The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

  • Sir, can I just rise? There's no formal opening submissions on behalf of the core participant victims, you'll be pleased to hear, many of whom are, of course, victims of voicemail interception by the News of the World. However, I would like to make a few brief observations, having heard Mr Garnham this morning, if I may be permitted to do so. They will be very brief.

    The victims are obviously keen to hear the explanations of those involved in investigating the phone hacking scandal. The matters that you raised just now with Mr Garnham at the end of his submissions -- with respect, sir, as you yourself said, it's not just about the prosecution of those directly responsible for these matters, but also the prevention of crime and the notification of victims.

    Mr Garnham said he was not going to answer those questions on the hoof and one understands why, because we have a number of witnesses to hear evidence from, and there are obviously other matters which concern my clients; for example, the leaks to the media from various police forces, something which is a real concern, not just to those in the public eye.

    But of course, we say it's the investigation of the phone hacking scandal which is a particularly illuminating example of the concerns that there are about the relationship between the police and the press, and the Inquiry will hear from a number of those victims today and tomorrow.

    Finally, can I just say this in relation to Mr Garnham, who pointed out -- he says there is a lack of material available and co-operation by News Group Newspapers at the time of Mr Mulcaire's conviction. We strongly disagree with that proposition and our witnesses will explain in the course of their evidence why that is, but of course, perhaps by way of a curtain-raiser, can I say this: that there were all sorts of treasures in Aladdin's cave, to use your metaphor. For example, the number of corner names of journalists in the notebooks, the dates, the ranges of dates in Mr Mulcaire's notes, the pattern of calls from his telephone, the names of victims themselves, all of whom were well-known, the PIN numbers, the direct dial numbers, the passwords and so on, information which is all visible in Mr Mulcaire's notes.

    Then, of course, there are the articles themselves. When all of this was married up together, we say there was more than sufficient material known at the time to have gone further than they did, and it did not need the co-operation of News Group Newspapers.

    That is, as I say, a matter of evidence, and we have a number of witnesses --

  • Well, I've already painted the picture for Mr Garnham to think about and I'd be very keen that we will explore the evidence but not require sort of extemporary resolutions of these issues, which are going to be more or less illuminative than they might otherwise be.

  • Thank you very much. Right, nobody else? Thank you very much. Yes, Mr Jay?

  • The first witness is Mr Brian Paddick, please.

  • Thank you very much indeed.