Monday, December 13, 2010

Detective Chief Superintendent Phil Williams Pt 1

The final witness of the day was Detective Chief Inspector Phil Williams of the Metropolitan Police. DCS Williams told the court that he worked for the Specialist Crime Directory and confirmed he had been the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) on operation Caryatid. Operation Caryatid, the witness explained was the code name for the police  inquiry into the actions of Glen Mulcaire, a private investigator, and Clive Goodman, a journalist, in relation to the interception of voicemail's belonging to "a member of the Royal Household."

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if this investigation had focussed on the News of the World (NotW) DCS Williams replied that it was focussed "on the actions of Glen Mulcaire and Clive Goodman" adding that "Glen Mulcaire received money from the NotW and Clive Goodman was their royal reporter' asked what the relationship between the metropolitan police and the NotW was, DCS Williams said that the Met's press department deals with all media outlets and that he had "no knowledge" of any special relationship. Asked if he knew the name Andy Hayman, DCS Williams replied that Mr Hayman  had been the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations however he did not know what his role would have been in Operation Caryatid.

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if the inquiry had made use of the "HOLMES" system, a police database used in major inquiries. DCS Williams said they had not as there was not enough capacity in the system. The witness then turned and addressed the presiding judge, Lord Bracadale.  DCS Williams stated he had two points he wished to make. Firstly he did not see the relevence of the questions he was being asked or how they would "shed light" on the question of perjury. Secondly DCS Williams said that there was at present a judicial review of the investigation taking place in an English court, and he was concerned that his answers today could "prejudice a future criminal investigation or prosecution. Lord Bracadale directed the witness to answer any questions put to him, unless instructed not to.

Mr Sheridan then asked DCS Williams how the inquiry into Mr Gooman and Mr Mulcaire had begun. The witness told the court that a complaint had been received from the Royal Household in December 2005. Mr Sheridan asked if there was any involvement in the offence beyond Mr Mulcaire and Mr Goodman, DCS Williams replied "not that I'm aware of." Mr Sheridan then asked the witness what Mr Mulcaire's relationship was with the NotW, DCS Williams replied "he was paid by them, that's all I know" The witness then explained that the two suspects had been arrested and a search conducted of their homes and offices in August 2006. The witness could not however give details of the search as he had been "overseas at the time" Mr Sheridan began to ask another question about the details of the search, however the Advocate Depute then successfully objected that as the witness had not been personally involved any answer would be "hearsay." 

Mr Sheridan then asked DCS Williams if he had "taken direction on who to focus on" during the investigation from the Crown Prosecution Service (PCS) The witness said "no" and that he had met the CPS to get advice due to the "complexity of the law" in this area. He had also taken advice from his own departments legal specialists. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that the search had unearthed "3000 telephone numbers, 30 audio tapes and 100 PIN codes" DCS Williams said this was "not accurate" Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that a parliamentary inquiry had been told there were "2978" numbers recovered, and he had "rounded that up to 3000" DCS Williams replied that "If that is what the MPs were given it will be correct" and added that he believed the figure for PIN codes was 91. 

The witness was then asked how the "phone hacking" was carried out. DCS Williams explained to the court that Mr Mulcaire would obtain the "unique number" of the mailbox belonging to their target and and "dial it direct" The witness added that depending on the "level of security" it would sometimes be necessary to obtain a PIN number. Asked how many people had been affected DCS Williams stated that that had only evidence that reached the level of proof for "one victim" who he named as James Pinkerton, a "private secretary in the Royal Household."

Mr Sheridan then asked DCS Williams if during his inquiries he had "spoken to anyone else at the News of the World" The witness replied he had "not prior to the arrests" and afterwards he had worked "through their solicitors" Mr Sheridan asked "you arrest the Royal Editor of the News of the World, arrest Glen Mulcaire and never speak to anyone else?" DCS Williams responded that it was all done via solicitors and he had a "legal process to follow" Mr Sheridan began to ask a further question on this subject, but again the Advocate Depute objected on the grounds of "irrelevancy" After a further objection from the Advocate Depute Lord Bracadale asked the jury to leave the court while a legal matter was discussed.  


Anonymous said...

Re what DCI Williams said: how are the question put to him relevant?, and how do they "shed light" on the question of Perjury?

Anonymous said...

maybe more will come up in part 2. good work James.

Anonymous said...

time to bring out the straws for tommy,he is starting to clutch

Anonymous said...

Good work, James.

You written a lot more detailed report than STV News?'s pathetic effort:

"Tommy Sheridan claimed he was "set up" by the state and by members of the Scottish Socialist Party who were jealous of him.

Brett Harper, a social worker, told the High Court in Glasgow the former MSP was targeted because of his opposition to the poll tax. He said he first met Sheridan as a student member of the SSP, when he organised events that the politician was to speak at."

Is that the best Bernard Ponsonby? can come up with?

Anonymous said...

I think that STV and the BBC have tired of this case and their coverage is reflecting it. It has gone on too long to gain viewing figures for them & Gail's fashion parade each day is of little interest to the public at large. When a verdict is due you will see them out in full.

At least the guys are doing a good job here! Well done!

Anonymous said...

James don't wont to put pressure on you for part two! Will it be up tonight or will I just go to my bed and wait until tomorrow.

Do you think I have an addiction??!!

James Doleman said...

It's about half an hour away anon, it's more interesting that p1

Anonymous said...

cant wait :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks James - will be staying up.

Anonymous said...

good stuff, james. well worth waiting up for.