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Nick Davis of the Guardian gave this great summation of today's police hearing at the Home Office.

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pennylane100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 04:21 PM
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Nick Davis of the Guardian gave this great summation of today's police hearing at the Home Office.
The police were extremely arrogant and seemed completely oblivious of the trouble they were in. Its about an 8 minute but well worth watching.
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mrdmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 04:59 PM
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1. Said in the video, "drip, drip, drip..."
Obviously, there is a lot more!
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KeepItReal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 05:17 PM
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2. Phone hacks, Police intimidation, and maybe even break-ins?!?
This company sounds more like a bunch of thugs with every revelation.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 06:04 PM
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3. Such as at Paddy Ashdown's solicitor:
An investigator who worked for Rees claims he was also occasionally commissioning burglaries of public figures to steal material for newspapers. Southern Investigations has previously been implicated in handling paperwork that was stolen by a professional burglar from the safe of Paddy Ashdown's lawyer, when Ashdown was leader of the Liberal Democrats. The paperwork, which was eventually obtained by the News of the World, recorded Ashdown discussing his fears that newspapers might expose an affair with his secretary.

The first theft came after Mr Ashdown had sought Mr Phillips's advice on 31 May 1990 about his brief relationship with Patricia Howard. Mr Phillips had his recollections of the main points of the conversation typed up and placed in the most secure safe in the cellar of his office.

The paper was stolen in the second weekend of January this year. A photocopy was offered for sale to the News of World on the Monday.

The prosecution alleges that the papers were taken by Simon Berkowitz, 45, a painter and decorator, from Hove, East Sussex. He denies burgling the offices and handling the stolen original of the document. He has, police allege, admitted showing a photocopy of the document to the News of the World.

Rumours about the contents of the stolen paper spread, and Mr Ashdown was forced just before the election publicly to admit that he once had an affair with Mrs Howard.

I posted that back on Saturday:

Jonathan Rees is the worst criminal involved here, I think; see, for instance, what Chris Bryant MP said (posted by marmar on DU on Thursday):

The charge sheet is even longer, unfortunately. I am told that the News of the World also hacked the phones of police officers, including those investigating the still unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan. This is particularly worrying considering the collapse of the long-delayed trial of the private investigator, Jonathan Rees, who also worked for newspapers, earlier this year. Scandalously, it also seems that the News of the World targeted some of those police officers who were, at various times, in charge of the investigation into the News of the World itself. We can only speculate, Mr Speaker, on why they would want to do that.

These are not just the amoral actions of some lone private investigator tied to a rogue News of the World reporter; they are the immoral and almost certainly criminal deeds of an organisation that was appallingly led and had completely lost sight of any idea of decency or shared humanity. The private voicemail messages of victims of crime should never, ever have become a commodity to be traded between journalists and private investigators for a cheap story and a quick sale, and I know that the vast majority of journalists in this country would agree with that.

And another of my posts on him from Saturday:

"Tom Watson MP said this in the Parliamentary debate (where you cannot be sued for libel), on Wednesday, the day before the NotW was shut down:

I want to inform the House of further evidence that suggests Rebekah Brooks knew about the unlawful tactics of News of the World as early as 2002, despite all her denials yesterday. Rebekah Brooks was present at a meeting with Scotland Yard when police officers pursing a murder investigation provided her with evidence that her newspaper was interfering with the pursuit of justice. They gave her the name of another executive at News International, Alex Marunchak. The meeting, which included Dick Fedorcio of the Metropolitan police, told her that News of the World staff were guilty of interference and party to using unlawful means to attempt to discredit a police officer and his wife. She was told of actions by people she paid to expose and discredit David Cook and his wife Jackie Haines so that Mr Cook would be prevented from completing an investigation into a murder. News International were paying people to interfer with police officers and were doing so on behalf of known criminals. We know now that News International had entered the criminal underworld.

She cannot deny being present at this meeting when the actions of people she was paying were exposed. She cannot deny now being warned that under her auspices unlawful tactics were being used with the purpose of interfering with the pursuit of justice. She cannot deny that one of her staff, Alex Marunchak, was named and involved. She cannot deny either that she was told by the police that her own paper was using unlawful tactics, in this case to help one of her law-breaking investigators. This in my views shows her culpability goes beyond taking the blame as head of the organisation. It is about direct knowledge of unlawful behaviour.

And was Mr Marunchak dismissed. No. He was promoted.

NI replied:

"It is well documented that Jonathan Rees and Southern Investigations worked for a whole variety of newspaper groups. With regards to Tom Watson's specific allegations, we believe these are wholly inaccurate. The Met police, with whom we are co-operating fully in Operation Weeting, have not asked us for any information regarding Jonathan Rees. We note again that Tom Watson MP made these allegations under parliamentary privilege."

More on Rees:

The agency's two principals, Jonathan Rees and ex-detective sergeant Sid Fillery, had both been arrested in connection with the 1987 murder of Rees's former partner, Daniel Morgan, found in a pub car park with an axe embedded in his head. For some years, the agency and its associates had played a part in setting up newspaper stings, providing information and bodyguards to the likes of the News of the World's "fake sheikh", Maz Mahmood.
But it was not to be. Instead, in 2002, Rees, another man and a detective were all jailed after being found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice which involved the planting of drugs on an innocent woman. Fillery received a community rehabilitation order after admitting 15 counts of making indecent images of children.
After Rees came out of prison, he resumed working with the media, particularly with Marunchak of the News of the World. But in early 2008, Rees and three other men were charged with the axe murder of Daniel Morgan, and Fillery was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Their Old Bailey trial was expected to hear details of the agency's dealings with the media, and the allegation that Morgan was murdered because he was about to expose police corruption. But after long legal argument the trial collapsed earlier this year without it even getting in front of a jury.

If the News of the World was helping out a criminal with whom they had a business relationship, by tailing police officers, it's very bad. If there's anything about why the trail collapsed (disappearance of evidence? Blackmailing of witnesses?) it could be a lot worse."
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