Monday, January 31, 2011

News International finds 'lost' emails

The Indpendent is Reporting "A "lost" hoard of emails sent by senior executives in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire at the height of the phone-hacking scandal has been found " The claim that emails had been lost was made by the News of the World's Scotland editor Bob Bird during the perjury trial of the former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan in November. Giving evidence on oath, he said that many emails sought by the defence had gone missing while being transferred to India " (our reports about Mr Bird's testimony on this  issue can be viewed Here and Here )

The piece continues

Aamer Anwar, Sheridan's solicitor, said: "This is unacceptable. We were told repeatedly by Mr Bird in these proceedings that this material was lost in Mumbai. Now we are told it is in the UK. My client would not accept an explanation that there was a misunderstanding. We will look closely at any response from News International and are considering a complaint to the police and the Crown Office. If there is evidence information was intentionally not supplied we would expect criminal proceedings. "Labour MP Tom Watson, who has campaigned for a new police force to look into hacking, said: "If the jury in the Sheridan trial was misled then there should be an urgent review of the case."


Anonymous said...

Should the defendant or accused (what ever you want to call them) have full access to evidence to defend themselves.

Roy Young Kirkcaldy said...

I have been a reader of this blog since its inception.

This is a fantastic resource for reference and indeed it is a historical document. I congratulate those involved in writing it.

However, I have a concern. I feel now the trial is over, the document is now taking a view. It is leading the reader to take a stance on certain parts of evidence, most notably the subject of phone hacking.

Although I think this is an issue worth a blog in itself, I feel the document already produced should be preserved "unsullied."

Could I make a suggestion to those who produce the blog? Perhaps a new blog could be created for post trial issues and final post made here which gives a link to this new blog?

Again, I congratulate those involved in the blog and hope they see the value in what they have done here which is beyond taking positions on the outcome of the trial.

Jo G said...

I disagree with the above comment. The repercussions are exactly that and stem from the trial James has studied and created a blog about. To separate the two would be unwise in my view.

As for inviting anyone to think along particular lines isn't that what the mainstream media did throughout this trial?

Peter said...

Roy Young Kirkcaldy,

So the response to this startling (not to me) revelation about the "lost" emails (which was a central matter in the trial) is that James should close down his trial blog?

Mmmm I dont think so.

Also as an avid reader of this blog may I point out that most stories have three acts - or less formally a begining, a middle and an end (although as Truffaut said not necessarily in that order.)

This trial story is following a standard linear narrative.

As I have said before we are with the verdict of the jury and the sentence only at the middle or at the second act.

Many of Sheridans opponents considered it was all over t the end of the second act - they were encouraging us to leave the cinema.

Since the verdict we have had the appearance of the "lost" emails; the Mulcaire revelations; the apparent hacking of the defence team phones by someone and an arrangement between crucial Crown witnesses and The Sun for their stories.

We are perhaps building to a thrilling climax. No?

A long way to go in this Sheridan Trial yet and that should IMO should all be recorded here.

The Marxists on here may find a nice dialectic in all this rapid movement. What do we know? We know things change. To remain static in your analysis and see only what is presented to you at one point (a guilty verdict for example) can lead you into error.



James Doleman said...

Hello Roy

Thanks for the kind words. The plan has been for a while to close down the blog at some point, however every time we are about to another story breaks.

The revised plan is for Whatsy and I to write a piece each with out conclusions and then we will do no more updates or post any more comments (although the blog will stay online for reference) That should happen, barring accidents, sometime this week.

Best Regards

Christian Schmidt said...

I think the issue here is evenhandedness and relevance.

During the trial, James has done an excellent job on both counts.

Concerning evenhandedness, this was helped by the fact that during the trial both sides had equal opportunity to put their view.

Now things are more difficult. For one side the issue is (at least for the time) closed so we don't hear much from them, for the other it is very much alive, consequently most public statements come from one side. Evenhandedness is difficult here, thopugh I believe James's approach of summarising and referring back to what was said in the trial looks good.

Concerning relevance, while I admire James judgement in reporting the interesting bits and cutting out the dross, this was reasonably straigh-forward in that anything said while the jury was around was potentially relevant while anything else wasn't.

Now it is somewhat more difficult. No more court rules or Lord Bracadale you keep both sides focused. And anyway, relevant to what? Sheridan's perjury conviction, but highly relevant, his soon-to-be-continued defamation battle with NOTW or just the general interest?

I for one would like to see James continue, but there are some questions to be thought about in my view...

Avid Reader said...

I am going to be lost without this blog. Where else can you access the ramifications of this case? Without the links to connected stories, and reminders of what people actually said in court, it will be difficult to keep up with future events related to the trial.

I do appreciate that you don't want this blog to go on for ever, James, but is there any chance you could do a separate, more occasional one on the phone hacking issue - a story that looks as if it will run for some time? And that would perhaps solve the problem of possible legal problems re the appeal.

I for one would be very pleased to be able to carry on getting information on that from you. You are so much more trustworthy and evenhanded in your reporting than the mainstream media.

32058 said...

I thought you were going to publish a piece with your views after the sentence, James, or did I miss something?

fdd said...

I would be really unhappy at the blog closing. I am in the US and use this as a filter for the news -- all relevant stories and developments to the Sheridan trial have been posted here. It has been very handy and I really appreciate it all. Perhaps you would post some random links to interesting articles that you find? I am sure you will continue to follow the trial.

You could take a more hands off approach, but still posting some of the relevant articles that you discover?

Or, you could tell me to not be so lazy and look through the news websites every day like everyone else :-)

fdd said...

I would gladly donate 10 quid if you would keep the blo going longer....