Wednesday, 21 September 2011


This is the woman at the centre of the Milly Dowler phone hacking scandal.

Metropolitan police drop action against the GuardianScotland Yard forced into abrupt climbdown over attempt to make Guardian reporters reveal phone-hacking sources

Owen Bowcott and Vikram Dodd, Tuesday 20 September 2011
The Metropolitan police has dropped its attempt to order the Guardian to reveal confidential sources for stories relating to the phone-hacking scandal.

The Met had been hoping to force Guardian reporters to reveal confidential sources for articles disclosing that the murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone was hacked on behalf of the News of the World. But after an intervention by the Crown Prosecution Service and widespread outrage, Scotland Yard was forced into an abrupt climbdown.

The Met claimed that one of the paper's reporters, Amelia Hill, could have incited a source to break the Official Secrets Act and broken the act herself.

At an Old Bailey hearing scheduled for this Friday, the Met had been due to apply for a production order to obtain all the material that the Guardian holds that would disclose sources for the newspaper's coverage of the phone-hacking inquiry this year.

The statement put out by the Met announcing its retreat left open the possibility that the production order could be applied for again, but the Guardian's lawyers have been told that the police have dropped the application. A senior Yard source said: "It's off the agenda."

The police application was formally being made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, but with an assertion that Hill had committed an offence under the Official Secrets Act by inciting an officer from Operation Weeting – the Met's investigation into phone hacking – to reveal information.

The Yard source said: "There will be some hard reflection. This was a decision made in good faith, but with no appreciation for the wider consequences. Obviously, the last thing we want to do is to get into a big fight with the media. We do not want to interfere with journalists. In hindsight the view is that certain things that should have been done were not done, and that is regrettable."

The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, said: "We greatly welcome the Met's decision to withdraw this ill-judged order. Threatening reporters with the Official Secrets Act was a sinister new device to get round the protection of journalists' confidential sources. We would have fought this assault on public interest journalism all the way. We're happy that good sense has prevailed."

Many lawyers had expressed astonishment at the police resorting to the Official Secret Act. Their surprise was reinforced on Monday when the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service had not been contacted by officers before the application was made.

Neil O'May, the Guardian's solicitor, said: "This was always a misconceived application for source material. Journalists' sources are protected in law. For the Metropolitan police to turn on the very newspaper which exposed the failings of the previous police inquiries and reported on hacking by the News of the World was always doomed to failure. The Metropolitan police need to control the officers who are involved in these sensitive areas."

In a statement , the CPS said: "[On] Monday the Metropolitan police asked the CPS for advice in relation to seeking a production order against Guardian Newspapers.

"The CPS has asked that more information be provided to its lawyers and has said that more time will be needed fully to consider the matter. As a result, the scheduled court hearing will not go ahead on Friday. [The Metropolitan Police] will consider what application, if any, it will make in due course, once it has received advice from the CPS."

The Met said in a statement: "The Metropolitan police's directorate of professional standards consulted the Crown Prosecution Service about the alleged leaking of information by a police officer from Operation Weeting.

"The CPS has today asked that more information be provided to its lawyers and for appropriate time to consider the matter. In addition the MPS has taken further legal advice this afternoon and as a result has decided not to pursue, at this time, the application for production orders scheduled for hearing on Friday 23 September. We have agreed with the CPS that we will work jointly with them in considering the next steps.

"This decision does not mean that the investigation has been concluded. This investigation, led by the DPS, not Operation Weeting, has always been about establishing whether a police officer has leaked information, and gathering any evidence that proves or disproves that. Despite recent media reports, there was no intention to target journalists or disregard journalists' obligations to protect their sources.

"It is not acceptable for police officers to leak information about any investigation, let alone one as sensitive and high profile as Operation Weeting.

"Notwithstanding the decision made this afternoon it should be noted that the application for production orders was made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), NOT the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

"The Official Secrets Act was only mentioned in the application in relation to possible offences in connection with the officer from Operation Weeting, who was arrested on August 18 2011 on suspicion of misconduct in a public office relating to unauthorised disclosure of information. He remains on bail and is suspended.

"Separately, the MPS remains committed to the phone hacking investigation under Operation Weeting."The picture painted by Met insiders is that a relatively junior officer took the decision to take on the Guardian without consulting his superiors, setting off a calamitous chain of events that saw the Met condemned for an attempted assault on press freedom.

Police sources said the senior investigating officer who was inquiring into whether a member of the Weeting team had leaked information had taken the decision to seek the production order on his own.

The senior source said that not even Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons had been told about the decision in advance. Simmons is the head of professionalism issues at Scotland Yard and is seen as a rising star within the force.

The senior source said: "There was not a lot of happy people at our place over the weekend because it was a decision made by the SIO. There was no referral upwards, and you would have thought on something as sensitive as this there would have been." Simmons and the incoming commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, did discuss the issue, as the criticism grew, but the source said the commissioner had left it to Simmons to take the decision, and that there was no instruction or directive. The Met stressed that Hogan-Howe, despite being in charge of professional standards as deputy commissioner, was not involved in the original decision to seek a production order. Simmons took the decision to review the application by the SIO.

Geoffrey Robertson QC said: "This is a victory for common sense and freedom of speech. Had the police continued with this ill-considered action, journalists might have been forced to disobey a court order so as to protect their source.

"Putting journalists into that dilemma and possibly in jail would only bring discredit on police and the law. It should now be accepted that journalists are entitled to protect their sources of information, otherwise that information will dry up and there will be less public interest information, such as the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone." The Met's move had been condemned by all Britain's major newspapers, including the Times and Sunday Times, and the Daily Mail's columnist Richard Littlejohn.Isabella Sankey, director of policy for Liberty, said: "

"It would have been perverse in the extreme for early prosecutions in the phone-hacking scandal to be against those who blew it open rather than those who covered it up.

"We hope that editors and journalists never forget how important human rights are to a free press."

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: "We are delighted that common sense has prevailed and the Met has woken up to the fact that they cannot get away with such flagrant abuse of the Official Secrets Act.This was an outrageous attack on a central tenet of journalism – the protection of our sources. This is a victory for journalism, democracy and press freedom."

The Yard pursued its action against the Guardian without consulting the CPS, until Monday, or the attorney-general Dominic Grieve.

Now this is all very interesting to me, a victim of the Staffordshire Pindown child abuse scandal. The Guardian has employed several dodgy journalists, including an MI5 agent called DAVID ROSE to discredit the police investigation into child abuse at Haut de la Garenne, where the Pindown system was also being used, as it was in Staffordshire, and where children were being pimped by the peoploe who were paid to look after them, as was also happening in Staffordshire. The Guardian also happens to be the mouthpiece for Searchlight Magazine, which was set up by some not very nice people, including a Soho club owner called Harry Bidney who was a paedophile.

I did a bit of scratching around, and discovered that Amelia Hill, the reporter involved in a number of the Guardian's key phone-hacking revelations, wrote this article about Haut de la Garenne:

Child remains found at former Jersey care home
Amelia Hill, social affairs correspondent The Observer, Sunday 24 February 2008
Parts of a child's body were found yesterday morning at a former children's home in Jersey. Police have said their search of the area will continue, admitting they cannot rule out the possibility that more bodies will be uncovered.

The remains were discovered at the Haut de la Garenne site in St Martin, one of two areas targeted in a Jersey police investigation into alleged child abuse at two former care homes on the island.

It is not yet known whether the partial remains, thought to have been buried sometime during the 1980s, are those of a boy or a girl. The remains were found inside the house but the exact location has not yet been given.

The Jersey Sea Cadets and Haut de la Garenne care homes were targeted by police last November following a number of allegations of sexual and physical abuse of children aged 11 to 15, dating back over several decades.

Jersey's deputy chief police officer, Lenny Harper, said the search of Haut de la Garenne was prompted by specific information received from some of the 140-plus victims and witnesses who had been spoken to as part of a child abuse inquiry.

The investigation is focusing on allegations spanning a period from the 1960s up to the early years of the present decade, although the majority of the statements relate to the 1970s and 1980s.

Harper said the status of the investigation has changed to a potential major crime inquiry concerning a possible homicide, and police were now in touch with more specialist assistance from the United Kingdom.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, said it was 'with deep horror and sadness' that he had learnt of the discovery. 'It is imperative that our children are safe in Jersey and I believe that today they are,' he said. 'It is, however, clear that this may not always have been the case and although we can't right the wrongs of the past, we will do everything in our power to assist the police in seeking out the person or persons responsible.'

Built in Victorian times, Haut de la Garenne is a former school and orphanage that today serves as a youth hostel.



Zoompad said...


Guardian reporter quizzed by anti-corruption detectives over hacking inquiry leaksAmelia Hill questioned over links to inquiry officer
Journalist broke story of Milly Dowler's phone being hacked and arrest of senior NotW reporter

Deputy football editor of The Times also arrested
By Rebecca Camber

Last updated at 8:21 AM on 8th September 2011

Comments (4) Add to My Stories Share Quizzed: Amelia Hill, a Guardian journalist, has been questioned over allegations she aided and abetted misconduct in a public office
A journalist from the Guardian has been questioned by detectives investigating sensitive leaks from within Scotland Yard’s phone hacking inquiry team.
Amelia Hill, who was first with the information that the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s phone, was interviewed under caution about the passing of confidential details of the investigation to the newspaper.
Miss Hill, 37, is understood to have formed a friendship with an officer on the hacking inquiry, codenamed Operation Weeting.
The 51-year-old officer has been suspended and Miss Hill was questioned over suspicions that she might have aided and abetted misconduct in a public office.
As part of their investigation, detectives will also try to establish whether the suspended officer received any expenses paid for passing the information
Miss Hill is believed to have become close to the officer after she interviewed him in connection with another story.
The development is embarrassing for the paper, whose coverage of the hacking scandal prompted a public inquiry

Zoompad said...

In July, Miss Hill broke the Guardian’s Milly Dowler story – described as a ‘tipping point’ in the scandal – which revealed that private investigators working for the tabloid hacked the voicemails of the murdered Surrey schoolgirl after she went missing in 2002.

And last month she reported the arrest of News of the World reporter James Desborough before he had even been formally detained by police.

The alleged source of these police leaks was arrested at his desk. The officer was said to have called the Guardian in a panic that night asking to speak to Miss Hill
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, in charge of Operation Weeting, was furious at the constable’s alleged ‘unauthorised disclosure’, breaking a confidentiality agreement signed by all Operation Weeting officers.
Detectives will be closely examining phone records of the arrested detective in relation to a number of stories written by Miss Hill.
On Monday, she appeared on Sky News to preview the newspaper front pages. She claimed that the Guardian had uncovered a number of documents and tapes in relation to the hacking inquiry.
Dan Roberts, the paper’s national news editor, said on Twitter that it was a ‘bleak day for journalism when reporter behind vital hacking revelations is criminalised for doing her job’.

Nick Davies, who has led the Guardian’s phone-hacking coverage, wrote on the website: ‘Scotland Yard trying to use criminal law to restrict reporting of their own activity.’

A Guardian News & Media spokesman said: ‘Journalists would no doubt be concerned if the police sought to criminalise conversations between off-record sources and reporters.

Arrested: The Times' Deputy football editor Raoul Simons was arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages
'While we would never comment on any specific confidential source, we can confirm that Amelia Hill has never paid any police officer for information. Given the ongoing police investigation we have nothing further to add.’

In a separate development, police yesterday arrested the deputy football editor of The Times, Raoul Simons, 35, on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages.
He has been on extended leave since September 2010.

He is the 16th suspect to be held since the scandal broke.
It also emerged yesterday that News International has asked the technology firm HCL to delete emails and other documents 13 times since 2009.
HCL informed the Commons Home Affairs Committee in August that it was aware of the deletion of hundreds of thousands of emails between April 2010 and July 2011, but said it knew of nothing ‘untoward’ behind the requests

Zoompad said...

News International has asked a technology firm to delete emails and other documents 13 times since 2009, MPs investigating the phone-hacking scandal have been told.

Technology company HCL, which provides services under contract to News International, informed the Commons Home Affairs Committee in August that it was aware of the deletion of hundreds of thousands of emails on nine occasions between April 2010 and July 2011, but said it did not know of anything 'untoward' behind the requests.

Today, HCL's solicitor Stuart Benson contacted the committee again to say that a further four requests had come to light - one of which related to the deletion of emails from an inbox of a user who had not accessed his account for eight years.
Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: 'The request for deletion of folders and emails by News International is concerning.'

Read more:

Zoompad said...

Times deputy football editor held in pre-dawn raid by phone hacking detectives
Journalist has been on 'extended leave' for a year
In separate development, Guardian reporter also quizzed over 'police leaks'
Former NoW editor Andy Coulson refuses to answer new questions
By Kirsty Walker and Oliver Pickup

Last updated at 10:24 AM on 8th September 2011

Comments (68) Add to My Stories Share
Arrested: Deputy football editor Raoul Simons was arrested in a pre-dawn raid
Detectives investigating newspaper phone hacking arrested a sports journalist from The Times newspaper in a pre-dawn swoop today, sources said.
Police held Raoul Simons, 35, for questioning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages.
Mr Simons became deputy football editor of The Times in August 2009 but has been on extended leave from his job since September 2010, sources said.
The journalist, who previously worked for the London Evening Standard, was the sixteenth suspect to be arrested in the News of the World phone hacking probe at his home at 5.55am today.
He was interviewed at a north London police station as part of Operation Weeting before being bailed until next month.
A spokeswoman for News International, which publishes The Times, said: 'News International continues to co-operate fully with the Metropolitan Police Service in its investigation into phone hacking.'

Meanwhile, the Guardian confirmed that one of its journalists was interviewed under caution by Scotland Yard over alleged leaks from the police phone hacking investigation.
Amelia Hill, the newspaper's special investigations correspondent, who has broken a string of exclusives about the inquiry, spoke to officers several days ago after a 51-year-old detective constable was arrested and bailed last month.
A Guardian News and Media spokeswoman said: 'We can confirm Amelia Hill has been questioned in connection with an investigation into alleged leaks.

Read more:

Zoompad said...

'On a broader point, journalists would no doubt be concerned if the police sought to criminalise conversations between off-record sources and reporters.'
Dan Roberts, the Guardian's national editor, wrote on Twitter: 'Bleak day for journalism when reporter behind vital hacking revelations is criminalised for doing her job.'
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, the police chief in charge of the phone hacking investigation, previously expressed her annoyance over the arrested detective's alleged 'unauthorised disclosure'.
She has said: 'I made very clear when I took on this investigation the need for operational and information security. It is hugely disappointing that this may not have been adhered to.'
Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World newspaper, is apparently refusing to answer fresh questions on the phone hacking scandal
Detectives investigating phone hacking have arrested a series of high-profile figures, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.
The scandal has already led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years and the resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates.
A series of high-profile figures have been held for questioning throughout the course of the operation - which was launched in January - including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson.

Meanwhile, it has come to light that Coulson, the former aide to David Cameron, is refusing to give evidence to the House of Commons committee investigating the scandal.
Those on the culture, media and sport select committee have requested he respond to claims that he was aware that hacking was widespread on the newspaper - which has closed because of the scandal - when he was editor.
Mr Coulson handed in his resignation after the NOTW royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for hacking into the phones of celebrities and public figures.

At the time - and since - he denied that he knew that the practise took place, however last month a letter emerged in which Goodman claimed that Mr Coulson knew about hacking and ordered staff not to discuss it in daily conferences.
John Whittingdale, the chairman of the MPs' committee, penned a letter to Mr Coulson on August 16 urging him to comment on Goodman's allegations in writing and to consider whether his denials should be amended.
But the solicitors of Mr Coulson replied and said that their client would decline the request on the grounds that he is already part of the police investigation.

'We have expressed our concerns to you previously about the effects of the parallel inquiries and investigations and the publicity generated by them,' said lawyers DLA Piper.
'Given those concerns... our client does not wish to make any additional comments on the evidence he gave to the committee.'
Scrutiny: James Murdoch giving evidence to MPs in July
Further, yesterday it was suggested that James Murdoch - who is likely to be recalled for questioning by the committee - must have known as long ago as 2008 that phone hacking was widespread at the News of the World, MPs were told.

Zoompad said...

The News International chief executive had informed the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee in July that as far as he knew, voicemail interception had been limited to one ‘rogue’ reporter.
But devastating evidence yesterday from two of his most senior managers alleged that he was alerted three years ago to the existence of an e-mail indicating that journalists other than Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007, had been engaging in illegal hacking.
Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and ex-legal manager Tom Crone told the committee the e-mail strongly implied that others at the paper were deeply involved.
Mr Crone said it was ‘absolutely inconceivable’ that the full significance of the e-mail had not been explained to Mr Murdoch who is now expected to be recalled to give evidence to MPs. He said last night that he stands by his testimony.
Less than 24 hours after the pair delivered their powerful testimony before MPs, police this morning arrest a 16th suspect in their investigation of phone hacking at the News of the World.

The 35-year-old man was arrested at his north London home in a dawn raid and has not been named.
Of the 15 other suspects previously arrested by the Met - including former News International chief executive Miss Brooks and Mr Coulson - none has been charged and one has been cleared.
In a separate development, it emerged today that Guardian reporter Amelia Hill has been questioned under caution by police over allegations of Met leaks.

Yesterday's drama came after Mr Myler and Mr Crone were summoned before MPs for the second time following their public dispute with Mr Murdoch’s version of events.
Both said they informed Mr Murdoch about the email in a brief meeting on June 10, 2008, to discuss the settlement of a legal action by Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, who was suing the paper for hacking his phone.
Mr Myler and Mr Crone told MPs the email – referred to as the ‘for Neville’ e-mail, thought to be a reference to the paper’s chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck – was the sole reason for deciding to pay Mr Taylor an out-of-court settlement of £425,000.
The former legal manager said that in the meeting with Mr Murdoch ‘it was explained to him what this document was and what it meant’. He said: ‘It was clear evidence that phone hacking was taking place beyond Clive Goodman.

Zoompad said...

‘It was the reason we had to settle the case and in order to settle the case we had to explain the case to Mr Murdoch and get his authority to settle, so clearly it was discussed.’
Mr Murdoch has flatly denied any knowledge of the email. If he is found to have misled Parliament, his position as chief executive of News International will be in doubt.
Mr Crone said: ‘Since he gave us the authority we were asking for, I would take it that he understood for the first time and realised that the News of the World was involved (in hacking Mr Taylor’s phone) and that involvement went beyond Clive Goodman. On that basis he authorised the settlement.’
A Guardian journalist leading coverage of the phone-hacking scandal has been questioned over alleged leaks from police.

The newspaper confirmed its special investigations correspondent Amelia Hill was speaking to officers as Scotland Yard carried out its 16th arrest of the fresh investigation.

Ms Hill, who has broken a string of exclusives surrounding the investigation, was contacted by police after a 51-year-old detective was arrested by his own force last month.

A Guardian News and Media spokeswoman said: ‘We can confirm Amelia Hill has been questioned in connection with an investigation into alleged leaks.

‘On a broader point, journalists would no doubt be concerned if the police sought to criminalise conversations between off-record sources and reporters.’

Ms Hill was questioned under caution several days ago, the paper said.
During heated exchanges with Labour MP Tom Watson, Mr Crone admitted that the settlement with Mr Taylor included a confidentiality clause but he denied any ‘cover up’ to prevent the exposure of ‘widespread criminality’.
Mr Myler also told MPs: ‘There was no ambiguity about the significance of that document and what options were there for the company to take.
‘Mr Murdoch was the chief executive of the company. He’s experienced. I am experienced in what I do, Mr Crone is experienced as a legal manager.
'I think everybody perfectly understood the seriousness and the significance of what we were discussing.’
However, MPs accused the pair of being vague in their evidence, with Louise Mensch, a Conservative, saying it had been ‘as clear as mud’.
News International last night also attacked their evidence describing it as ‘unclear and contradictory’.
In a statement, Mr Murdoch said: ‘My recollection of the meeting regarding the Gordon Taylor settlement is absolutely clear and consistent. I stand by my testimony, which is an accurate account of events.’
But Labour MP Chris Bryant said he would be ‘amazed’ if Mr Murdoch was not recalled and claimed he had counted 53 lies to Parliament by News International executives, police and others.
Over the summer, an explosive document written by Mr Goodman claimed that phone hacking was carried out by other members of staff and ‘with the full knowledge and support’ of the paper’s senior managers.
Mr Goodman, who was given a £243,000 pay-off, has also said that Mr Crone and former editor Andy Coulson promised to give him his job back if he kept quiet about the paper’s involvement in phone hacking.
Mr Crone said: ‘He, Mr Coulson, was hoping that he could persuade the company that Clive Goodman could come back, albeit not in a reporting capacity, perhaps as a sub editor or a book filleter.’

Zoompad said...

Celebrities demand voice at Press inquiryBy STEVE DOUGHTY, Social Affairs Correspondent
Inquiry bid: Kate McCann is among those who hope to have a major say in the tribunal
Celebrities, politicians and relatives of crime victims lined up yesterday to take centre stage at the start of the judicial inquiry into the press.
Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry, are among those who hope to have a major say at the tribunal, which will consider the future regulation of newspapers.
Lord Justice Leveson, who is leading the inquiry, will rule within a fortnight on which of more than 100 well-known figures will be granted ‘core participant’ status, giving them the right to a hearing and a lawyer to represent them at the inquiry.
Others who have applied include several figures who have featured in press controversies, including Chris Jefferies, the landlord of Bristol murder victim Jo Yeates, and former motor racing chief Max Mosley, who won a privacy law case after the News of the World reported his sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes.
David Cameron ordered the inquiry at the height of the summer scandal over phone hacking at the News of the World.
Lord Justice Leveson declared yesterday he would not allow the inquiry to interfere with any police investigations or to turn into a hunt for scapegoats. He added he would not allow any delving into the private lives of celebrities.
The inquiry would look into the ‘culture, practice and ethics’ of the press and then, in a second stage, into the extent of any improper conduct.
It would examine the relationship between the press and the public, the press and the police, and the press and politicians.
Lord Leveson made clear that he is anxious to keep down the number of lawyers at the inquiry and to place strict limits on the amount of time its hearings consume. He has asked those with common interests if they could share lawyers.
They are unlikely to be permitted to cross-examine witnesses but will be able to ask the inquiry’s lawyer, Robert Jay QC, to put questions on their behalf.
Lord Leveson said legal aid could be available to core participants ‘in accordance with the law and at my discretion’.
But most of those involved are likely to be too wealthy to qualify.
Celebrities applying for core participant status include Hugh Grant, Ulrika Jonsson and Steve Coogan.
Politicians likely to apply include John Prescott and Tessa Jowell.

Read more:

Zoompad said...


UK children rescued from worldwide sex abuse ring - Two-year inquiry smashes highly sophisticated group – 22 new arrests follow jailing of six Britons – Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent The Guardian, 3/6/08 Detectives in three continents believe they have broken one of the most sophisticated paedophile rings ever. Eight British children between six and 14 years old have been rescued and arrests made in the UK, Australia and the US….Australian police said the international covert operation had uncovered 2,500 “customers” in 19 countries. As a result of the two-year operation, 400,000 images of child abuse were seized. Police also closed four commercial child sex web sites and arrested more than 100 people for allegedly purchasing child sex material. Officers in the UK used facial recognition software and a database called Childbase as they raced to identify victims from clues in each image.

Zoompad said...

User:Bryantbob/Metropolitan police role in phone hacking scandalFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia< User:Bryantbob
Jump to: navigation, search

[NOTE- Include a narrative of events, Met inquiries, results, critique by parliament and the public, and responses by the Met.]

[NOTE- pull together info from published sources and place in chronological order to facilitate the grasping of this complex story.]

[NOTE- find additional examples of good police work during investigations to achieve NPOV.]


This article provides a chronology of investigations by the Metropolitan Police Service (aka the Met, Scotland Yard, The Yard) into the illegal acquisition of confidential information by agents of the news media commonly referred to as the "phone hacking scandal."

Zoompad said...


The Met's first three investigations, involving phone taps and seizure of records, successfully gathered large quantities of evidence that confidential information was being acquired illegally, sometimes with the help of public officials, including policemen. However, the Met has come under criticism for not aggressively pursuing all the leads available from this evidence, for not adequately informing individuals who were victims of the phone hacking, and for allegedly misleading the public and Parliament about the scope of the problem.

While continuing to investigate illegal acquisition of confidential information, the Met itself became the object of several investigations about the diligence of its probes and possible involvement of its own people in illegal activities. After the scope of the phone hacking scandal became generally known in July 2011, the top two officials of the Met resigned. The new Met leadership augmented the ongoing investigations with the unusual measure of bringing in an independent police organization to help.[1]


This article provides narrative based upon published sources for five phases of of the Met's investigations:

Operation Nigeria (1999)
Operation Glade (2003)
The Goodman Inquiry (2006)
Review of Available Evidence (2009)
Operations Weeting, Tuleta, and Elveden (2011)
The article next provides narrative based upon published sources for several investigations of the Met itself, including critiques and responses about the Met's performance.

Zoompad said...

Investigations By The MetOperation Nigeria (1999)From the 1990's, private investigator Jonathan Rees reportedly bought information from former and serving police officers, Customs officers, a VAT inspector, bank employees, burglars, and from blaggers who would telephone the Inland Revenue, the DVLA, banks and phone companies, deceiving them into providing confidential information.[2] He then sold that information to News of the World, the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times.[3] News of the World alone paid Rees more than £150,000 a year.[4]

In response, the Met's anti-corruption squad CIB3 ran Operation Nigeria from April to September 1999. It involved tapping Rees' phone at his agency, Southern Investigations, to obtain evidence that confidential information was being acquired illegally and to determine whether reporters were committing crimes. Recorded telephone conversations revealed that Alex Marunchak of News of the World was a regular customer of the agency. It was determined that Rees was purchasing information from improper sources, but no evidence became public that Marunchak or other journalists had committed criminal offences or that they were aware of how Rees acquired the information. The bugging operation ended when it was determined that Rees was planning to plant drugs on a woman so that her husband, Rees' client, could win custody of their child.[5] Rees and others whose voices were recorded during Operation Nigeria (including Austin Warnes, Duncan Hanrahan, Martin King, Tom Kingston, Sid Fillery) were successfully prosecuted and sentenced to jail for various offenses unrelated to illegal acquisition of confidential information.[4]

Zoompad said...

At the time Rees office telephone was being monitored by police, he and another private investigator, Sid Fillery (who later became Rees' partner at Southern Investigations) were under suspicion for the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan, yet another private investigator and Rees' partner at the time of his murder. Morgan's family claimed he was planning an article to expose police corruption.[6] Met acting deputy commissioner John Yates supervised the most recent murder inquiry. One of the Met's officers investigating the murder charges, Detective Chief Superintendent David Cook, was warned by Surrey Police and Scotland Yard that he may have become a surveillance target of Sid Fillery. Fillery reportedly used his relationship with Alex Marunchak to arrange for Glenn Mulcaire, then doing work for News of the World, to obtain Cook's home address, his internal payroll number at the Metropolitan police, his date of birth and figures for the amount that he and his wife were paying for their mortgage agents. Surveillance of Cook is also reported to have involved physically following him and his young children, attempts to access his voicemail and that of his wife, and possibly attempts to send a "Trojan horse" email in an attempt to steal information from his computer. Paperwork reportedly in the possession of the Scotland Yard shows that "Mulcaire did this on the instructions of Greg Miskiw, the paper's assistant editor and a close friend of Marunchak." When one of the two vans parked outside Cook's home was stopped by Met officers, the driver turned out to be a photojournalist for News of the World. The vans were also licensed to the newspaper. During the same week, it appeared that attempts had been made to open letters which had been left in Cook's external postbox, indicating a "possible attempt to pervert the course of justice."[7]

The Met handled this apparent attempt to interfere with a murder inquiry through informal discussions with Rebekah Brooks, then editor for News of the World. "Scotland Yard took no further action, apparently reflecting the desire of Dick Fedorcio, who had a close working relationship with Brooks, to avoid unnecessary friction with the News of the World."[7] Fedorico was Director of Public Affairs and Internal Communication for the Met.

Marunchak was later "named by BBC Panorama as the News of the World executive who hired a specialist to plant a Trojan on the computer of a former British intelligence officer, Hurst, Ian." As of July 2011, Cook and his wife were believed to be preparing a legal action against the News of the World, Marunchak, Miskiw and Mulcaire.[7]

In 2000, Rees was sentenced to seven years in prison and served five. Upon release in 2005, he resumed his private investigative work for News of the World, where Andy Coulson by that time had replaced Rebekah Brooks as editor. Mr. Coulson has maintained in evidence given to parliament and on oath in court that he did not know anything about illegal activity during the seven years he spent near or at the top of the News of the World.

No one was charged with illegal acquisition of confidential information as a result of Operation Nigeria. According to Nick Davies, reporter for The Guardian the Met collected hundreds of thousands of documents during the investigations into Jonathan Rees over his links with corrupt officers and over his alleged murder of Daniel Morgan. Although charges of murder against Rees were dismissed in 2011, Mr. Davies believes these "boxloads" of paperwork "could include explosive new evidence of illegal news-gathering by the News of the World and other papers."[

Zoompad said...

Operation Glade (2003)For years, private investigators in addition to Rees were plying the lucrative trade in illegally acquired confidential information. John Boyall's agency, Liberty Resources & Intelligent Research Limited, attracted the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office, which raided Boyall's premises in November 2002. Documents seized there led the ICO to yet another private investigator, Steve Whittamore, who, with his wife, ran JJ information Limited. Documents from the Whittamore raid established that Paul Marshall, a former civilian communications officer based at Tooting police station in London, provided confidential information to Alan King, a retired police officer, who passed it along to Boyall, who gave it to Whittamore, who in turn sold it to agents of national press organizations.[10][4][11] All were convicted of crimes.

[followup on Operation Motorman (November 2002) by Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)] [involved limited review of documents; few victims notified]

[from "What Price Privacy Now?] "The first report had revealed that the Information Commissioner’s Office, otherwise known as the ICO, had long suspected the existence of an organised trade in confidential personal information; its suspicions being confirmed when, in November 2002, the ICO attended a search under warrant of the premises of John Boyall, a Surrey-based private detective, which was conducted by the Devon & Cornwall police. Documents seized from the Boyall raid produced information which led detectives, on March 8th 2003, to mount a second raid, this time upon 3 Orchard Grove, New Milton, Hampshire, the address of Steve Whittamore, another private detective. 58-year-old Whittamore and his wife, Georgina, had become the targets of an operation which by now had become code-named Operation Motorman. Bonnie & Clyde they may not have been, but deep in the heart of suburbia the Whittamores were discovered to be holding an Aladdin’s cave of information, most of it belonging to other people. Trading as J J Information Limited, an apparently reputable business, this husband-and-wife crime team, working with Boyall and with a number of others, offered a service to supposedly reputable organisations whereby they stole confidential information from, inter alia, telephone companies, the Driving & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and even the Police National Computer. Helpfully, they had kept detailed accounting records for their enterprise in which they named their clients, the information requested, the information provided, and the price charged. John Boyall, now of

Zoompad said...

3 Belvedere Road, Bromley, Kent, operated independently, trading as Liberty Resources & Intelligent Research Limited. Together, Whittamore and Boyall had a network of bent officials who would, for a price, supply ‘specialist information’. Central amongst them was Paul Marshall, a communications officer at Tooting police station, who retrieved information ranging from ex-directory telephone numbers and vehicle registration details to criminal records. This information was then handed to Whittamore and Boyall via an intermediary, a retired policeman called Alan King. In February 2004, the CPS charged all four men - Whittamore, Boyall, King and Marshall – with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. Each pleaded guilty yet, despite the extent and the frequency of their admitted criminality, each was conditionally discharged, raising important questions for public policy. This was not just an isolated business operating occasionally outside the law, but one dedicated to its systematic and highly lucrative flouting. The Information Commissioner’s report “What price privacy?” made clear, should there have been any doubt, that the customers of these villains could not escape censure for their actions. Only the deranged would imagine, for instance, that access to the Police National Computer could be obtained by lawful means. Nevertheless, customers came from a raft of organisations which one might have a reasonable expectation of being reputable. Media, especially newspapers, insurance companies and local authorities chasing council tax arrears all appear in the sales ledger of the dodgy agency. Media represented the lion’s share. Operation Motorman seized files from Whittamore which named 305 journalists seeking information, and invoices and payment slips identified leading media groups. There was little attempt to disguise what was going on, the invoices referring openly to the supply of ‘confidential information’ and carrying VAT. (One is left with the disturbing thought as to whether criminal activity is indeed a ‘taxable supply’?) The whole activity appeared in most respects to be a normal business, even to the extent of a published tariff of charges. Ex-directory telephone numbers cost the Hampshire detective £40, and he sold them on for £70. A vehicle check cost £70, and customers were charged £150. And so on. The targets of the fraudulent enquiries included professional footballers, broadcasters and celebrities generally. They included a woman going through well-publicised divorce proceedings and even a member of the Royal Household. Less obvious targets were the sister of the partner to a well-known local politician and the mother of a man once linked romantically to a Big Brother contestant. (Some people need to get out more.) Some targets, such as the self-employed painter and decorator who had parked his van outside a lottery winner’s house, seemed to be there completely by accident."[12]

Zoompad said...

November 2002 police raided Boyall's home [citation?] "in November 2002, when an ICO investigator attended a search under warrant of John Boyall[citation needed], a private investigator in Surrey. Documents found on the premises revealed the misuse of data from the Police National Computer. This discovery led to two investigations: Operation Motorman, conducted by the ICO, and Operation Glade, conducted by the Metropolitan Police." [Wikipedia: Operation Motorman]

"All through the late 1990s, the paper had been hiring an investigator called John Boyall, who, among other services, specialised in acquiring information from confidential databases. He had a wiry young man working as his assistant, named Glenn Mulcaire. In the autumn of 2001, John Boyall fell out with the News of the World's assistant editor, Greg Miskiw, who had been responsible for handling him. Miskiw replaced him by poaching Glenn Mulcaire and giving him a full-time contract."[4]

"Information Commissioner's Office raided the home in New Milton, Hants ,of a private investigator named Steve Whittamore and seized a mass of paperwork which turned out to be a detailed record of more than 13,000 requests from newspapers and magazines for Whittamore to obtain confidential information, many of them potentially in breach of the law. Several staff from the Guardian's sister paper, the Observer, were among Whittamore's customers. In a blue exercise book, Whittamore recorded all his transactions with the News of the World. He identified 27 different journalists as commissioning his work – well over half of the news and feature writers on the paper, spending tens of thousands of pounds. Greg Miskiw alone was recorded as making 90 requests. Whittamore's invoices, submitted for payment by News International's accounts department, sometimes made explicit reference to obtaining a target's details from their phone number or their vehicle registration. Whittamore had been running a network of "blaggers" – a hell's angel on the south coast who specialised in posing as a British Telecom engineer to trick their call centres into handing over confidential data on subscribers; two employees of the DVLA who sold the details of car owners; an old friend called John Gunning, who specialised in extracting information from phone companies (and who had been one of Jonathan Rees's two specialist blaggers); and John Boyall – the private investigator who had been working directly for the News of the World until he fell out with them in 2001. And Boyall soon became a pivotal figure for the investigation. Studying Whittamore's paperwork, the Information Commissioner realised that he was also able to buy information from the police national computer.

Zoompad said...

They contacted Scotland Yard, whose anti-corruption command set up Operation Glade and uncovered a chain of links. A newspaper would ask Whittamore for police data; Whittamore would ask Boyall; Boyall would ask a recently retired officer called Alan King; and King would obtain the information from a civilian police worker in Wandsworth, called Paul Marshall, who invented phone calls from members of the public to justify accessing the police national computer. This led to the arrest of Boyall. Worse still, from the News of the World's point of view, it is also believed to have led to the arrest of the assistant editor who had dealt with Boyall, Greg Miskiw. The Guardian has put it to Miskiw that he was arrested and questioned at Colindale police station in north London, in the presence of a News International solicitor, about allegations that he had paid cash through Boyall to obtain information from the police computer; that he had also authorised the payment of cash bribes to other sources including the employees of mobile phone companies; and that during this interview with police, he exercised his right to make no comment. Miskiw gave no response to these questions from the Guardian. Miskiw was not charged with any offence. On April 2005, Steve Whittamore and John Boyall – both of whom had worked directly for the News of the World – appeared at Blackfriars crown court with the two men who had given them access to the police computer. All four pleaded guilty to procuring confidential police data to sell to newspapers. The News of the World was named in court as one of their buyers. The case was reported in national newspapers.[4]

In 2004, several arrests were made following placement of a police listening device in the office of private investigator Jonathan Rees and a subsequent raid on the home of Stephen Whittamore. Recorded conversations and seized documents established that Paul Marshall, a former civilian communications officer based at Tooting police station in London, provided confidential information to Alan King, a retired police officer, who passed it along to private investigator John Boyall, who in turn gave it to private investigator Stephen Whittamore, who in turn sold it to agents of national press organizations.[10][4][11] All were convicted of crimes.

Zoompad said...

Prior to 2010 investigations focused on just a few individuals, even though there was evidence of many people being engaged in illegal activity. "The lead investigator in Operation Motorman, a 2006 inquiry...said that his team were told not to interview journalists involved. The investigator...accused authorities of being too 'frightened' to tackle journalists."[13] In August 2006, the Metropolitan Police Service (Scotland Yard) seized from a private investigator (Glenn Mulcaire) “11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phone may have been hacked by News of the World.” These documents remained largely unevaluated until the autumn of 2010, even though “senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid.” Testimony indicated that “the police agency and News International … became so intertwined that they wound up sharing the goal of containing the investigation.[14] Through March 2011, no News of the World executives or reporters other than Goodman were questioned.[15]

Documents seized in 2003 by the Information Commissioner's Office from the home of private investigator Stephen Whittamore as part of Operation Motorman; (1990s-2003) Includes "more than 13,000 requests for confidential information from newspapers and magazines."[4][16] In February 2011, Mr Justice Geoffrey Vos, ordered the disclosure of this ICO material in response to"the phone hacking claim being brought by former MP [[George Galloway.[17]

1.Whittamore, Steve; (April 2005) Pleaded guilty to breaching the Data Protection Act.[10]
2.Boyall, John; (April 2005) Pleaded guilty to breaching the Data Protection Act.[10]
3.King, Alan; (April 2005) Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.[10]
4.Marshall, Paul; (April 2005) Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.[10]
5.Gunning, John; Convicted of acquiring private subscriber information from British Telecom's database.[4]

Zoompad said...

The Goodman Inquiry (2006)[headed by Andy Hayman and limited in scope. Only Goodman and Mulcaire questioned. No NotW execs or other reporters questioned.]

In November 2005 senior aides to Britain’s royal family noticed that voicemail messages on their mobile phones they not listened to appeared to have been heard. At the same time, closely held information about royal family members began appearing in tabloid newspapers including News of the World and The Sun. By January 2006, Scotland Yard determined there was an "unambiguous trail" to Clive Goodman, the News of the World royal reporter and to a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who was also contracted to do work for the paper."[18]

In August 2006, the Metropolitan Police Service (Scotland Yard) seized from a private investigator (Glenn Mulcaire) “11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phone may have been hacked by News of the World.” These documents remained largely unevaluated until the autumn of 2010, even though “senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid.” Testimony indicated that “the police agency and News International … became so intertwined that they wound up sharing the goal of containing the investigation.[19] Through March 2011, no News of the World executives or reporters other than Goodman were questioned.[15]

On 8 August 2006, police raided the home of Glenn Mulcaire and seized "11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked."[20][21] Seized records included a recording of Mulcaire instructing a journalist how to hack into private voice mail, particularly easy if the phone's factory settings for privacy had not been changed, and included 91 personal PIN codes for individuals who had made the effort to change the factory settings. The records also included a transcript of voice mail messages between Professional Football Association's Gordon Taylor and his legal adviser, Jo Anderson. This document was titled "Transcript for Neville" and is alleged to be for Neville Thurlbeck, another reporter for News of the World.

"The documents were seized on Aug. 8, 2006, from Mr. Mulcaire’s home in Cheam, south of London. Mr. Mulcaire, a 40-year-old former soccer player whose nickname was “the Trigger,” was nothing if not a meticulous note-keeper. On each page of the 11,000 documents, in the upper-left-hand corner, he wrote the name of the reporter or editor whom he was helping to hack phones. Also seized from his home was “a target list” of the names of a total of eight members of the royal family and their staff, and 28 others, which Scotland Yard’s investigators used as their first road map of Mr. Mulcaire’s activities."[21]

[Focus on Goodman and Mulcaire; victim focus on 36 on one list;]

In 2006, arrests were made as a result of an investigation into illegal interception of phone messages of members of the royal family and household by Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire.[22] Both pleaded guilty to crimes.

Zoompad said...

1.Goodman, Clive; (29 November 2006) Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept communications without lawful authority of three members of the royal household.[23][24]
2.Mulcaire, Glenn; (29 November 2006) Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept communications without lawful authority and to unlawful interception of communications.[23][25] His plans to publish an exposé about his experiences were blocked because of his confidentiality agreement with News of the World.[26]

Advisory (written?) from The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to The Metropolitan Police Service Regarding Voicemail. (2006) "Police investigation was hindered by the advice from the CPS that phone hacking was only an offence if messages had been intercepted before they were listened to by the intended recipient." The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the time was Ken Macdonald[27]

The "For Neville" email; (29 June 2005) This is one of the documents seized from Glenn Mulcair's home in 2006. It was sent by Ross Hall (aka Ross Hindley), then a journalist at News of the World, to Glen Mulcaire and titled "Transcript for Neville." The email included "a transcript of 15 messages from Gordon Taylor's mobile phone voicemail and a transcript of 17 messages left by [him] on Ms. Armstrong's (a business associate of Taylor) mobile phone voicemail." The email appeared to indicate that illegal interception of voice mail messages was not limited to single "rogue reporter" Clive Goodman as News of the World had been maintaining, but may also have included reporter Neville Thurlbeck who was also at News of the World. The email was received by the paper's legal adviser, Tom Crone about 12 May 2008, and he promptly discussed it with the paper's editor, Colin Myler. These two claim they then promptly met with James Murdoch and indicated the significance of the email to him, resulting in agreement to make a large settlement payment to Gordon Taylor. Murdoch has denied he was aware of the email when he agreed to the settlement or that he had reason to believe there was more than one reporter involved in phone hacking at News International's publications.[28][29][30]

"Coulson resigned insisting that he must take responsibility even though he had never known anything about it."[4]

Zoompad said...

Review of Available Evidence (2009)[decision made by John Yates not to reopen/broaden the 2006 investigation]

In September 2009, Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner John Yates testified before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee that "there remain now insufficient grounds or evidence to arrest or interview anyone else additional evidence has come to light.[29]

Operations Weeting, Tuleta, and Elveden (2011)[Operation Weeting; (26 January 2011) interception of voicemail. Run by Sue Akers, a Deputy Assistant Commissioner with the Metropolitan Police; Operation Tuleta; (10 June 2011) computer hacking; Operation Elveden; (6 July 2011) bribery, corruption] [Durham Police; (Summer 2011) "outside police force to conduct a review of Operation Weeting...Jon Stoddart, chief constable of Durham constabulary, has agreed to undertake the review. The review team will be taken from a number of forces outside the MPS" (Metropolitan Police Service)]

"Run by Sue Akers, a deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan police, Weeting has been up and running since January. About 60 officers have been combing through 11,000 pages of evidence seized [in August of 2006] from the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire, the £100,000-a-year private investigator who conducted hacking for the News of the World."[31]

Zoompad said...

Investigations Of The MetAs the Met continued to investigate, it became the subject of investigations itself.

Internal Investigations[Internal investigation by Met] UK Metropolitan Police Inquiry; (July 2011) Initiated by former commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson "to examine the ethical considerations that should underpin relations between the Metropolitan police and the media." Led by Elizabeth Filkin, the former Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and "aims to draw up a framework for how officers operate in their contact with journalists."[32]

Investigation By National Oversight BodiesLeverson Inquiry[Leveson Inquiry set up by ...] UK Public inquiry; (July 2011) chaired by Lord Justice Leveson Looking into "the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper organistions, the way the police first investigated the phone-hacking scandal and whether police officers received corrupt payments."[33][34]

The Leveson Inquiry would be conducted in two parts.[35] Part 1 of the inquiry would focus on ethical questions, specifically "the culture, practices and ethics of the press, including contacts between the press and politicians and the press and the police." Part 2 would focus on legal questions, specifically "the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other media organisations or other organisations. It will also consider the extent to which any relevant police force investigated allegations relating to News International, and whether the police received corrupt payments or were otherwise complicit in misconduct." Part 2 would not begin right away because of ongoing investigations by law enforcement organizations. The Leveson Inquiry's press release of September 2011 named the Met along with 46 celebrities, politicians, sportsmen, other public figures, and members of the public who may have been victims of media intrusion, granting them all "core participant" status in the initial module of the inquiry.[36] Core participants may, through their legal representatives, ask questions of witnesses giving oral evidence.[37]

UK Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Inquiry (1 September 2011) To address "alleged corruption and abuse of power" in police relationships with the media"...ordered by Home Secretary Theresa May and "led by a former chief constable of Essex, Roger Baker. His remit will range from payments made to custody sergeants for tip-offs about arrests, to buying drinks and providing lavish hospitality for officers."[32]

Investigative Reporting By Newspapers[Newspapers probing Met also: Guardian, NY Times, Sky News] [NYT made requests under FOI: Correspondence Between The New York Times and Scotland Yard; ]

Zoompad said...

Criticisms and ResponsesLimited, Incomplete Investigations"n 2007, after Motorman, the information commissioner berated the police and PCC over their feeble prosecution and condemnation, respectively, of a range of offences, from garnering ex-directory numbers to hacking into the police national computer."[38]

during a Parliamentary Debate in September 2010, where it was speculated that, if Andy Hayman, the person who headed the phone hacking investigation for the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard), had been placed in charge of the Watergate inquiry, "President Nixon would have safely served a full term."[39]

"Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page, said former and current senior police officials. During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. They steadfastly maintained that their original inquiry, which led to the conviction of one reporter and one private investigator, had put an end to what they called an isolated incident."[21]

The New York Times observed, "Assistant Commissioner John Yates of the Metropolitan Police Service publicly acknowledged that he had not actually gone through the evidence. “I’m not going to go down and look at bin bags,” Mr. Yates said, using the British term for trash bags. At best, former Scotland Yard senior officers acknowledged in interviews, the police have been lazy, incompetent and too cozy with the people they should have regarded as suspects. At worst, they said, some officers might be guilty of crimes themselves."[21]

In defense of Met actions, Mr. Yates pointed out...

"The police have continually asserted that the original investigation was limited because the counterterrorism unit, which was in charge of the case, was preoccupied with more pressing demands. At the parliamentary committee hearing last week, the three officials said they were working on 70 terrorist investigations."[21]

"Several investigators said in interviews that Scotland Yard was reluctant to conduct a wider inquiry in part because of its close relationship with News of the World. Police officials have defended their investigation, noting that their duties did not extend to monitoring the media. In a statement, the police said they followed the lines of inquiry “likely to produce the best evidence” and that the charges that were brought “appropriately represented the criminality uncovered.” The statement added, “This was a complex inquiry and led to one of the first prosecutions of its kind.” Officials also have noted that the department had more pressing priorities at the time, including several terrorism cases."[18

Zoompad said...

Victims Not Notified/Information Not Released to ThemThe precise number of victims is unknown, but a Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report noted in July 2011 that "as many as 12,800 people may have been victims or affected by phone hacking."[40][41]

In 2003, a raid by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) was made as part of Operation Motorman on the home of private investigator Steve Whittamore. This resulted in seizure of records including more than 13,000 requests for confidential information from newspapers and magazines.[4] In 2006, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas "revealed that hundreds of journalists may have illegally bought private information.[41][42]

In 2006, the Metropolitan Police Service (Scotland Yard) seized records from another private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, and found a target list with over 4,000 names on it.[43][44] Release of "the totality of the Mulcaire information" has not yet been achieved but has been requested through the courts.[45][46] According to The Guardian, "the seized material included 4,332 names or partial names; 2,987 mobile phone numbers; 30 audiotapes of varying length; and 91 pin codes of a kind needed to access voicemail with the minority of targets who change the factory settings on their mobile phones."[47]

In contrast, John Yates told the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in September 2009 that the police had only found evidence indicating that "it is very few, it is a handful" of persons that had been subject to message interception.[16][48]

In January, 2011, claims made in the suit filed by Kelly Hoppen suggest illegally accessing voicemail occurred as recently as March 2010.[49]

As of June 2011, according to The Guardian, "Scotland Yard is believed to have collected hundreds of thousands of documents during a series of investigations into private investigator Jonathan Rees. Rick Davies, reporter for The Guardian, believes these "boxloads" of paperwork "could include explosive new evidence of illegal news-gathering by the News of the World and other papers." According to his sources, confidential information sold to newspapers may have been obtained through blagging, burglaries, bribery, and blackmail, sometimes involving corrupt customs officers, VAT inspectors, bank employees and police officers.[8]

On July 2011 it was estimated that only 170 people had so far been informed out of the up to 12,800 people that may have been affected by the illegal acquisition of confidential information .[41][50]

"Interviews with current and former officials show that instead of examining all the evidence, investigators primarily limited their inquiry to 36 names that the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, mentioned in one list. As a result, Scotland Yard notified only a small number of the people whose phones were hacked by The News of the World. Other people who suspected foul play had to approach the police to see if their names were in Mr. Mulcaire’s files."[21]

"Akers spoke out as she prepares to give evidence next week to the home affairs select committee. Her revelations that there were 4,000 names in Glenn Mulcaire's notebooks is official confirmation of what the Guardian reported two years ago – that 2,000 to 3,000 people were listed as possible victims. These individuals were not contacted by detectives investigating phone hacking in the first inquiry, known as the Goodman inquiry. The suggestion that there were possibly thousands of victims was dismissed at the time. Assistant commissioner John Yates said in 2009, after reviewing the first inquiry, that there were "hundreds, not thousands" of potential victims.[20] [misleading?]

"Two dozen people had also brought civil cases against News International, and that compelled the police to release information from Mr. Mulcaire’s files."[21]

Zoompad said...

[One person has filed suit against the Met.] Prescott
Prescott, John; (2010) "Suing Scotland Yard "for breaching his human rights after police initially declined to hand over details about him seized at the office of Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the News of the World."[51][52]

[In light of the Met using the Official Secrets Act against journalists] "Mark Lewis, the solicitor representing the family of murder victim Milly Dowler, whose phone was allegedly hacked after she went missing, told delegates that the "official secrets" that the Dowler family were concerned about were not the leaks to the Guardian in 2011, but the secrets kept by the Met police between 2006 and 2011, which he said prevented the family – and thousands of other victims of hacking – from knowing they were victims at all. "The leaks that they were concerned about was not the leak from whistleblowers to the Guardian but the leak from Surrey police to the News of the World," Lewis told delegates.[53]

"Sandra Baron, director of the Media Law Resource Center in New York, which organised the London conference, said: "The use of the Official Secrets Act against a newspaper is going to result in a miscarriage of justice. "The act has no basis for being used against a newspaper, particularly one that has been serving the public interest to such a degree.

Zoompad said...

Why would it ever be thought that it was in the public interest to muzzle or intimidate the media?" Dave Heller, also of the Media Law Resource Center, added: "I would have thought that the Official Secrets Act was to do with national security and state secrets … not leaks of police information. It's quite absurd." Matt Woodley, a media lawyer from Edmonton, Canada, said that use of the Official Secrets Act "seemed to be a very strong-armed tactic". "It's very draconian. What it will do is make sources more reluctant to come forward and speak to journalists," he added. "It will create a sense that they are not protected so that stories which should be revealed will not come out."[54]

Illegal Payments to Officers"With the new disclosures of Rees’ operation, there will be pressure on Weeting to expand its inquiry, which would involve recruiting still more officers. And, in the background, there is a small queue of other investigators waiting to have their names – along with their Fleet Street clients – added to Weeting’s list of suspects. High among them will be a former Metropolitan Police detective who was accused of corruption in the early 1980s and forced out of his job after a disciplinary hearing. Senior Yard sources say that this detective then came up with a novel form of revenge. He acquired a press card and proceeded to act as a link between Fleet Street crime correspondents and the network of corrupt detectives he knew so well. Former crime reporters from several national newspapers have told the Guardian that they used this detective to carry cash bribes – thousands of pounds in brown envelopes – to serving officers. Scotland Yard for years have been aware of his activity and have attempted but failed to catch him and stop him. The crime reporters say that one reason for the Yard’s failure is that, when the Yard tried to stop the corruption, serving officers tipped them off so they could evade detection."[2]

"In January 2003, Coulson replaced Rebekah Brooks as editor of the News of the World. Two months later, in March 2003, they gave evidence together to the House of Commons media select committee and, in answer to a direct question, Rebekah Brooks declared: "We have paid the police for information in the past." Asked if she would do so again in the future, her answer was pre-empted by Coulson. "We operate within the law and, if there is a clear public interest, then we will," he told the committee. It was pointed out to Coulson that it was always illegal to pay police officers, regardless of public interest. Coulson suggested he had been talking about the use of subterfuge."[4]

Zoompad said...

Scotland Yard is trying to identify a handful of officers who were paid £100,000 between them by the News of the World...Akers has also been appointed as head of a separate investigation into documents from News International which suggest three to five officers were paid £100,000 between them by the Sunday tabloid in 2003 when Andy Coulson was editor. The information, passed by the company to the police in June, does not identify the officers involved – none of whom are of senior rank – but gives them pseudonyms. The inquiry within the yard is attempting to identify the officers, who are thought to be detective constable or detective sergeant rank."[20]

Misled Parliament, Courts, and PublicDiscouraging Whistleblowers"It is a shame that the UK has adopted the word "gate", from Watergate, for our scandals but, seemingly, does not have whistleblowers of the Deep Throat kind or more investigative journalists in the Woodward and Bernstein mould... We need more whistleblowers, not leakers. Whistleblowers speak out in the public interest.[55]

"Incredibly, the Metropolitan police are now trying to find out the source of the Milly Dowler story. To that end they are – quite extraordinarily – using the Official Secrets Act to try and force the Guardian to hand over documents which would betray our sources. Papers served on the newspaper this week demand that, within seven days, our reporters – including Amelia Hill and Nick Davies, who relentlessly covered the phone-hacking story for more than two years – hand over anything that could lead the police to identify who blew the whistle on the Dowler story and others."[56]

"As a senior Liberal Democrat called on the attorney general to block the "extremely bizarre" use of the act, Grant warned that police were turning on the "goodies" after Scotland Yard applied for an order under the 1989 act to require the Guardian to identify its sources on phone hacking. Speaking at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham, the actor said: "It is a very worrying and upsetting development. A lot of us victims and campaigners had come to the view that the new police inquiry – [Operation] Weeting under Sue Akers – were good cops. "It was a new investigation. They were embarrassed by the behaviour of their predecessors and colleagues. So for them to suddenly turn on their fellow goodies in this battle is a worrying and deeply mysterious."... [MP Don Foster:] ""That is why it is absolutely vital that we find out first of all who actually signed off the agreement to use the Official Secrets Act and, secondly, we have to have a very, very clear explanation of why they are doing it. A final decision is made by the attorney general as to whether to allow it to happen."[57]

Zoompad said...

"In a statement on Monday night , the Met said: "The application for a production order against the Guardian newspaper and one of its reporters is part of an inquiry by officers from the MPS directorate of professional standards anti-corruption unit (DPS), not Operation Weeting ... The MPS cannot respond to the significant public and political concern regarding leaks from the police to any part of the media if we aren't robust in our investigations and make all attempts to obtain best evidence of the leaks. Dunja Mijatovic, the representative on freedom of the media for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, wrote to the foreign secretary, William Hague, saying she was greatly concerned about the potentially chilling effect on investigative journalism and media freedom of the Official Secrets Act moves: "The right of journalists to protect the identity of their confidential sources has been repeatedly declared a basic requirement for freedom of expression by the OSCE." Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, wrote to Hogan-Howe asking "whether this marks a change in the Metropolitan police's approach to the behaviour of journalists who seek and receive confidential information in the public interest". The DPP's own official guidance makes it clear that police should normally proceed against reporters with caution. "Investigation and prosecution of cases involving the leaking of confidential information to journalists can present especial difficulty ... the courts have demonstrated a reluctance to order disclosure of journalistic sources ... freedom of the press is regarded as fundamental to a free and democratic society.The ability of a journalist to protect a source of information is afforded significant protection by the law."[58]

Zoompad said...

Social Ties/Conflict of Interest/Coverup[close social ties between Met and NotW] 'Executives and others at the company also enjoyed close social ties to Scotland Yard’s top officials. Since the hacking scandal began in 2006, Mr. Yates and others regularly dined with editors from News International papers, records show. Sir Paul Stephenson, the police commissioner, met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation, including on eight occasions with Mr. Wallis while he was still working at The News of the World."[21]

[Hayman had social ties and did not thoroughly investigate in 2006] "Andy Hayman, who as chief of the counterterrorism unit was running the investigation, also attended four dinners, lunches and receptions with News of the World editors, including a dinner on April 25, 2006, while his officers were gathering evidence in the case, records show. He told Parliament he never discussed the investigation with editors. Mr. Hayman left the Metropolitan Police in December 2007 and was soon hired to write a column for The Times of London, a News International paper. He defended the inquiry that he led, writing in his column in July 2009 that his detectives had “left no stone unturned.” [misleading?] Three months later, Mr. Wallis, the former deputy editor of The News of the World, was hired by Scotland Yard to provide strategic media advice on phone-hacking matters to the police commissioner, among others. Scotland Yard confirmed last week that the commissioner, Sir Paul, had personally approved nearly $40,000 in payments to Mr. Wallis for his work."[21]

"Sky News raised further questions about a possible link between Sir Paul and Mr. Wallis on Saturday night. Just after Christmas last year Sir Paul recovered from surgery at a Champneys Spa in Hertfordshire, and his $19,000 bill was paid by a friend, the spa’s managing partner, Sky News reported. Sir Paul learned Saturday that Mr. Wallis had worked as a public-relations consultant for the spa."[21]

[use of independent investigators] Durham Police; (Summer 2011) "outside police force to conduct a review of Operation Weeting...Jon Stoddart, chief constable of Durham constabulary, has agreed to undertake the review. The review team will be taken from a number of forces outside the MPS" (Metropolitan Police Service).[1]

"Meanwhile, what of Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates, who was so quick to assure the world that there wasn't much to the phone-hacking stories uncovered by journalists on this and other newspapers? He has hired one of the UK's most notorious libel firms to warn off this newspaper for reporting the claim that he misled parliament. In a Commons debate this week, Chris Bryant, MP for Rhondda, made the direct accusation that Yates did, indeed, mislead two parliamentary select committees. Moreover, it was alleged that Scotland Yard has known for five months that its evidence was incorrect. The two committees involved should, as a matter of some urgency, invite the police to explain its position."[4]

Zoompad said...

"# UK Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee Inquiry; (2011) "currently restricted to looking at whether it was "previously misled in the evidence we were given in relation to the News of the World."[59]"

"Yet on numerous occasions Mr. Yates assured the public that all those affected had been notified. He said the police had “taken all proper steps to ensure that where we have evidence that people have been the subject of any form of phone tapping, or that there is any suspicion that they might have been, that they have been informed.”[21]

"Last autumn, four people, including John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, and Brian Paddick, a former senior police official, sought a judicial review to determine why Scotland Yard had not notified all the hacking victims. In response, lawyers for the police claimed that none of the four plaintiffs’ phones had been accessed. Last February, a judge ruled against going forward with an inquiry. Within days, several plaintiffs received word from the police that their phones might have been hacked. “The court was misled,” said Tamsin Allen, who represents four people who claim their phones were hacked. “It was pretty outrageous.”[21]

See AlsoMetropolitan Police Service
News International phone hacking scandal
Phone hacking scandal reference lists
Operation Motorman (ICO investigation)
Operating Glade
Operation Weeting
Operating Tuleta
Operating Elveden

Zoompad said...

Lawyers want special board to deal with Jersey abuse victims' claims· Island's law may present insurmountable obstacles
· Irish model suggested to determine compensation

reddit this Clare Dyer, legal editor The Guardian, Monday 9 June 2008 Article historyVictims of child abuse decades ago at the Jersey children's home Haut de la Garenne will face insurmountable obstacles in seeking compensation under Jersey law, according to lawyers.

Jersey's criminal injuries compensation board can make awards only for injuries sustained after May 1 1991, and claims for damages in the civil courts have to be launched within three years of the victim's turning 18.

Haut de la Garenne closed in 1986 and more than 100 people have come forward saying they were abused there during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. A police investigation has resulted in three arrests and the discovery of fragments of children's teeth and bones in the cellar.

But faced with a legal system ill-equipped to deal with historic abuse, lawyers are calling on the Jersey authorities to set up a redress board to ensure justice for victims.

They suggest as a model the residential institutions redress board set up in Ireland in 2002, which compensates victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. Similar compensation programmes for victims of institutional abuse were established in Canada in the 1990s. Caroline Dorey, an advocate at Backhurst Dorey and Crane in St Helier, said: "Jersey is under scrutiny as never before. It's crucial that we are seen to be doing everything we can to get to the bottom of whatever happened at Haut de la Garenne, and to provide proper restitution for those affected.

"Although the island is justifiably proud of its legal system, the current situation poses new and extraordinary challenges. We owe it to the island in general, and of course those survivors of child abuse in particular, to ensure that we introduce whatever means are necessary to meet the current situation as openly as possible, and that justice is seen to be done.

"A redress board which is specifically set up to investigate and assess civil claims arising from this historic abuse would seem an appropriate way forward."

Tracey Emmott, an English solicitor specialising in child abuse at the law firm Pictons in Luton, echoes Dorey's call for a redress board.

A panel member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, she has experience with the Irish board, which paid €40,000 (£32,000) compensation to one of her clients. "My own view is that a redress board would be the appropriate body for Jersey," she said. "It was welcomed by the Irish people because it was a recognition of how seriously the government took the complaints.

"And I think similar sentiments would be echoed in Jersey. Especially given all the allegations of cover-ups, there is all the more reason to be seen to be doing something appropriate."

The move would be supported by Fay Maxted, chief executive of The Survivors Trust, which represents 130 specialist sexual violence and abuse services throughout the UK and Ireland.

"We understand the suffering of victims abused in childhood and the long-term impact on physical, emotional and psychological health of victims, which is often worsened where abuse has taken place in an institution," she said.

"The redress boards set up in Nova Scotia and Ontario in the 1990s, and in Ireland in 2002, have been able to allow victims the opportunity to be heard and recompensed in some way and given communities the opportunity to challenge the silence and secrecy that concealed the abuse in the past."

Zoompad said...

This is personal. I know I have had my computer hacked several times, I had about three months of emails from politicians stolen from my computer, and I also know that my mobile phone has been mucked about with as well, because I had to phone my service provider to be able to make phone calls, and this happened at exactly the same time as my computer was hacked. I have had those devils on the Blog of Doom crowing about how easy I was to hack, I told Stafford Police but they treated me isn such a wierd way, and said "WE ARE GOING TO DRAW A LINE UNDER THIS NOW" (with invisible ink, presumably.)

I want to know the names and addresses of all these criminals that have broken the law by hacking my computer and my mobile phone. I dont care if they are with a secret society, I want their names and I want their addresses because I want to take them to court for hacking me and for harassment.

Zoompad said...

Jonathan Rees was a private investigator, and former partner of Daniel Morgan

BiographyIn 1984, with partner Daniel Morgan, he set up a detective agency, Southern Investigations, in Thornton Heath, Surrey.[1]

[edit] Murder of Daniel MorganMain article: Daniel Morgan
In April 1987, Rees was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Daniel Morgan but was released without charge.[2]

Between Morgan's death in 1987 and 2008, five police inquiries were conducted. There were allegations of police corruption, drug trafficking and robbery.[3]

After an inquiry by Hampshire police in 1988, Jonathan Rees and another man were charged with murder, but the case did not reach trial when charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.[2] and the Hampshire inquiry's 1989 report to the Police Complaints Authority found "no evidence whatsoever of police involvement in the murder".[1]

In 1998, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Clark conducted a third, secret, inquiry into the murder during which Southern Investigations’ office was bugged.[2] In December 2000, Jonathan Rees was found guilty of conspiring to plant cocaine on an innocent woman in order to discredit her in a child custody battle and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for attempting to pervert the course of justice.[1][2]

After the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair declared that the first police inquiry (involving Fillery) was "compromised", a secret fifth inquiry, began.[2] Later, police arrested Jonathan Rees and several other on suspicion of murder, along with a serving police officer suspected of leaking information.[3]

In 2009 the trial began at the Old Bailey. In March 2011 the Director of Public Prosecutions abandoned the case and three accused were acquitted,[2] including Jonathan Rees. [4]

The case involved some of the longest legal argument submitted in a trial in the English criminal courts. Nicholas Hilliard QC, for the prosecution, said that defence lawyers might not be able to examine all the documents in the case (750,000 pages dating back over 24 years) in order to ensure a fair trial.[

Zoompad said...

2011 News of the World "investigative journalism" scandalMain article: News International phone hacking scandal
After the collapse of the Old Bailey trial in March 2011 it was revealed that Jonathan Rees had earned £150,000 a year from the News of the World for supplying illegally obtained information about people in the public eye.[4][5]

After Rees completed his prison sentence for perverting the course of justice, he had been hired again by the News of the World, at the time edited by Andy Coulson.[4] Rees worked regularly on behalf of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror,[2] as well as the News of the World, investigating the bank accounts of the royal family,[2] and obtaining information on other public figueres.[2] He had a network of contacts with corrupt police officers,[2] who obtained confidential records for him. He was routinely able to obtain confidential data from bank accounts, telephone records, car registration details and computers.[2] He was also alleged to have commissioned burglaries on behalf of journalists.[4]

In June 2011 The Guardian newspaper, calling for a public inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, focused its criticism of the parent company News Corporation's handling of accusations of criminality within the organisation on the newspaper's use of Jonathan Rees's investigative services.[6] Rees's activities were described as a "devastating pattern of illegal behaviour",[6] and far exceeding those of any of the other investigators commissioned by News Corporation who used illicit means to target prominent figures.[6] They included unauthorised access to computer data and bank accounts, corruption of police officers and alleged commissioning of burglaries.[2] The Guardian queried why the Metropolitan Police had chosen to exclude a very large quantity of Rees material from investigation by its Operation Weeting inquiry into phone hacking.[6]

The Guardian had published extensively on Rees’s involvement with corrupt police officers and the procurement of confidential information for what Guardian journalist Nick Davies described as Rees's one "golden source" of income in particular, commissions from the News of the World.[5] Davies has reported at length on what he described as the "empire of corruption" that Jonathan Rees and Sid Fillery built in the years following Daniel Morgan's murder, after Fillery replaced Morgan as Rees's partner.[5]