Leveson Inquiry

23 July 2012:

Submissions:

Closing Submissions by: Neil Garnham QC; Gavin Millar QC; and James Dingemans QC

Witness Statements and Hearing Transcripts:

Transcripts:  Morning Hearing 23 July 2012 (DAC Sue Akers: page 1; Closing submissions by Neil Garnham QC; page 28)  |  Afternoon Hearing 23 July 2012 (Closing submissions by Gavin Millar QC: page 1; Closing submissions by James Dingemans QC: page 48)  |

submissions, witness statements and hearing transcripts: module 4module 3module 2 | module 1 |

****

Leveson inquiry: Sue Akers

• Corrupt payments probe launched at Mirror and Express titles
• Prison officer received £35,000 from NI, Mirror and Express titles
• Akers: 4,775 potential phone-hacking victims
• Of these, 1,081 ‘likely’ to have been victims
• Some NI material ‘seems to have come from stolen phones’

The Scotland Yard investigation into payments from journalists to police and public officials has widened to include Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Daily Star and Star on Sunday titles. In one case a prison officer at a high security prison, who has now retired, had allegedly received payments from News International, Trinity Mirror and Express Newspapers totalling nearly £35,000, Akers told the inquiry.

DAC Sue Akers, head of the investigations, told the inquiry that Trinity Mirror and Express Newspapers were cooperating with the police over alleged illicit payments. Akers said the inquiry was also focusing on another public official, a prison officer at a separate high security prison, who allegedly received more than £14,000 from Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the People, between February 2006 and January 2012.

Eleven journalists arrested on suspicion of phone hacking are due to answer police bail on Tuesday. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) set to advise on whether journalists should face phone-hacking charges.

Met police believes there are more than 702 identifiable victims of phone hacking. It has notified 2,615 alleged targets to date, out of more than 4,000 potential victims.

Akers said some News International material appears to have come from stolen mobile phones. Material from two mobile phones was dated around late 2010, Akers told Leveson, and one of the phones had been examined with a view to breaking its security code, so that the contents could be downloaded by experts. One of the mobile phone thefts took place in Manchester and another in south-west London.

Lord Justice Leveson ruled out recommending an Ofcom-style statutory regulator to replace the Press Complaints Commission. Leveson says he would be very surprised if he decided to go down this route, after calls for Ofcom to oversee newspaper conduct.

Telegraph Media Group, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, outlined its opposition to statutory regulation in its final submissions to the inquiry. Gavin Millar QC, for the Telegraph group, said its concern is about politicians “getting the bit between their teeth” and wanting to punish newspapers through tighter regulation. He backed Lord Black’s plans for an independent self-regulatory body.

Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, publisher of titles including the Daily Star and Daily Express, told Leveson that serving editors should not sit on reformed press regulator. James Dingemans QC, for Northern & Shell, said the new watchdog needs to take account of internet publishers as well as newspapers.