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

  • We're in this court today for want of room rather than for any other reason.

    Right, this hearing is intended to deal with a number of issues that remain outstanding. They include further applications for core participant status, the issue left over from last week in relation to the submissions made by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the issue of the approach made to the Inquiry by those who would like to give evidence anonymously.

    Is it sensible to deal with the matters in that order, so that those who don't wish to remain for the rather more detailed analyses need not do so?

    Let me just start first, on that basis, with Mr Beggs.

  • Sir, are you asking me the question or would you like me to make the application?

  • I think that you can make the application. I've seen your detailed submissions on behalf of Surrey Police. I think it's important to appreciate the limit of the remit of this Inquiry at this stage and to emphasise that I do not anticipate that I will be going to great detail or indeed any detail about the way in which the Surrey Police investigated the murder of Milly Dowler. I have read the terms of reference really to encompass the investigation by the Metropolitan Police of phone hacking, rather than the investigation of a murder, which has, as its byproduct, the extent to which it was appropriate to run down what in that investigation would have been a side issue, namely how News of the World obtained information about Milly Dowler's mobile phone.

    If I were to go into the sort of detail that your submission visualises for each victim, I think I would be engaged for an extremely long time.

    The reason I suggested that it was sensible for you to make an application publicly was so that I could share with you the four corners of what I wanted to do, rather than allow you to proceed on a misunderstanding of where I should be going.

    I have no doubt that a police officer may very well feel it appropriate to give some evidence, but I would have thought that that was likely to be the limit of the extent to which I would want to go down that route, merely to identify the issue rather than to try and resolve it. Still less to embark upon anything that would be at this stage critical of the decisions made by the police during the course of that investigation.