Friday, 24 August 2012

The Milly Dowler Hacking - Part 3: A Short Postscript

The Leveson Inquiry web site is currently doing a summer document dump.  This comprises three categories of documents - additional Legal Submissions, further 'Taken as Read ' material, and Exhibits to previously published witness statements.  The latter are scattered throughout the alphabetical witness evidence listings.

There are several interesting documents in the newly published Exhibits - hat-tip to Tom Watson MP for pointing to Andy Coulson's Severance/Compromise Agreement with News International here - it's worth reading.

But it was another Exhibit caught my attention....

When Bob QUICK gave his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, he outlined a review he undertook when he was Chief Constable of SURREY Police. He was asked by the MET to look at the Cash-for Honours scandal (Operation Ribble).  Specifically, there were high-level leaks from the investigation to newspapers.  The then Commissioner of the MET, Sir Paul Stephenson, was very concerned that the leaks were coming from Acting Assistant Commissioner John YATES.

QUICK's Report to Stephenson made more than a dozen suggestions, including that YATES should allow his mobile phone and landline billing records to be scrutinised, scoured for calls to newspaper contact numbers, and timings cross-checked against press stories emanating from leaks.  YATES cold response to QUICK's recommendation was to refuse, saying  "he was ’very well (or too well) connected’. When I questioned this remark he emphasised "No Bob - I am VERY well connected".   (p9)

The full (though redacted) report from Bob QUICK to Stephenson is now available - Exhibit BQ2 here.

This was in late 2006, the exact same time of the well-publicised trial and conviction of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire. How one 'rogue reporter' from the News of the World had hacked mobile phones for stories made headline news and TV coverage.  Ironic then that one of Bob QUICK's other recommendations to Stephenson was that all phone calls between YATES and the press should be monitored and recorded.  QUICK added that
Surpol (SURREY POLICE) is researching the legality of recording options and I will report on these imminently.
Doubly ironic is that QUICK was seemimgly unaware that he had been  impeded by YATES' cold refusal PLUS the force of which he was Chief Constable.  QUICK was relying on legal research from SURREY POLICE - who had known for more than four years that News of the World had illegally hacked and recorded the voicemail of Milly Dowler.

Related Posts
The Milly Dowler Hacking - Part 1: Questions Still Unanswered
The Milly Dowler Hacking - Part 2: Discrepancies And Delays
Hackgate for Beginners
Surrey Police and the Hacking of Milly Dowler's Phone
Bloggerheads - News of the World: 110% certainty, the remainder fact

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