30 November 2011

Leveson Inquiry: Hearings - Day 10


"I want this inquiry to mean something", not end up as "footnote in some professor of journalism's analysis of 21 century history." LJ Leveson in reply to A Rusbridger's submission to Inquiry.
Lord Justice Leveson
The Panel : top row (left to right)

  • Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty
  • George Jones, former Daily Telegraph political editor
  • Sir David Bell, former chairman of the Financial Times
Bottom row (Left to right)
  • Elinor Goodman, former Channel 4 political editor
  • Lord David Currie, former chairman of Ofcom
  • Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former West Midlands chief constable
  The proceedings are shown here live on the Leveson Inquiry website. 

BBC Democracy Live Leveson Inquiry live-feed here.

Full list of Core Participants to be found here. (Guardian Website)

Relevant links from mainstream media, blogs and social media:

(Twitter feed for Leveson Inquiry on right of Home page of this (#pressreform) blog.) 

Leveson Inquiry Witness List - Week beginning 28.11.11 

Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements  

Videos of Each Hearing on Official Leveson Inquiry Website

Follow Leveson Inquiry on Twitter - #leveson #Leveson 

Follow Journalist Dan Sabbagh on Twitter - here

Guardian Live Blog

Guardian Leveson Inquiry Round-up Page

BBC News - Yesterday at the Leveson Inquiry

Telegraph - Today at the Leveson Inquiry

Independent - Today at the Leveson Inquiry

MSN Live - Leveson Inquiry 


Sunday November 27th: Blogger Leaks Witness Statement 3 Days Early - Story Here (Guardian)
Lord Justice Leveson Reacts - Statement Here

Copy of Restriction Order pertaining to the publishing of a witness statement ahead of time

Guido Summoned by Leveson Over Campbell Leak - Press Gazette 

Leveson Inquiry Debates Guido Fawkes' Leak - Journalism.co.uk

Cocking a Snook at Regulators - Paul Bernal, the Justice Gap 

Has the Sun Given the Full Picture on Anne Diamond's Evidence? - Full Fact

Leveson Order Over Guido Fawkes Leak Raises Questions - Joshua Rozenberg - Guardian

Paul McMullan Lays Bare Newspaper Dark Arts at Leveson Inquiry - Guardian

New Statesman - Paul McMullan and the Denial of Privacy - David Allen Green

Zelo Street: Leveson is Served (6)

Former News of the World Reporter Bethany Usher Arrested in Phone-hacking Probe - Telegraph 
Teeside Lecturer Arrested in Phone-hacking Inquiry - Times Higher Education
BBC News - Phone-hacking: Woman Held in Media Probe
From January 2006 - Reporter Arrested at Buckingham Palace - Independent 

Wednesday November 30th 2011 (Hearing 9 record of Leveson Inquiry on this blog can be found here )

T Portilho-Shrimpton
Caplan says they're prepared to remove the mendacious smears from Mail Online until the evidence is called before

List of Witnesses today:  Alastair Campbell,  Alexander Owens,  Mark Lewis

Alastair Campbell

Witness Statement in Full

From BBC News Website:
'Arguably he has been the most famous press secretary the UK has ever seen. Mr Campbell was appointed as Tony Blair's official spokesman in 1994.
His career in the media continued successfully and he soon became political editor of the Daily Mirror.
During this time he was also one of then Labour leader Neil Kinnock's closest advisers.

Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair
Campbell's closeness to Blair has angered many critics

It was from that post which Mr Campbell resigned to become spokesman for Tony Blair, then leader of the opposition.
With the Labour election victory in 1997, he became the prime minister's chief press secretary, setting up a formidable Whitehall machine to put over the government's views and try to control the news agenda.
In 2000 Mr Campbell gave up daily briefings to Westminster lobby journalists to concentrate more on long-term strategy.
It was a move prompted by the fear that he, rather than his boss, was becoming the focus of media stories.'

From Guardian Live Blog, Campbell opens his evidence with:

'The freedom of the press that is being defended most loudly, Campbell says, has become a press "barely worth defending".He says at the moment the press is "frankly putrid in many of its elements".
"A very very small number of people have changed the newspaper industry so they've now frankly besmirched the name of every journalist in the country."'
 Full Text ex-Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair's 'Feral Beast' Speech on the Press and Media in general - BBC News Website

Post from Tabloid Watch Blog mentioned in Alastair Campbell's evidence to leveson Inquiry: MailOnline Makes up Events, Quotesfrom Perugia

The Commentator - What Leveson Should Ask Campbell This Morning - by Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) 

Campbell on use of Private Investigators from Guardian Live Blog

BBC News - Alastair Campbell Says Journalism Has Become 'Putrid' 

Zelo Street: Mail Leaps the Logic Barrier

Campbell: Mirror Paid PI to Investigate Me and Mandelson - Journalism.co.uk 

Alastair Campbell 'Threatened by NI Executives Over Phone-hacking' - Guardian 

Alastair Campbell: Phone Hacking May Have Revealed Cherie Blair's Pregnancy - Guardian

I Thought the Alastair Campbell at the Leveson Inquiry Was an Impersonator - by an Ex-News of the World Politics Assistant Editor - Total Politics Blog
From Guardian Live Blog:
1.33pm: Here's a summary of Alastair Campbell's appearance before the Leveson inquiry:
• Alastair Campbell alleges that the Daily Mirror paid private eyes to investigate him and Peter Mandelson
• He describes a "frankly putrid" press with some sections "barely worth defending"
• The PCC has failed because it is "of the press and for the press", Campbell claims
• He suggests an arbitration body to replace the PCC that could advise on public interest

Ross Hawkins
Alastair Campbell at : Dacre had team of people pretending to write book about AC, because Express had serialisation of a bio

Hacked off
AC: Only time I got apology from Mail was when they reported about impact my father's death had on me. My father was alive.

Alec Owens


Witness Statement in Full 
Supplementary Witness Statement in Full

From Independent, November 19th 2011:

"Alec Owens, formerly of Merseyside Police, was the lead investigator for the Information Commissioner's "Operation Motorman" inquiry, which uncovered the vast scale on which the media used private detectives to obtain private information, including criminal records and vehicle registrations.
But he is a critic of the ICO's decision not to interview any of the hundreds of journalists named in the 17,000 transactions listed in files seized from Hampshire private detective Steve Whittamore in 2003. No journalist was charged in Operation Motorman.
Mr Owens contacted Lord Justice Leveson about his concerns over the way the matter was handled and is due to give evidence in person to the public inquiry on media standards on 30 November. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner at the time of Operation Motorman, will appear before the inquiry the next day.
At 7.25am yesterday, two police officers from Wilmslow, Cheshire, armed with with a search warrant, knocked on Mr Owens' door. They demanded documents and electronic files and asked him to come to a police station to be questioned under caution.
Cheshire Police said it had acted "following information received". A spokeswoman added: "The warrant relates to an investigation into allegations concerning breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998."
Mr Owens agreed to hand over his copy of the Operation Motorman computer file but declined to provide the statement he has prepared for Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry. He was asked to attend an interview on Monday and bring the statement with him.
Mr Owens, who has notified Lord Justice Leveson's office of the development, said he believed the raid was connected to his inquiry evidence. "They have come on a fishing expedition to find out what I'm going to say," he said. "But I have told them that statement is for Lord Leveson's eyes only at this stage."
 From Guardian Live Blog:
Alec Owens is at the witness stand. Find a short profile earlier in the liveblog, here.

Live Blog of Alec Owen's Evidence from Guardian Live Blog

Details from Independent on Steve Whittamore - a subject of Alec Owens' evidence today

Exposed After Eight Years: a Private Eye's Dirty Work For Fleet Street - the Independent
(This Article when it appeared, as Alec Owens says he knew it would, resulted in a raid from the Police to confiscate documents and evidence he was holding.)

Jon Slattery: Independent Lifts Lid on Operation Motorman Files - 17 000 Requests Made by Journalists to Private Detectives

From Guardian Live Blog: 3.11 p.m.
"Owens says the Hell's Angel that Paul McMullan mentioned yesterday was the investigator who could get numbers for Whittamore and Glenn Mulcaire.He says the evidence they compiled as part of Operation Motorman was "strong enough to stand on its own" and be used to prosecute journalists. Some journalists were using Whittamore 300 or 400 times, Owens says."

Ben Fenton
Farrer (NI lawyer) document says: "It is pretty clear to us that Lewis is source of (original) Guardian story."

Ben Fenton
ICO sd S.Times had 1 reporter making 4 requests. Owens says it was six reporters making more than 100 requests NI dispute numbers.

T Portilho-Shrimpton
Owens: ICO reports says there were 3,500 or 3,700 requests. From what he's seen there were actually about 17,500

Andy Davies
Ex detective Owens: ICO's Richard Thomas's explanation as to why no journalist was ever prosecuted was misleading.

Andy Davies
Owens: Journalists never came into the investigation (ie were never questioned).

Keir Simmons
Former police officer Alex Owens says in 2003 he was told 'you're not to go near the press'... 'I said, you're joking?'

Sharon Patrick
Owens during a search of a detective agency in london, they seized docs relating to car registration numbers

Mark Lewis

 Supplementary Witness Statement of Mark Lewis

From the Guardian Live Blog at 9.39 a.m.:
'A late addition to today's line up is Mark Lewis, solicitor for several alleged victims of phone hacking, who will give the second part of his evidence after first appearing last Wednesday.
Lewis is thought to have a second witness statement that is highly controversial. He was not able to complete his testimony last week after it was challenged by Jonathan Caplan QC, counsel for Associated Newspapers, and other barristers.'

Audioboo/'News International Sought to Destroy My Life' - Lawyer at Leveson - BBCPeterHunt

Legal Week
Dowler family lawyer Mark Lewis describes 'horrific moment' when he was shown secretly filmed videos of his daughters

From Guardian Live Blog:
"That was horrific. That was truly horrific, that my daughter was videod, was followed by a detective with a camera. Just followed. That shouldn't happen to anybody's child ... I do my job, I don't expect my children to be followed. Not just one of my daugthers, all my daughters. They ought to be ashamed of themselves."
"News International sought to destroy my life and very nearly succeeded," says Lewis.The solicitor has been shown video of his 14-year-old daughter who was being followed on behalf of News International.
A dossier was compiled by Julian Pike, of Farrars solicitors, in early 2010 on the relationship between Lewis and Charlotte Harris, another solicitor acting for some phone hacking victims.
Lewis talks of "complete arrogance and idiocy" by Pike and Tom Crone, the News of the World lawyer, who thought that Lewis had leaked information to the Guardian. "So they set out to destroy my life," he says."

Ben Fenton
Rupert Murdoch wanted to set up R Murdoch fund for children to go to private school in memory of Milly D,solicitor Lewis tells

News International Offers Milly Dowler's Family £3m Settlement - Guardian - 20th September 2011 

Hacked off
Lewis, Harris and Mark Thomson considered to be the three driving forces of exposing the phone hacking scandal

Legal Week
Mark Lewis: "News Group Newspapers wanted to pay for a client to sue me, even though the client had not proposed to sue me"

T Portilho-Shrimpton
"Gregory said we would need to develop a body of evidence against him (Lewis)". (News Group conspiring to stop Lewis from acting)

Keir Simmons
Phone hacking lawyer Mark Lewis about to give evidence and inquiry told he has handed over documents mostly from News International

T Portilho-Shrimpton
Davies: Harris' source for that document is anonymous. Other docs correspondence between NI and Farrers (lawyers)