Phone Hacking Trial: Police investigate Army officer over £4,000 picture of Prince William in The Sun – Martin Hickman

This vignette about a £4000 payment by the Sun for a picture of Prince William in a bikini shines light on another aspect of a current police investigation, Operation Elveden, corrupt payments to officials by News International. The court is told by the Met police that they have 60 officers pursuing 80 to 90 lines of inquiry – a very large operation indeed. Unusually the court is told of an existing police investigation- with one army officer due to be interviewed by the police about payments for the picture when he comes back from an overseas posting.

Inforrm's Blog

sun-getcccctyDay 25: Detectives are carrying out a live investigation into whether a senior Army officer leaked a photograph of Prince William in a bikini to the Sun, the phone hacking trial heard today. An email from a Sun journalist discussing a payment of £4,000 for the image, taken at a fancy dress party while the prince was undergoing his military training, referred to it coming from “William’s direct platoon commander.”

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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.

Murdoch: The Full Monty

Rupert Murdoch:  has he broken the law?

Rupert Murdoch: has he broken the law?

Exaro News have put up the last six minutes of the audio of Rupert Murdoch talking at the  meeting with arrested Sun journalists – bringing to 24 minutes the audio of the  private comments of  the News UK owner.

You can listen here – http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5033/audio-rupert-murdoch-fumes-rails-and-bangs-meeting-table .

It comes as officers from Operation Elveden  have requested Exaro News for the audio recording. Operation Elveden say they want the recording because ” We believe this meeting  may contain evidence of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office and we need to secure the best evidence.”

Exaro have said they are happy to supply these audio clips but they are now publicly available and the police can listen to them on Exaro’s website.

News UK the successor to News Corporation have denied these recordings reveal that Murdoch knew about the payments before the police investigation.

You can judge that for yourself.

The Murdoch Tapes: Fleet Street, Hypocrisy and the Police

Are the Met Police on Operation Elveden interested in Rupert Murdoch’s comments? This seems to be the point of this blog which is highlighting that the audio ( there is no actual tape) has re-opened the whole issue of payments to police officers and public officials By Fleet Street for stories. I have also put this up as a summary of all the latest development and links to blogs and articles for those keen to follow events.

Inforrm's Blog

MurdochLast month, Private Eye reported that Sun journalists had taped a meeting with Rupert Murdoch in March 2013.   The Executive Chairman of News Corporation was quoted as taking a supportive view of the position of arrested journalists.  This story was not followed up at the time.  It broke again this week when the investigative journalism website, Exaro and Channel 4 News claimed an exclusive on the story and released a transcript of the recording.

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The real Rupert Murdoch addresses The Sun: 13 minute recording of his words

Extracts from the full digital recording of Rupert Murdoch’s astonishing views on  the police investigation Operation Eleveden is now available on Exaro’s website. The link is http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5032/audio-rupert-murdoch-was-aware-of-payments-to-officials. For those who have never heard Rupert  in private you will notice the huge  difference between ” This is the humblest day of my life” approach to MPs in 2011  and his  aggressive and angry response to the ” total incompetence” of the police this year. There is also a contrast between this and his appearance before Lord Leveson.

Exclusive: Gotcha! Shocker Sun Tape Reveals the Real Rupe

rupert murdoch picture courtesy of The Guardian

rupert murdoch picture courtesy of The Guardian

Today  I have  read a transcript and heard a rather sensational tape of Rupert Murdoch facing the music  for 45 minutes from his embattled Sun staffers and executives as his organisation hands over loads of information to the Met Police in the current hacking and bribery investigations.

Full amazing story is on Exaro at: http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5025/rupert-murdoch-secretly-admits-i-knew-about-bribing-officials

Exaro provided extracts of the audio to Channel Four News for a special report tonight and a  full transcript – suitably redacted to protect people for legal reasons – is on the Exaro website: http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5026/transcript-rupert-murdoch-recorded-at-meeting-with-sun-staff. Tomorrow you can hear 13 minutes of  the great man, sometimes angry, sometimes put out as a grown man sob about his plight at a private meeting inside  the mighty News International (now News UK) London  HQ. All will be revealed on the Exaro website.

In a series of extraordinary revelations the media mogul reveals:

He knew the practice of paying public officials had been going on for years at The Sun and the News of the World

He attacks Britain ‘s judges ( Lord Leveson watch out)  for being biased against News International and put his faith in juries to acquit them all.

He describes the Met Police and other police forces as ” totally incompetent ” in their investigations into News International. He cites the way police turned up to arrest Rebekah Brooks as a particularly crass example. Another staffer reveals the police pulled up his floorboards in searching his home.

He says the police inquiry into the Sun is about “next to nothing.” This contradicts what he said to Parliament.

Hints that he may give the arrested journos their jobs back – ” even though I am not supposed to say this.”

Names checks Lord Puttnam and people close to Gordon Brown ( Tom Watson Mp?) for wanting to get at the Sun for years.

Claims the Management Standards Committee set up by Murdoch is refusing to hand over stuff now to the police after journos complain about a decade of expenses and authorised payments being turned over to the Met.

Also  the recording reveals that the Sun’s  agony aunt,Deidre Sanders, read out a letter to Murdoch from one of the wives of the newspaper’s executives. The letter is so poignant that the executive bursts into tears , interrupting Murdoch’s  angry reaction.

News UK in a statement to Exaro deny some of this. “The Sun has been and continues to be supportive of its employees. Mr. Murdoch has great empathy for those whose lives have been overturned and continues to believe everyone charged deserves the right to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.  It is simply false that Mr. Murdoch knew payments were made to police before News Corporation disclosed that to UK Authorities. The MSC continues to cooperate with those authorities, under the supervision of the court.”

However what is really revealing is how different Murdoch  is at this meeting in comparison with his appearance before the Commons Culture,.Media and Sport. The bumbling elderly media boss who had never heard of Neville Thurbeck and never knew anything because it was only one per cent of his Empire is transformed into a man who says spends an hour every day worrying about his staff and has a great grasp of detail about people who have been hacked.

Perhaps the super rich have a secret stash of regenerative pills- not available on the NHS – so they improve with age. Or perhaps it is all the adrenalin flowing in front of his staff.

Altogether this is an amazing revelation of what the real Rupe is like in private. Just for the record, Rupe,to obtain this story no phone or computer hacking was used and no payments were made by me.  But I must congratulate you  for the way you have trained your staff and executives to make covert recordings. It does you credit when it is in public interest.

No animals or children were hurt in this investigation.Only the rich and powerful.