Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 21 May

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

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Summary
Rebekah Brooks Closing Statement continues
Closing Statement continues on Count 1 with the evidence of Eimear Cook
Closing Statement on Count 5
Closing Statement on Counts 6 and 7
Closing Statement on Count 7
Allegation of Corporate Cover Up
Email Deletion Policy
Rebekah Brooks Defence concludes its Closing Statement

Rebekah Brooks Closing Statement continues
Closing Statement continues on Count 1 with the evidence of Eimear Cook
NOTE: Special Guest Tweeter today is James Doleman. Tweets are tagged.
PJ: At the #hackingtrial Jonathan Laidlaw QC is back on his feet with his closing speech for his client Rebekah Brooks
PJ: Laidlaw turns to Eimear Cook “she must have been considered an important witness for the prosecution”
PJ: “Here was someone at last who could provide knowledge of Mrs Brooks’ knowledge of hacking” says Laidlaw of Cook.
PJ: “There are people prepared to go to the police and make up allegations” says Laidlaw of Cook.
PJ: Laidlaw says of Cook “she was a liar and the police and prosecution should have known that before she was called as a witness”
PJ: Laidlaw recapitulates Cooks evidence that Brooks “light-heartedly spoke of her arrest… but it did not take place until some months after”
PJ: Laidlaw quotes Edis on Cook that the Ross Kemp anecdote couldn’t have happened “she got that wrong”
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis was in a “state of denial” about Eimear Cook.
PJ: “On Mrs Cook’s own account she’s only had one conversation with Mrs Brooks” says Laidlaw
PJ: “There is simply no possibility Mrs Cook has got it wrong – she was lying…. it was pure fabrication” says Laidlaw.
PJ: “How is it that the prosecution came to call this evidence to you?” asks Laidlaw of Eimear Cook. He calls up her original witness statement
JD: Laidlaw on Eimar Cook “she was a liar, the police and prosecution should have known that before she was called as a witness” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says the police knew the date of this lunch September 2005, and they knew the assault was in November.
JD: Laidlaw on Eimar Cook’s testimony “”It was not just a lie but a lie cynically told.” #hackingtrial
PJ: “Why did they call this witness when they knew it was a lie… cynically told” says Laidlaw “a laughing chatting Mrs Brooks”
PJ: “You cannot believe a word she said about Mrs Brooks and phone hacking” says Laidlaw of Cook.
PJ: Laidlaw says Cook also lied about courting publicity.
PJ: Laidlaw says the “police already had reason to doubt what Cook said about phone hacking” and he cites the Manoukians say no conversation.
JD: Cook testified Brooks joked about arrest for assault on Ross Kemp, which did not happen until a month after the lunch date #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw then turns to the Annette Witheridge account of the Macca Ring story (McCartney argument with Mills)
PJ: Laidlaw says the police didn’t interview or call Annette Witheridge, who appeared as a defence witness.
PJ: Laidlaw asks the jury if Witheridge would have travelled all the way to London “to tell them lies”?
PJ: “That story didn’t come from phone hacking” says Laidlaw of Macca Ring story. Mulcaire tasked a year before that story, and month after
PJ: “It doesn’t come from phone hacking, the Macca story” says Laidlaw, complaining without defence police could have called “a lying witness”
PJ: “It is deeply deeply worrying” says Laidlaw of prosecution calling Eimear Cook.
PJ: Laidlaw says Cooks’ motives “probably don’t matter” but turns to her civil claim against NI for aggravated damages for phone hacking.
PJ: Laidlaw suggests Cook had a personal grudge against Brooks, having opened up to her with information about her marriage to Montgomerie
PJ: Laldlaw suggests that Brooks reaction to Cook “I cannot help you… unless you open up” about the marriage could have caused the grudge
PJ: “The prosecution feel desperate enough on Count One for Rebekah Brooks to field a witness like that” says Laidlaw of Cook
JD: Laidlaw on Cook “the fact is the prosecution were desperate enough to call a witness like that” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw turns away from chasing “thin air” on Count One to an email.
PJ: Laidlaw says this email wasn’t produced by the prosecution, though it came from them. It’s dated April 2001 and addressed to Greg Miskiw
JD: Laidlaw: prosecution “chasing thin air” #hackingtrial
PJ: “We have to learn lessons from Sophie [Wessex]… to be so careful about what we do… and make sure everything inside the law” Brooks wrote
PJ: Laidlaw says this email is inconsistent with Brooks sanctioning phone hacking
PJ: “Whatever phone hacking occurred at NOTW, Mrs Brooks knew nothing. Edis… has tried to twist those words” says Laidlaw
PJ: “Edis is thinking a little bit too much like a lawyer and not like a human being” says Laidlaw: “so busy picking apart words of this email”
PJ: Laidlaw says phone hacking only happened one and that was when Brooks was away from the office.
PJ: Laidlaw: “Mrs Brooks… expected high standards from investigations and news room. She cannot be guilty of hacking of Milly Dowler‘s phone
JD: Laidlaw: lead prosecutor Andrew Edis “is thinking a little bit too much like a lawyer and not like a human being.” #hackingtrial
PJ: “I invite you to acquit Mrs Brooks on Count One… the evidence cries out for you to do” says Laidlaw to jury closing on first charge
Closing Statement on Count 5
PJ: Laidlaw now turns to Count 5 – knowingly paying money to an MOD official during her time at the Sun
PJ: Laidlaw says Count 5 has been brought to the jury on a “false basis”
JD: Defence: not guilty is “the right verdict and the verdict that Mrs Brooks deserves.” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw turns to Edis’ opening “some stories were about things coming to the public domain anyway…. no reason for…. leaking”
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis “couldn’t have been more wrong… misleading you badly” about stories coming out anyway: the majority weren’t.
JD: Laidlaw “Mr Edis could not have been more wrong, he was, no doubt unintentionally, misleading you” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw takes on Edis’ suggestion paying Jordan Barber “harmed the public good” especially on death or injury of soldiers.
PJ: Laidlaw claims that Edis says Jordan Barber show gross “abuse of public trust” by revealing “war dead” before announced publicly
PJ: “The Sun did not publish stories insensitive to timing” say Laidlaw, claiming that Edis misled the jury.
JD: Defence challenges prosecution’s argument that news of military casualties published by the Sun before families informed. #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw talks about the 09/12/13 evidence of a military official who spoke of two stories of military dead published “prematurely”
PJ: Brigadier Donnelly’s evidence “never really rang true if you knew the context” says Laidlaw – there would have been a complaint to Sun
JD: “If Sun published news of casualties before families informed the Ministry of defence would have been down the Sun’s throat.” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says Brigadier’s Donelly’s evidence was “false” on the death of Major Roberts and a Corporal
JD: Laidlaw calls testimony of brigadier John Donnelly on military casualties “false” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw goes to the death of Major Roberts on 04/10/07: normally a few hours grace for the family before fatality notice on the 05/10/07
PJ: The Sun did not publish anything until 06/10/07, says Laidlaw according to material available both to MOD and the prosecution.
PJ: Laidlaw says Donelly made the claim the Sun had gone too early on basis of what police showed him: Laidlaw: “Just how bad can things get”
PJ: “It wasn’t his fault, but his evidence was wrong, and could have misled you” says Laidlaw of Brigadier Donelly on death of Major Roberts.
PJ: Laidlaw talks to the death of paratrooper Corporal Budd being posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
JD: Laidlaw “that was a brigadier, no doubt a brave soldier in action, a witness you as a jury should be entitled to trust,” #hackingtrial
PJ: A reinvestigation suggested Budd had been killed by friendly fire. Brigadier Donnelly complained about Sun coverage before briefing of wife
PJ: Laidlaw says the Sun published after the private briefing to the family of Corporal Budd.
PJ: “Doubtless the Brigadier’s evidence of Corporal Budd… would not have been given to you had he seen the evidence” says Laidlaw
JD: Story that corporal Budd,was killed by Nato issue bullets was not published by the Sun until after the family had been briefed #hackingtrial
PJ: “You are the ultimate arbiters of the facts of this case” says Laidlaw to jury: “Can it be right that public scrutiny not directed to MOD?”
PJ: Laidlaw says “how can the public have any trust in the integrity” of the MOD ‘if it all happens without public knowing what’s going on?”
PJ: “Is it not that kind of secrecy which undermines the public trust in the military?” says Laidlaw.
JD: “Should the MOD be allowed to investigate these issues behind closed doors” Laidlaw asked #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says the jury has to decide whether Jordan Barber actually did commit misconduct, and a “serious breach” in public trust.
PJ: Laidlaw reiterates Edis was “misleading” the jury over the idea MOD “stories were going to come out anyway”
BREAKING: Laidlaw says the MOD “protect the government of the day, and put a lid on bad news” in defence of Brooks misconduct charge
PJ: “With the exception of death of service personnel,” says Laidlaw of MOD “there was no intention any of these stories should come out”
PJ: Laidlaw says there’s no openness about courts martial in the army.
PJ: Laidlaw says the army’s “openness” only came after a Guardian article. But that it an “inclination to put a lid on bad news”
PJ: Laidlaw goes back to a witness Mrs Vern, and the standing orders of governing Jordan Barber “leaks of official information”
PJ: “You may like to ask yourselves whether the MOD’s approach… to protect information that might embarrass the govt… serves public good?”
PJ: Laidlaw talks about how “pervasive” Army secrecy is, and its affect on the “grass roots”
PJ: Laidlaw cites a story leaked to Sun about a recruit being injured by army sergeant during drill with a baton.
PJ: Laidlaw says neither the recruit or the others present complained: he then collapsed into a coma. A ‘defensive briefing’ said he’d tripped
JD: Laidlaw “what the army tells the world about itself is strictly controlled to avoid political embarrassment” #hackingtrial
PJ: “It was not until 3 days after the incident that a fellow instructor spoke out about what the drill sergeant had done” says Laidlaw
PJ: Laidlaw points out the death of four recruits at Deepcut barracks had only just been published.
JD: Laidlaw brings into evidence Sun story about army recruit being injured by drill Sgt, says MOD tried to cover it up #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw repeats Edis statement “we’re not talking about a whistleblower…”
PJ: “Not anything of any real significance” said Edis of Jordan Barber stories. Laidlaw asks if this is fair reflection of Jordan Barber stories
PJ: “Some of the stories would have had you shaking your head in disbelief” says Laidlaw of Jordan Barber sourced stories.
PJ: Laidlaw goes through various stories – a live grenade being thrown, a recruit secretly giving birth in army barracks.
PJ: Laidlaw says “you may think it’s something of a simplification to think if money changes hands… black and white… everyone’s guilty”
PJ: Laidlaw says Jordan Barber was taking a risk which is usually compensated by money.
PJ: Laidlaw asks if payment if the only factor in misconduct, why did the prosecution “falsely” say there was no public interest in MOD stories.
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis did not repeat the “false” suggestion Sun stories caused “pain to grieving stories” – he just “threw a bit of mud”
JD: Laidlaw calls prosecutor’s closing argument “misleading” and “false” “he just threw a bit of mud at Mrs Brooks and the Sun” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says emphasis on public interest of these stories entitle Brooks “to a verdict of not guilty because she had no committed a crime”
PJ: Laidlaw turns to Edis “quip” on defence documents: he “wanted to ridicule the Sun”
JD: Laidlaw accused prosecution of “ridiculing the Sun” in their closing argument, says it was the “squaddies paper” #hackingtrial
PJ: “There is a rich irony” says Laidlaw of Edis quip because “the Sun was the squaddies paper”
PJ: Laidlaw says the Sun “ethos” under Brooks’ editorship was “devoted to the army forces” and the good of the soldiers.
JD: Brooks not above law says Laidlaw but is “entitled to a verdict of not guilty because she has not committed a crime” #hackingtrial
PJ: “What Bettina Jordan Barber gave to [Sun Journalist] did matter” says Laidlaw asking jury to consider whether it was “abuse of trust”
PJ: 15 minute break
PJ: Laidlaw continues with his closing defence speech for Brooks – now onto Count 5 – and the 29 stories published in the Sun
PJ: “Those emails do not provide evidence… to be sure Mrs Brooks knew” says Laidlaw of payment authorisation for Jordan Barber
PJ: Laidlaw paints a distinction between Count 5 and Counts 2 and 3 – where a Royal Officer is named by Goodman.
JD: Laidlaw There is no direct evidence that Mrs Brooks was ever told who the source was or that she was a public official” #hackingtrial
PJ: “Mr Edis seeks to convince you those 11 emails prove Mrs Brooks… knew Bettina Jordan Barber was a public official” says Laidlaw.
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis’ exercise was “artificial” by putting all 11 emails “side by side” to convince jury Jordan Barber was public official.
PJ: ‘Even if you were to line all the 11 emails side by side, Mrs Brooks could think of other possible sources” says Laidlaw
JD: Laidlaw calls prosecution case “entirely artificial” #hackingtrial
PJ: “It was possible….. another journalist” was source for the stories says Laidlaw: “a military contact doesn’t mean someone inside military”
PJ: Laidlaw talks of another journalist being a paid source of this Sun journalist.
PJ: Laidlaw adduces a Sun email to Brooks from the 24/11 “second is my very good prison contact”: he tells the jury to note admission 256
PJ: 256 is ‘to this effect that the MSC… have confirmed this payment was to a journalist… by BACs transfer” says Laidlaw.
PJ: Laidlaw talks about the Sun journalist wanting to “keep quiet” source was journalist because it would “dent his reputation”
PJ: Laidlaw points out that Brooks said the source could have been “an ex military source” and reminds jury of Edis’ picture of “bath chair”
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis image “not helpful” – many military people retire when young, and could become an “ace military contact”
JD: Mrs Brooks “an expert in the field of journalism” defence barrister tells jury #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says these possibilities “cannot be rejected out of hand… but did not occur to Mrs Brooks at the time she received these emails”
PJ: “These were thoughts which occurred to her only in retrospect” says Laidlaw of Brooks.
PJ: Laidlaw says Brooks did not conduct this “artificial exercise” because of the “passage of time” – first email 28/11/06 last 04/08/09
PJ: That is a “period of 32 months… you cannot concertina those emails together…. that is artificial, to do that unfair” says Laidlaw
PJ: Laidlaw says once she received an email she could well have forgotten the previous one.
PJ: “How much more transient would be the memory of an editor… when the impact of stories last for one day” says Laidlaw.
PJ: Laidlaw cites the 8000 emails found on Brooks’ Blackberry to highlight the volume of emails she received.
PJ: “In between each of those emails” Laidlaw shows a calendar of time between each of the 11 emails, and just military articles in Sun
PJ: Laidlaw shows the jury the thumbnail images of Sun frontpages to “show volume of water that passed under the bridge” between emails.
JD: Brooks received 8000 emails in six weeks defence say #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw points out that final stories in Sun had official comment and “original tipster” might well have been forgotten.
PJ: Laidlaw addresses the “speed” of Brooks’ response to requests for payment: Edis said it meant she knew who she was paying.
PJ: Brooks evidence was that “she did not not even think about it” says Laidlaw: “but not because she didn’t care is already knew”
PJ: Laidlaw says the Sun journalist was the most trusted on the paper, and highly regarded in Fleet Street “for all time”
PJ: Brooks says the Sun journalist never raised the issue of public interest with her, repeats Laidlaw
PJ: “Mrs Brooks would not be reading between the lines… looking for coded clues” says Laidlaw: “she was not policing” the Sun journalist
JD: Brooks “did not even consider” military source was a public official” as journalist involved “one of the best on Fleet St” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says Brooks did not regard payments by Thomas Cook any indication “anything was amiss or wrong”
PJ: Laidlaw points out that other sources rather than Jordan Barber were paid for several of these stories.
JD: Brooks “not policing this man, not because she didn’t care but because she trusted this exceptional reporter.” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says “these 11 eleven emails do not prove Mrs Brooks knew… to a public official” because she wouldn’t be “alive to possibility”
PJ: Laidlaw deals with a ‘handful’ of other emails cited by the prosecution: “indicate Mrs Brooks didn’t care about payments to public officials
PJ: Laidlaw says these emails show “no such thing”
PJ: The emails speak quite openly about MI5 officers, serving soldiers, police officers and detective: they also suggest source might be paid
PJ: “This shows you Brooks staff at Sun were not coy about telling her” about public officials: so other Sun journalist more like to tell her
PJ: Laidlaw talks of George Michael tipster and MI5 man emails – no “clear sign” of payment to public officials.
PJ: “The Mayor of Tetbury’s wife swapping story a good example” says Laidlaw “a police office could never have got that through official duties”
PJ: “The really important of those other emails is that none of them are reflected in an actual charge on that indictment” says Laidlaw.
PJ: “The journalists will not face charges” over these points out Laidlaw over Mike Sullivan and John Coles emails
PJ: Laidlaw also points out there’s no sign of Brooks replying to these emails. The only one is about Prince William Bikini picture.
PJ: That count has now been dropped because the picture was taken at a fancy dress James Bond party “attended by many people”
JD: Defence reminds jury about count 4, since dropped, that Brooks paid £4k for pic of Prince William in a bikini #hackingtrial
PJ: “This picture has absolutely nothing to do with military secret…. and Mrs Brooks is entirely justified in treating it the way she did”
PJ: “It just so happened he was famous, he was a Royal, so picture was of value to the paper” says Laidlaw of Prince William Bikini photo.
PJ: “It’s the 11 emails themselves which we ask you to consider… in the context of the real circumstances” says Laidlaw of Count Five.
PJ: Laidlaw asks the jury to remember to Brooks’ “mindset… she did not read these emails as a detective”: he then ends Count Five speech.
PJ: Laidlaw addresses the issue of cross admissibility of Counts One and Five: “it’s up to you”
PJ: Laidlaw points out Edis case that Counts 1 and 5 show “unlawful” ways of gaining stories: and maybe they should consider Count 5 first.
PJ: Laidlaw asks the jury not to follow “that line of reasoning”
PJ: Laidlaw reminds the jury Brooks had openly admitted paying a public official – once to MI5 over an “anthrax warning”
JD: Brooks admits paying a member of MI5 over a story that Saddam Hussain “smuggling anthrax into UK in duty free perfume” #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw says that Brooks “acting in the public interest” over anthrax cannot be likened “to hacking people’s phones for tittle tattle”
PJ: Justice Saunders intervenes and corrects Laidlaw: it was a marine who was paid for Anthrax story, not an MI5 officer.
JD: Judge corrects Laidlaw, it was a Royal Marine who was paid for Anthrax story not a MI5 officer #hackingtrial
PJ: Laidlaw turns to Edis claim that Brooks was an editor “who thought she was beyond the law”: suggesting a “predisposition”
BREAKING: Laidlaw’s defence: “Mrs Brooks is not beyond the law… but there has been a tension between investigative journalism and the law”
PJ: “Committing some form of crime is for the public good” says Laidlaw citing example of journalists taking guns airside to test security
PJ: Going under cover to purchase drugs to expose a serious public concern, Laidlaw also cites as a public interest crime.
PJ: Laidlaw talks of CPS public interest considerations in journalism.
PJ: Laidlaw says its “inappropriate…. verging on the unfair” to use Brooks’ admission of breaking law for public interest against her.
JD: Laidlaw “there has always been a tension between investigative journalism and the law” #hackingtrial
PJ: “It comes down to two small numbers” says Laidlaw: 12 phone hacking entries in Mulcaire notes at NOTW: 6 yrs at Sun 11 times public official
PJ: “It’s not large scale is it?” says Laidlaw of the 12 hacking entries and 11 payments “over a course of 9 years” of Brooks’ newspaper career
Closing Statement on Counts 6 and 7
PJ: Now to Counts 6 and 7: Laidlaw apologies “not easy to listen to my voice… it’s not easy for me to listen to my voice”
PJ: Ten minute break and the #hackingtrial will go on past 1pm. Meanwhile I have to disappear for the next hour
JD: Laidlaw “inappropriate verging on the unfair” to use Brooks’ admission of breaking law for public interest against her.” #hackingtrial
PJ: While I’m away @jamesdoleman will cover: or follow @martin_hickman @lisaocarroll @jeremylawhodges @SkyFixerJim @robindbrant @Fhamiltontimes
JD: Judge says jury willing to have shorter lunch so Laidlaw can finish his speech today #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw now moving to counts six and seven, perverting the course of justice #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw will leave much of the detail of six and seven to the lawyers representing Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna and Charlie Brooks.
JD: Laidlaw “the grounds I firmly stand on that she is innocent of these charges” #hackingtrial
JD: If Brooks knew about phone hacking would she have “created and left behind evidence of her guilt?” #hackingtrial
JD: For Brooks to keep notes on phone hacking would be “reckless and risky” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw notes that when Clive Goodman was arrested in 2006 Dan Evans destroyed any evidence he had hacked phones #hackingtrial
JD: “If she had been guilty why didn’t she [Brooks] get rid of her notebooks when police raided News International in 2006?” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw “The prosecution case doesn’t make any sense, but the theory becomes more bizzare as it goes on.” #hackingtrial
JD: If Brooks knew she was guilty “”she would have known the timebomb was going to go off” and would have put notes in shredder” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw says prosecution case is Brooks”instructed her assistants to carefully archive the evidence of guilt for posterity, it’s absurd.”
JD: Laidlaw prosecution case “nothing short of ridiculous”
JD: Defence counsel tells the court that Mrs Brooks did not routinely use notebooks #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw “to find Brooks guilty on this charge you would have to believe she was a complete idiot.” #hackingtrial
JD: “How many times can the prosecution make the same errors of logic” Laidlaw asks? #hackingtrial
Closing Statement on Count 7
JD: Laidlaw “The prosecutions propensity to write fiction grows worse as we get to count seven” #hackingtrial
JD: “The prosecution has lost it’s way and lost it’s grip on the reality of how people behave” Laidlaw #hackingtrial
JD: Charlie Brooks hid his porn because “he loved his wife” defence say #hackingtrial
JD: Charlie had hid his pornography as it’s nature, “lesbian psychodramas” could have led to”damaging headlines for his wife” #hackingtrial
JD: Charlie Brooks wanted to avoid a “Jackie Smith” moment for his wife #hackingtrial
JD: Prosecution case, Laidlaw says, “is less of a novel and more of a pantomime” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw asks jury if they could really believed Brooks mother, husband, secretary and head of security would all lie on her behalf.
JD: And that’s lunch, full report on this morning’s proceedings soon at the Drum
JD: Jury returns for conclusion of Jonthan Laidlaw QC’s closing address on behalf of his client, Rebekah Brooks. #hackingtrial
JD: Judge Saunders just borrowing a schedule on missing devices as he has “taken his out” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw shows the jury one of the laptops hidden in the underground car park by Charlie Brooks. #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw calls prosecution case “twisted and distorted.” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw shows jury laptop on which Brooks wrote letter to Coulson #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw points out that Brooks’ work laptop was not hidden from police #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw Charlie Brooks actions “may well have been stupid but is not incomprehensible” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw “in an attempt to “salvage something from the wreckage of their case” prosecution raised the question of “missing devices”
JD: Prosecution list of missing devices “not worth the paper it was written on” #hackingtrial
JD: News International records of which electronic devices were used by which people unreliable Laidlaw tells jury #hackingtrial
JD: Only in 2011 did News International employ an asset management system for electronic devices #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw on missing devices “what data could be on them in 2011 about phone hacking in 2003” #hackingtrial
JD: Laidlaw Brooks only ever used one News International email address all stored in the same place whatever device they were written on.
JD: Laidlaw “we started with 10 missing devices, now only six “perhaps if we waited another six months there would be none”
JD: Laidlaw asks why Crown relying on screenshot of what was connected to a router at the Brooks home rather than examining the router itself
JD: #hackingtrial morning report “Case against Rebekah Brooks a ‘pantomome’ defence suggest http://po.st/rTczXb via @thedrum
PJ: Back at #hackingtrial – apologies for slight interruption: congrats to @GuidoFawkes for winning Press Club Blog of the Year
PJ: Laidlaw is now going through the missing devices – his key points: they recovered her Hewlett Packard
PJ: Laidlaw also says that there would be little on those 2011 devices which would have anything about phone hacking
PJ: Laidlaw says its important that “all her emails would be stored” on web based system, and documents going back throughout her career found
PJ: Laidlaw points out 8,300 emails from “course of last six weeks of her work” were found on Brooks’ Blackberry surrendered to police.
PJ: “She was not hiding anything at time of her arrest” says Laidlaw of Brooks: “what more could police want?” of devices seized by pollice
PJ: “What room is there here for any missing device of her life” says Laidlaw of allegations of hiding stuff from police.
JD: Brooks Blackberry had private messages from former prime ministers, which could have caused embarrassment she was not hiding anything.”
Allegation of Corporate Cover Up
PJ: Laidlaw addresses allegation “Mrs Brooks was engaged in corporate coverup after arrest of Clive Goodman in 2006″
PJ: “For all Mr Edis’ suggestion she was a woman wearing a mask” there is no denial of this.
PJ: Brooks offered Goodman to a job in 2007 for what “she believed to be false allegations”.
PJ: Laidlaw says Brooks met with DCI Surtees in 2006 because police “were hoping she’d be a witness in their prosecution” against Mulcaire
PJ: “DCI Surtees told Mrs Brooks nothing to make her hacking had gone on” during her tenure at NOTW.
PJ: DCI Surtees told Brooks police looking at hacking going back to 2004: “it reassured her that hacking had not gone on during her editorship
JD: Brooks was one of the most frequent victims of Glenn Mulcaire’s phone hacking in 2006 police keen to use her as a prosecution witness.
PJ: As for Goodman job offer from Brooks: it was stopping him making “false allegations against Andy Coulson” – no allegations against her.
PJ: “Clive Goodman…. has never said hacking went on during Clive Goodman’s editorship” says Laidlaw. “Not covering up own guilt”
PJ: Laidlaw says it was “not entirely fair” for Edis to “saddle” Brooks with coverup over Goodman – she was an editor for the Sun at the time.
PJ: Laidlaw talks about the time Brooks became CEO in 2009: “the one rogue reporter had been openly shattered” by Guardian with For Nevill email
PJ: Laidlaw says that as soon as Brooks became CEO she “did nothing to investigate” phone hacking – only “forced to do so by civil litigation”
PJ: “It may not to you be very attractive, and we are the first to accept that” says Laidlaw of Brooks role of CEO “to protect reputation”
BREAKING: Laidlaw concedes that Brooks did “nothing to investigate’ phone hacking as CEO – but that was her corporate responsibility
PJ: Laidlaw says none of this was about covering up her own involvement in phone hacking, but was to protect the company
JD: Brooks not investigating hacking “It may not be very attractive but she will not be the last CEO to do things to protect the company”
PJ: Of Max Clifford payout, Laidlaw says this was decided with Queens’ Solicitors Farrer and Co: she was acting on legal instruction.
PJ: “There can be no suggestion” settling Max Clifford claim was “to prevent Muclaire naming her”
PJ: Laidlaw agrees Brooks behaviour then “does not reflect well upon her”: but it does not amount to a criminal offence.
PJ: “None of this history goes anyway to prove Brooks was involved in hacking” says Laidlaw: “not acting to cover up her own involvement”
JD: “Brooks’ response to the phone hacking scandal “may not reflect well on her but it does not constitute a criminal offence”
Email Deletion Policy
PJ: Laidlaw turns to ’email deletion’: “it’s pretty obvious prosecution were hoping to make a lot more ground against Mrs Brooks on policy”
PJ: “There’s nothing wrong with the policy itself” says Laidlaw of email deletion, and talks of prosecution case based on a “single email chain”
PJ: “It’s yet another badly made point” says Laidlaw of 04/08/10 email: staff already knew the policy was subject to important legal exceptions
PJ: Laidlaw explains how email deletion policy was not complete – and had exceptions over pending legal cases.
PJ: “You really have to scrape hard to interpret this as Mrs Brooks subverting the retention policy” says Laidlaw of email deletion.
PJ: Of the 3 million missing emails, “Mr Edis cannot prove those emails were purged” except for technical reasons.
PJ: Laidlaw: “Only a small proportion of those lost emails would have anything to do with NOTW, and even smaller proportion to do with Brooks”
PJ: Laidlaw points out that there are several emails retrieved from Brooks’ career, going back to 2000
Rebekah Brooks Defence concludes its Closing Statement
PJ: 10 minute break
PJ: Back at the #hackingtrial with the closing part of Jonathan Laidlaw QC’s closing speech for the defence of Rebekah Brooks.
PJ: Laidlaw wants to “step back even further from detail of evidence” and turns to the “arguments of Mr Edis is the last few weeks ago”
PJ: Laidlaw calls Edis case “stories, tales, pantomime”: he’s now onto “folklore and myth” and texts from Kath Raymond after Dowler broke
JD: Laidlaw: prosecution “writing stories” about the defendants and their witnesses. #hackingtrial
PJ: Raymond wrote: “this is pretty misogynist” Brooks replied: “feeling like a sexist witch hunt at times”
BREAKING: Laidlaw says his client Brooks was at the “centre of a witch hunt” in July 2011.
PJ: Laidlaw talks of the “perfect storm” around Mill Dowler trial and then “false devastating allegation” that hacking caused “false hope”
PJ: Laidlaw talks of this perfect storm combining police, celebrities and politicians.
PJ: “If in July 2011 Kath Raymond found some of the language a dead giveaway” for sexist “what would she say of Edis’ closing speech”
PJ: Laidlaw for Brooks talks of mediaeval witch craft and ducking stools
PJ: Laidlaw says he isn’t calling this trial a medieval witch hunt.
BREAKING: Laidlaw says the prosecutions approach to Brooks has been a “witch hunt”: Mr Edis will interpret everything she says as guilt
PJ: “If Mrs Brooks writes an email to a member of her staff, instructiing member of staff to act lawfully” says Laidlaw of Edis as guilt
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis claims Brooks charm is a mask, her stories “carefully scripted”
JD: Laidlaw compared prosecution approach to “medieval witch trial” #hackingtrial
JD: “if she comes across as a likeable person she is putting on an act, if her evidence is convincing it is a carefully constructed script.”
PJ: Laidlaw says Edis was accusing Brooks of “perjury of the deepest kind” and that those charges could be directed to him too.
PJ: Laidlaw says “scripting” of Brooks’ remarks be “cynical perjury by Brooks… and professional misconduct by me”
PJ: Laidlaw asks rhetorical question for prosecution: “What would an innocent Mrs Brooks like in the witness box?”
PJ: Laidlaw says nothing would open the prosecution to the possibility or acknowledgement to the fact Brooks “is not guilty”
JD: “Was there was anything his client could have said that would convince the prosecution that she might be innocent”
BREAKING: Laidlaw talks of the “degree of scrutiny Mrs Brooks has been exposed to… unprecedented in history of British justice”
PJ: Laidlaw talks about the number of witnesses, including her husband, lover and mother – many private emails and texts written in “anguish”
PJ: “You can probably see deeper into Rebekah Brooks‘ inner life than anyone else… even of people you feel you know well” says Laidlaw
PJ: “If what if Mr Edis claims you’ve seen is a mask, then Mrs Brooks must be a witch with supernatural powers” says Laidlaw
PJ: Laidlaw says Brooks never portrayed herself as a “paragon of virtue” talking freely of break up with Kemp, and reaction as CEO to hacking.
JD: Laidlaw to jury “You have probably seen deeper into Rebekah Brooks life than anyone else you have ever encountered” #hackingtrial
PJ: “Mr Edis describes her as wearing a mask, because he failed to demonstrate in 5 days of cross examination… she didn’t drown” says Laidlaw
PJ: Laidlaw says Brooks has “become since Milly Dowler a controversial figure… many people hate her”
JD: Laidlaw on Brooks “She is a controversial figure and many people hate her” #hackingtrial
PJ: “Not one former colleague has come forward to say she had anything to do with phone hacking” says Laidlaw of Brooks.
JD: Laidlaw on Brooks not a single former disgruntled employee, including Clive Goodman, has alleged she was involved in phone hacking.”
PJ: Laidlaw talks of “apparently limitless resources poured into investigation” all the police have come up is with 11 emails.
PJ: “The investigation into Rebekah Brooks has been afforded…. legitimate and illegitimate” special treatment says Laidlaw.
PJ: “We ask no special treatment” says Laidlaw: just to look at evidence and say “the prosecution has fallen woefully short”
PJ: With that Jonathan Laidlaw QC closes his defence speech for Rebekah Brooks: jury not back till 10 am on Tuesday.

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

Related Articles
The Route to Verdict: Justice Saunders Directions to the Hacking Trial Jury
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

Previous Posts
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 16 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 19 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 20 May

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

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3 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 21 May

  1. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 27 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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