The Guardian is today reporting on new evidence it has dug up, showing that the Police deliberately withheld evidence pertaining to the News Of The World phone tapping scandal.
The revelation – contained in paperwork from inside the Crown Prosecution Service – raises fundamental questions about the behaviour of Scotland Yard, which has claimed repeatedly that it found evidence of “only a handful” of people whose mobile phone messages had been intercepted by the News of the World’s private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire.
The paperwork also reveals that police and prosecutors adopted a deliberate strategy to ringfence the evidence which they presented in court in order to suppress the names of particularly prominent victims, including members of the royal family. The existence of this strategy has been omitted from all public statements, including evidence made to the House of Commons media select committee.
Thus watering down any outrage.
The money quote:
While Scotland Yard’s public position remains that it did all that its resources and the law permitted, some police sources admit privately that they failed to fully investigate the case, that decisions may have been distorted by a fear of upsetting Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, and that it was “unfortunate” that the officer in charge of the inquiry, assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, subsequently left the police to work for News International as a columnist.
(emphasis my own)
Does anyone think that Andy Hayman might have a few questions to answer? (And I apologise for linking to Mr. Hayman’s site – rarely do you see such a shit amateurish website now that Yahoo! has closed Geocities. Really Andy, you should punch your web-designer in the throat. And yes, that is a rather cruel and unnecessary shot at poor Geocities. R.I.P. Sorry etc.)
The Guardian goes on:
The News of the World continues to say that it had no knowledge of any illegal activity by Mulcaire or Goodman. The newspaper has paid out more than £2m to suppress evidence in court actions brought by two confirmed victims, Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers’ Association and celebrity PR agent Max Clifford. It has also paid money to Goodman and Mulcaire in deals which are believed to require them not to speak.
Clearly the lawyers at the NOTW are shitting it. I wonder if Andy Coulson, then editor of the paper and now David Cameron’s Director of Guff-management, is also shitting it? I hope so. He should be.*
Also, why is it only The Guardian that has the stomach for going up against Murdoch? Is he now so powerful that he even influences the media outlets he doesn’t control? Surely time for a Panorama or Despatches special, no?
We both know the answer to my last question, but do the fabulously corrupt and wealthy in this country get a bye when it comes to the law?
*I might also point out that Andy Coulson’s Wikipedia page is looking a little bereft of information about all this nastiness. Someone really should show Andy a little Wiki attention.