Friday, September 2, 2011

#Hackgate #Leveson to hold first hearing.

Lord Justice Leveson
Lord Justice Leveson will decide which organisations will be 'core participants' and allowed representation by a barrister. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA
Lord Justice Leveson will hold his first preliminary hearing for the judicial inquiry into phone hacking on Tuesday to decide which newspaper groups and other organisations will be eligible to be "core participants".

The hearing will be held at the Royal Courts of Justice at 10.30am and will involve oral submissions by organisations who want to defend their reputation in the inquiry.

It will coincide with a fresh inquisition of four former News International executives, including the former News of the World editor, Colin Myler, and two former legal affairs managers, by MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee.

Being a core participant in the Leveson inquiry will be key to organisations such as News International, which will face sustained scrutiny over the course of months or even years. Decisions on who qualifies to be a core participant will be taken by Leveson.

Core participants are allowed representation by a barrister and may be given the opportunity to challenge evidence submitted by other media organisations.

A spokesman for the inquiry confirmed the preliminary hearing would take place on Tuesday but could not confirm who was applying for core participant status.

According to rule 5 of the Inquiries Rules 2006, core participants will have "played, or may have played, a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates" and will have had "a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the inquiry relates" or "may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings or in the report, or in any interim report".

The select committee, also meeting at 10.30am on Tuesday, will focus on the question of whether James Murdoch misled MPs when he and his father Rupert appeared before them in July.

Scheduled to appear are Myler, former legal affairs manager Tom Crone, former head of human resources at News International Daniel Cloke and former head of legal affairs at the media group, Jon Chapman.

Crone and Myler have accused James Murdoch of misleading the select committee in July when he said he did not know about an email that suggested phone hacking was not just the work of a single rogue reporter at the now defunct tabloid.

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