Before Panorama airs at 7.30 tonight, after two delays, it might be worth looking at the background of MazHer Mahmood, aka the Fake Sheikh, at News of the World under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks, from early 2000 to early 2003.
One of the first things Brooks did as editor of Britain’s best selling paper was to recall Greg Miskiw from New York, where he had set up office, and form an Investigations Team that worked outside both the Features and News Desk. From various bits of evidence show the floating membership from 2000 onwards to consist of:
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 →
Yesterdays intervention by David Cameron after the guilty verdict for Coulson on Count One of phone hacking nearly derailed the whole trial. As soon as the verdict was in Coulson”s QC, Timothy Langdale, called the Attorney General to warn him any comments could be in contempt of court, because the jury were still deliberating on two more counts.
The Attorney General was with the Prime Minister at the time, but told him that Cameron had already filmed his apology, and it was too late to stop the statement going out. This morning both counsel for Goodman and Coulson applied to discharge the current jury because of the prejudicial comment about separate facts that were not in evidence.