Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brooks And Coulson Charged With Conspiracy To Hack Milly Dowlers Phone.


Two of Rupert Murdoch’s former editors, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, are being charged with conspiring to hack the phone of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
In all seven senior News of the World journalists are being charged with conspiring to intercept the voicemails of a total of 600 victims, the Crown Prosecution announced today.

Glenn Mulcaire, the paper’s private detective, will also face charges in relation four victims including the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke and TV cook Delia Smith.

They are the first charges for phone hacking to be brought for six years, since 2006 when the News of the World royal editor, Clive Goodman, was prosecuted for hacking the phones of three royal aides.

Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in July last year after it emerged that the Sunday paper had hacked the mobile phone of Milly Dowler.

Anger over the news led to the Prime Minister David Cameron establishing the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

All seven journalists – including former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and news editor Ian Edmondson – will be charged with offences under the 1977 Criminal Law Act at police stations.
At a press conference in central London, the CPS’s senior lawyer Alison Levitt said they were being charged at with conspiring to hack the phones of 600 as yet un-named victims between 2000 and 2006.

They are also all charged with additional conspiracy to intercept communications offences linked to specific victims.

Under these additional offences, Coulson - who became head of communications for the Prime Minister David Cameron - is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler, Calum Best, Charles Clarke and David Blunkett.

Brooks, News International’s chief executive until last July, is being charged with conspiring to hack the phones of Milly Dowler and the former FBU leader Andrew Gilchrist.

The former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck is charged in relation to seven alleged victims including Milly Dowler and the former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Other former senior NoW staff being charged are news editors Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup.

Ms Levitt said: “All, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006. The communications in question are the voicemail messages of well-known people and / or those associated with them. There is a schedule containing the names of over 600 people whom the prosecution will say are the victims of this offence.”

She added: “In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications.”

These are the additional charges – and the victims:

Rebekah Brooks will face two additional charges:

1. The first relates to the voicemails of the late Milly Dowler
2. The second to the voicemails of Andrew Gilchrist

Andrew Coulson will face four additional charges, relating to the following victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
3. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke, and
4. Calum Best

Stuart Kuttner will face two additional charges, relating to:
1. Milly Dowler and
2. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

Greg Miskiw will face nine further charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Sven-Goran Eriksson
3. Abigail Titmuss and John Leslie
4. Andrew Gilchrist
5. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
6. Delia Smith
7. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
8. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller, and
9. Wayne Rooney

Ian Edmondson will face a further eleven charges, relating to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
2. the Rt Hon Charles Clarke
3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
4. Mark Oaten
5. Wayne Rooney
6. Calum Best
7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills
8. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott
9. Professor John Tulloch
10. Lord Frederick Windsor
11. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Neville Thurlbeck will face a further seven charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Sven-Goran Eriksson
3. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
5. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
6. Mark Oaten
7. The Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP and David Mills

James Weatherup will face a further seven  charges in relation to the following victims or groups of victims:
1. The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
2. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke
3. Jude Law, Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller
4. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
5. Wayne Rooney
6. The Rt Hon Lord Prescott
7. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

For legal reasons Glenn Mulcaire does not face the first of these charges.  However, he will face four charges, relating to:
1. Milly Dowler
2. Andrew Gilchrist
3. Delia Smith
4. The Rt Hon Charles Clarke

Ms Levitt said: “During June and July 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service received files of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service, relating to thirteen suspects. This has followed a period of consultation and cooperation between police and prosecutors which has taken place over many months.

“All the evidence has now carefully been considered. Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to eight of these thirteen suspects there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to one or more offences.

“I then considered the second stage of the test, applying the DPP’s interim guidelines on assessing the public interest in cases involving the media, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of these eight suspects.

“The eight who will be charged are: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.
“They will face a total of nineteen charges in all.”







http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rebekah-brooks-and-andy-coulson-charged-with-conspiring-to-hack-milly-dowlers-phone-7966265.html

Thursday, May 24, 2012

James Hunt Memo To Cameron

 Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt's career prospects could be determined by evidence at the Leveson inquiry today. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
 
5.15pm: Here's an afternoon summary.

• The Leveson inquiry has been told that Jeremy Hunt drafted a memo for David Cameron in late 2010 saying it would be "totally wrong" to give in to those opposing News Corporation's bid for BSkyB. The document was written about a month before Hunt took responsibility for the bid and, in it, Hunt said: "If we block [the bid] our media sector will suffer for years." Robert Jay, the inquiry counsel, read out extracts from the memo as Adam Smith, Hunt's former special adviser was giving evidence. Smith revealed that he had had no contact with those opposed to the bid, even though he had been in regular contact with News Corp about it. Hunt's aides have been playing down the significance of the memo, pointing out that in it he said - as he always had done - that plurality issues would have to be addressed for the bid to be allowed. There are more details on our Leveson live blog.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2012/may/24/adam-smith-fred-michel-leveson-live-blog#block-26

#Leveson #pressreform :Rohan Rivett Betrayed By Murdoch

A tale of two Ruperts..when in fact it was Rohan Rivett at the Sydney Morning Herald who did all the leg work in defence of Rupert Max Stuart. Rupert Murdoch took ALL the credit....

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2002/s715217.htm

http://themurdochempireanditsnestofvipers.blogspot.com/2011/01/it-all-started-with-small-town.html

Rupert Murdoch stomped on people from the very beginning and claimed Max Stuart for his own success.

Leveson #pressreform #Hackgate Day 500

#Leveson #pressreform : Corruption - Jeremy Hunt Fed News Corporation details about the BSkyB bid.

Jeremy Hunt is under pressure over information is is alleged he provided Jeremy Hunt is under pressure over information is is alleged he provided

PRESSURE was mounting on Jeremy Hunt today after a News Corporation lobbyist suggested the Culture Secretary knew he was being fed details about the BSkyB bid.

Fred Michel said he believed some of the “feedback” he was given by special adviser Adam Smith in hundreds of telephone calls, emails and text messages had been “discussed” with Mr Hunt.

But the public affairs executive was forced to deny accusations that he “puffed up” his contacts with the Cabinet minister’s team to please Rupert and James Murdoch.
The comments came as Mr Michel gave evidence to the Leveson inquiry about the furore that surrounded News Corp’s attempt to acquire the whole of BSkyB.

Mr Smith, who quit last month after admitting his contacts with Mr Michel - which included previews of Commons statements - were too close, will appear as a witness this afternoon.
Mr Michel said he never received legal advice on the rules surrounding a “quasi judicial” ministerial decision.

Although he was aware that “direct discussions” with the Culture Secretary on the issue were banned, he regarded the extent of contacts with Mr Smith and others as “uncharted territory”.
“I think we had discussions on the fact that it was very important that the decision rested with the Secretary of State, that it was not appropriate to have direct discussions with the Secretary of State unless they were formal and minuted,” Mr Michel said.
“I was never of the opinion that it was inappropriate to at least try to put the arguments to or make representations to these officers.”


http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/leveson-inquiry-culture-secretary-jeremy-hunt-fed-details-to-news-international-1-2316061

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#Leveson:Metropolitan police anti-corruption unit investigated over payments

Detectives from Scotland Yard's anti-corruption unit have allegedly received payments from a firm of private investigators
Scotland Yard
Invoices seen by the Guardian purport to show how a private investigation firm made payments in return for confidential information. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
 
Scotland Yard is investigating allegations that detectives working for its anti-corruption unit have been paid thousands of pounds by a firm of private investigators.

A parliamentary inquiry was told today that invoices, also seen by the Guardian, purport to show how a firm of private investigators made payments in return for information about the Metropolitan police investigation into James Ibori, a notorious Nigerian fraudster.

On Tuesday, the Commons home affairs select committee was told by a lawyer involved in the case that invoices showed about £20,000 of potential payments to police officers in what amounted to an undetected case of "apparent corruption right at the heart of Scotland Yard".
In recent weeks, as the Guardian investigated the allegations, the Met has sought to discourage the paper from publishing details about the case. But , after MPs heard the evidence, the Met dropped its previous insistence that there was "evidence that casts doubt on the credibility" of the allegations.

A police source with knowledge of the investigation, which has been ongoing since October, said developments over the last 24 hours had now led police to take the allegations more seriously.

The case revolves around a private investigation firm called RISC Management. Five years ago the firm was hired to work for Ibori, a former Nigerian state governor, after he discovered he was being investigated by the Met for serious fraud. Ibori recently pleaded guilty to money laundering and was jailed in the UK, after the conclusion of a major investigation into his financial affairs.

The allegation now being investigated by police is that some detectives on the Met's Proceeds of Corruption Unit, which investigated Ibori, were receiving payments in exchange for information about the ongoing investigation.

Invoices and other documents appearing to support the allegations have been anonymously posted to the Met and Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The documents have also been seen by the Guardian and separately sent to the home affairs committee, which is conducting an inquiry in whether private investigators should be subject to statutory regulation.

Keith Vaz, the chair of the committee, has said there is growing concern in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that some private investigators are operating in "the shadows" of the law. The Commons inquiry has been scrutinising the nexus between private investigators - many of whom are retired police officers - and their former colleagues who are still serving.

On Tuesday morning, Mike Schwarz, a lawyer who represents one of Ibori's co-accused, told the inquiry about what he understood to be the significance of the material.

He said it indicated possible corruption at the heart of the police investigation into the Nigerian politician's money laundering activities. The invoices are alleged to be from RISC Management to Speechly Bircham, a top firm of lawyers hired by Ibori to prepare his defence.
Schwarz told MPs the invoices "perhaps" documented "payments made by RISC Management to sources, presumably police officers or those close to the investigation". He added: "The records, which I think the committee have, show about half-a-dozen payments totalling about £20,000 over a period of eight or nine months [...] it appears to be inappropriate if not corrupt."

Schwarz told the committee that he believed RISC Management had been hired to "extract" information from the police investigation into Ibori. He said he had also seen emails - which he believed had also been forwarded to the committee - which confirmed "contact" between detectives investigating Ibori and the private investigators.

Schwarz, from Bindmans solicitors, represents Bhadresh Gohil, a London-based solicitor jailed along with Ibori for orchestrating his money laundering scam. Gohil is now considering an appeal. Gohil is understood to have been sent the invoices, anonymously, while in Wandsworth Prison last summer.

In a statement, the Met said: "The [force] is investigating an allegation that illegal payments were made to police officers for information by a private investigation agency. The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in October 2011 which agreed to supervise a DPS investigation into the allegations."

Following Schwarz's evidence to parliament, the Met said it had dropped its previous claim to have recently "uncovered evidence" casting doubt on the allegations. Previously, the force had suggested an active line of inquiry was the theory that Gohil or his associates had fabricated the allegations to undermine the prosecution. In a previous statement, provided on Friday, the force said: "As a result of inquiries police have uncovered evidence that casts doubt on the credibility of these allegations.

 Warrants have been executed at two addresses in London and a quantity of paperwork and computer equipment recovered."

Two weeks ago, following raids on properties, one of which was the Gohil's family home in Kent, the force said: "Officers believe that they have identified the originator of the information and a line of enquiry suggests that there may have been an attempt to pervert the course of justice."

However, sources at the Yard said previous statements no longer fully represented their position.

A source with knowledge of the Met inquiry said the change of stance was unrelated to Schwarz's parliamentary evidence.

The source said that, instead, there had been developments in the investigation over the last 24 hours.

Schwarz named three serving Met police officers in his testimony to parliament as being potential "culprits": detective inspector Gary Walters, detective constables named as John MacDonald and "Clark". All three officers declined an opportunity to respond to the allegations when contacted by the Guardian last week.

However, RISC Management indicated Walters would deny "any and all allegations".

RISC Management denied all the allegations about the company, saying it was not aware of the Scotland Yard investigation and had no knowledge of the alleged financial records. The firm confirmed it had been hired by Ibori's lawyers but denied making corrupt payments, saying it "has never paid a serving police officer for information and would never approve such payments".

Keith Hunter, chief executive of the company, said: "RISC management does not need to pay serving police officers for confidential information as we pride ourselves on our ability to provide positive solutions and accurate information legitimately. RISC Management has a highly respected reputation for conducting professional investigations".

He added that his company was "proud to have a network of highly professional consultants, contacts and resources. These individuals are hired precisely because of their unique skill set and expertise".

He accused Schwarz of "grandstanding" in front of the Commons committee, instead of taking the "correct course of reporting the matter to the police". He said Schwarz had not produced any evidence to support his claims and acted for a convicted solicitor, Gohil, who was jailed for seven years for money laundering.

Speechly Bircham denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and said it would be willing to assist with any police inquiries. The law firm stressed Schwarz did not suggest in his evidence to parliament that Speechly Bircham was "party to illegal or corrupt payments" and said any such allegation would be false and defamatory.

Ian Timlin, the former Speechly Bircham lawyer who was at the time representing Ibori, said neither he nor the firm had "any knowledge of any payments to police officers for information." He added: "At no time, did RISC ever inform me who or what was the source/s they were paying."

Source : The Guardian