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

  • (Proceedings delayed)

  • Yes, Mr Jay?

  • We're moving on to police evidence today relating to the investigation in 2006, and then what happened in 2009. There are three witnesses. The first is going to be Mr Williams. We're going to use as our guide, but I'll put it in those terms, the witness statements which were prepared in a different context, namely for the purposes of the judicial review proceedings, where the issue was not identical with the issue or issues which concern this Inquiry.

  • But the way in which the police undertook that operation, which is the subject of criticism in this Inquiry, was broadly an overlapping issue in the judicial review proceedings.

  • It certainly was although much of the statements are concerned with issues of notification of victims, which is also relevant to this Inquiry, but perhaps not with identical emphasis.

    I've been told by those representing the officers that there may well need to be redactions made to the statements before they enter the public domain. This only emerged in the course of the last 45 minutes or so, so the statements are not going to be published immediately on the website, but they will be as soon as possible, and hopefully by the end of today.

    Given the nature of the redactions, there's no reason why the statements can't be put on the screen, but I will not be asking questions which relate to the matters which might be redacted. They are general operational matters, which are of little or no interest to this Inquiry.

  • Right. Mr Garnham, is that right?

  • Let me make it clear, I'm sorry this hasn't happened to date, because the speed with which it is necessary for this Inquiry to proceed has inevitably meant that statements are taken as read, and those who haven't had the advantage of being able to read the statements in advance, therefore, but who are following the Inquiry, don't get the same advantage of the contemporaneous understanding of what's going on.

    But there are two things that follow. First of all, you are content that the statements which were prepared for the judicial review proceedings are sufficient for your purposes to represent the responses by these witnesses to the issues which I've asked them to address?

  • Sir, there's been no section 21 notice in respect of any of these witnesses.

  • No, but had we not had the statements, Mr Garnham, there would have been.

  • Absolutely. We volunteered these statements because of the time at which we were being asked -- when it was being indicated to us their evidence was required. They were, as Mr Jay rightly says, prepared for a different purpose. They substantially cover the territory, but I'm entirely content that Mr Jay proceeds in the way he does.

  • Right. There it is. I'm sure that we'll illuminate the most important features of their evidence in any event. They'll be published as soon as possible.

    Yes?

  • The first witness, then, is Mr Williams, please.