Some new details from Jim Cusick at the Independent about the civil phone hacking cases involving the Trinity Mirror group.
The company has also been co-operating with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Golding, by handing over evidence that could be connected to potential wrong-doing. Among the material given to the Met, and subsequently disclosed to victims’ lawyers, is a bundle of 22 emails, a cache of 587 calls from MGN landlines, and 51 invoices from private investigators which relate to four hacking claims.
One internal email sent by an MGN journalist to a colleague in March 2002 concerns information on the relationship between two former EastEnders actors, Lucy Benjamin and Steve McFadden. The two were in an off-screen relationship at that time.
This is worth definitely curling up at home with the TV, or setting your goggle box to record. As documented by a guest blogger here and on Bellingcat, the News of the World’s foremost investigative reporter may have a lot of questions to answer after the BBC air this documentary next Monday, fronted by the irrepressible John Sweeney, and produced by the inestimable Meirion Jones. Links to other Fothom pieces below the quote
There’s some contradictory evidence from the Leveson Inquiry and the Phone Hacking trial about just how much Rupert Murdoch was interested in his best selling Sunday Tabloid. Before Lord Justice Leveson in 2012, the chair of News Corp said the Sun was his major UK interest and he rarely concerned himself with NOTW, but earlier this year both Brooks and Coulson at the phone hacking trial gave evidence of weekly calls from Murdoch, throughout their editorships.
This snippet, from Piers Morgan‘s autobiography, shows that – at least on one occasion – Murdoch knew more than his editors. Concerned about a Princess Diana ‘phone pest’ story (allegedly sourced illegally through a police file) the then editor is reassured first by his news editor, Alex Marunchak, and then by Murdoch himself, that the story would stand up. Continue reading
The Times report this morning, of yesterday’s evidence at Kingston Crown Court where Sun journalists are facing trial for charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office
Published at 12:01AM, October 21 2014
Brooks ‘sanctioned all cash payments’
, Kingston crown court was told yesterday.
The trial of six reporters and executives accused of unlawfully paying police officers and soldiers for stories heard that paperwork linking Mrs Brooks to the allegedly unlawful payments had gone missing.
Charlotte Hull, the newspaper’s former news desk assistant, said that Mrs Brooks only signed off contributor payments over ¡Ì1,000 paid through bank transfers but approved all cash payments regardless of the amount. She said: “Any cash payment had to be approved by the editor.”
Mrs Brooks was editor from 2003 to 2009, when she was succeeded by her deputy, Dominic Mohan. The allegedly unlawful payments were made between March 2002 and January 2011.
While News UK withdrew, at the last minute, their £10-20 million application for costs for Brooks and other corporately defended clients, the claim by Charlie Brooks and Stuart for their private expenses has also been rejected my Mr Justice Saunders today: his full decision is below. Charlie had claimed half a million for his defence, while Stuart Kuttner £130,000 for his individual costs.
Meanwhile, Private Eye has added more detail to the reason News UK withdrew it’s cost application ten days ago,
As reported earlier, Ian Edmondson pleaded guilty to phone hacking in the Old Bailey today, completing the main phase of police operation Weeting with seven convictions for the nine charged with conspiracy to phone hack since 2011. As well as private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, two reporters, four desk editor and the editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, have now been convicted. Rebekah Brooks and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner were acquitted. (The prosecution sentencing note is attached here as a pdf)
Back in June, when Rebekah Brooks, Stuart Kuttner, Cheryl Carter and Mark Hanna were all acquitted at the phone hacking trial, their barristers made it clear they would be applying (as is their right) for a refund of their court costs. Already, at this point, it was clear that News UK would have to be party to these hearings on costs, since they had indemnified all the cleared defendants bar Charlie Brooks. The initial quantum for that claim was reported to be £25 million in legal costs. This was reduced two weeks ago to £7 million by the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis of equivalent legal aid, rather than private, legal costings. Continue reading