Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"News of the World Phone Hacker" To Testify for the Defence.


In the last hour the Sheridan trial has  been shown pages from the Notebook of Glen Mulcaire that appear to show that he was in possession of the telephone details, including PIN numbers of Mr Sheridan's mobile phone. The defence has also claimed that  that Mr Mulcaire worked exclusively for the News of the World.

Mr Mulcaire was convicted in January 2007 of hacking into telephone messages of various prominent individuals, including members of the Royal family and a number of MPs on behalf of the News of the World. This conviction led to the resignation of the newspaper's then editor Andy Coulson. Mr Coulson is now the Conservative party's Director of Communications.


Mr Sheridan has also informed  the court that Mr Mulcaire will be called as a defence witness as will Mr Coulson.


Full report to follow.

41 comments:

Steve said...

"The court has been told..."
Why the passive tense here. Who by please?

James Doleman said...

Fair point Steve, wrote that in a hurry, fixed now.

Anonymous said...

I bet his pin number was 1917

paw said...

Thanks for that information James,

I am not sure how this will help Tommy Sheridan's case, but it will be very interesting.

Also, if Andy Coulson, now Tory party Director of Communications, ia called as a witness, it will be even more informative.

This trial may yet a politically useful outcome.


See this article from the BBC Website;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6301243.stm

Gunboat Diplomat said...

I bet he recently changed it to 1984 :p

I don't really see how his phone messages being hacked helps TS unless hes going to claim his phone records were falsified. If he does claim that then it will be difficult for the prosecution to claim ANY of the telephone evidence should be trusted by the jury.

However I don't recall the phone evidence as being particularly damning in the first place.

James Doleman said...

Hello Paw, Mr Coulson has been cited as a witness (by the defence) so he should be appearing.

Stan said...

I could be in the wildest realms of conspiracy theories here, but noticed this a while back: George Galloway sues over NoW 'phone hacking'.

I can't help wondering if this threatened claim for personal damages against Mr Mulcaire might be hoped to concentrate his mind on what exactly he did for the NoW and who he had contact with.

Meanwhile Galloway has just announced his intention to stand in Glasgow - where he would come up against the SSP and where Sheridan might have been expected to stand.

am no tellin youse said...

Of course all we need now is for Tommy to be selected as the Solidarity list candidate after GG ditches the far left. I think that is to be decided on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

And who is GG ditching the far left for? the Condemns?

am no tellin youse said...

read his Daily Record column, "I am a Labour man"
brilliant discussion at socialistunity.com
Blood on the walls.
Standing as an Independent on a Galloway for Glasgow ticket, has condemned Scottish Troskyists as seperatists.
Respect has changed its constitution so as to organise in Scotland. Briliant chance for Tommy to highlight his case on the hustings.

Anonymous said...

Looks as if the Left are expecting big trouble down the line and are busy positioning themselves to use it to their full advantage. GG being no exception.

Christian Schmidt said...

> I am not sure how this will help Tommy Sheridan's case, but it will be very interesting.

TS is accused of perjury. He claims he tolds (and tells) the truth. But if he tells the the truth, then the NOTW evidence cannot be true. Indeed he has accused the NOTW of lying.

Should he now be able to show that the NOTW has been using criminal means to get evidence or to attempt to get evidence, then in my view that completely undermines *all* their evidence - and I also think by extension it also throws doubt about the evidence of all those connected to the NOTW.

I said before personally I am not impressed by the quality of all the witness statements that appear to incriminate TS, and in my view it is very hard to believe TS can be convicted beyond reasonable doubt if a large planck of the prosecution case turn out to be unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Christian
I’m inclined to agree with you …. actually … you couldn’t believe most of the witnesses so far on the grounds of ‘unreasonable doubt’

It reminds of a famous old Song by Robert Burns

But pith and power ‘till my last hour
Nae priest could gie absolution.
They were bought and sold for English gold

Sic a parcel of rogues in a prosecution.



Davie

paw said...

Christian Schmidt,

I agree with much of what you say. Tommy Sheridan (TS) may well be on course for persuading a jury to ignore all evidence that may have been sullied in any way by the NotW.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/glenn-mulcaire-in-his-own-words-private-detective-at-heart-of-phonetapping-scandal-2073177.html

This article from The Independent - on 8th Sept 2010 about a book that Glenn Mulcaire was to have written about phone tapping by NotW employees, which memoir no more was heard of; could be very good ammunition for TS.

So if TS manages to discount any evidence that the NotW might have touched, we are left with the evidence of his former colleagues in the SSP who he turned on after the verdict in his favour in 2006.

Though I relish the prospect of exposure of the utter hypocrisey of the Andy Coulson and by inference, his boss D Cameron; the meaningless of the words "freedom of the press" and "public interest" when used by NotW; the sad conclusion I come to is that the verdict will hang on the famous meeting at which TS is claimed to have confessed to visiting the Cupid's Club and the mintes of that meeting, referred to by TS as "The dodgy dossier".

That is going to be heartbreaking to sit through and even to read in JD's blog.

OutsideAgitator said...

Gunboat Diplomat: looking at this from the perspective of someone trained in English law I initially agreed with you.

However... since this is a criminal trial based on Scots law in a Scottish court I decided to read up on the subject of illegally obtained evidence and how this is treated by the Scottish courts.

There's an interesting article (from Australia) which gives a good analysis of the position in Scots law - http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lrc.nsf/pages/wp21pta

See especially paras 1.9 to 1.17 and especially 1.13. After reading this I think I have a better understanding of where TS may be going with what on the face of it seems like a meandering and tangential line of argument on his part...

I am now inclined to agree with Christian Schmidt that he may be onto something after all.

Anonymous said...

OutsideAgitator

If the defence wanted to have evidence excluded on the grounds that it had been obtained illegally they would have had to do it pre trial.

There's no point trying to show that evidence has been illegally obtained after the evidence has been heard in court.

Anonymous said...

what if there is certain aspects of the evidence that were not apparent at the pre trial hearing?

Anonymous said...

Too right OutsideAgitator, the evidence would have been thrown out by now, it wouldn't even have made it to trial.

Anonymous said...

It's not just at the Pre-Trial hearing, the Defence can make a motion for certain evidence to be excluded at any point in the Trial.

Anonymous said...

, say for instance the AD went to produce a Diary, the Defence would motion to the Judge, the Court would rise, the Jury would retire and both Counsel would present their arguments to the Judge.

Anonymous said...

The idea being that the Defence tries to get as much "evidence" excluded as possible.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would TS want those tapes produced as evidence? How exactly do they further his case? Prove that the NotW "concocts" tapes?

Anonymous said...

If indeed the tapes has been excluded TS would be perfectly entitled and within his rights to say to a witness/the court: "There is no evidence of me being recorded on tape, is there?". "Well, no".

Anonymous said...

Once again, there is a distinction between admissibility and reliability. The current law on admissibility of irregularly obtained evidence can be found in Henderson & Marnoch v HMA in April 2005, where it was held that whether to admit evidence that might breach an accused Article 8 right to privacy was a matter for the domestic courts to decide, and the mere fact of an Article 8 breach taking place did not render the trial unfair.

Anything that is before the jury has already been declared admissible, as any objections to admissibility must be debated in advance of the trial commencing.

the_voice_of_reason

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

"It's not just at the Pre-Trial hearing, the Defence can make a motion for certain evidence to be excluded at any point in the Trial."

That's not really the case since February 2005. Section 79A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 limits the power to object to evidence during the course of a trial ONLY to situations where the court considers that the objection could not reasonably have been raised before that time. If the objection relates to the contents of a document lodged several months ago, it is virtualy impossible to [persuade a court to allow an objection now, unless a witness presents a wholly novel explanation for the contents of the document.

the_voice_of_reason

Sceptic said...

I don't know where this excluding evidence is coming from, however if during the course of a trial, as it "evolves" as they say, the judge can direct the jury to ignore certain evidence if he/she feels it is tainted.

The Lumpen Sociologist said...

Are you all lawyers on here?? exceptional discussion way above my social scientist head.

Anonymous said...

Are you all lawyers on here?? - here is one. I suspect that there are a few others lurking in the shadows.

Anonymous said...

Most objections to evidence during the course of a trial arise from what the defence contends are illegal circumstances. What happens then is that the Jury is excluded and a "trial within a trial" is held with the Police and the accused giving evidence, His Lordship/Her Ladyship then makes a decision. What is going on in the Sheridans Trial re admissibility of evidence is a lot more nebulous and less clear cut.

Anonymous said...

such as search warrants not being executed properly, evidence obtained without a warrant. and the defence has already indicated that they intend to raise an objection.

Christian Schmidt said...

> So if TS manages to discount any evidence that the NotW might have touched, we are left with the evidence of his former colleagues in the SSP who he turned on after the verdict in his favour in 2006.

Yeah, and on that score TS claims it's just a conspiracy. And in my view this is a strong argument since I don't think it will be too difficult to show that the SSP was full of factions ever since it started.

In my view what would sink TS would be any witnesses that are not SSP, not connected to the NOTW and have not changed their evidence since 2006 / are not contradicted by other witnesses. Maybe I do not remember to many of such.

Christian Schmidt said...

Of course all of this is quite unrelated of my private views of wether TS (a) has been faithful to Gail since they are going out together and (b) is more interested in himself than Socialism in Scotland. But neither question is on trial here.

affairy godmother said...

the witnesses that are not ied to the Notw or SSP are only, as far as I can see, the witnesses who gave testimony to the accusation that Sheridan had an extra-marital affair with both Khan and Trolle.

Unless there are more to come, it wouldnt normally be enough to have two friends who back up your story and no other corroborating evidence.

I would say that is the weakest point on the indictment. Especially as we have to still to see the defence counter to these witnesses.

If you extrapolate the actual accusations from the indictment it breaks down like this.

the charge of visiting the swingers club on an unspecified date in 1996 and on a specific date in 2002.

the charge of admitting these visits at a meeting in 2004 and to some individuals in 2004 and 2005.

The charge of taking part in an orgy in a Glasgow hotel.

the charge of having extra marital affairs with aforementioned women.

The charge of suborning Colin Fox to committ perjury at a spoecific time and place.

We have still to see any evidence for the glasgow hotel orgy and we have not seen or heard any evidence about the subornation charge apart from Fox's statement.

I would imagine that the prosecution will be relying on both of these charges now as the others have doubts at the moment - even before the defence counter the evidence out to the court by the prosecution.

Anonymous said...

@Christian Schmidt - What about Elizabeth Quinn? The couple in Aberdeen/Dundee? And the tape (if it is indeed genuine and not a "concoction"?

justaglasgowguy said...

The point about he phone taps is, IMO, that NOTW say their part in all this is driven by the public who, after the libel vedict, fell over themselves to grass Tommy over his alleged affairs.

TS's defence is, in part, that this is not the case. NOTW interest in TS is driven from the top of the organisation to destroy TS. So its not a public interest story but a story driven by political motives to destroy TS. Hence the interest in whether or not NOTW HQ was tapping his phone.

The question is how far up the Wapping tree does the interest in TS go?

Anonymous said...

Is TS really suck a big fish to someone like Rupert Murdoch who operated a global multi-billion pound media empire. Does Rupert Murdoch really give a hoot? Is anyone south of Hadrian's Wall even interested in this sordid tale.

Whatsy said...

@affairy godmother We have still to see any evidence for the glasgow hotel orgy

There has been a bit over the past few days.
- The two women have been named.
- They signed contracts with NoW for £7,500 each.
- They were paid £1,000 (or was it £1,500) according to the Sheridan Costs spreadsheet for "Lie Detector" tests.
- The £7,500 contracts disappeared.

It doesn't take a genius to make a connection in this chain of events and wonder if this charge is going to be the most likely to stick.

Anonymous said...

I can't see the connection, Whatsy. Can you spell it out a bit clearer for us simple folk.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.52 Re connection.
My understanding of what Whatsy has been saying is this.

Two people offered £15.000 between them but to obtain said suns have to undergo a lie detector test, in all probability to verify their tale, for this the recieve £1,000 each once the result of the Lie detector is known their contract for the larger sum is not completed, perhaps the detector broke down or something like that,
Having been brought up with real life lie detector, I know they can be quite conclusive, although I dont think electronic detectors send you to bed witout supper.

Whatsy said...

Re: My understanding of what Whatsy has been saying is this.

I wasn't suggesting anything, and neither has anyone done so in court as yet. The info I outlined has been presented separately, but nobody has so far linked them up into a narrative like the one you describe, although that is indeed a possible reading of the information available.

Anonymous said...

Hello Whatsy I certainly was not indicating that you were making any suggestions. I simply implied my own take with the information avaiable on what may have occured regarding the witnesses to the charge of taking part in an orgy in a Glasgow hotel.
The redacted cost list provided to the court has been left open, that reading between the lines is the only option.
I appreciate that this is my interpretation and was not suggeted by your good self.
However we will see what comes to pass sometime in the near future I suppose.