Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:31:53 PM EST
It appears that over the last couple of days, yet another dump of documents happened at the Leveson Inquiry website. Mainly they are a succession of editors and newspaper employees saying "not me guv, nothing to see here, of course we obeyed the PCC regulations". But amongst the documentation is a statement by David Brown, a former employee of The People, one of the Sunday tabloids.
Part of his statement reads as follows
I cannot independently verify the general matters that I raised in the second half of my statement and have no other relevant matters which could add now. The statements about phone hacking were largely based on anecdotal information I was not involved in any hacking(or phone screwing as it was often called}. The only story that was personally involved inwich I believe I had any element of phone hacking was the one where was sent to Stockholm to doorstep a man who I was told had contacted Ulrika Jonsson and her mobile phone I do not know who hacked the phone and cannot remember specifically who sent me as it must have been over six years ago. Furthermore I would also like to point out that the Information Commissioner: referred to the use of Steve Wattamore by The People (among other publications) in his What Price Privacy? Report in 2006.
It is interesting that although this appears to be a claim that another newspaper was involved in phone hacking, beyond the News of the World. Now there have been suggestions that other papers were involved in similar activity to that which has been claimed occurred at the News of the World, but few journalists have come forward and said that they think that their stories had their root in the world of illegal telephony. It is most disappointing that further questions were not asked in the Leveson Inquiry to confirm this question. On top of this, he refers to evidence in the Motorman report, which we have been unable to see. with the implication that this has some relevence to the story as written.
Interesting questions raised with no real solid answers supplied.
Another interesting document is a statement from Harriet Ellis of Linklaters which deals with discrepancies between Rupert Murdoch's evidence and that of David Cameron and Alex Salmond.
When the Original Exhibits were published, there was some speculation in the press concerning meetings listed with David Cameron which had not appeared on the lists published by Mr Cameron. Separately, Mr Salmond's office also contacted NI to dispute some of the dates listed in KRM28. More recently, a number of the individuals listed in the Original Exhibits have submitted to the Inquiry details of their own records of meetings with Mr Murdoch, amongst others. In light of these developments, Linklaters re-reviewed the Original Exhibits and, where discrepancies were noted, re-examined the original sources of the dates. This review identified a small number of:
(a) meetings which we considered should not on reflection have been included in the Original Exhibits (on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that any such meetings had taken place or it did not appear that in fact Mr Murdoch or the relevant politician had attended them);
(b) meetings which should have been included but which had not been; and
(c) events that were either incorrectly dated or described (including a meeting that had incorrectly been described as a telephone call).
It will be however a piece of evidence which will no doubt draw out a stock of people who will question whether a deal has been done to reduce the embarrassment of politicians in office in return for, say a deal to dump Leveson conclusions.
If this is logical or believable is another question, but it will be used as an explanation if Leveson findings are not implemented when people are looking for evidence to justify a perception of corruption between press and politicians.
There cannot be much more to be released now before the final report, then no doubt we will have a parade of people telling us how this is an absolute disaster, and the end of the world for newspapers and democracy.