Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deepens

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Marie
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Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deepens

Postby Marie » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:53 pm

NOTE: I changed the subject line because this story keeps growing...
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James Murdoch could face criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic
As phone hacking scandal leaves News Corp open to prosecution, James Murdoch looks less likely to inherit empire
By Dominic Rushe and Jill Treanor
The Guardian
Friday 8 July 2011 20.18 BST

JAMES MURDOCH AND NEWS CORP could face corporate legal battles on both sides of the Atlantic that involve criminal charges, fines, and forfeiture of assets, as the escalating phone-hacking scandal risks damaging his chances of taking control of Rupert Murdoch's US-based media empire.

As deputy chief operating officer of News Corp – the US-listed company that is the ultimate owner of News International (NI), which in turn owns the News of the World, the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun – the younger Murdoch has admitted he misled parliament over phone hacking, although he has stated he did not have the complete picture at the time. There have also been reports that employees routinely made payments to police officers believed to total more than £100,000 in return for information.

The payments could leave News Corp – and possibly James Murdoch himself – facing the possibility of prosecution in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – legislation designed to stamp out bad corporate behavior that carries severe penalties for anyone found guilty of breaching it – and in the UK under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 which outlaws the interception of communications.

Tony Woodcock, a partner at the City law firm Stephenson Harwood, said section 79 of the 2000 Act enabled criminal proceedings to be brought against not only a company, but also a director or similar officer where the offense was committed with their "consent or connivance" or was "attributable to any neglect on their part."

Woodcock said, "This could embrace a wide number of people at the highest level within an organisation, such as a chief executive – not just the individual who 'pushed the button' allowing the intercept to take place or someone (perhaps less senior) who encouraged or was otherwise an accessory to the offense, such as an editor."

While the UK phone-hacking scandal has been met with outrage in the US, the hacking itself is unlikely to prompt Washington officials into action. But because NI is a subsidiary of the US company, any payments to UK police officers could trigger a justice department inquiry under the FCPA. The 1977 Act generally prohibits American companies and citizens from corruptly paying – or offering to pay – foreign officials to obtain or retain business.

The Butler University law professor Mike Koehler, an FCPA expert, said: "I would be very surprised if the US authorities don't become involved in this [NI] conduct." He said the scandal appeared to qualify as an FCPA case on two counts: first, News Corp is a US-listed company, giving the US authorities jurisdiction to investigate allegations; and "second, perhaps more importantly, the act requires that payments to government officials need to be in the furtherance of 'obtaining or retaining' business. If money is being paid to officials, in this case the police, in order to get information to write sensational stories to sell newspapers, that would qualify," he said.

Koehler said the US justice department was increasingly keen to bring cases against individuals as well as companies, because prosecuting people brought "maximum deterrence." He added, "Companies just pay out shareholders' money. There's not much deterrence there."

Tom Fox, a Houston-based lawyer who specializes in FCPA cases and anti-corruption law, said most corporate cases were settled before going to court. But for individuals who are successfully prosecuted the penalties are severe. In 2009 the former Hollywood movie producer Gerald Green and his wife, Patricia, were jailed for six months in the first criminal case under the FCPA. The Greens, whose credits included Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn, were convicted of paying $1.8m in bribes to a government official in Thailand in exchange for contracts to manage the Bangkok international film festival.

FCPA charges can carry up to five years in jail for each charge, but the Greens' short prison sentence was not the harshest element of their sentencing. The "biggest hammer" prosecutors hold is forfeiture of assets, said Fox. "The Greens lost everything. Their house, savings, retirement plan. They are destitute now."

Bringing an FCPA case against the company would be far easier than bringing an action against James Murdoch. As yet there appears to be no evidence that he was directly linked to authorizing the police payments. "If you don't know about it, that is a valid defense for an individual," said Koehler.

In New York, media executives believe that, with or without an FCPA case, James Murdoch has already fatally damaged his chances of taking his father's crown. One said, "There has been a sense of unraveling at News Corp for a while. The Daily, MySpace, Project Alesia – they look like News is chasing rainbows. [Rupert] Murdoch is looking old. It affects his ability to appoint an heir and I don't think James even has the backing of his family any more."

Speculation is that Chase Carey, the chief operating officer, is most likely to take the top slot when and if the media mogul steps aside.

"He is the ultimate Murdoch operative. He is not interested in the trappings of the media business. What would he do? Close the New York Post [YAY! =D> -Marie], sell the Times. Why not? It's a rational thing to do."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/ju ... CMP=twt_gu

-Marie-
Last edited by Marie on Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: James Murdoch could face criminal chgs in US

Postby Marie » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:38 pm

It gets worse.

From the Mirror-UK:
MR MURDOCK arrived in London yesterday wearing a Panama hat and clutching a final copy of News of the World, in a bid to save his crumbling organization after the phone-hacking scandal saw the 168-year-old paper axed.

But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters. And there was more bad news when it was revealed that nine reporters ­allegedly at the center of the phone scandal and claims of police corruption could face jail, along with three officers.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/2011/07/11/phon ... -23262694/

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: James Murdoch could face criminal chgs in US

Postby Slfriend79 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:01 pm

The latest is they may have been hacking the phone of 9/11 victims. :evil:
Phone hacking: 9/11 victims 'may have had mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters'

DESPERATE Rupert Murdoch yesterday flew to London to try to save his ­crumbling empire.

He arrived in a cowboy-style hat to be hit by claims News of the World reporters hacked the phones of 9/11 victims.

Murdoch held talks with News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, amid fears nine staff and three cops may face jail.

HIS media empire is crashing around him, he’s just shut down a scandal-hit newspaper and his BSkyB bid is in tatters, but Rupert Murdoch still came out grinning yesterday.

And this cosy picture of him giving his backing to smiling Rebekah Brooks will no doubt infuriate the 200 loyal staff at the defunct News of the World who were ­sacrificed while she clung to her job.

As Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to scupper Mr Murdoch’s bid to own all of BSkyB, the News Corp boss seemed to brush off his troubles to joke with the under-fire News International chief executive – who was editor when murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked. Asked what his first priority was, he gestured at Mrs Brooks and said: “This one.”

Mr Murdoch arrived in London yesterday, wearing a Panama hat and clutching a final copy of the News of the World, in a bid to save his crumbling organisation after the phone-hacking scandal saw the 168-year-old paper axed.

But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters. And there was more bad news when it was revealed nine reporters ­allegedly at the centre of the phone scandal and claims of police corruption could face jail, along with three officers.

After he spent time at News International’s Wapping HQ in East London, 80-year-old Mr Murdoch held crisis talks with Mrs Brooks, 43 - who denies any knowledge of the Milly phone tapping - at his home in Mayfair.

The pair chatted behind closed doors as a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.

Now working as a private ­investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.

A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives.

“His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.

“The investigator said the ­journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.”

The News of the World was shut after 11,000 documents seized from a private investigator revealed the ugly truth behind many of its scoops.

One police source said: “These documents show the hacking was not just one or two attempts at accessing voicemails. More than 4,000 people had their phone hacked. This was hacking on an industrial scale.”

Mr Murdoch’s son James, who is chairman of News International, admitted to approving out of court settlements to hacking victims and misleading Parliament – which he claims was not deliberate.

The fresh tapping claims prompted Mr Miliband to declare war on Mr Murdoch’s bid to control BSkyB.

In his most outspoken attack on the media mogul yet, he said yesterday: “The idea that this organisation, which has engaged in these terrible ­practices, should be allowed to take over BSkyB... without that criminal investigation having been completed, and on the basis of assurances from that self-same ­organisation… frankly that won’t wash with the public.”

Labour will table a motion on Wednesday calling on Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to delay signing off the takeover deal until the criminal investigation into the hacking allegations is wrapped up. Lib Dem ­ministers are thought to be prepared to back the Labour leader.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable are said to be “totally united” against the bid.

Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes lent his support yesterday. He said: “I will be suggesting to my colleagues that we as a party, a party that’s never been close to Murdoch, should make clear that we think there should be a postponement of the decision.”

Mr Murdoch also owns the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, 43, was arrested on Friday over phone hacking and police corruption ­allegations.

Ex-royal editor Clive Goodman, 53, was also held along with a unnamed 63-year-old man. All three were freed on police bail after being quizzed by officers.

Mr Coulson was hired as David Cameron’s press aide, despite warnings to the PM over his possible knowledge of the hacking while at the News of the World.

And last night criticism of Mr Cameron’s judgment grew louder as senior political figures lined up to reveal they had urged him not to take Mr Coulson into government.

Lib Dem Lord Paddy Ashdown and Energy ­Secretary Chris Huhne claimed they warned the PM after the election - but were ignored.

Mr Huhne said: “Well I raised it with Nick and Nick raised it with the Prime Minister and it was made clear to us that this was a personal appointment to the Prime Minister.

“It wasn’t a Government appointment and therefore we didn’t have any standing to object to it, but it was very clear from what I had said previously that I think there were big reputational risks.

“The Prime Minister has said that he wanted to give Andy Coulson a second chance and that’s very commendable. The reality is that there were very serious risks being run there. We knew with Andy Coulson that anybody in charge of a ­newspaper needs to know what’s going on and at the very least either Andy Coulson was complicit in criminal acts or, alternatively, he was a very incompetent editor by the ­standards of Fleet Street.”

Milly Dowler’s parents Sally and Bob and sister Gemma are due to meet Mr Clegg today. They will also see Mr Cameron later in the week, Downing Street has said.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/2011/07/11/phon ... -23262694/
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:52 am

Michael wrote:
DESPERATE Rupert Murdoch yesterday flew to London to try to save his ­crumbling empire.

We wish. He owns half the media around us. All that is crumbling is his bid to buy even more of it.

Anyone remember hearing that Rupe lost HALF OF HIS FORTUNE in the financial crisis a few years ago?

Recent times have not been kind to the guy who called Keith "crazy."

Chickens-->roost.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:09 pm

More bad news for the Rupester:

The decision re Murdoch's acquisition of BSkyB is delayed 6 months;

And Gordon Brown is said to be "shocked" after it is alleged that Murdoch's Sunday Times targeted his personal information when he was Chancellor.

Details here, from the Beeb:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14112097

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Slfriend79 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:27 am

Murdoch To Appear Before Parliament Committee Over Phone Hacking Scandal

Jillian Rayfield | July 12, 2011, 10:25AM


The U.K.'s Department of Media, Culture and Sport Committee is summoning Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. to give evidence on the widening News International phone hacking scandal.

British MP Louise Mensch tweeted Tuesday that "The DCMS Select Committee will be summoning Rupert and James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks to appear before us re: prior Cttee evidence."

Brooks is chief executive for News International, the branch of News Corp. in charge of Murdoch's print holdings in the U.K.

The Guardian reports that a spokesperson for News International said that Murdoch et al will appear. "We have been made aware of the request from the CMS committee to interview senior executives and will co-operate," the spokesperson said. "We await the formal invitation."

The summons relates to allegations that employees or associates of News International's now-defunct News Of The World tabloid hacked into the phones of as many as 4,000 people, including those of murder victims and terrorism victims. Two other News International publications are accused of targeting the phone, bank, and medical records of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for a period of ten years.

Brown accused News International Tuesday of employing "known criminals" to acquire information about him. "I'm shocked, I'm genuinely shocked, to find that this happened because of their links with criminals, known criminals, who were undertaking this activity, hired by investigators working with the Sunday Times," he said.

The Home Affairs Select Committee is holding hearings on Tuesday over why the Metropolitan Police limited its investigation into the phone hacking allegations when they first came to light in 2006. The New York Times reported on Monday that as many as five senior police officers may have had their phones hacked during the time of the investigation. The hearings will also focus on whether Scotland Yard scuttled the investigations out of fear of reprisals from the tabloid.

Scotland Yard is now also investigating whether News Of The World bribed police officers for information.

British authorities say there will be more arrests in the coming weeks.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.c ... e_over.php
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:52 am

The govt certainly acts more quickly on these things in Britain than we do here!

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:59 pm

Philbert wrote:
Marie wrote:The govt certainly acts more quickly on these things in Britain than we do here!

They're not quite as corrupt. Almost...but not quite.

That's one of the reasons I want to see what happens if this story jumps the Pond.

Just like Microsoft, and the phone company before that, there was a Moment when consolidation in an industry had to be addressed.

In both cases it was past the point when it would have done the most good. They only did it because the public, and members of Congress themselves, were so sick of being pushed around that they finally felt like kicking the perpetrators in the ass, and that's not the best frame of mind in which to regulate.

But apparently that's what it takes in the US to move Uncle Sam to bust up bullying monopolies. So I'll be watching with great interest the reactions of our various governmental bodies if Murdoch-Gate emerges full-blown over here.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:11 am

My fav Twitter exchange tonight:
Tweeter #1: So what is the nature of the 'deep bond' between Murdoch & Rebeka??

Tweeter #2: Let’s hack their mobiles & find out

(I don't endorse it, but I appreciate the sentiment just the same.)

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Slfriend79 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:40 am

News Corp withdraws bid for BSkyB

13 July 2011 Last updated at 09:30 ET


Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has announced that it is dropping its planned bid to take full ownership of BSkyB.

The announcement came as the House of Commons was preparing to vote for a motion calling on Mr Murdoch to do so.

All three major party leaders had said they supported the motion, which would not be legally binding on News Corp.

The decision follows days of allegations about phone hacking by News Corp subsidiary News International.

"We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies, but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate," said News Corp chairman Chase Carey in a statement.

"News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and out contribution to it."

The BBC's business editor Robert Peston said: "It's a huge humiliation. This was [News Corp's] biggest investment plan of the moment. It was one of the biggest investments they've ever wanted to make.

"It is an extraordinary reversal of corporate fortune... And questions will now be asked whether this is the full extent of the damage to the empire."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14142307
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Slfriend79 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:03 pm

Looks like the drip, drip, drip of 'Murdoch Gate' has turned into a flash flood. :dwink

AP source: FBI investigating News Corp.

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press – 43 minutes ago


NEW YORK (AP) — A law enforcement official says the FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims.

The official spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

New York City-based News Corp. has been in crisis mode.

A rival newspaper reported last week that the company's News of the World had hacked into the phone of U.K. teenage murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002 and may have impeded a police investigation into the 13-year-old's disappearance.

More possible victims soon emerged: other child murder victims, 2005 London bombing victims, the families of dead soldiers and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The FBI's New York office hasn't commented. There's been no response from News Corp. or to a message left with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... d162e41222
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:11 pm

I agree with Keith that he'll likely be affected by sponsor defection over here before his actual licenses are threatened.

Meanwhile, at least publicly, Murdoch is blowing it off; however, his unfazed pose is belied by the fact that even though he and his son aren't required to respond to a summons from the UK parliamentary investigatory committee, they've decided to allow themselves to be questioned anyway.

How are the mighty fallen.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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BREAKING NEWS One of Murdoch's ex-minnions was arrested!!

Postby GeminiDogg » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:15 am

Rebekah Brooks has been arrested, the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Sunday.

The former News International chief executive went to a London police station by appointment and was arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking.

Brooks is the 10th person to be arrested in connection to the new investigation into allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World.

In a statement, police said: "The MPS has this afternoon, Sunday 17 July, arrested a female in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking.

"At approximately 12.00 hrs a 42-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting together with officers from Operation Elveden and is currently in custody.

"She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

"The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.

"Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the IPCC.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time."

Brooks is due to appear before parliament's culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday afternoon.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said police were trying to get a grip on the scandal. He told Sky News: “I think the police are trying to move pretty quickly… One of those areas of concern is the suggestion that officers at all levels may have been the subject of receiving money as Rebekah Brooks told parliament when she last appeared before them.”
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Slfriend79 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:16 pm

The Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police Service has resigned:

Statement from the Commissioner

17 July 2011


I have this afternoon informed the Palace, Home Secretary and the Mayor of my intention to resign as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.

I have taken this decision as a consequence of the ongoing speculation and accusations relating to the Met’s links with News International at a senior level and in particular in relation to Mr Neil Wallis who as you know was arrested in connection with Operation Weeting last week.

Firstly, I want to say what an enormous privilege it has been for me to lead this great organisation that is the Met. The recent example of the heroism and bravery of Met officers in chasing armed suspects, involving the shooting of one of my officers, is typical; but is in danger of being eclipsed by the ongoing debate about relationships between senior officers and the media. This can never be right.

Crime levels in the Met are at a ten year low. You have seen the Met at its glorious and unobtrusive best on the occasion of the royal wedding; the professional and restrained approach to unexpected levels of violence in recent student demonstrations; the vital ongoing work to secure the safety of the capital from terrorism; the reductions in homicide; and continuing increased levels of confidence as the jewel in our crown of Safer Neighbourhoods Teams serve the needs of Londoners.

I am deeply proud of the achievements of the Met since I became Commissioner.

Let me turn to phone hacking and my relationship with Neil Wallis. I want to put the record straight.

I met Mr Wallis in 2006. The purpose of that meeting was, as with other journalists, to represent the context of policing and to better inform the public debate carried out through the media on policing issues.

I had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the original investigation into phone hacking in 2006 that successfully led to the conviction and imprisonment of two men. I had no reason to believe this was anything other than a successful investigation. I was unaware that there were any other documents in our possession of the nature that have now emerged.

I have acknowledged the statement by John Yates that if he had known then what he knows now he would have made different decisions.

My relationship with Mr Wallis continued over the following years and the frequency of our meetings is a matter of public record. The record clearly accords with my description of the relationship as one maintained for professional purposes and an acquaintance.

In 2009 the Met entered into a contractual arrangement with Neil Wallis, terminating in 2010. I played no role in the letting or management of that contract.

I have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of Mr Wallis in phone hacking. Let me say unequivocally that I did not and had no reason to have done so. I do not occupy a position in the world of journalism; I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging; nor of its apparent reach into senior levels. I saw senior figures from News International providing evidence that the misbehaviour was confined to a rogue few and not known about at the top.

One can only wonder about the motives of those within the newspaper industry or beyond, who now claim that they did know but kept quiet. Though mine and the Met’s current severe discomfort is a consequence of those few that did speak out, I am grateful to them for doing so, giving us the opportunity to right the wrong done to victims - and here I think most of those especially vulnerable people who deserved so much better from us all.

Now let me turn to the suspicion that the contractual relationship with Mr Wallis was somehow kept secret. The contracting of Mr Wallis only became of relevance when his name became linked with the new investigation into phone hacking. I recognise that the interests of transparency might have made earlier disclosure of this information desirable. However my priority, despite the embarrassment it might cause, has been to maintain the integrity of Operation Weeting. To make it public would have immediately tainted him and potentially compromised any future Operation Weeting action.

Now let me turn to the reported displeasure of the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary of the relationship with Mr Wallis.

The reasons for not having told them are two fold. Firstly, I repeat my earlier comments of having at the time no reason for considering the contractual relationship to be a matter of concern. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation.

Secondly, once Mr Wallis’s name did become associated with Operation Weeting, I did not want to compromise the Prime Minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson. I am aware of the many political exchanges in relation to Mr Coulson’s previous employment - I believe it would have been extraordinarily clumsy of me to have exposed the Prime Minister, or by association the Home Secretary, to any accusation, however unfair, as a consequence of them being in possession of operational information in this regard. Similarly, the Mayor. Because of the individuals involved, their positions and relationships, these were I believe unique circumstances.

Consequently, we informed the Chair of the MPA, Mr Malthouse, of the Met’s contractual arrangements with Mr Wallis on the morning of the latter’s arrest. It is our practice not to release the names of suspects under arrest, making it difficult to make public details of the arrangements prior to Mr Wallis’s release the same day. The timing of the MPA Committee that I appeared before at 2pm that day was most unfortunate.

Now let me briefly deal with the recent story in relation to my use of Champney’s facilities. There has been no impropriety and I am extremely happy with what I did and the reasons for it - to do everything possible to return to running the Met full time, significantly ahead of medical, family and friends’ advice. The attempt to represent this in a negative way is both cynical and disappointing.

I thought it necessary to provide this lengthy and detailed account of my position on aspects of the current media questions and speculation concerning my conduct. I do this to provide the backcloth to the main purpose of this statement.

There are a great number of things I value as part of my professional life - very high in this list are my reputation for judgement and integrity.

On judgement: running a large and overwhelmingly successful organisation like the Met must be dependent to a great extent on others providing the right information and assurances. I could reiterate that I had no reason to doubt the original investigation into phone hacking or be aware of the documents and information in our possession and only recently provided by News International. I could point to the many other successes of the Met. I could point to the long history of how and why the relationship between the Met and media has developed a way of doing business that has brought real benefits but perhaps runs the risk of misinterpretation or worse. In this particular regard it is clear to me that the current furore marks a point in time, a need to learn and change.

However, as Commissioner I carry ultimate responsibility for the position we find ourselves in. With hindsight, I wish we had judged some matters involved in this affair differently. I didn’t and that’s it.

I do not believe this on its own would be a matter for me to consider my position as Commissioner.

However, the issue of my integrity is different. Let me state clearly, I and the people who know me know that my integrity is completely intact. I may wish we had done some things differently, but I will not lose sleep over my personal integrity.

Nevertheless, I must accept that the intense media coverage, questions, commentary and indeed allegations, as demonstrated by this weekend’s attempt to misrepresent my arrangements for my recovery from illness, not only provide excessive distraction both for myself and colleagues, but are likely to continue for some time. In particular the Public Inquiry must take time, with even the first part scheduled not to report within a year. A year in which the Met must face not only the enormous challenges that are the staple diet of this incredible organisation, but also the Olympics.

This is not a 12 months that can afford any doubts about the Commissioner of the Met, I have seen at first hand the distractions for this organisation when the story becomes about the leaders as opposed to what we do as a service. I was always clear that I would never allow that. We the Met cannot afford this - not this year.

If I stayed I know that the Inquiry outcomes would reaffirm my personal integrity. But time is short before we face the enormous challenge of policing the Olympics - this is not the time for ongoing speculation about the security of the position of the Commissioner. Even a small chance that that there could be a change of leadership must be avoided.

Therefore, although I have received continued personal support from both the Home Secretary and the Mayor, I have with great sadness informed both of my intention to resign. This will allow time for the appointment of my successor and for that person to take a firm hold of the helm of this great organisation and steer it through the great challenges and necessary change ahead, unencumbered by the current controversy. I will miss many things, but most of all it will be the overwhelming majority of honest, hard working professionals who it has been such a great pleasure to lead.

http://content.met.police.uk/News/State ... 7246745756
"Laugh hard, run fast, be kind." - Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor (Twice Upon A Time)

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Marie
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Re: Murdoch 'News of the World' tabloid scandal widens, deep

Postby Marie » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:10 pm

It's like a giant house of cards. Rupert must be proud of all the people he's bringing down. [-(

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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