Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#hackgate : Did #BROOKS Target Her' DEAREST' Friend Sara Payne ?

I knew there was something but could not lay my finger on the 'niggle' when Tom Watson questioned Brooks, I though it was about Milly Dowler but no it was about Sara Payne...BROOKS needed to make it clear she had NEVER met Mulcaire ,her mind so much on MULCAIRE that she answered Tom's fifth time of questioning with 'I have NEVER met MulCaire !

The RUB, we did not know at the time of Brooks questioning Sara Payne had been hacked BUT Brooks clearly did.

Q437 Mr Watson: In your letter to us in 2009, you said that you did not recall meeting Glenn Mulcaire. You will appreciate that this is an inadequate answer in the circumstances, and that we require a specific response to our questions. Did you ever have any contact, directly or through others, with Glenn Mulcaire?

Rebekah Brooks: No. None whatsoever.

Q438 Mr Watson: Would your former diary secretary, Michelle, be able to confirm that?

Rebekah Brooks: Michelle?

Mr Watson: Your former diary secretary.

Rebekah Brooks: I've had a PA for 19 years called Cheryl.

Mr Watson: Okay. Would your PA be able to confirm that?

Rebekah Brooks: Absolutely.

Q439 Mr Watson: Does she hold your diary for the last 19 years?

Rebekah Brooks: No, she probably doesn't. We don't keep that for 19 years, but she may have something from back then. I don't know.

Q440 Mr Watson: Would it be in a paper format or an electronic format?

Rebekah Brooks: I did not meet Mr Mulcaire.

Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in July 2000, has been told by Scotland Yard that they have found evidence to suggest she was targeted by the News of the World’s investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who specialised in the hacking of voicemail.

Police had earlier told her correctly that her name was not among those recorded in Mulcaire’s notes, but on Tuesday, officers from Operation Weeting informed her that they have now found her personal details among the investigator’s notes. These had previously been wrongly attributed to a different target.

Friends of Sara Payne today told the Guardian that she was ‘absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed’ at the disclosure. Her cause had been championed by the News of the World and, in particular, by its former editor, Rebekah Brooks. Believing that she had not been a target for hacking, Payne wrote a farewell column for the paper’s final edition on July 10, referring to its staff as “my good and trusted friends”.

The evidence which police have found in Mulcaire’s notes is believed to relate to a phone which was given to Sara Payne by Rebekah Brooks as a gift to help her stay in touch with her supporters. Brooks last night said the phone had not been a personal gift but had been provided to Payne by the News of the World ‘for the benefit of the campaign for Sarah’s law.”
In a statement, Brooks said the latest allegations were ‘abhorrent’ and ‘particularly upsetting’ because Sara Payne was a dear friend. One of Payne’s close colleagues said: “We are all appalled and disgusted. Sara is in bits about it.” It is not known whether any messages for Payne were successfully hacked by Mulcaire.

Coming after the disclosure that the News of the World hacked and deleted the voicemail of the murdered Surrey schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the news will raise further questions about whether News International are ‘fit and proper’ to own TV licences and their 39% share of BSkyB.
It will also revive speculation about the possible role in phone-hacking of Rebekah Brooks, who was personally very closely involved in covering the aftermath of Sarah Payne’s murder and who has always denied any knowledge of voicemail interception. Earlier this month, Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International and was arrested and interviewed by police.
Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been an outspoken critic of News International, today said: “This is a new low. The last edition of the News of the World made great play of the paper’s relationship with the Payne family. Brooks talked about it at the committee inquiry. Now this. I have nothing but contempt for the people that did this.”

Friends of Sara Payne said she had accepted the News of the World as a friend as well as an ally. Journalists from the paper attended the funerals of her mother and father and visited her sick bed after she suffered a severe stroke in December 2009.

In the wake of the Guardian’s disclosure on July 4 of the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone, there were rumours that Sara Payne also might have been a victim. Operation Weeting, which has been investigating the News of the World’s phone-hacking since January, checked the names of Payne and her closest associates against their searchable database of all the information contained in the notebooks, computer records and audio tapes seized from Glenn Mulcaire in August 2006. They found nothing.

The News of the World’s sister paper, the Sun, was quick to report on its website, on July 8, that Payne had been told there was no evidence to support the rumours. On the following day, the Sun quoted her paying tribute to the News of the World, whose closure had been announced by News International. “It’s like a friend died. I’m so shocked,” she told them.

In the paper’s final edition on Sunday July 10, Payne registered her own anger at the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone: “We have all seen the news this week and the terrible things that have happened, and I have no wish to sweep it under the carpet. Indeed, there were rumours – which turned out to be untruue – that I and my fellow Phoenix charity chiefs had our phones hacked. But today is a day to reflect, to look back and remember the passing of an old friend, the News of the World.”

Since then, detectives from Weeting have searched the Mulcaire database for any reference to mobile phone numbers used by Sara Payne or her closest associates or any other personal details. They are believed to have uncovered notes made by Mulcaire which include some of these details but which had previously been thought to refer to a different target of his hacking. Police have some 11,000 pages of notes which Mulcaire made in the course of intercepting the voicemail of targets chosen by the News of the World.

Friends of Sara Payne today said that she had made no decision about whether to sue the paper and that she wanted the police to be able to finish their work before she decided.
Operation Weeting are reviewing all high-profile cases involving the murder, abduction or assault of any child since 2001 in an attempt to find out if any of those involved was the target of phone-hacking.

In her statement, Brooks said: “The idea that anyone on the newspaper knew that Sara or the campaign team were targeted by Mr Mulcaire is unthinkable. The idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension. It is imperative for Sara and the other victims of crime that these allegations are investigated and those culpable brought to justice.”

Hayley Barlow, former News of the World PR, said on Twitter on Thursday night that Payne was baffled by the news that Mulcaire had details of her phone ‘as she didn’t even have voicemail on her phone until 2009″.

The Phoenix Chief Advocates, co-run by Payne, said in a statement: “Whilst it was previously confirmed by Operaton Weeting that Sara Payne’s name was not on private investigator Glenn Mulcaire’s list, it has now been confirmed by Operation Weeting that Sara’s details are on his list. Sara is absolutely devastated by this news. We’re all deeply disappointed and are just working to get her through it. Sara will continue to work with the proper authorities regarding this matter.”