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

Also, I think the problem is when you're meeting people -- and of course, we do have a lot of call-ins -- you don't know if they're hoaxers, liars or genuine people. So you go along and you assess and you evaluate and part of that process is engaging with someone, if you like, sort of pretending to get on with them. That's one of the things that journalists have to do. You meet all sorts of people you probably wouldn't want to spend your time with but you pretend to get on with them. I think that's all he was doing and I think -- obviously, I wouldn't attach the sort of importance to this as I would if he was here in evidence, giving evidence. These are things said on the hoof, trying to engage, and I suspect -- and I don't know, but I remember when I was a reporter, you're thinking: "Is this guy for real? Is he a liar?" So you are saying, "Are there any documents in existence?" It's very difficult. You come at it as if: "Everyone's lying to me. I'm sure they're lying. Let's see what they're actually going to provide."

In his defence, by the time he got back to the office -- well, not by the time he got back to the office, but over the next few days, I think -- I haven't actually -- I'm not sure, but he'd realised that he couldn't proceed with this story, which is why he didn't mention it to the news desk. So I can see why this looks very interesting, but I really don't think -- although of course it's not up to me to make that judgment --

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