Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 1 July

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Mitigation Pleas Continue
Timothy Langdale QC pleads Mitigation for Andy Coulson
Witness for Andy Coulson – Matthew D’Ancona (Spectator Journalist)
The Prosecution reply to Coulson’s Mitigation
Application for Costs
News UK apply for costs
Comments from Peter Jukes
Peter Jukes reflects on Live Tweeting

Mitigation Pleas Continue
Timothy Langdale QC pleads Mitigation for Andy Coulson
Timothy Langdale QC starts with mitigation for Andy Coulson at the #hackingtrial
Langdale says that the jury may or may not have discounted the evidence of Dan Evans and Clive Goodman against Coulson
Langdale says that other defendants mitigation – that Coulson told them what to do – should not sway the sentencing. Just the evidence
“Since speculation must be avoided” says Langdale, “I do not propose to analyse which bits of evidence the jury relied on”
“There are some features of this sorry affair which should be mentioned” says Langdale in terms of mitigation for Coulson.
“No on in the newspaper industry seems to have realised… interception of voicemail messages was illegal” says Langdale of 2000-2005
“It is a great pity it was not appreciated at the time” says Langdale of hacking “that it did not entail the commission of criminal offence”
“Mr Coulson took a cautious approach… and frequently sought and relied on legal advice” says Langdale. He also cites Surrey Police
“Across society at all levels phone hacking has begun to be considered somewhat different to how it was in 2006” says Langdale.
Langdale mentions the court of appeal judgement over phone hacking last year: “Slightly different issue” says Justice Saunders.
“The process began before Mr Coulson was at the NOTW” says Langdale of phone hacking
“Although the jury have found he was party to the agreement, it was an agreement he must have joined after” says Langdale of conspiracy
Langdale says there’s no evidence Coulson encouraged Goodman to hack before the “Alexander Project” in 2005
“No evidence he knew anything at all of Goodman’s personal hacking… of Kate Middleton and the Royal Princes” says Langdale of Coulson
On the coverup post Goodman arrest, Langdale says it was in Goodman’s best interest as well as the newspapers.
Langdale says the limited information provided to Mr Justice Gross depended on the police, and CPS. Their decision, not Coulson’s
“The police knew the Royal Princes’ phones had been hacked” says Langdale: Coulson played no part in repressing this.
“Mr Coulson played no part in directing or influencing those decisions” says Langdale of limited legal pleas of Clive Goodman in 2006/7
“It is important too… in regard to Rogue Reporter line, that mitigation from Mr Goodman, did not use that phrase” says Langdale.
Langdale says Goodman’s mitigation did not deny wider hacking “whoever else was involved at NOTW” was the phrase used.
“The Rogue Reporter line was first promulgated by others when Mr Coulson had resigned” says Langdale.
Langdale criticises Edis’ assertion that Coulson corrupted NOTW in a “thoroughly criminal enterprise” as “sweeping and unjustified”
Langdale talks of the positive sides of NOTW, campaigns, reporting on difficult social issues, helping the police.
Langdale cites an email from deputy managing director telling Goodman to “get back to old fashioned journalism”
Langdale says apart from “kiss and tell” NOTW had a genuine social mission: Edis’ criticism sounds like “sneering” at good journalists.
Langdale cites Ian Kirby and Harry Scott as good journalists. He reminds the judge Kuttner was exonerated.
Langdale says it “should not be forgotten” that News of the World had many “undiluted positives”
Langdale talks about the RIPA act on the 2 year maximum: he says this isn’t a “low maximum”
Langdale criticises the prosecution for “smearing the good people who worked at the paper”
Justice Saunders intervenes and says he will not comment on appropriateness of sentences for RIPA phone hacking
“We submit…. on evidence Mr Coulson and others were not knowingly breaking the criminal law… is a mitigating factor” says Langdale.
“Something less than the maximum is appropriate for Mr Coulson” says Langdale “no need for a deterrent element in sentencing”
Langdale now turns to “Mr Coulson the man” as a mitigation: “it’s a sad day…. a man of impeccable character now convicted”
“A man of real talent who has something to offer to society” says Langdale of Coulson, exploring his rise from humble origins.
“One career brought to an end” says Langdale of Coulson’s move into politics: “he succeeded on a much larger and more important stage”
Witness for Andy Coulson – Matthew D’Ancona (Spectator Journalist)
BREAKING: Langdale calls a live witness to speak for Coulson’s mitigation: Matthew D’Ancona
Langdale goes through D’Ancona’s journalistic career at Spectator and Telegraph.
D’Ancona first met Coulson while he was “still working at NOTW…. I was editing the Spectator”
Both NOTW and Spectator shared a columnist – @FraserNelson – that’s how Coulson and D’Ancona met.
D’Ancona now speaks of Coulson’s time as Communications Director for the Conservative Party.
Andy Coulson is the most straightforward and reliable director I’ve come across” says D’Ancona: “would never over sell a story”
“He would seek to protect the political craft from damaging in preceding years” says D’Ancona: “A refreshing change”
BREAKING: D’Ancona says Coulson became a very senior part of Cameron’s inner circle very quickly, and aided on other matters than journalism
D’Ancona says other journalist thought Coulson was “an impressive person for David Cameron to hire”
“They assumed if Cameron formed the next Goverment” says D’Ancona of Coulson “he’d be very senior within it”
D’Ancona says that govt communications had been “tarnished by culture of spin” and Coulson wanted to “restore trust” to that
D”Ancona says, during the early days of the Coalition, Coulson “went out of his way to get on with Liberal Democrats”
No questions from the prosecution for Matthew D’Ancona
“Phone hacking turned to be Mr Coulson’s nemesis on ending his second successful career” says Langdale.
Langdale talks about the difficulties of Coulson’s life while awaiting two years for this trial.
The judge has received a letter from Coulson’s former neighbour in South East London.
“He’s lost his good name” says Langdale of Coulson, despite this conviction “a thoroughly decent man… responsible citizen”
“A man with a lot to contribute” says Langdale: asking the court to allow him “to return to society and continue that contribution”
Langdale says “Mr Coulson has become something of lightning conductor… for the media and political furore”
“Agendas are being pursued, and will continued to be pursued” says Langdale, talking of “media vendettas” and “party politics”
The Prosecution reply to Coulson’s Mitigation
Edis says one thing in regard to Coulson’s mitigation: it isn’t common ground that “nobody knew” phone hacking was a crime.
Edis talks of Coulson’s own admission of knowing about Blunkett hack, and that he must have known it was criminal.
Application for Costs
News UK apply for costs
Burke has a submission for application for costs: “slightly unusual position when funding comes from a 3rd party” says Saunders.
Justice Saunders says that if News UK are reclaiming the money, their conduct might be an issue: “unique circumstances” he says.
Justice Saunders says he will have to consider the costs reclaim and whether the burden of proof is the same for News UK.
Justice Saunders says he needs a “detailed examination” on the issue of reclaiming costs for not guilty verdicts.
“I would invite complete disclosure from News UK” says Saunders; Edis says claim will involve “millions of pounds of tax payers money”
Edis says the Ministry of Justice needs to be called to
Back on Friday at 10 am for sentencing at #hackingtrial
Comments from Peter Jukes
Peter Jukes reflects on Live Tweeting
Lots to say now #hackingtrial over bar sentencing: been called either “just a stenographer” or “horribly partisan” – both can’t be true.
Live tweeting does require editorial input: you can only get a fraction of what is said. There will always be a subjective element.
But yesterday Brooks’ QC and lawyer praised my coverage, and that is very important: both sides of the argument have to expressed in court.
But one big downside of my #hackingtrial coverage coming up. The unintended consequences for other court reporters.
If news organisations relied on my detail, and therefore didn’t employ a court reporter – then this is a bad precedent.
For that reason – undercutting other court reporters while giving news organisations a free feed – I doubt I’ll repeat the experiment.
In this brave new world of ‘free’, the danger is media corporations amass profits and yet cut staff: not a good outcome.
Finally for today (’cause I have to get on writing it) book plug (not funded by Hacked Off) http://www.hackingtrial.com

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 – 24 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 25 Jun
Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 30 Jun

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

3 thoughts on “Hacking Trial Live Tweets – 1 July

  1. Pingback: Did Nobody Really Know Phone Hacking was Illegal | Chris Brace | Live Tweeting the hacking trial


  3. Pingback: Did nobody really know that phone hacking was illegal? – Chris Brace | Inforrm's Blog

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