed info “by virtue of her position as a public official”
Saunders explains that some of the info Jordan Barber might have passed on might be from social events, so not misconduct.
Saunders addresses the ‘conspiracy’ element with Sun journalist.
“No doubt payments authorised by Brooks were made” says Saunders. “But did she know… did she agree…” again the same tests.
Saunders summarises defence case – Brooks didn’t know she was a public official.
Saunders says soldiers are public officials. If they are sure Brooks knew…then they have to be sure it was Misconduct… what Brooks knew.
Saunders explains how in Brooks evidence said some stories “were in the public interest” – that is not a defence says Saunders.
Saunders explains other incidences like taking a knife onto an airplane: “the public interest ” relates here to “conduct of public official”
In essence the public interest element applies to Jordan Barber not Brooks in this instance.
Saunders talks of whistleblowers making ‘disclosure’: “it has nothing o do with payment” say prosecution.
Brooks defence says she didn’t know Jordan Barber was a public official, and she trusted her journalist for “reassurance”
Saunders explains Brooks explored public interest “hypothetically…. retrospectively”
“The central issue for you to conclude” says Saunders is are “you sure” she knew about public official, and “sure she agreed”
Second question if jury are sure over agreement and knowledge they should be sure it was misconduct.
Next questions the jury have to answer is the seriousness of matters revealed and lack of opportunities to divulge elsewhere
Legal Direction on Count 6
On Counts 6 and 7 – perverting the course of justice. The prosecution have to prove the defendant had an agreement and intended it.
On Count 6 against Brooks and Carter – this is the only one which only includes two people.
“You can not find one of them guilty, and the other not guitly” explains Saunders of unique charge of conspiracy which involves only two
Defence say there was “no agreement” because Brooks did not know what Carter was doing.
Prosecution allege that Brooks notebooks were hidden because they contained “material relevant to criminal conduct”
The notebooks do not need to have contained information incriminating to Brooks.
Carter maintained that the boxes contained material relevant to her except for a few items eventually returned to police.
Brooks position is that she didn’t know what Carter was doing, and besides there was no materially relating to her
Saunders says the jury have to be sure of an “agreement” between Brooks and Carter over removal of boxes.
After that they have to be sure materials were relevant to police inquiries.
Both defendants had to know the boxes contained relevant material
Legal Direction on Count 7
On Count 7 – Hanna, Brooks, Charlie Brooks and others “intended to pervert the course of justice”
Saunders says prosecution maintain defendants “successfully kept away… relevant to police inquiry… removed from Jubilee Barn”
The prosecution case is that over that weekend from 16-17th July was removed before police search, and never recovered.
“The only sensible explanation for activity on 17th July… but Mr Brooks, Hanna and others” is keeping incriminating stuff away from police
Defence case is that nothing incriminating was removed, and all the items have been returned, with no deletions from computer items.
Defence have said that Brooks did agree he kept stuff away from police – but didn’t intend to pervert the course of justice.
Charlie Brooks explanation is he hid porn which if revealed to Guardian could cause embarassment.
Hanna’s case is that he removed material for Brooks, but had no intention of perverting the course of justice but illegal pornography.
Brooks’ case is she only found out about the items removed after it happened.
The jury have to be sure that Charlie Brooks removed stuff from Jubilee Barn and Thames Quay
Then they have to be sure that material relevant to police investigations was kept away.
Thirdly, they have to be sure Charlie Brooks intended to do this.
If Charlie Brooks found not guilty, then jury cannot find Hanna and Brooks guilty.
If jury are sure Hanna removed property, then they have to be sure it perverted the course of justice.
Thirdly they have to be sure Hanna intended to pervert the course of public justice.
Rebekah Brooks can only be guilty if Charlie Brooks is guilty. Then they have to be sure he did this on her instigation.
Jury break till 11 am tomorrow.

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

Related Articles
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
Texts to Rebekah Brooks from Tony Blair on the Eve of her Arrest

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 28 Apr
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 Apr
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 Apr

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

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3 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 6 May

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

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

  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 14 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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