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

Yes, I have no problem about following the mantra, but the issue that I am concerned to think about is slightly different. It's not so much "Did X intercept a mobile telephone?", which would be clearly who did what to whom. Neither is it "Did Y, a supervisor, instruct X to intercept a telephone?" Similar. It is not even "Did Y, the supervisor, know perfectly well that all sorts of stories going into his or her title were the product of intercept?" But it could very well be: it was well-known that stories were being obtained as a result of intercept, whether or not they were responsible personally for the intercept or whether or not they had authorised it or it was in their title.

You can think, without my giving of the example, of at least three witnesses who have made it clear that they referred in public to this having happened. Each in their turn gave a slightly different explanation when they came to give evidence. One of them, if not two of them, spoke about rumour. One of them most certainly called it topspin.

Now, it strikes me that if I am to make findings about the custom, practices and ethics of the press, I have to say and I have to reach a conclusion whether or not I consider that the evidence has revealed that this practice was rather more widely known than some people have suggested.

Now, that might generate a Rule 13 warning to them but I don't think that offends who did what to whom, and that's the issue that I would like you to address.

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