Neil Wallis has just responded to these new charges:
Neil Wallis (Photo credit: jon_cronshaw)
I’m devastated that more than 3 years after my initial arrest, this swingeing indiscriminate charge had been brought against me. My family and I have already paid a huge price for the police’s very public attention. Perhaps it is inevitable that after being such an outspoken critic of the collateral damage and pain caused by this needlessly vindictive and enormously costly investigation, the ire has been turned on me for something that occurred at NI of which I knew nothing and which I have always said was wrong Regrettably, legal reporting restrictions prevent me commenting further on this sad day.
On December 2013, the Metropolitan Police Service submitted evidence for charging advice to the CPS in relation to Operation Pinetree, an investigation into an alleged conspiracy to hack phone messages by journalists at the News of the World. Additional evidence in the case was provided in June 2014. The file asked for charging advice on eight suspects; all were formerly employed at the News of the World. On 16 July 2014, the CPS announced that six of those individuals would face no further action whilst the evidence in relation to two further suspects remained under review. That review has now concluded.
The first week back at the Hacking Trial in 2014 has been focused on allegations of cover-up, and specifically focused on Count 6 of the charges – that Rebekah Brooks and her PA Cheryl Carter conspired to pervert the course of justice by removing seven boxes of Brooks’ notebooks from archives on the day that Andy Coulson was arrested and the closure of the News of the World was announced.
Carter’s defence in a police interview was that she removed her own notebooks during an planned boot camp holiday for Brooks. We have heard evidence from the head of News International archives, Nick Mays, and Carter’s fellow PA Deborah Reagan.