Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 May

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

Thursday 29 May 2014

Andy Coulson‘s Closing Statement Continues
Counsel for Andy Coulson continues his Closing Statement on Clive Goodman
Editorial Responsibilities and Budgets
The Milly Dowler story
The David Blunkett Story
Calum Best and the “Do his phone” email
The John Prescott Story
Timothy Langdale QC concludes Andy Coulson’s Closing Statement

Andy Coulson’s Closing Statement Continues
Counsel for Andy Coulson continues his Closing Statement on Clive Goodman
Back at the #hackingtrial for the second day of Timothy Langdale QC’s closing speech for Andy Coulson
Justice Saunders explains he will start his summing up on Wednesday: he apologises for long solo speeches “that’s how our system works”
Langdale is concluding on “matters related to Goodman” and denying there was any kind of “improper coverup” by Coulson and NI lawyer
Langdale says that Coulson and NI were legitimately trying to defend themselves from “unsubstantiated untrue allegations”
Langdale points out that, at a meeting at Carluccio’s, Goodman never told NI lawyer “Andy knew” about Mulcaire and hacking Royal Aides.
Langdale now turns to the transcript of the taped phone conversation between Goodman and Coulson “it repays careful attention”
“The tone, the atmosphere of it… are entirely inconsistent with the proposition Coulson knew about Mulcaire” says Langdale of taped call
“Not a simple attempt” says Langdale of Goodman saying “what kind of duty of care when you’re letting me take the can for it”
Langdale says Goodman could have said “This job offer is conditional on me not telling the truth” but “not a hint of it”
Langdale says it’s “very revealing” that Goodman “has to explain the history of Miskiw and Mulcaire… a pretty significant inconsistency”
To refute suggestion Coulson or NI lawyer were doing “anything underhand or duplicitous” with Goodman, Langdale turns to another file
Langdale goes to an email Crown suggest has “something sinister”: about NI Lawyer saying Mulcaire’s contract was “an entirely safe document”
Langdale points out beginning of email chain with NI lawyer saying “in order to do anything we can for Clive” he commissioned telecom report
22/11/05 document about legal meetings with NI lawyer and Goodman’s legal team now cited. Not “something sinister” says Langdale
NI lawyer’s “concern is clear” but no “bust up” between Goodman on 07/12/05 says Langdale.
“It’s not surprising or sinister that NOTW wanted to issue an apology… or aggravate Clive Goodman” says Langdale. Or went through drafts
“It’s not directed at self preservation but limiting damage to the newspaper” says Langdale of changes in Coulson’s statement on sentencing
Langdale now goes to the “all is going so well today” email by Coulson on Goodman’s guilty plea: “plainly in response to media reporting”
Langdale says this “everything gone so well” has nothing to do with Goodman not naming others “but limiting press reports…further intrigue
“It’s Andy Coulson being a responsible and diligent executive” says Langdale of “everything going so well” on Goodman’s guilty plea
“He might stray off the preferred line” email from NI lawyer about Goodman talking to probation officer is also “perfectly legitimate”
11/12/05 email from Henri Brandman, Goodman’s lawyer, cited by Langdalw.
Brandman is first written to by Goodman first: Langdale says “nothing had been discussed with Kelsey Fry” at this point.
“There are three other far more senior NOTW execs revealed as his handler” writes Goodman to Brandman abt Mulcaire “I knew to J-KF’s view
“Not a reference to Andy Coulson” says Langdale: “Goodman keeping his options whether to make allegations” against his editor
Langdale now turns to a document prepared by NI lawyer for NI exec about “Clive’s.. anxiety about going to prison as a fall guy”
NI lawyer tells NI exec that Goodman is alleging Coulson was involved in hacking, and might tell probation officer
“It confronts the anxiety that Clive Goodman might make a false allegation out of mitigation” says Langdale of this NI lawyer’s doc
Langdale goes to probation report which says “senior editor… gave tacit agreement”: Langdale says this doesn’t mean Coulson.
Langdale addresses “Clive Goodman‘s true feeling” and his claim prison cleared his mind of “revenge… resentment”
“Utter rubbish” says Langdale of Goodman’s claim he’d got over resentment of Coulson. He cites email to employment lawyer on 10/07/07
Langdale mentions Goodman’s “Old Testament inclination for vengeance”: he says it wasn’t against NI, but personal against Coulson.
“False and unreliable” says Langdale of Goodman: “his evidence motivated by revenge…. for treatment at NOTW”
Editorial Responsibilities and Budgets
Langdale is now turning to editorial responsibilities and budgets: he says prosecution case “a badly painted picture… a black and white”
Langdale refutes the idea “editors know everything” but only “have the final say when he’s called in to have the final say”
“The editor does not need to know how many reporters are being deployed… what inquiry agents are used” says Langdale.
“It’s their notion we suggest, but not anyone else’s” says Langdale of prosecution case: “not a black and white world but a grey world”
Langdale talks about how Coulson was at the Labour Party Conference – “impossible to micromanage every story”
“Free CDs and DVDs” are the editor’s concern too, says Langdale: “not all journalism”
“Prosecution have set considerable store on the budget issue” says Langdale “that Coulson must have known what Nine Consultancy did”
Langdale says he’s “not trying to cast doubt of Mr Kuttner’s account” of the budget as he explains how NOTW met Murdoch and News Corp heads
“Of course a 100k a year is a lot of money… but it is less than the annual fees paid to astrologer and left back who’s identity concealed”
“An early prosecution theory fell apart” about 2005 cut to Mulcaire’s budget, that it was retracted after Kuttner/Coulson meeting.
“Why should they cut Mulcaire’s budget if they’re in a conspiracy to hack?” asks Langdale of Kuttner and Coulson meeting.
Langdale addresses the allegation of the “books being cooked”: “who is being hoodwinked?” he asks “Coulson?”
Langdale says Coulson had nothing to do with Mulcaire’s budget cut being cancelled; “he thought they did investiga.. investigatry….”
“Don’t worry, we know what you mean” says Justice Saunders as Langdale stumbles over the syllables of “investigatory”
“With regard to the ‘menu'” says Langdale of discussing Nine Consultancy “part of a much larger process”
“Why should he question exactly what an agency like that does?” asks Langdale of Coulson questioning Nine Consultancy budget.
Langdale says that more senior execs, including Clive Milner “they didn’t seem to carry out any investigation what Nine Consultancy did”
“Greg’s special investigations man” email cited between Kuttner and Coulson: “that was never put before Coulson in x-exam” says Langdale
“You’re the people who decide what you think is important, but bear in mind the points I’ve made about it” Langdale tells jury over budgets
The Milly Dowler story
Langdale turns to the Milly Dowler story in NOTW on 14/02/02 “you’ll remember the salient features pretty clearly”
“It’s easy now to look back on the Milly Dowler story with hindsight” says Langdale.
“The Guardian article 4th July…. was wholly wrong in certain respects” says Langdale: “no evidence Mulcaire deleted messages”
“The last thing NOTW would want to do is interfere with police investigation” says Langdale “it’s very pro police”
Langdale says “false hope…. played a significant part in closure of NOTW…. of course Milly Dowler‘s phone should not have been hacked”
Langdale talks about “missing documents” in Milly Dowler articles “no data existing from Hermes system…. impossible to know” versions
“It’s not evident first message in article came from unauthorised phone hacking” says Langdale of Milly Hoax Riddle
Langdale says the story mentions police source, and was not marked exclusive. Harry Scott says even looking now assumed police source.
Langdale says “Mr Edis suggested NOTW had gone to great lengths to disguise story came from hacking… made to look like police source”
Langdale addresses prosecution suggestion there was something “sinister or covert” about moving original Dowler story.
Langdale goes through the prosecution theory Coulson must have known because Kuttner and Thurlbeck were talking to Surrey Police.
“Why should he seek to hide anything… if he knows the police have been told?” asks Langdale of Coulson and Milly Dowler story.
Langdale says Kuttner and Thurlbeck were so senior that “they wouldn’t have had to tell Mr Coulson they were contact police”
Langdale says Coulson had to deal with a Richard Perle story, a friend of Rupert Murdoch’s, and talking with Brooks’ Michael Greco buy up
“You’ve heard a powerful and compelling speech from Mr Laidlaw on behalf of Mrs Brooks” says Langdale: he takes one exception to it he says
Langdale takes issue with Laidlaw’s contention: “It was possible that ‘they’ wouldn’t have told Brooks about voicemail message”
“How on earth would he take such a risk” says Langdale of Laidlaw’s contention Coulson hid any Milly Dowler voicemails from Brooks.
“There was no reason as acting editor for Andy Coulson to know reporters had been dispatched to Telford” says Langdale.
“The news schedules demonstrate NOTW interested in stories about Milly Dowler both before and after 14/02/02″ says Langdale.
“A hoax wrapped in a riddle” says Langdale echoing Coulson: Dowler “not a story then as appears now… would not have engaged his interest”
Langdale talks about the “sensible and professional” reasons for moving Dowler story: “lack of glamour” in the NOTW mix.
“There were cosmetic and commercial reasons for moving the story” says Langdale: “but the content changed by the production department”
“It may well be Neville Thurlbeck who changed the content of the paper after the first edition” suggests Langdale.
Langdale talks about the jury needing a “well deserved break” – 15 minute break.
The David Blunkett Story
Langdale now turns to the Blunkett August 2004 history over Kimberley Quinn at the #hackingtrial
“The NOTW had a hard earned reputation as investigations paper” says Langdale and “took difficult decisions to break the law”
Langdale talks of public interest in NOTW breaking the law – he mentions Ian Huntley pictures in prison, taking guns airside
Langdale asks whether Coulson knew that hacking phones was a “criminal act” – it’s no defence but ‘knowledge of criminality’ important
“The prosecution concede the defendants might not have known phone hacking is a criminal offence” says Langdale
Langdale says the PCC code inadequate: “prosecution do not contest that no one knew before Goodman’s arrest that phone hacking was a crime”
BREAKING: NI External counsel say that RIPA Section 1 did encompass phone hacking in 2006 advice Langdale says
09/08/06 document cited from NI external lawyer writing to Coulson and internal lawyer about “intercepting” not “encompassing voicemails
Langdale goes through NI lawyer email to Brandman asking for “an expert opinion on RIPA and whether an offence had taken place”
BREAKING: Langdale says the NI lawyer in 2004 during Blunkett hacking did not know intercepting voicemails was a crime
“Doesn’t mean he approved or tolerated it” says Langdale of Coulson and hacking: “it was against the PCC unless in the public interest”
“In terms of secrecy, the prosecution case is in disarray” says Langdale: that it was secret and “everyone knew” cannot both be right
“The public interest is not just what the public is interested in” says Langdale but not clear cut: PCC code includes “exposing hypocricy”
“It’s a judgement call for the editor” says Langdale of public interest defence.
Langdale asks “how public interest considerations” fit with Blunkett affair: “You may not agree” he tells the jury about Kimberley Quinn
Langdale reminds jury that Coulson said of Blunkett affair: “he got this wrong…. led astray by fact [NI exec] was friends with Blunkett”
“Leader in the paper was very supportive” says Langdale despite voicemail suggest Blunkett “tells Kimberley Quinn about terrorist arrests”
Langdale points out Blunkett never made a complaint about NOTW story.
Langdale also says Coulson is one of the few defendants to have admitted making mistakes, over Blunkett.
Langdale talks about “very reputable, experience” NI lawyer who “was not charged or recognised as co-conspirator to hack”
Langdale says of fact voicemails and transcripts recovered from NI lawyer “knowing about hacking… not enough to make you co-conspirator”
“Knowing about Mulcaire was an insufficient basis for a conspiracy to hack phones” says Langdale
Langdale says the content of NI lawyers emails “did not cause the prosecution” to make NI lawyer “part of Count One”
Langdale talks of a “shift in prosecution position” over NI lawyer drawing up Mulcaire contract “for something that dare speak its name”
“It’s clear Coulson was regularly seeking [NI lawyer’s] advice on many issues” says Langdale at #hackingtrial, adducing emails to prove this
Langdale cites “clear examples” of Coulson seeking NI lawyers “advice”: e.g. on Broadmoor pics of Yorkshire Ripper.
“This email is entirely contradictory to prosecution case” Coulson and others “would join a criminal conspiracy without slightest concern”
BREAKING: Langdale says Coulson’s admission that he knew of hacking Blunkett voicemails “has been hung like an albatross around his neck”
Langdale refutes prosecution case that by admitting he heard Blunkett voicemails implicates him in other hacking
The Blunkett affair was not a “straightforward situation” because of friendship between former Home Sec and NI exec, says Langdale.
Langdale reminds jury that Coulson originally told Thurlbeck to “stop investigating the Home Secretary” – then played three messages
Langdale says Coulson heard Blunkett might be going public in voicemails, mentioned terrorist arrests and GCHQ
“I decided that… this was an investigation I should take further” because of the “public interest” said Coulson in previous evidence
“If David Blunkett was talking about terrorist arrests, it was in legitimate public interest” said Coulson and being “upfront” with Blunkett
“What Andy Coulson was in breach of the editor’s code, but the public interest might have outweighed it” says Langdale of Blunkett hacking
Andy Coulson made the mistake of letting the issues get blurred” says Langdale because of friendship of Blunkett and Senior NI exec
BREAKING: “There was justification for a hard line story against Blunkett” says Langdale of hacking his voicemails: “a breach of security”
Langdale reminds the jury that Coulson had said he’d “taken legal advice” and was told by NI lawyer Quinn’s privacy main issue over hacking
“As publisher of the Spectator that didn’t necessarily make her a public figure” said Coulson in previous evidence about Kimberley Quinn
Langdale says Coulson didn’t reveal phone hacking sources to Home Secretary because he thought “only a breach of the code.. hardly terrible”
“This was a hard hitting, politically savvy newspaper, that was not afraid of taking risks with politicians” says Langdale of NOTW
“A history of making difficult and controversial decisions about relationships with politicians” says Langdale of NOT, citing Clarke/Kelly
Langdale points of there are no fingerprints to connect Coulson to Blunkett voicemail tapes recovered from NI safe.
Langdale says that Coulson voluntarily told the truth about Blunkett – there was no evidence to compel him to do so.
“Disingenuous” said Coulson about Blunkett conversation: Justice Saunders asked him “were you telling an deliberate untruth. Yes or No”
In that last tweet, Langdale was reminding the jury of Coulson’s previous testimony on Blunkett.
“We invite you to accept” Langdale tells the jury of Coulson: “Neville Thurlbeck was the only instance he knew in terms of phone hacking
Langdale denies prosecution case Coulson did nothing to stop hacking after Blunkett: Bob Warren helped start up School of Excellence
“If the office cat knew about phone hacking” ask Langdale “why would there even be a section on ‘The Dangers of the Dark Arts” by NI lawyer
26/01/05 Rachael Richardson emails Coulson about “day of training… being reminded about PR and legal issues always helpful”
Langdale talks about “alarming” evidence relation to Sally Anderson: “where the truth lies can sometimes be complicated”
“The prosecution have allowed you to be misled” about Blunkett voicemails on Sally Anderson’s phone says Langdale.
Langdale says these Blunkett messages to Anderson were the “only ones played to you for emotional impact”
“Of course what Mulcaire did was wrong” but Langdale cites Blunkett message “I don’t know who has done it to us. They are bastards”
Langdale says Blunkett should have said “done to me” not to “us” because it was a “set up” by Sally Anderson: “outrageous”
“Another example of the failure of the police to be open minded, rigorous and fair” says Langdale of Sally Anderson/Blunkett story.
“Check the cuttings – an obvious step in journalism, but not for the police” says Langdale: Sally Anderson caused the upset to Blunkett
Langdale turns to Charles Clarke/Hannah Pawlby allegations of affair: it was a “non story” Coulson thought, so did Ian Kirby NOTW pol ed.
Langdale turns to the Coulson voicemails left on Pawlby’s phone, recorded by Mulcaire. He wasn’t calling about the affair
“I’ve got a story we’re planning to run tomorrow… I’d really like to speak to Charles about… quite a serious story” said Coulson in 05
Coulson leaves a second message on the same day for Pawlby to call him urgently. But Mulcaire’s hack made them got to save.
Langdale says if Coulson knew about Mulcaire hacking Pawlby voicemails, he’d have said: “Don’t do that, I’m leaving messages for her”
“It’s got to be, on a fair approach to the evidence, about something else” says Langdale of Coulson’s call to Pawlby – didn’t believe affair
“It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious” says Langdale of prosecution case that Coulson was calling to find out about affair.
“‘Sorry to hassle you’ is hardly an indication of any urgency about the story” says Langdale of Coulson’s voicemail to Hannah Pawlby
Langdale says it’s much more likely Coulson was trying to get hold of Clarke over Ronnie Biggs or anti-bullying campaign.
Langdale says Coulson was “totally unaware” of Pawlby hacking “otherwise he’d know the problems of leaving a voicemail on her phone”
Calum Best and the “Do his phone” email
Langdale “detects some of the members of the jury are looking at the clock”: he will deal with Calum Best and Prescott after lunch.
Back after lunch Langdale turns to the Calum Best matter: “no evidence Andy Coulson involved in hacking or instruction to hack”
“We suggest prosecution case on Calum Beast… another example of inferences draw with little evidential basis” says Langdale
“The clear implication was ‘Do His Phone’ meant ‘hack Calum Best phone'” says Langdale.
Edis said in opening that “there was no evidence Best was hacked” but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t: Langdale says ‘plain English’ applies
“Do you think Calum a leak?” asks NOTW journo and then replies “Do Hhs Phone” it has “some significance”
Langdale says the Do His Phone only looks like hacking because the “timeline produced only refers to Calum Best
A second timeline has now been added thanks to evidence adduced by defence, with the tasking and call schedule related to a NOTW
“Mr Coulson had no way of countering the allegations against him” says Langdale over ‘Do His Phone” – concerned about “leaks in general”
NI HR tasked to check NOTW journalists billing: Langdale called it a “very significant” failure that prosecution didn’t disclose Tate email
Chris Tate in Manchester with Lorna Hogan, writes to senior NOTW journalist about a text from Calum Best being “alerted” she’s selling story
Hogan was “freaking out” according to Tate, because Best was “tipped off” and she was thinking to returning to Max Clifford rather than NOTW
Langdale says he was only tipped off about Tate email by another defendant on the morning Calum Best appeared at #hackingtrial
“On the day the Tate email was exposed, prosecution… included details of Glenn Mulcaire hacking [NOTW journalists] phone” says Langdale
“The case was so weak, the prosecution changed their case” says Langdale: “by closing they’ve abandoned positive case”
Langdale summarises prosecution closing case on Do HIs Phone “It was an instruction to hack whoever was involved” but no hacking happened
Langdale asks “if it was so open… why is there not another example: if a conspiracy to phone hack, why not a single other instance””
Though hacked before this email: “There is no evidence [NOTW journalist] was hacked after instruction” NOTW journo is Coulson’s friend
Hacking details for Coulson appear in the pages before NOTW journo, says Langdale he “was a conspirator and victim at the same time”
Langdale cites the “scraping the bottom the barrel” email about Calum Best – only disclosed “long after defence started preparing case”
“Do you think Calum a leak” means “Do you think Calum story is leaking” says Langdale of Coulson’s email
Langdale says Coulson did not recall this until the trial: “It was only when that last minute disclosure took place” they found truth
After the “appalling lack of kiss and tell” email from Coulson, Kuttner is involved checking billing of NOTW journalist suspected leaking
Langdale goes through call billing data showing NOTW journalist calling Phelan, Best’s publicist and friend “that’s what the leak was”
“We suggest, for your consideration, we have not just cast doubt, the defence has established this is not an instruction to hack his phone”
The John Prescott Story
Langdale turns to Lord Prescott story: “another example of the prosecution failing fairly or properly considering the evidence avaliable”
Langdale talks about the NOTW spoiler against Mail on Sunday on Prescott story: prosecution suggest from Mulcaire hacking of MoS journalists
“After he had looked at the first edition” says Langdale of Coulson: “what did the prosecution do? They were finished with that topic”
“You were told in Edis’ closing speech that NOTW published spoiler with material derived from phone hacking” says Langdale, changing files
Langdale adduces two different editions ‘Prezza the sex Diaries’ NOTW front page from 20/04/06 – the first a ‘holding first edition’
“It was widely know Tracey Temple was selling her story and that included her diaries” says Langdale: NOTW had offered £100k earlier in week
“It wasn’t an industry secret that could only be found out by hacking” Langdale says of Prescott/Temple story
Langdale says final 5 page Prezza splash “had absolutely nothing to do with hacking activity” in terms of its content
Langdale wants a 10 minute break before his “last bit” of his closing speech for Coulson
Timothy Langdale QC concludes Andy Coulson’s Closing Statement
Timothy Langdale QC is now back on his feet for the last bit of his closing address to the #hackingtrial jury for his client Andy Coulson
“One of the noteworthy features” of last three alleged phone hacking victims “Post Blunkett” are “non probative of hacking” says Langdale
Langdale address Edis’ “plain English” explanation of some of the hacking documentation
“Where is the evidence that Coulson knew of Mulcaire” says Langdale” “No plain English document that establishes he did know. Not one”
“There is one plain English document” says Langdale Jan 07 “Am I right that payments to Mulcaire end this month?” writes Coulson to Kuttner
“Not a penny more” wrote Coulson in Jan 07 around Mulcaire’s sentencing.
“Where is the plain English recording of Clive Goodman saying… ‘but Andy you knew’? There’s no such recording” says Langdale.
“Lastly in terms of plain English – Dan Evans – ‘all I’m interested in is full immunity” says Langdale.
Langdale now turns to Coulson’s appearance in witness box “far from perfect professionally or personally… made mistakes and errors”
“Not flashy. He’d done some important and high profile jobs… you may have found him to be a modest and careful witness” says Langdale.
“He didn’t attempt to blame others at any time during his evidence. You heard his frank account of his relationship with Rebakah Brooks”
“The irony of his relationship with Brooks at the time of his editorship was not lost on him, he told you” says Langdale.
Langdale points out Coulson admitted he wouldn’t have got job at Conservative Central Office if hacking of Blunkett had been known
Langdale quotes what Coulson said about Cameron job: “the media temperature around those issues is considerable higher… now than then”
“There is a clear example of the way he dealt with matter…. which could be difficult” says Langdale. He also “cared about the paper”
“He was a straightforward and upfront witness with you” says Langdale: all “characteristics” for the jury to see
Langdale points out that two prosecution witnesses, Keyworth and Meary, gave him “good and straight forward” accounts
“Altruistic… no airs and graces…. humble about his success..” said character witnesses: “clever and thoughtful…. professional”
“Man of integrity… a man to be trusted” is just a “snapshot” of these “character references of the highest order” says Langdale.
“I’ve not endeavoured to cover every matter” says Langdale to the jury: “be we ask you to attend to the detail”
Langdale “We suggest that in this case in particular, attention to detail is an antidote to…starting out with assumptions, a closed mind”
Langdale says of Coulson his case is “consistent with his innocence”: “proper verdict is not guilty”
Jury leaves to 11.30 tomorrow when Jonathan Caplan QC will commence his closing arguments for Stuart Kuttner.

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 – 21 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 27 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 28 May

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

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4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 May

  1. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 May | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  2. Pingback: Law and Media Round Up – 2 June 2014 | Inforrm's Blog

  3. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 2 June | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

  4. Pingback: Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 3 June | Live Tweeting the hacking trial

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