Sunday, September 11, 2011

#hackgate : "Bombshells in the Select Committee" - Charlotte Harris

On Tuesday 6 September 2011, the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport met again to ask questions to those persons at News International who might be able to shine some light on who knew what about the phone hacking scandal and the settlements of the employment claim of Clive Goodman following his conviction in January 2007.

Jon Chapman, News International’s former Head of Legal Resources and Daniel Cloke, News International’s former Head of Human Resources, made much of their investigation into researching all the relevant emails and instructing Harbottle & Lewis, a well respected law firm, to get a proper second opinion.

But it was Daniel Cloke who dropped the first bombshell. He told the Select Committee that the now infamous emails sent to Harbottle & Lewis were in fact, the emails for the 6 months prior to Clive Goodman’s conviction (see question 608 on Select Committee website). This is slightly odd given that this was a period when Goodman was not actually in the office having been arrested in August 2006, charged in November 2006 and convicted in January 2007. The date range is bizarre in the extreme.

Was it a mistake?

Did Cloke mean the 6 months prior to the arrest? This needs to be clarified.

The second bombshell that was dropped concerned the payments News International to Goodman after his conviction.  There now appear to have been two, rather than the one which Rebekah Brookes mentioned in her letter to the Select Committee in November 2009. The Committee had asked News International to clarify the payments to Goodman. 

Brookes in her letter available here asked Chapman to respond.  She said that she had asked Jon Chapman to deal with the question and went on to quote his more