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

Well, I'm not easy to stop.

The point was this: you'll recall that what I was seeking to demonstrate was that the evidence of a Mr Harrison that the Sunday Mirror had employed a surveillance team of ex-special forces operators to follow the initial suspect in the Ipswich murder case was plainly wrong, and that it could have been discovered to be wrong by the simple expedient of the Inquiry team getting hold of the Sunday Mirror, which recorded what had happened at the interview.

You sought first of all to shut me up and then to console me by saying that you were looking at the entire area at a high level and not wishing to condescend to detailed analysis. It's natural that you should be conscious the whole time of the need to finish this Inquiry before Doomsday, but nonetheless, that exchange gave us the assurance that we were looking for that this was going to be, as I say, conducted at a high level of generality without condescending to detailed analysis.

The disavowal of detailed analysis goes hand in hand with the non-adversarial nature of this Inquiry, which means that allegations have not necessarily been put to witnesses who may subsequently be the subject of criticism. Nor have counsel, heeding the need to finish within the year, challenged the detail. You'll recall that some time ago Mr Sherborne tried to take the point against me that I had not challenged some particular evidence given by one of his clients and sought to invite you to draw an inference from that, and you rightly had no truck with that submission and pointed out that it might have been a good submission in adversarial litigation but it cut no ice in inquisitorial.

Can I move on and direct the issue which I think Mr White hasn't really touched on, which is the question of active participation as against mere knowledge. The suggestion that you made in your remarks on 12 March was that there might be a significant distinction between the two. We would submit that active participation in illegal activities such as phone hacking is not the only possible basis for a police investigation, either in the present, still less in the future, or for criminal prosecution. That's paragraphs 17 to 18 of our submissions.

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