Whenever such a cat’s skein of evasion, misleadingness, distortions and downright lies unravels, there is always a serious and dangerous abuse of power at the root of it. And that applies here, big time, for all the participants – the police, the Home Office and Home Secretary, the News of the World, Coulson himself, and at the back of it all…..still unquestioned, Murdoch. Consider the evidence in each case.
Yates defends the Met by saying they will always look at new evidence if it becomes available. What he doesn’t say is that the Met has been sitting for years on a pyramid of evidence (widely reckoned to amount to 3,000 illegal phone-taps), but have refused to disclose it or investigate it. He says he interviewed other News of the World reporters than the royal correspondent, Clive Goodman. But he won’t name anybody and has not interviewed reporters who the evidence clearly shows intercepted voicemail messages. He admits not having talked to Sean Hoare, the former NoW reporter who said Coulson was aware of widespread hacking. But a dozen such reporters spoke to the New York Times about phone hacking, so why has the Met been so negligent in following up the evidence? The police agreed with the DPP to warn ‘all potential victims’ that their phones had been hacked into, but in fact told only a fraction: why?
The Home Office:
Theresa May said yesterday in the House that “the investigation has already been reviewed by the Met”. That is highly misleading: Yates when asked a year ago to establish the facts, reported within hours there were no grounds to reopen the 2006 inquiry, and regularly denied he had conducted a review. She also said “the CPS had full access to all the evidence gathered”. This is not true: the Guardian unearthed that a crucial email which the police found identifying two NoW reporters handling voicemails had not been handed on to the CPS. May further said that “there was early and regular (police) consultation with the CPS…to produce the best evidence”. In fact the police urged the CPS to ‘ring-fence’ evidence to conceal the identities of victims. And she also said that the “police made it clear that those they believed had been intercepted were contacted by members of the Met”. They were not.
The News of the World:
The NoW management and the whole Murdoch stable have persisted in claiming that nobody else was involved in hacking besides the two convicted. But a dozen NoW reporters have explicitly denied this and said phone-hacking was rife at the paper. Coulson has denied knowing anything about it. Several of his former employees have insisted he did. Theresa May stone-walled in a half-hour painful cross-examination in the Commons by saying she could not interfere with police operational matters. But of course that’s not true where there’s clear evidence (which there is) that the police have hugely mismanaged this affair. We need a public inquiry to discover why – a trail that will inevitably in the end lead to Murdoch and his power and his ambitions.