Phone Hacking Trial: Sun lawyer: “possible” that he gave advice to journalists on phone hacking, Old Bailey hears – Martin Hickman

Lawyers are now under pressure at the Hacking Trial. Sun lawyer Justin Walford is pleading that he can’t remember whether he gave advice on phone hacking – rather like evidence given by the Murdochs to Parliament. But then he admits it is possible he did. As a former journo at the Guardian I know lawyers crawl over all copy before it is published, so his answers are at the very least rather interesting.

Inforrm's Blog

Brooks arriving at Old BaileyDay 16:  A senior lawyer today said today that it was “possible” he had given advice to Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper group on phone hacking. Justin Walford, editorial legal counsel at News UK, who was being asked for a second time whether he had done so, went on to say: “I cannot remember.”

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Murdoch eats humble pie over private comments at the Sun

Rupert Murdoch yesterday rowed back from his private comments seen and heard by Exaro News and on this site  condemning the police, the judiciary and his admission that he knew all along about payments to police and officials.

In two letters to John Whittingdale, Tory chair of the culture, media and sport committee, and Keith Vaz, Labour chair of the home affairs committee, his strident comments became strangely muted.

The full quotes are in an updated piece on the Exaro News website and Channel Four News.

No doubt the media mogul, advised by his lawyer,realised that the leaking of his comments to arrested journalists had attracted too much attention, particularly after  the Met Police Operation Elveden  asked Exaro for a tape with his views.

Now he does not doubt the police’s professionalism and says any interpretation on his words that he knew about bribing official is ” wholly false”. This is after he called the police operation totally incompetent and said the Met Police inquiry was about ” next to nothing.”

Really. He was obviously not wanting to row back too much from the words he gave to his journalists – still complaining the investigation had taken too long and was ” disproportionate ” and admitting to raw emotion at the meeting.

But will this be  enough to get him off the hook. Will people really believe him?  It was definitely a repentant Rupe, but I suspect the humbling was only skin deep and I am not sure that it will get him entirely off the hook from the Met.

More seriously how will people in the US and Australia take this explanation. I think there is more to come.