Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 May

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

Friday 30 May 2014

Stuart Kuttner’s Closing Statement
Jonathan Caplan QC presents the Closing Statement for Stuart Kuttner
Summary of the Prosecution Case
Kuttner’s Defence Case
Managing Editor’s Role
Seven Points of Defence
Milly Dowler and the Surry Police
Kuttner’s Police Interview
The Kimberley Quinn Affair
After Clive Goodman’s Arrest

Stuart Kuttner’s Closing Statement
Jonathan Caplan QC presents the Closing Statement for Stuart Kuttner
Back at the #hackingtrial with Jonathan Caplan for Stuart Kuttner – he’s reading a message Kuttner left to Surrey Police in 2002
Caplan reads the sequence of contacts with Kuttner and police over Milly Dowler 13/04/02: “fully on notice NOTW” had voicemails of Dowler
Caplan says Kuttner was “lifted” by police 9 years later
“What had happened to prod police into action? Had they picked up message to Deputy Chief Constable?” asks Caplan
Caplan says “trials like West End plays don’t usually last 7 to 8 months: the impression is no resource spared by CPS and police”
Caplan: “The traditional symbols in this courtroom… the glass barrier is to prevent defendants jumping the dock and attacking the judge”
“There are no dangerous people in this dock…. feelings may have been hurt, but no one has been injured” says Caplan
Caplan reminds the jury of the Coat of Arms – Regina versus Brooks and others – “evidence has quite a bit to do with Queen… Royal Family”
Caplan mentions Queens’ nuts: “a heady mix of Royalty, celebrities and politicians…. but keep that firmly at bay” he tells the jury
“Keep collectively calm” says Caplan to jury: “perceived important of this trial outside is utterly irrelevant”
“One asks, perhaps rhetorically, did NOTW and phone hacking, suddenly become a hot potato?” ask Caplan referencing Leveson
Caplan asks “whoever turned up the heat on this particular hot potato” and mentions police and CPS.
“The case against Mr Kuttner is all about inference” says Caplan: “I will say, quite forcefully, the prosecution case amounts to zero”
Summary of the Prosecution Case
Caplan summarises prosecution case against Kuttner on Count 1: “he must have known…signed off on Mulcaire payments… cooked the books”
“In the case of Milly Dowler he had positive knowledge hacking had occurred, authorised Alexander Payments” says Caplan summarising crown
Sixthly and seventhly, says Caplan, summarising: Kuttner covered up on Goodman arrest and “convenient” memory loss.
“Those points are either completely without foundation” Caplan on prosecution case: “mean absolutely nothing.. consistent with innocence
Kuttner’s Defence Case
Defence case is that Kuttner had never heard of Mulcaire until 2006 arrest: contracts paid and signed by NOTW news desk.
Caplan says payments to Mulcaire were contractually obliged under auspices of news desk. Kuttner did not “cook the books”
“Kuttner never sought to conceal annual value of payments” to Mulcaire’s companies says Caplan
Caplan says the Dowler “one off incident” and Thurlbeck told him he got Dowler’s pin from school friends: wouldn’t have called police
Caplan says that payments to Mulcaire was “sizeable reduction”: Caplan mentions Gadd getting £70k a year for two days a week.
As for alleged coverup around Goodman, the note Kuttner made after his arrest “proves he wasn’t a conspirator”
Caplan says Kuttner wanted to cut cash payments, co-operate with police: “hardly the characteristics of a conspirator”
“If Mr Kuttner was a conspirator…. why would he call police to tell them NOTW had accessed Milly Dowler‘s voicemail?” asks Caplan
“If he was a conspirator, why would he repeatedly ask for the money paid to Mulcaire’s companies to be slashed?” asks Caplan
“If Kuttner was a conspirator, why would he get tough with Goodman over cash payments, and Alexander payments?” asks Caplan
“There are only a few issues that matter in this case” says Caplan of Kuttner..
“You are swimming in a sea of documents” says Caplan to the jury” “You can pare down and cut away all the extraneous material”
Caplan summarises the narrow points against Kuttner. “I’m going to deal quite shortly with those topics”
Caplan first turns to “character evidence” though: “you know he has spent 53 years or so in professional journalism…. old school”
“He’s someone imbued with the ethics of journalism” says Caplan of Kuttner and his role on PCC and pension of fund
“If there was a “rent a witness” you’d want that trio” says Caplan of Kuttner’s character witnesses, Lord Carey, Lord Black, Sara Payne
“Is he the kind of person who would lend himself to a criminal conspiracy?” asks Caplan on behalf of his client Kuttner
“He didn’t just talk about the code, and ethics: he lived them. It’s in his DNA” said Lord Black, as Caplan reminds the jury.
Caplan addresses Kuttner’s health issues and ‘mental condition and faculties of memory’ after brain stem stroke: “infirm and retired”
“When he finds it difficult to remember, he’s telling the truth” says Kuttner of Caplan
“Sympathy isn’t part of your oath” says Caplan saying he’s not asking the jury to sympathise with Kuttner’s memory problems or infirmity
Managing Editor’s Role
Caplan goes onto the Managing Editor’s role: “macro managment… not concerned with content… it’s budget management” of £13m NOTW budget
Caplan points out how many other NOTW employees, interviewed as witnesses, said they’d never heard of Mulcaire.
“Very regrettably the news desk… they all abused Mr Kuttner’s trust” says Caplan of NOTW.
“You have to bear in mind when you’re thinking of weekly sum” to Mulcaire, says Caplan “the sheer scale of financial documentation”
Caplan reminds the jury that Susan Pannuccio said number of payment documents almost amounted to 1000 a week.
Caplan says the prosecution “has not properly analysed” Kuttner’s authorisation, and explains “the autonomy of the news editors” over money
Caplan goes to the Mulcaire payments for information of the Jamie Bulger murderers, a month before the full Mulcaire contracts.
To prove his point about autonomy of desk heads, Caplan points to the two emails from Brooks as NOTW about “weekly limits”
“It really will be like running your own business” wrote Brooks to NOTW desk heads in 2001 – as Caplan reminds the jury at #hackingtrial
“One of the points that cries out… undermining prosecution case” says Caplan are the documents that show Kuttner slashing Mulcaire budget
Caplan goes through the budget documents showing “Why is Mr Kuttner wanting to cut Mr Mulcaire’s fees if he’s…. providing cheap stories”
December 2005 Kuttner writes to Steve Mears: “Just look… he’s telling Mr Mears about £500 pw to special Goodman… grossing it up”
“If this is all supposed to be under the radar and covert…. why is he blowing such a trumpet about these amounts of money” asks Caplan
“Reduce Nine Consultancy to £76k” Caplan reads Kuttner email: “each year he’s saying these amounts are too much and he’s trying to cut back”
Seven Points of Defence
Caplan now turns to what he calls the prosecutions “joker card” about Kuttner knowing: “it’s bogus for seven reasons”
First of Caplan’s seven points against the prosecution: Kuttner didn’t sign Mulcaire contract: he goes through the contracts in evidence
“I’m going to suggest the news desk deceived Mr Kuttner” says Caplan citing the “happy now grumpy” renewal email to Mulcaire in 2006.
Caplan points out the first Mulcaire contract “went to the legal department and not Mr Kuttner” citing NI lawyer notebook July 01- Feb 02
Legal note shows NI lawyer in meeting with Miskiw and drawing up amount and terms of Mulcaire’s first 2001 contract
Caplan says prosecution in closing made an “allegation” against NI lawyer because there was nothing specified in Mulcaire’s services.
“That’s quite an extraordinary suggestion to make” says Caplan: “all it is just a comment [on NI lawyer] respectfully suggest extraordinary”
“News International could have been in breach of contract if they didn’t make the payments” says Caplan of Mulcaire’s deal with NOTW.
On “cooking the books” Caplan talks about gross annual value of Mulcaire contracts – Kuttner should have sent memo to NGN board.
Kuttner said that he didn’t see Mulcaire payments in annual terms: Caplan: budget limits “rule honoured more in its breach than observance”
Caplan says that if he was cooking the books, Kuttner wouldn’t have spoken about gross annual values for Mulcaire in various documents
Caplan says the annual gross value of Mulcaire was brought to attention of Clive Milner and management: “pretty odd way to cook the books”
Caplan says that the 2001 meeting between Kuttner and Miskiw to reduce private investigations from £167k to £100k was “a saving”
Caplan talks about the witness Andy Gadd, who worked for NI as a trace agent, £218k for two day week for three years. £70k per year
Caplan says this proves the £100k paid to Mulcaire was not such a large amount of money in that context
Caplan says of “happy now grumpy” email suggests news desk were deceiving Kuttner who wanted to cut Mulcaire budget
Caplan shows Mulcaire payment the same £2019 k a month, but broken into two separate payments by news desk, to give “illusion of cut”
“Those events in March through to July 2006 show news desk and Mulcaire operating a very tight cell” says Caplan to avoid Kuttner budget cut
Milly Dowler and the Surry Police
The jury say they don’t want to break for lunch now, despite Caplan’s suggestion: he carries on to Milly Dowler events in April 2002
Caplan addresses prosecution case that Kuttner’s contact with Surrey police prove “he knew about hacking in 2002′
Caplan says the prosecution explanation that Kuttner thought had a public interest defence over hacking in 2002 “is a pretty feeble point”
Kuttner cannot recollect now how he heard about Dowler voicemails, but certain he had no idea of Mulcaire or wider hacking at NOTW.
Mr Kuttner “supposes” he was told by Thurlbeck they got Milly Dowler‘s mobile number and PIN from schoolfriends.
Caplan says Kuttner was merely “informed” about Milly Dowler voicemails “after the occasion… not part of a conspiracy”
Caplan says Kuttner “had a crisis of conscience… and immediately rang the police” when he heard about Dowler voicemails: a “one off event”
Break till 2pm
Back at the #hackingtrial after lunch: Jonathan Caplan QC continuing with his closing speech for Stuart Kuttner, former NOTW managing editor
Justice Saunders reminds the jury it’s a 1.30 start on Monday
Caplan makes a clarification “if this morning I suggested… Mr Kaplan was arrested at his home… he was arrested by appointment”
Caplan says he only has an hour more in Kuttner’s defence: back to the Milly Dowler story, when Kuttner called the police in 2002.
9 years later during the police interview Kuttner had “little recollection of what happened” but accepts transcripts, emails, police reports
Caplan rejects the prosecution suggestion that Kuttner began to “prevaricate and bluster” in that police interview: “imprecise and unfair”
Caplan asks the jury to consider whether prosecution are making their case about this interview “reliably… or in a cavalier fashion”
Caplan goes back to 19/04/02 email Kuttner sent to Sarah McGregor at Surrey Police about Milly Dowler
“What he’s doing is… asking if police stood by their hoax story” says Kaplan of 2002 email. His memory “almost non existent” 9 yrs later
Kuttner’s Police Interview
Caplan goes back to the moment when police officer started asking Kuttner about this email about Dowler voicemails during 2011 interview
“I don’t remember… I don’t recollect” says Kuttner of Dowler voicemails in police interviews in 2011.
Kuttner told police in 2011 “without research… these events are not in my mind”
“Is that prevarication and bluster” asks Caplan “but someone trying to assist… to co-operate with police?”
Caplan says Kuttner’s involvement in Milly Dowler story “is really quite clear”: in contact with Asst Chief over rewards, voicemails
Caplan says prosecution points over Milly Dowler are “thoroughly bad”: first the removal of reference to voicemail messages in 3rd ed NOTW
“What possible conversation among conspirators at NOTW can you imagine?” asks Caplan of striking out references to Milly Dowler.
“The cat was out of the bag… the police had been told about it, nobody thought there was anything wrong about it” says Caplan of changes
Caplan says that the story changed because of hoaxer, and the story was “legalled” by NOTW – “nothing more incriminating than that”
Caplan says it’s quite “hurtful” to suggest Kuttner held back info from the police until the Saturday
Though NOTW journalists sent to Telford on Friday, Caplan says there’s no evidence Kuttner knew before Saturday.
“I’d no more do that than fly to the dark side of the moon” said Kuttner of withholding evidence of Milly Dowler‘s whereabouts from police
BREAKING: Of Dowler events leading to Kuttner “Ending up in the dock at the Old Bailey,” says Caplan “the CPS is in urgent need of reform”
The Kimberley Quinn Affair
Caplan now addresses Kuttner’s call to Simon Hoggart over the Kimberley Quinn affair: prosecution never asked him any questions
In his closing, Edis said that Kuttner would not have called Hoggart over the Quinn affair unless he had firm evidence from voicemails.
Caplan: “Simply calling up Mr Hoggart pre-publication… is really no basis for alleging he must have known there was a hack disclosed it”
Kuttner would regular call figures in big stories – such as Jeffrey Archer and Lord Rennard
“Nothing intrinsically wrong or unlawful about cash payments for contributors” says Caplan: “there is a problem if payment to crown servant”
Caplan reminds the jury his client Kuttner faces no charges in relation to payments to police officers: Goodman emails no relevance to him
“The only cash payments relevant… are the Alexander payments to Mulcaire in 2005/6” says Caplan of Kuttner’s case.
To be relevant to Count one, says Caplan, the Alexander Payments authorised by Kutter would “All have to further phone hacking grand design”
After Clive Goodman’s Arrest
Caplan says Kuttner didn’t like cash payments – he wrote to Goodman trying to cut back on them just before Alexander project in 2005
Caplan addresses suggestion Kuttner was part of “News International coverup” after the arrest of Goodman and Mulcaire.
Prosecution say visit to Goodman after arrest was “fact finding mission”: Caplan says he was “putting his arm round” an employee
“It was both” says Caplan of fact finding “Failing his duty.. absolutely obvious” that Kuttner would want to know what happened from Goodman
Caplan turns to the note Kuttner made after seeing Goodman: “it clearly records…. a serving member of SIS… offered to suppy material”
“It’s a pretty odd thing if Kuttner is a co-conspirator… only consistent with being told about it for the first time” says Caplan of note
“Nothing incriminating found in his computer or home… notebooks retreived..” says Caplan “he attended on a number of occasions, interviews
On the fifth interview, Kuttner gave a prepared statement “I find the pressure of this police process intolerable”
Caplan summarises: that the Managing Editor signed for contractural arrangement under their own budges
Caplan “He had no contact with Mulcaire, told the police about Milly Dowler voicemail… phoned Simon Hoggart… visited Goodman at home”
“Ten or twenty times zero is still zero” says Caplan. Kuttner may be guilty of something “trusting news desk editors”
Caplan quotes last edition of NOTW – “Thank You and Goodbye”: that’s it till 1.30 Monday when Trevor Burke will close for Cheryl Carter

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 – 27 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 28 May
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 29 May

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

4 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 May

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

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

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

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

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