In the last few days there was a sudden burst of Leveson related activity when several Journalists noted that a final statement by DAC Sue Akers had been posted on the Leveson website. A statement that was packed with interesting details, from the fact that there are still twelve police officers still full time informing people that they have been hacked to the fact that police are considering action under “bribery contrary to s1 Bribery Act 2010”. Interesting because this act didn’t come into effect until three days before the Guardians Millie Dowler front page.
However on top of this there are five pages of evidence redacted, three pages that are supplied with paragraph numbers, two, strangely without. It has been suggested that this may at least partly relate to Operation Kalmyk which is missing from the unredacted section, although it may be that this is considered to be a subset of operation tuleta
However, Levsons Inquiry is not just dealing with News International, his Inquiry is ranging across the whole of the UK press.
There are also a whole selection of new documents. Ranging from witness statements by Cherie Blair, disputes over peoples evidence from a whole range of people, and an amusing piece of outrage from the express where it shows the mail group having used a mailshot to attempt to steal the Expresses readership as the Express is now run by “one of Britain’s most prolific peddlers of pornography,” http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/...
Among others that appear interesting there are two copies of a document from Associated news re Steve Wittamore the Motorman PI inserted at different times, although I can’t see any changes between the two versions from a brief look, it may be that it’s been put up twice in error. The meat of the document is that the Inquiry had demanded information on what had happened to those members of staff involved in producing articles using the private Investigator. Lord Leveson had threatened to release Motorman details if nothing was forthcoming. The associated newspapers reply
http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/... is as close to Piss off as it is possible to be, but written artfully by lawyers. From that position it is very hard to see what response it is possible for the Inquiry to come to apart from publish the withheld Mail and Mail on Sunday motorman files.
If we look back at an earlier associated document
and take the two documents together it appears that they are arguing that as none of their staff can remember anything, that it would be improper to criticise the companies papers as nothing could actually be proved. This is a fairly desperate move on the part of Dacre and chums. The biggest chance of success is probably if the learned Judge had a heart attack through excessive laughter.
Another apparent new document that raises questions is a list of those documents supplied to the Inquiry under a Part 21 notice, forcing the handover of documents. The interesting detail in here is that there are five pages in the centre that are entirely redacted. Now this redaction is not carried over onto the index at the beginning of the document so we can see who the emails are between. Now the emails are sent between Mary Russel, the Legal director at Associated Newspapers and someone called John Sexton. Now John Sexton appears to be a civil servant who works for both the Department of Culture Media and Sport, and the Department of Business Information and Skills, Sextons area of responsibility appears to be part of the Communications Regulatory Policy Team, Now as he has addresses in published documents on the internet from both departments it would appear that he is someone who directly or indirectly reports to Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Interestingly the only government minister between the two departments who was not questioned in front of the Leveson inquiry.
Its strange that these documents are redacted, why was a part 21 notice applied to a ministers email whos brief doesn’t appear to cover the pint press? Why would the mail provide documentation about something that appears outside the remit of the inquiry at first glance? And Why would one of the two sides wish for these emails to be redacted in the public record? It may be that they are nothing, but if so why redact them?
Another interesting document is One from Linklaters, Nes Internationals legal representative http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/... answering questions posed by the inquiry. Included in this is an entirely redacted section which would explain the process of how the paper came to have the Kate McCann diary in its possession, and how the decision was made to publish. Whether this implies that criminal legal action is something upcoming is questionable, but it’s something to watch out for. Also included in this are articles from the Irish edition of the Mirror explaining how they managed to listen in to the voicemail of several government ministers in April 1998 and an Article from the Independent discussing phone hacking from June 1999. Either of which would strain the credibility of any newspaper editor who claimed to know nothing of the existence of the technique.
No doubt there are more to find in the latest dump, but that’s the obvious bits from a first quick scan.