Things have been very quiet on the phone hacking diary front for the last couple of months. The trials are in progress, and people on the UK side of the water are very wary of discussing things that could possibly wreck the trials however this morning news broke that although vaguely connected isseperate enough to be both reportable and discussable
Piers Morgan was questioned by Scotland Yard's hacking squad | Media | theguardian.com
Piers Morgan, theCNN presenter who used to edit theDaily Mirror, has been interviewed under caution by Scotland Yard detectives investigating phone-hacking.
In a statement to The Guardian through his spokesperson, Morgan said: "In early November I was asked to attend an interview by officers fromOperation Weeting when I was next in the UK.
"This was further to a full witness statement I had already freely provided. I attended that interview as requested on 6 December 2013."
Scotland Yard have confirmed that a 48-year-old journalist was interviewed on that date at a south London police station by officers from Operation Golding. That is the strand of Operation Weeting that is investigating allegations of phone interception at Mirror GroupNewspapers.
In the last few minutes the Prosecution has commenced its case in the News of the World phone hacking case. Eight members of News Internationals staff are up in court 12, although one will only be present some of the time due to ongoing health issues
Phone hacking trial: Prosecution opens case against Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson - Telegraph
Two former editors of The News of the World went on trial today, more than two years after the phone-hacking scandal led to the paper's closure.
Andrew Edis QC, for the Crown, began outlining the case against Rebekah Brooks, who became chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, and Andy Coulson, who was later David Cameron's communications chief.
He told jurors at the Old Bailey: "You know something of what this is all about because everybody does.
"This is the phone hacking trial, but it is not only the phone hacking trial, as you already know…
The final pre-trial maneuverings have concluded in the News Of the World phone hacking cases. five of the defendents were arguing that if people had already listened to the voicemail messages before they were hacked, then it didn't qualify as phone hacking under the relevent sections of the Regulations of Investigatory Powers act (RIPA).
R v Ian Edmondson, James Weatherup, Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner :: Crimeline
The appellants made dismissal applications on a ground which raises the true construction of sub-sections 2(1), 2(2) and 2(7) RIPA. Expressed in general terms, the issue turns on when the course of transmission of a voicemail message ends and, in particular, whether a voicemail message which is saved by the recipient on the voicemail facility of a public telecommunications system remains in the course of transmission. The central point taken on behalf of the appellants is that the words “in the course of transmission” in section 1(1) RIPA do not extend to cover voicemail messages once they have been accessed by the intended recipient. The decision of Fulford L.J., endorsed by Saunders J., is that section 2(7) RIPA extends the concept of transmission to include the period when the transmission system stores the communication, in such a manner that enables the intended recipient to have access to it, whether or not it has previously been received by the intended recipient.
The hearing was heald in front of Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and two other judges who dismissed it almost with contempt, (here's the full case http://www.bailii.org/...
"contrary to the submission on behalf of the appellants, the resulting situation is not lacking in legal certainty."
and for that reason refused leave to appeal to the supreme court on this matter.
Now this case has been rumbling on in the background, but all the time unreported due to contempt of court laws. however the Lord Cheif Justice had this to say today
BBC News - Phone hacking: Go-ahead for Brooks and Coulson cases
Lord Judge allowed the names of the defendants to be reported, saying: "We can see no possible prejudice to the fairness of the forthcoming trial.
"We must not be unrealistic - there can hardly be anyone in the country who does not know to whom this case applies."
For over a Year now, people have been asking when civil court cases would happen in the ongoing Phone Hacking fun coming from the UK Murdoch enterprise.
People have come to the assumption that if a bunch of soap stars, UK film stars ,and sports stars and their friends and relatives were in reciept of the papers agents attentions, then it only seems logical that the same techniques were applied to the leading lights of Hollywood.
Finally today we hear news of this activity finally rumbling into gear in the US.
Courthouse News Service
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation hacked into the voicemail of Angelina Jolie's stunt double looking for news on Jolie's relationship with Brad Pitt, the body double claims in court.
Eunice Huthart, of Liverpool, England sued News Corp., NI Group Ltd. fka News International Limited, News Group Newspapers, and John and Jane Does 1-10, in Federal Court. Murdoch is not named as a defendant.
Huthart claims that nonparty Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who intercepted phone messages for the Murdoch tabloids, hacked her phone in 2004 and 2005. Huthart was working in Los Angeles then as Jolie's stunt double on the movie, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
After yesterdays Roundup today we had people in court. All the main people who had already been charged were now at the point in the process where they must Plead. All were there apart from a couple who had been excused and are apparently in at a later date
There was a rash of Not guilty appeals
Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to charges related to phone hacking | UK news | The Guardian
Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, has pleaded not guilty to a series of criminal charges over a nine-year period when she edited the News of the World and the Sun, and latterly ran the newspaper publisher.
She pleaded not guilty to five charges relating to three separate police investigations on Wednesday at Southwark crown court, where she appeared alongside a number of other defendants including her husband, Charlie Brooks, the racehorse trainer and friend of David Cameron.
Brooks pleaded not guilty to one charge relating to an alleged conspiracy to hack phones between October 2000 and August 2006 and not guilty to two further charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office by paying public officials money for stories.
And so at present it still appears that we are due the full Court experience. The date is still scheduled for September, Which means that as yet there are no court delays occuring. The change of Judge hasn't put any crimp in the schedule, which must have improved things for David Cameron, no longer thinking that the case was going to slide towards the next general election and bring unneccessary attention to his closeness to the accused at such a delicate time.
Much happening in the ongoing Murdoch mania.
Firstly, News International has de-listed itself from the London Stock Exchange, an action that may be mere housekeeping or may presage the next round of disaster for the company.
More housekeeping in Rupert Murdoch’s family company. Ahead of the great man’s arrival in Australia to sell the virtues of his biggest divorce, News Corp late last week announced it had tired of being a listed company on the London Stock Exchange, its first port of call when the Sun King outgrew Australia and fled to London (along with a host of fellow Australians) to make his fortune and achieve global fame.
News Corp’s leaving the London Stock Exchange leaves the US listing in New York and Australia as its “home exchanges”. But you have to ask, will Australia follow London when the great split happens?
But the other company — the 21st Century Fox group, which will house the film, TV and other content business, as well as 39% of BSkyB — will retain the old News Corp’s listing in New York. But will it remain listed in Australia? There’s no obvious reason to, it doesn’t have any assets here.
Today the Crown prosecution service announced yet another case moving to the next stage. This one covers cash alledgedly paid to staff at Sandhurst, The Officer training school for the British army.
Operation Elveden: Duncan Larcombe, John Hardy, Claire Hardy and Tracy Bell to be charged
Alison Levitt, QC, Principal Legal Advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), oversees CPS decision making and all potential prosecutions in relation to the ongoing phone hacking investigations and other related matters.
Ms Levitt said: "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of cases arising from Operation Elveden, which is the Metropolitan Police Service investigation into allegations involving the unlawful provision of information by public officials to journalists.
"This announcement relates to a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service received by the CPS on 28 March 2013. The file concerned one journalist, two public officials and two members of the public.
Today was yet another case day in the ongoing civil cases. A further eight cases were brought to conclusion.
Reality TV star Jade Goody's estate, former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine and a former aide to Tony Blair are among eight of the latest claimants to settle their cases against News of the World for phone hacking.
The former Blue Peter and This Morning presenter John Leslie has also settled his case with News Group Newspapers, the News International subsidiary that published the now defunct Sunday tabloid, and accepted "substantial damages", the high court heard on Friday morning.
Matthew Doyle, who was Blair's deputy director of communications in Downing Street, has also settled his claim for "misuse of private information and breach of confidence" and accepted damages and legal costs.
Yesterday we had several senior members of the UK's Mirror group arrested, former editors and deputies from one of the papers, including the person who was Piers Morgans deputy. In the corner of the article was the mention that the supergrass involved was someone who had worked for both the Mirror group and the News of the World.
And tonight some of what is being investigated was revealed
Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch hit by 600 fresh claims | UK news | The Guardian
Detectives are examining an estimated 600 fresh allegations of phone-hacking incidents at Rupert Murdoch's now closed News of the World on the back of fresh evidence obtained by the Metropolitan police from a suspect turned supergrass.
Further details are expected to emerge on Monday morning at the high court during a hearing relating to the existing litigation by hacking victims against Murdoch's News International (NI) – hours before MPs are due to vote on joint Labour and Liberal Democrat amendments that would introduce a backstop law to stiffen regulation of the press.
Sources say Scotland Yard detectives believe they can identify as many as 600 new incidents after obtaining the phone records of an insider who is now being lined up as a crown witness. As a result of the new information, the force's Operation Weeting is recalibrating the timetable for concluding its investigation, which had been due to be completed with the conclusion of trials this year. Police now expect their work to continue into 2015.
Two major events today
firstly Four Daily Mirror Journalists arrested, first thing this morning.
Operation Weeting: four arrests over alleged Sunday Mirror phone hacking | UK news | guardian.co.uk
Four current or former Mirror Group Newspapers journalists, thought to have worked at the Sunday Mirror between 2003 and 2004, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone messages.
Detectives from the Metropolitan police arrested three men and a woman in what it alleged was a "separate conspiracy" to the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.
The four were all held in dawn raid arrests across London on Thursday and are being interviewed at police stations across the capital.
this includes the first national newspaper editor to be arrested (How the Suns editor hasn't so far as you would think he's financially responsible for all of the illegal mpayments made under his watch)
Phone hacking: first serving national newspaper editor arrested | UK news | guardian.co.uk
The Sunday People editor, James Scott, is understood to have become the first serving newspaper editor arrested over alleged phone hacking, relating to his time at the Sunday Mirror a decade ago.
Scott was one of four former Sunday Mirror senior journalists understood to have arrested in dawn raids on Thursday. It is understood that Tina Weaver, the ex-Sunday Mirror editor, Nick Buckley, the deputy Sunday People editor, and Mark Thomas, the former People editor, were arrested along with Scott on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages.
The Metropolitan police said the alleged conspiracy mainly concerned the Trinity Mirror-owned Sunday Mirror between 2003 and 2004 as it announced a fresh arm of its major phone hacking inquiry.
Now I don't know as this is really relevent to a US site, but as you have all read through discussions of evidence and reports, you may as well have what i think about the current state of things as I may need to refer back to it in the next couple of weeks
Since the publication of the Leveson report there has been a large amount of manoeuvring both in the public eye and behind the scenes. Some skilled, some inept and some so poor you would wonder how our leaders ever managed to reach their current positions in their respective parties and places of employment.
Lord Justice Leveson provided a reasonably balanced report, with a few minor problems, but nothing that should have been dealt with with the outrageous wailing and gnashing of teeth that the newspapers responded. It was as if the end of the world or the Black death had suddenly unexpectedly ridden into their midst. If the Leveson proposals were enacted, it would mean the imminent death of all investigative journalism. This was quite obviously completely untrue. Hillsborough is quoted as something where investigation would now be impossible. After the report of the Independent Panel where one paper was shown to be rampantly dishonest in its reporting, you would think that this would be an example that would have been avoided.
Today you have reporters claiming that newspapers wouldn’t bother to investigate the Huhne case as leveson would make it impossible. This is at best misleading. There appears to be nothing in the Leveson report that would bring about such a situation, however actions outside the report have been presented in such a way as to seem that there is an attack on press freedom, Whether there is, or if it is in fact a sweeping out of the Augean stables of UK policing and public life, is hard to tell, because it is not in the interest of newspapers to report on the occurrences openly and honestly.
This morning, the first sentencing of an individual convicted from the investigation that has come out of the phone hacking case.
For several reasons this result has been particularly anticipated, firstly the Judge in charge of this case is Mr. Justice Fulford, who is the judge in charge of all the major hacking cases, and this will be an early indication of the severity of sentencing that he thinks the cases require. indeed her lawyer, in an attempt to get the sentence reduced tried to get some distance between her case and the other cases from the News International set
BBC News - April Casburn jailed for News of the World leak offer
April Casburn goes to prison as the first person convicted as part of Operation Elveden.
During mitigation, her barrister argued that the exceptional nature of her offence - one 'mad telephone call' - should not lead to a precedent-setting sentence which would affect any future convictions relating to corrupt relationships between police and journalists.
But Mr Justice Fulford made clear she had no excuse for her actions - it was a straightforward and troubling case of corruption.
The Judge seemed to have very little sympathy for this point of view however