Afternoon Hearing on 14 December 2011

Jonathan Chapman and Colin Myler gave statements at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(2.00 pm) MR JAY Mr Chapman, were you involved in the settlement of Mr Mulcaire's case?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Could you help us, please, with what the amounts involved were there? According to Mr James Murdoch's letter to the Select Committee, approximately ?246,000 was paid to Mr Mulcaire's lawyers; is that correct?
A. I don't have any first-hand knowledge of that. That would be a matter for Mr Crone.
Q. But the letter suggests that there those were payments paid on a continual basis until 20 July 2011, when they ceased. Are you aware of that?
A. May I just perhaps say that that looks to me, but I can't be definitive, like this issue of payment of his legal fees by News Group Newspapers. His legal fees, I understand, were paid by News Group Newspapers Limited during the litigation, and that has ceased relatively recently, but I don't have any details of that arrangement. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's subject to argument if not today, certainly yesterday.
A. Yes, it was, sir. To go back to the employment position, I understand that the question sorry, but it's I think the aggregate amount paid to him by way of settlement was in the order of ?80,000. MR JAY And does that break down 70,000 compensation, about 10,000 costs, more or less?
A. I think it breaks down, really, to a mixture of notice under his contract and the usual compensatory award equivalent.
Q. Mr Mulcaire was an independent contractor, wasn't he?
A. Not in my view, Mr Jay, no.
Q. You thought, is this right, that there was a risk that the employment tribunal would say that he was employed rather than self-employed; is that correct?
A. When the matter first came to my attention, which was probably April 2007, I hadn't realised what the relationship with Mulcaire was. Mr Crone passed me some papers which he had received from Mr Mulcaire's lawyers, an exchange of emails and correspondence, which indicated that it was rapidly becoming an employment claim, and that a claim of employment status was to be made. When I analysed the position, based on the usual parameters, mutuality of obligation, control, right of substitution, it looked very much to me like Mr Mulcaire was an employee, and I understand that subsequently Farrers took that view as well.
Q. Yes. Was the reasoning process which led to alighting upon a settlement figure for Mulcaire more or less the same as that which applied to Mr Goodman?
A. Yes.
Q. Namely: we need to limit the reputational harm?
A. Yes. And I think to have done one without the other would have been strange, given the circumstances surrounding both of them.
Q. Thank you. In relation to another case, Mr Max Clifford's case, were you involved in some of the internal discussions concerning his case?
A. I was, yes.
Q. Were you made aware of Mr Silverleaf Queen's Counsel's opinion of 3 June 2008?
A. No, not that I'm aware of, no.
Q. Can I ask you, please, a little bit more about discussions you may have had with Mr Crone, that when you were investigating Mr Goodman's assertions, as put forward in his letter of 2 March 2007
A. Yes.
Q. I think you told us that Mr Crone and/or Mr Myler had carried out, in your words, "extensive interviews" of the other journalists involved; is that correct?
A. I think it was Mr Cloke, the head of human resources, to whom the appeal letter of 2 March was addressed, who carried out those interviews accompanied by Mr Myler.
Q. Was Mr Crone, though, involved in those interviews?
A. I'm not aware that he was, but that would be a question for Mr Myler or Mr Cloke.
Q. Did you have discussions with Mr Crone about the merits of Mr Goodman's claim?
A. I do not recall having any discussions about the merits of his claim, no.
Q. Did you have any, to be more precise, discussions about the one rogue reporter defence, which was News International's public line?
A. No, I did not.
Q. May I ask you whether you had a view as to whether that public line was correct?
A. I wasn't as closely involved, obviously, because of my role on the corporate commercial side, so I didn't really know about what had been happening. When the arrests were made in August 2007, it was a complete surprise to me. I have to say that my own view is I knew there was rumours and I'm obviously aware of what was said in sentencing. When it came to my attention subsequently, that would be some time later, years later, that there were allegations that it went beyond them, I was very disappointed and a bit surprised, I have to say.
Q. Are you able to assist the Inquiry as to the culture within News International, in particular the news desk, in any way which might assist?
A. I would love to be able to help the Inquiry, but I'm afraid to say it was outside my area of experience. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON If you were thinking about employment-related issues, were you concerned by "What price privacy?"?
A. I looked at "What price privacy?" after I arrived there, and I think it was because it was mentioned in CMS Select Committee proceedings in 2009. I didn't have anything to do with it at the time. But I did look at it then but I didn't have any I wasn't asked to advise on it or anything. I looked at it for my own edification, really, because it had been mentioned and it was obviously a very interesting investigation. MR JAY Were there any compliance issues which you felt arose from the Information Commissioner's reports?
A. Not that I was aware of in my particular sphere of responsibility. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, you've made it clear that you were only concerned with the commercial and not the editorial.
A. That's correct, yes. MR JAY Thank you very much, Mr Chapman.
A. Thank you, Mr Jay. Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR JAY The next witness is Mr Colin Myler. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Very good. When are we going to hear back or have we heard back from Mr Pike? MR JAY We haven't yet. We are chasing it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR JAY Maybe before Mr Myler arrives, Mr Rhodri Davies can help us with Mr Silverleaf's advice. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, Mr Rhodri Davies. MR DAVIES It was the point on paragraph 6, sir. As I said, the redacted part refers to the names of two individuals. Those individuals were undoubtedly the subject of enquiries by Mr Mulcaire. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. That's what I anticipated. Thank you. MR DAVIES Their surnames, it's fair to say, also appear in the Motorman database. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That doesn't surprise me either. MR DAVIES But we believe that those references are in fact to different people with the same name. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Oh, I see. All right. But the important thing was, as Mr Jay and indeed I read the advice, without knowing the bracketed part, I had also assumed it was Mulcaire-related concerns. MR DAVIES Yes. As I say, there's no doubt that they were subject to enquiries by Mr Mulcaire. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. I have no further interest in the names. Thank you. MR COLIN MYLER (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Mr Myler, please sit down and make yourself comfortable. We have provided you, I'm afraid, with quite a lot of material. Could you provide us, please, with your full name?
A. Colin Joseph Thomas Myler.
Q. Thank you. You've given us or provided us with three witness statements. If I could ask you to open up your first file, can we just identify those statements?
A. I don't appear to have file 1, unless this is file 1. It's not marked.
Q. It's not big enough to be file one. We might have to provide you with another one.
A. I have two 3s. Unless this is 3 inside and 3 on the outside and 3 on the inside.
Q. It's a different 3, I can see that. We might have to provide you with a separate file 1. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON For the purpose of the present exercise and to make progress, let Mr Myler use mine. I don't think it's marked. The only flags you'll find are the flags to the other two statements which don't follow on, they're at different parts of the file.
A. Thank you very much. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You'll see quite clearly where they all are.
A. Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right. MR JAY Mr Myler, under tab 1
A. Sorry, hang on. No, this is volume 1, I'm sorry. Yes?
Q. you'll see, I hope, your first witness statement, which is dated 30 September 2011. There's a statement of truth at the end and you signed it, so is this your truthful evidence?
A. Yes.
Q. Under tab 3 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON They're not tabbed, but by the first yellow tab.
A. Yes. MR JAY you'll see your second statement. I don't know why I'm blessed with tabs and others are not. I'm in a highly privileged position, I can see.
A. This doesn't appear to be signed, but I'm sorry if I didn't sign
Q. Don't worry about that. Subject to that, is that your second statement with a statement of truth, which you will adopt as your evidence?
A. Yes.
Q. And then there is a third statement, which probably has another yellow sticker, a little bit later on, dated 2 December; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you some questions on your first statement first, a good place to start, and with your history in journalism, you tell us that you have been or you've had a career in journalism for 40 years; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. You have been editors of at least one newspaper before going to the News of the World in 2007; is that correct? The Daily Mirror and then the Sunday Mirror?
A. Yes.
Q. And then you went to the News of the World from the New York Post in January 2007 to replace Mr Andy Coulson; is that correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. Can I ask you, please, about your leaving the Daily Mirror, which I think was in 2001?
A. Sunday Mirror.
Q. Pardon me?
A. The Sunday Mirror.
Q. The Sunday Mirror. Did that follow issues which arose in a criminal trial involving two footballers, Mr Bowyer and Mr Woodgate?
A. It did.
Q. Can you tell us about the circumstances?
A. We had an exclusive interview with the father of the young man who had been attacked, and we published the interview, which resulted in the judge basically cancelling the trial. As a result of that, I left the company.
Q. Thank you. Can I take you, please, to the News of the World in January 2007.
A. Yes.
Q. You tell us in paragraph 5 of your statement that: "Strict compliance procedures were in place at the newspaper to cover almost every aspect of our business" LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Just before we pass on from that, I just wonder whether it's worthwhile thinking for a little moment about that exercise. The problem was material entered the public domain which had not been part of the trial, and therefore may have caused potential prejudice? That was the issue?
A. Yes. May I explain the circumstances? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes.
A. When the story was first presented to me, I said I didn't want to see it, because I didn't believe we'd be able to publish it. And I sent my deputy and the news editor away to make sure lawyers had seen it. I said I don't even want to read the story because I don't believe we'd be in a position to publish this. The jury had already been sent out by the judge, and that was, I think, the Friday. So on the Saturday at conference it was presented to me, where the in-house lawyer at the time had said he found the story okay to publish, which I still found I was unsure of. I got a view from two further lawyers, and indeed on the Saturday afternoon, as I sat giving an idea about how I wanted to display the story, I called the duty lawyer over and sat him next to me and said, "This is what I'm planning to do, this is roughly what it will say; are you absolutely sure that this is not going to prejudice or affect or impact the case?" and I was given a very strict assurance that I couldn't and wouldn't. So I took responsibility and the rest is history. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. That wasn't my point. My point was the extent to which that entire experience impacted upon your view of propriety and ethics and the approach that should be taken by a newspaper in relation to publication?
A. Sorry, yes. I mean, it had a significant impact. I lost my job. And there was a feeling amongst certain legal quarters that the judge was wrong and that he perhaps made the wrong decision. It doesn't really matter, the judge made the decision that he made. And yes, I mean the very fact that I didn't believe that I could publish the story in the first instance meant that my experience put an issue over it. I was surprised that the lawyers approved it, but, you know, I took responsibility because I had to. It was my decision to publish it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand that entirely. But the reason I asked the question is because it might be relevant to the issues that you later had to consider when we come on to the News of the World.
A. Being an editor is all about learning, and you learn from experience, and sometimes you make the wrong decision. The impact of making the wrong decision as an editor can be severe. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. So it means you probably have to give yourself a fair amount of leeway, just in case a different view is taken. Your level of assurance has to be that much higher?
A. Oh yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Not least because of your experience with the story that we've just discussed?
A. Yes. And it doesn't mean to say that you just take one legal view, if it's a legal view that you're seeking. And certainly in the environment that we're producing and editing newspapers today, pretty well safe to say that I have almost leading counsel on speed dial. Or did. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Lucky for leading counsel. All right.
A. That's what I used to say. MR JAY Paragraph 5, please, the reference to "strict compliance procedures were in place at the newspaper", were most of those the procedures which you introduced, Mr Myler?
A. No. I'm trying to make a distinction about that there was an existing set of protocols and systems when I came into the paper. And I began to review them and introduced more.
Q. So are these the existing protocols which you're referring to specifically at paragraph 6 of your first witness statement, page 02504?
A. Yes, they were sort of the News Corporation global standards of business conduct that would be in for every division within News Corporation as a business. As far as obviously the PCC code was in practice already, and the criminal law.
Q. So that we can be clear about this, as you rightly point out, News Corporation's standard of business conduct which we can see at the top of this page, this is giving very general global advice to everybody within the corporation, is that right?
A. I think everybody who joins the company gets a very large document showing the standards and ethics that the company expects individual employees to adhere to, and I think it is in one of the bundles.
Q. It is, at page 02520.
A. In fact I think it fills up mainly one of the bundles.
Q. I think the only point I was seeking to make on it is that having read it, it's very general indeed. It doesn't really advise journalists or editors
A. No.
Q. as to how they might comport themselves in individual situations, do you agree with that?
A. I would, yes.
Q. The global anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy is similarly wide, although it is right to say in the edition we see that there's reference to the Bribery Act 2010?
A. Yes.
Q. Which is obviously particular to the United Kingdom?
A. Yes.
Q. There's general reference to data protection at page 02582.
A. Sorry, where am I looking?
Q. It might be a little bit difficult without tabs. It's probably going to come up nicely on the screen in front of you.
A. Oh, thank you.
Q. This is
A. This is NI, actually, yes.
Q. This is in the which document is it in? Well, I know
A. It starts off "The News International Group ", so that's not News Corporation, News Corporation being the global controlling body of the business. NI was a subsidiary of News Corp.
Q. Yes. Again this, is admittedly specific advice about data protection, but it might be quite difficult for a lay person to understand, would you agree?
A. Yes.
Q. But you weren't responsible for this, this was a document which was already in place when you arrived?
A. No. I suspect that News Corp actually are updating the global policy as well as whatever is happening at News International, I suspect, in view of what's happening.
Q. In terms of the standards which might govern the conduct and behaviour of journalists and editors, you rightly point to the PCC code. At the time you arrived, was it an express term of journalists' employment contracts that they abide by the code?
A. It was. I think if you look at paragraph 26, the original reference in contracts just stated: "The employer endorses the Press Complaints Commission code of practice and requires the employee to observe the terms of the code as a condition of his employment." I didn't feel that that was strong enough or direct enough to cover what I think they needed to observe, be aware of, and apply themselves to.
Q. So you endorsed an amendment, which we see under paragraph 27; is that correct?
A. That's correct. And the significant difference was that it made it abundantly clear that the employee understands and accepts that failure to comply with the requirement, which was PCC, criminal law, will lead to disciplinary proceedings, which may result in summary dismissal. In other words, it made it abundantly clear that if you fell foul of it, that you could be dismissed.
Q. I've been asked to ask you this question: do you agree that a journalist who is asked to breach the code should have the right to refuse?
A. Yes.
Q. Was that made clear to your journalists?
A. Probably probably then, I don't know the honest answer to that. But you may have noticed in the course of my statements that one of the things that I addressed was in 2008/9, I believe, for the first time the company introduced surveys, questionnaires, where individual employees were allowed to say what sort of an environment it was to work in, did I have permission to challenge my line manager, was communication good, social responsibility, ethics, legal aspects, HR issues, and it became very clear that we had a long way to go to meet the aspirations that they were looking for. As a consequence of that, a lot of things were done to improve communication, to change an attitude that said that an individual within a department didn't have the ability to challenge the person who was running that department. And we sent it was done two ways, really. First of all, we took heads of department away and made them aware, by having seminars, you know, how to be a better executive, how to understand why it's a good thing to be challenged, how you deal with being challenged. No sort of bullying, as it were. You know, you should, if you're a good boss and you're secure, you shouldn't feel threatened by a challenge. I have to say that the result of that was pretty amazing, really. By the time the next survey was done, which was I think earlier this year, the advancement in scores was such that the News of the World came top in every division, not just within NI, but within every division of News Corporation globally, which was a great testimony to everybody who took part in it.
Q. May I ask you this question: were there any cases between 2007 and 2011 where failure to comply with the code led to disciplinary proceedings?
A. Um there were cases where people were spoken to but it didn't lead to disciplinary proceedings as such and it didn't lead to dismissal.
Q. Obviously I'm going to come back to the code and the issues arising in connection with it, but paragraph 10, please, of your witness statement, Mr Myler, you tell us that there were four adjudications by the PCC against your newspaper during your time at the paper.
A. Yes.
Q. You are not, of course, covering their mediated complaints, are you?
A. No, no, no. You mean complaints that were agreed?
Q. Yes.
A. No, they were adjudications against the paper.
Q. Approximately how many mediated complaints were there?
A. Gosh. I'm sure we can get the answer but I don't know.
Q. Just a ballpark figure?
A. Honestly, I wouldn't know. In the course of four years? Gosh. I'm guessing between maybe 20 and 30. I don't know. It may be more, but
Q. One of the matters gave rise to a letter of rebuke from the PCC. It's at page 39506.
A. I'm just waiting for it to come up here.
Q. It's going to be difficult for you to find it in the bundle, I'm afraid.
A. Yes.
Q. You'd only just started at
A. Yes, I was trying to I was trying to remind myself what it was. I don't remember what the adjudication was about. I suspect there clearly was an adjudication that had been laid down possibly before I joined. I joined at the end of January. But, you know, Sir Christopher was right. There were very clear guidelines about how adjudications had to be presented in the paper and for the life of me, I don't know why it wasn't done.
Q. Yes. We believe it to be an adjudication which was promulgated by the PCC on 29 January. It led to publication of the adjudication in the News of the World on 18 February. Sir Christopher was saying that you hadn't accorded due prominence to it. How did you respond to
A. I think I called him. I was pretty mortified, because my relationship with the PCC throughout my career has been very close. I've never had any issues. We might not agree with some of their adjudications, but I've always respected and agreed that this is how you deal with them. I certainly know that from my time at the News of the World the relationship with the PCC was exemplary, so I'm at a loss to understand what happened.
Q. Did you take any steps though to republish the adjudication in a manner which would meet PCC requirements?
A. I can't remember. If that was asked, I'm sure we would have done it. I don't know how it was resolved, to be honest. I'm sorry. And in the absence of not having access to my files, I'm afraid I don't know, but there will be a file note in the managing editor's office, I'm sure about this. And, of course, within the PCC.
Q. In paragraph 11 of your statement, you say: "When a journalist failed to meet PCC code standards, he would receive a written reprimand." Were there any instances of written reprimands, to your knowledge, or are you speaking hypothetically as to what the system was?
A. Well, that was the system. There was certainly one verbal reprimand that I can remember. Whether or not that was followed up with a written warning, I don't know. Again, I don't know the specific answer to that.
Q. You do refer in the third line of paragraph 11 to one occasion when a senior journalist
A. Was hoaxed.
Q. was given a written warning?
A. He was, yes.
Q. Can you remember about when that was?
A. Gosh. Approximately 2009, 2010. Time goes so quickly. Sorry.
Q. The next section of this first statement at page 02505, "My role in ensuring adherence to the corporate governance documents", in terms of the documents, the key documents we're talking about, is this right, Mr Myler, is the PCC code and there's also an editor's handbook which explains the code; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. And of course a contract of employment, which we see amended. Were there any other documents which comprised a system of corporate governance?
A. Not really. You know, journalists were by and large very experienced who worked at the News of the World and they'd done their journalist training, they'd done law. They were aware of the very basic rules. We extended seminars that were a rolling programme when I joined, but we upgraded them, because it seemed to me that they needed to focus more on issues that were more relevant in 2007 than maybe they had been, and they were mandatory for all staff to attend.
Q. But insofar as we're looking at a system, a direction from above, that would depend on the quality, initiatives and judgment of those in senior managerial and executive positions; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. Is this also correct, that journalists were given a broad range of discretion as to how to conduct themselves according to whatever training you gave them and their own best judgment?
A. Yes, as long as they worked within the parameters of the law and the publication code and their own contract of employment.
Q. In paragraph 19 of your statement you say: "Although I had ultimate responsibility, there was a culture of individual and collective responsibility for ensuring compliance with the PCC code and the law." First of all, was that a culture which you thought existed when you arrived in January 2007?
A. It's difficult to try to explain what the culture was, because there was so much going on and there were quite a lot of changes. I think it's safe to say that, you know, the trauma of what had happened with the Goodman/Mulcaire trial left a very deep, as I say, trauma within the newspaper and the morale of the staff. So I think it was more important to improve the standards and the protocols and the systems that existed, rather than dwell on what was. I think it was more important to say, "From now on, this is how we're going to work and this is what it is".
Q. Mr Myler, I see that in terms of the management style you were seeking to introduce in January 2007 and going onwards. One fully understands that. But I think my question was more directed to: what do you think the culture was when you arrived, please?
A. Culture in what way?
Q. Well, you tell us here "there was a culture of individual and collective responsibility for ensuring compliance with the PCC code and the law". That's quite a sweeping statement, if you don't mind me saying so.
A. But Mr Jay, I think that's about that was a culture that I also generated. It's impossible, as an editor, to be across every aspect of every part of the job. I was very much for delegating responsibility. I tried to ensure and make sure that departmental heads knew their responsibility and more importantly had accountability for their actions and the actions of their staff, so, if I'm not following your question, forgive me, but, you know, the culture of individual and collective responsibility is something that I encouraged.
Q. Yes.
A. Whether it was there before, I don't know.
Q. This is the culture which it was your mission, as it were, to instill as best you could within the company; is that what you're saying in paragraph 19?
A. Yes. And it would be wrong and unfair, I think, to suggest that, you know, the paper before I arrived didn't have protocols and systems in place, because they did, and that the members of senior staff clearly understood their roles and responsibilities.
Q. In terms of what you did, I think I can take paragraphs 22 to 27 quite swiftly, if I may.
A. Yes.
Q. You wrote to everyone on 7 February 2007 drawing attention to the law and to the code, and the letter is at 02065, but I don't think we need turn it up.
A. Yes.
Q. And the amendment was then on 16 February 2007, which we have already discussed. Can I ask you, please, to look at paragraph 28 of your first witness statement.
A. Yes.
Q. "During the same period [so this is early on], I also instigated a review of cash payments to contributors, freelances, and tipsters and adopted more rigorous procedures. Before any cash payment was processed and agreed, department heads had to satisfy themselves that the payments were lawful and legitimate, and that the person receiving them existed on an electoral roll." Can you explain what you mean there by "lawful and legitimate"?
A. Meaning that the people existed that were being paid and that they were being paid for lawful and legitimate means.
Q. Yes, but I think you're just repeating what paragraph 28 means. What could you mean by lawful and legitimate?
A. That the payments were going to the person that had provided either the resource of a story, or they'd taken part in that story, and they were being paid for something that they'd actually done for the paper.
Q. Right. I think I understand, Mr Myler.
A. In other words well, it's very simple. If you come to me with a tip that works, and it appears in the paper, you should get paid for it.
Q. But you're not suggesting there that there's any further exploration into the legitimacy, for example, of how the story's obtained or how the tip is obtained?
A. No, no, no.
Q. Fair enough.
A. This is purely and simply about how money is being taken out in cash and given to an individual. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So the important word in this sentence is cash?
A. Well, cash goes to the person that has done something to earn the cash, not to somebody who hasn't. MR JAY Yes. Was this response to a perception on your part that cash payments were going out to people who simply hadn't done the work?
A. I was more concerned about perhaps a lax system that allowed quite a lot of cash payments to be operated and I didn't feel that that was necessary. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is all a question in part about accountability?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So you would not agree that the concept described by Mr McMullan, of everybody padding their expenses to thousands and thousands of pounds, was one of which you approved?
A. No, no. I didn't quite recognise a lot of Mr McMullan's testimony, I'm afraid. In terms of the answer to your question, sir, is no, I don't recognise that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON To be fair to you, he wasn't at the News of the World while you were.
A. No, he wasn't. But well. I think the views of those journalists that I've worked with for a lot of time, a lot of years, both as a journalist on the road at the time when Mr McMullan was working as a journalist, I don't recognise that landscape at all. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm slightly surprised, given what you know happened at News of the World before you arrived.
A. Well, any journalist that not the criminality that took place, if it did take place at the News of the World, is one thing. And whatever acts that individuals took part in, the full force of the law should take care of them. I'm sure it will. Mr McMullan often drifted off into a world of car chases, hacking phones, blagging, doing rather disagreeable things, and that's no world that I recognise. Notwithstanding that core of people, whoever they may be, who did conduct themselves in an illegal way. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's not just the phone hacking. One has to consider Motorman as well.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, Mr Jay, I've taken you away from your approach. I apologise. MR JAY Paragraph 29, please, Mr Myler. "Tighter controls". You say: cash payments reduced by up to 89 per cent between the financial years of July 2004/June 2005 and July 2007/June 2008."
A. Yes.
Q. Why have you said "up to 89 per cent"? Are you suggesting that they're divided between different categories of payment?
A. No, that was in total. So they added up the cash payments over that period earlier compared to the cash payments over the later period and did a comparison.
Q. Can we just try and see what the cash payments were for, as it were? They were for payment to sources and tips; is that right?
A. In the main, yes.
Q. Does that account for most of them?
A. Yes. In certain areas and certain cases you would have sources of information that didn't want any kind of paper trail. They perhaps were whistle blowing in some cases. A lot of them would be, it's safe to say, in the celebrity world.
Q. You say in the celebrity world. Are these people connected with or close to celebrities
A. Yes.
Q. who would wish to, as it were, keep under cover?
A. Yes.
Q. That's one way of putting it. So that accounts for the majority of
A. I would say that was the majority.
Q. Yes. There are also payments for quite expensive sting operations people such as Mazher Mahmood were carrying out; is that right?
A. Yes, but that would be a different budget. It would you know, Mazher's operation was sort of almost not necessarily ring-fenced, because you didn't know from one year to the next what kind of operations he would be working on, but in my view it didn't cater for that. I think you heard from his testimony a lot of the time sources for his information were longstanding sources that he'd known for a long time. With the exception, for example, of the spot fixing cricket scandal, where we had an outlay of a significant sum to the fixer, his operation was again agreed with whoever he was working to and with for the source of the information and what it made.
Q. Thank you. Then kiss-and-tell stories, we know that those receded in significance over recent years. Is that a separate category one should be accounting for?
A. No. Each department would just have their own budget, news had their budget, features had theirs, and they were just paid for accordingly, depending on, you know, how and where they fell.
Q. Are there any other component parts of cash payments, any other categories I may have missed out, which you could help us with?
A. I don't think so, no.
Q. Why did the payment to sources fall so dramatically between these years?
A. They just did. I thought it was interesting that I didn't have anybody hammering my door down saying that "If we cease paying cash, we won't get stories". It didn't happen, and I would have expected it to happen.
Q. I just wonder how the controls were exercised. What did
A. Before or after?
Q. After. What did you do precisely to reduce the levels of cash payments by up to 89 per cent?
A. I said that only in extreme circumstances would they be applicable and would they be paid.
Q. So instead of being paid in cash, were they being paid by some other means in the later financial year?
A. No.
Q. Or were they just not being paid at all?
A. They weren't paid at all.
Q. So you were getting the same use of sources, but without having to pay as much; is that the position?
A. Well, I think it's fair to say that the main area where the cash payments were going out, the area ceased to operate the same way. That department ceased to operate in the way it was operating after I arrived.
Q. Which department are you referring to?
A. It was features. And that's not to have any aspersions against the features editor and the executive staff that were there and continued to be there while I was there, but it was that area where that cash payment area was mainly affected.
Q. What was the change in their modus operandi which caused the reduction?
A. Primarily, there was a change in staff.
Q. What was the consequence of that there, Mr Myler?
A. I might need a bit of help here, sir. I don't want to be casting serious allegations against individuals, and it's difficult
Q. If you don't name them, it's not a problem.
A. Well, it gets close to that area.
Q. Maybe we can take it shortly. Were funds disappearing in a way
A. No, funds weren't disappearing. Funds weren't disappearing. Cash payments were being made on a very regular basis and there was certain issues that were addressed and changed. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, the inference is pretty clear, isn't it? Even if you don't say it.
A. I think so. MR JAY Did you try and keep a handle on expenses as well, or was that Mr Kuttner's domain?
A. That was the managing editor's office, yes, primarily.
Q. Were there any discussions with Mr Kuttner about those matters? Expenses?
A. Well, he was one of the toughest managing editors I think that had ever waved a pen at an expenses sheet, and that followed with his successor, Mr Akass, and they were respected for it and the manner in which they conducted themselves.
Q. Thank you. The section "Sources of information", Mr Myler, we can deal with fairly economically. The evidence you're giving, which we've read, is similar to evidence others have given. But in the section "Ethics in the media", you rightly point out in paragraph 37 that: "Acting ethically is fundamental to establishing and maintaining trust between a newspaper and its readers." You say in the last sentence: "I consider this to cover such issues [that's the code] as acting honestly and decently, whilst ensuring accuracy and maintaining appropriate levels of privacy." As a matter of generality, I'm sure we'd all agree with that as sensible and condign standards. Again, what do you mean by "appropriate levels of privacy"?
A. Well, working within the code.
Q. So weighing up the interests of the individual against any wider or overriding public interest; is that right?
A. As I say later on in the statement, you know, it's understanding whether or not a set of pictures invade an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy. Whether somebody goes on a holiday and goes on a public beach, or whether they choose an island where they believe that it's a private beach. That kind of privacy.
Q. By the time you've been a year in the job in 2008, and of course you had vast experience before then, did you have a certain perception of where privacy law was at, in particular the way in which judges were interpreting the law?
A. I was away in New York for five years, so I went in December 2001, I came back in January 2007, and I have to say that when I came back, I hardly recognised the landscape regarding privacy than it was before I left.
Q. Yes, so in terms of the changing landscape, in your own words could you describe it to us, or at least your perception of it?
A. I think it was more not just perception, but the reality. Whereas before you would get a set of pictures, you know, they would just almost automatically go in the paper. As a result of challenges and the change in the law, as it were, and verdicts, it was becoming very challenging to meet the requirements that the courts had laid down. And the almost explosion of celebrity lawyers, as it were, who just dealt with this issue time after time after time, case after case. It was almost as if they were fire-chasing and contacting the celebrities, saying, "Do you realise that the photograph that's been published here is in breach of your privacy and maybe we should do something about it". LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That might be a bit unfair. It might also be simply that they've seen the success that others have had.
A. Yes, that's what I'm saying, as a result of the verdicts and the courts. MR JAY If we put together two factors, one, the changing landscape of the common law, particularly in relation to privacy, which would induce a measure of caution on the editors' behalf, and secondly your own experience you were telling us frankly about in 2001, certainly by 2008, is this right, you were in a very circumspect and cautious frame of mind?
A. As much as an editor at the News of the World can be in a cautious state of mind, yes.
Q. Okay. That leads us to Mr Mosley's case. Your involvement in that case is set out in a witness statement you furnished the High Court in the privacy action. I think it's going to be in your file 3. The reason I hesitate
A. No, I have a 3.
Q. If it does have tabs, it's under tab 29, and it's page 31328. If there is a tab 29, it's going to be a good hundred or so pages into that tab.
A. 31328?
Q. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You had two copies of bundle 3, didn't you?
A. Well, it said on one this is the file 3. MR JAY That's a different file 3. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right, don't worry about it. Carry on.
A. Sorry, 313? MR JAY 28. I just want to see whether I can summarise most of this because this is, as it were, the sworn evidence you gave to the High Court and you, of course, gave oral testimony to Mr Justice Eady, did you not, Mr Myler?
A. Yes, I did. I have it, thank you.
Q. We know from paragraph 3 that the first you became aware of this story was on Friday, 28 March. Are you with me?
A. Yes.
Q. The story is published on 30 March, of course. Paragraph 4, you make it clear that you didn't want the story to be mentioned at an editorial conference later that evening. You didn't want to risk the story being leaked either to Mr Mosley or a rival newspaper. Am I right in saying there were two factors in play here. There was an understandable commercial reason, and there was also a fear that Mr Mosley would immediately take out a claim for an interim injunction? Is that right?
A. Yes. And there was also another factor, that the newspaper had a very serious problem with security. Stuff from the newspaper was being leaked outside of the newsroom.
Q. To other rival papers; is that right?
A. Yes. That was something that I inherited and it was a serious problem.
Q. Was it your belief, Mr Myler, that had Mr Mosley got wind of the story, not merely would he apply for an injunction but his application was likely to be successful?
A. Yes.
Q. So what you did was take steps to ensure that the risk of that happening was reduced to as low a level as possible; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. And that entailed, amongst other things, not putting the story in the first edition, but putting it in a later edition; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Am I right in saying that you looked at the whole of the video?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I ask you, please, why the video was ever placed on your website?
A. That was custom and practice at the time within limits of explicitness and sexual content. I mean, that's what that was the policy of the paper and the website at that time.
Q. So in other words, that's what you systematically did; is that right?
A. It was an extension of the paper, yes. At the same time, there was often more on the website than actually was contained in the newspaper, but that was something that was developing all the time.
Q. Just without, I hope, expressing a prurient interest, you say that inappropriately sexually explicit material shouldn't be placed on the website, but a lot of this material was, wasn't it?
A. Well, it was not as explicit as most of the stuff on it. It was very difficult to find clips that were appropriate to put up, actually.
Q. I think my question is rather: was any of it appropriate to be put up, apart from to pander to people's prurient interest?
A. I don't think it was pandering to prurient interest. It was an extension of the story. Online is very much video, and it was very difficult to edit that material.
Q. If you're being proportionate, though, and confining yourself to what you say was where the public interest lay, you would meet both of those criteria simply by putting in an appropriately worded piece in the paper, rather than displaying lewd or other images, wouldn't you agree?
A. Yes, but the video was, if you like, an intrinsic part of the whole story. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Was it? Or was it just evidence
A. It was evidence. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON on which you could rely?
A. It was evidence, yes, but if you have LORD JUSTICE LEVESON He didn't know he was being videoed.
A. That's right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So it was merely so that you could let the story stand up.
A. It was evidence of what took place took place. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I've got sorry.
A. Sorry? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You carry on.
A. No, well, that's it. It was evidence of what took place. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have a slightly antecedent question. Do I gather from your answer that it was custom and practice to put videos up, that no independent thought was given to the propriety of publishing online a video which you knew that had the person who was the subject of the story known about it, he would probably have been successful in preventing you doing any of it by obtaining an injunction?
A. Yes. Thought was given to that, yes, because it was part and parcel of the thought process of not putting it in the first edition. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No. I'm actually focusing on the video.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Then custom and practice is nothing to do with it?
A. Sorry, I don't follow, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, I'll repeat my question. Do I gather from your answer that it was custom and practice to put videos up, that no independent thought was given to the propriety of publishing the video online in circumstances where you knew that the target of the story would have successfully obtained an injunction to prevent any of it, had he known about it?
A. This was an extreme example. I don't think I'd sort of come across a situation like this before. So it was an extreme example of content. But yes, thought had gone into about what we did. MR JAY Sorry, what reasoning process did you go through, Mr Myler?
A. Exactly that Mr Justice Leveson has outlined. We knew that if we had gone to Mr Mosley, there was a likelihood that we would have an injunction against publishing.
Q. But in order to be loyal to the public interest, as you saw it, and publish a story which was in the public interest, why not confine yourself to the written word? Why was it necessary to put any pictorial details up anywhere of what was going on, particularly in circumstances where you only needed those images to support you in any libel proceedings?
A. Yes, I accept that. But that is how that is what we did, that was the decision that was taken. That's how the paper in the online business worked. I know what you are saying, I accept and understand what you're saying, but that is what we did.
Q. Without being absolutely crude, in a standard kiss-and-tell story, if you had a video, image, you wouldn't publish the video, would you, of what was going on? You'd simply publish
A. We certainly wouldn't be publishing extreme explicit clips from it, no.
Q. No. But not even a family-rated version, which is what you put on the website here in relation to Mr Mosley?
A. All I can say is that that is what we did, and that's what happened.
Q. We know from Mr Crone's evidence that you discussed these matters with him. Did you go any further with him than to say, "We're going to do it because it's custom and practice"?
A. No. If I remember rightly, we had outside counsel's advice, too. I believe.
Q. I don't think Mr Crone told us that. Are you saying you had independent advice from counsel?
A. I believe. Again I would need to check that, but my recollection is that we did, but I'd need to check that from files.
Q. It may or may not have been relevant to the High Court proceedings, but you don't refer to that in the witness statement we're looking at.
A. I obviously haven't seen it since the trial.
Q. And then what happened is that the article, of course, was published on 30 March and you went away on holiday on 30 March, is that correct, for about ten days?
A. The second week, yes.
Q. So you weren't around for the follow-up piece, part 2, on 6 April, were you?
A. No, but I was the editor and I accept and take responsibility for what occurred, even though the deputy was in charge. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Ultimately, of course you're responsible. But the issue is slightly different because all sorts of decisions were made during that week which you know we've been looking at, and whether or not you say, "Well, I'm responsible ultimately", I would be interested in knowing what view you would have taken about some of the decisions that were in fact taken, some of the emails that were sent and some of the decisions made in relation to what thereafter happened. But Mr Jay, doubtless, will come to it. MR JAY Yes. It's paragraph 85 of the judgment of Mr Justice Eady, isn't it, Mr Myler? Because you were cross-examined by
A. Sorry, where will I find that?
Q. Page 31229, much earlier on in this tab. When you were asked about the emails.
A. Yes.
Q. Can I ask you first of all: when were these emails first drawn to your attention?
A. Um I can't be specific about exactly when. I'm sorry.
Q. I don't think I'm asking you exactly when. You came back from holiday on 10 April. By then Mr Justice Eady had found in the News of the World's favour in his interim judgment.
A. Yes.
Q. There was then an expedited trial, as we know. The hearing dates of the trial, I think it started in early July, but we know that from the question I see here doesn't have the hearing. Just bear with me. I have seen it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The front page of the judgment. MR JAY It is, it's 7 to 10 and then 14 July. How long before 7 July, approximately, was it when you saw these emails for the first time?
A. I honestly don't know. I may have just been told about them or I don't know. I honestly can't recall.
Q. But when Mr Price cross-examined you about the emails
A. Yes.
Q. it wasn't the first time you'd seen them, was it?
A. Probably not, no. Probably not. But again, I'm sorry, but I can't remember exactly if and when I sat and saw and read all of them, but I was aware of them.
Q. When you first saw the emails, whenever it was, was your reaction one of surprise?
A. Well, I think, as I said in response to Mr Price and to Mr Justice Eady, I could see that it could be interpreted as a threat, yes.
Q. But was your reaction one of surprise?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could you tell me any other way that it could be interpreted, other than as a threat?
A. Probably not. Just one point. I think Mr Thurlbeck said in his evidence that I hadn't spoken to him. I did admonish Mr Thurlbeck after that about that specific thing and made it clear that, you know, care needed to be taken. However, until Mr Thurlbeck's evidence in this place the other day, I wasn't aware that he hadn't written them. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Does that surprise you?
A. Yes. And according to him, the emails were written by another person. He accepts, to his credit, responsibility for sending them, but LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It would be quite difficult for him not to, actually, considering they have his name on and they're from his email.
A. Yes, but I was surprised to hear that for the first time. MR JAY Maybe you were surprised to hear his explanation, Mr Myler.
A. About why he sent them?
Q. No, his explanation was that someone else wrote them.
A. Oh yes.
Q. That in itself causes you surprise, doesn't it?
A. That's what I mean, yes.
Q. Because when that well, I won't put it in these terms. When you had a word with him about it, can I be clear, was that before or after Mr Justice Eady's judgment?
A. After.
Q. Did he say to you, "Well, I didn't in fact write them"?
A. No. I think I had the conversation also with the person who did. It was unnecessary to have written in those terms.
Q. Of course what Mr Thurlbeck did was clearly in breach of the PCC code. Did you not think it right that given the judgment of Mr Justice Eady and his assessment as a senior High Court judge that this was a threat, that really you should be taking this somewhat further and reprimanding Mr Thurlbeck for breach of the PCC code?
A. In hindsight, probably yes.
Q. Why didn't you do that?
A. I don't know. You know, when I did reprimand a senior executive for the other example we've discussed, he felt that my letter to him and language was harsh, but understood why I did it, and looking back, I probably should have done the same thing with Mr Thurlbeck. But I said at the time I wasn't aware that somebody else had written it.
Q. Mr Justice Eady asked his own questions of you, didn't he, paragraph 86 at page 31230, where his Lordship says: "Before moving on, I wished to establish more clearly what Mr Myler's attitude really was to these threats made by his chief reporter. I therefore asked two questions: "Question: Just before you leave that, can I ask you whether you ever raised this with Mr Thurlbeck? Answer: No, my Lord, because I was away that week so I wasn't aware of these emails at that particular time. "Question: When you did become aware of them did you raise it with him then? "Answer: I did not because I didn't become aware of them until considerably after the event, literally only at the disclosure stage." That would put us somewhere in late June, probably, Mr Myler. Then his Lordship says: "That is effectively a non-answer, from which it would appear that Mr Myler did not consider there was anything at all objectionable about Mr Thurlbeck's approach to the two women, as he did not query it at any stage. This discloses a remarkable state of affairs." Do you accept that criticism of you?
A. Yes.
Q. It was that which prompted you then to have a word in Mr Thurlbeck's ear; is that right?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Before we move on, could I just focus on one other word in one of your answers?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You said it was "unnecessary" to have written in those terms?
A. Yes. Inappropriate as well. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, that was the point.
A. Sorry? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I mean, quite frankly, outrageous, isn't it?
A. Totally inappropriate. And for a journalist of such experience, why, I don't know why. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You see what concerns me, and I've said this and I'm very keen that everybody understands, I am looking at this in detail but not because I'm going to make some ruling in relation to Mr Mosley.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Or in relation to the women, but for what it tells me about the thinking of extremely senior journalists in the widest-selling newspaper in the country.
A. Well, it's particularly disappointing to me given the way I have worked and do work, the values that I place on professionalism and ethical standards, with senior people who should have known better. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It goes further, and I'm sorry to press you, but you understand why.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I may not be unfairly summarising Mr Thurlbeck's evidence to say that even now he doesn't quite get the point.
A. I'm surprised by that, because LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You must have heard or maybe you haven't heard
A. I think I heard most of it, but I'm surprise by that because as an experienced journalist that he is, he was well aware of the criticism of that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But, you see, the risk is that I then conclude, and I tell you so that you can deal with it, that the reason he doesn't understand is because the ethos of the place was: we're right, Eady is wrong, he doesn't know what he's talking about, and it's outrageous that we should be challenged in this way and this is good stuff.
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm putting it graphically just so that you can respond because it troubles me.
A. No. Well, it troubles me too. It troubles me that you have more than a reasonable expectation to come to that view. Trying to change the cultures and the way of working within a newspaper like the News of the World is particularly difficult, but I believe that I did change things, change a way of working, different way of approaching things, understanding that sometimes you had to say no and not yes, and I can give you examples. You know, it does take time to do that, but that was a serious lapse on both their part. A lapse of judgment that they should not have made. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well. MR JAY A number of questions from that, inevitably.
A. I'm sorry.
Q. The reason I asked you a bit earlier on to identify us the culture which you found on arrival in January 2007 was really to get the feel from you of what it was and you weren't perhaps quite as forthcoming as you might have been because you just
A. Well, I
Q. Just wait Mr Myler.
A. I'm sorry.
Q. You told us frankly that trying to change the culture was difficult, which of course suggests that there was something which needed changing. I think I do need to ask the question again: what was the culture which you encountered on arrival?
A. Well, it was very laddish and very male dominated. When I sat in my office, there were I think 12 men and one woman. And when you consider that the News of the World is split almost half and half with the readership, 52 male, 48 women, I found it rather remarkable, but not surprising, that the product that was going out was very loutish, very laddish, and the language and the tone of the paper didn't reflect the audience that it had. So I set about changing that. I hired appointed a woman deputy, not because she was a woman, but because she was an exceptional professional. I promoted people onto the back bench. I had a brilliant woman chief sub. I had a very good features editor, who was a woman, who came from the Daily Mail. And through hard work of changing words, headlines, pictures, how we approached you know, a very pretty girl in a photograph didn't just have to have "Phwoar, look at that", which was very sort of 80's journalism, it was moving towards language which wouldn't be offensive to half of the audience of the reader that we had, and by introducing a new women's magazine, we actually transformed the audience of the News of the World.
Q. This is culture in a slightly different sense to which I interpreted your deployment of the noun in paragraph 19 of your witness statement, where you were referring to a culture of individual and collective responsibility for ensuring compliance with the code and the law, which is really, I think, what we were talking about five minutes ago in the context of changing the culture. Could you help us again with what the culture was when you arrived, please?
A. Well, maybe I'm not understanding the question, Mr Jay. The journalists at the News of the World were very professional, very experienced in what they did. I didn't have any immediate examples that I can recall to you now that flagged up: this has to change. I had a reputation within my years in Fleet Street of being very straight in the way I operated and they were aware of that, so I reinforced that by doing what I did, implementing the processes and the protocols and the systems that I did and changing the contracts and increasing the focusing more on certain more relevant issues within the PCC seminars. And by just the way of impressing upon departmental heads, either one-on-one or in conference or when they were talking about a certain story, "Not interested, no, no, no". So it was very direct, often very public. Does that help?
Q. Can I ask you, please, the amendment you brought in on 16 February 2007, where you warned people that breaches of the code will lead to disciplinary proceedings which may result in summary dismissal, that warning was not carried out in Mr Thurlbeck's case, was it?
A. No.
Q. The evidence you gave to the Select Committee was not, if I may say so, quite as frank as the evidence you've given us. Question 768 on 5 May 2009, you can look at it if you like, when you were asked questions about the blackmail issue, the chairman asked: "I understand that, but the practice of essentially saying to somebody involved in a story that there are two ways of writing it and it's up to you which way we write, you do not think that constitutes misbehaviour? "Answer: I think it can be construed as misbehaviour, but I think a lot of it depends on exactly what is said. I think that is very important, because two people can have different interpretations of what is meant." The chairman said, "Indeed." But of course we know what was said because we had the text of the emails, didn't we?
A. Mm.
Q. And you were aware that you were criticised by the Select Committee in the report, and I read this part out to Mr Crone earlier, in between paragraphs 55 and 57, I think
A. Sorry, can you help me where to be looking here?
Q. This file 3.
A. Yes.
Q. Tab 3. Page, on the top right hand, 23.
A. Yes.
Q. The question we're looking at in fact is paragraph 54, but at paragraph 56: "A culture in which the threats made to women A and B could be seen as defensible is to be deplored. The fact that News of the World executives still do not fully accept the inappropriateness of what took place is extremely worrying." Certainly the interpretation the Select Committee took away from your evidence is that you weren't accepting the inappropriateness of what was said. Do you agree with that?
A. I certainly have. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You certainly have to us, Mr Myler, and I'm grateful for the care that you're putting into the answers you're giving to the questions, but let me just take it one stage further. You've said quite correctly that when you arrived you didn't have any examples which suggested that the ethical or cultural approach of the paper was lacking and you described the journalists as very professional and very experienced.
A. Mm. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And that may be entirely fair enough. But here you have not too long into the story, not too long into the story, an example of your chief reporter, probably with somebody else, whoever wrote it
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON being prepared to indulge in conduct which you acknowledge frankly is outrageous, and demonstrates that, however experienced they were, they certainly weren't professional. And the question therefore arises what you did about it.
A. That's a very fair point, and in hindsight I should have reprimanded them and they should have received a letter that probably should have gone in their personnel file, which would have been part of the disciplinary process. MR JAY But was it you, Mr Myler, who was responsible for applying for the scoop of the year award on the back of the Max Mosley story?
A. I would have I would have judged the final entrants, yes.
Q. So you decided that the News of the World's, as it were, best scoop of the year was the Max Mosley story and you put it forward on that basis, is that
A. I don't know what the categories were, but if it was without being reminded what it was up against, I would have had the final decision on what the entries would have been, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON When would that be? What part of the year?
A. Oh gosh. It's normally the end of the year. Well, I think the awards, from memory, are I think around about October time. The judging would be any there would be cut-off points, so probably it's August, September, I'm guessing. It was LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The dates are quite important.
A. It's a bit of a lengthy process. They are a matter of record. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, I'm sure. I'm sure. MR JAY But after, of course, the outcome of the privacy claim; is that right?
A. Oh yes.
Q. From which it might be possible to draw the inference that you weren't merely completely uncontrite, you were proud of all of this. Is that fair?
A. No. Let's be clear, Mr Jay. The News of the World was humiliated by Mr Mosley's court victory. I was humiliated. And it was a landmark in how tabloid newspapers would have to approach those kind of stories. So I wasn't gloating. At all.
Q. The final question before we have our break, and this is a point which certainly Mr Sherborne made in opening the case, and possibly Mr Mosley made in his evidence. After the judgment from Mr Justice Eady was handed down, did you give a press conference outside the Royal Courts of Justice at the front?
A. I wasn't I don't think it was a press conference. I think I read a statement, I believe. I think I read a statement.
Q. Can you remember in general terms what that statement said?
A. I'd have to be reminded. I haven't refreshed my memory about what was said.
Q. Were you critical of Mr Justice Eady? You were entitled to be. It's your right.
A. I'd rather be reminded about what I said, I'm sorry.
Q. I don't have the text of it, so I can't put it to you, so I won't.
A. I mean, certainly we accepted the verdict. You know, it was something that we accepted.
Q. You didn't appeal it, did you?
A. We didn't appeal it because it was put to me that there were no grounds to appeal because of Mr Justice Eady not awarding exemplary damages. It was put to me that legally that was the only cause of appeal. That's how it was explained to me, legally. MR JAY Would that be a convenient moment to break? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. I'll go back and look at CPR59 or whatever it is. Okay. (3.29 pm) (A short break) (3.41 pm) MR JAY May I ask you now, Mr Myler, please, about the use of private investigators?
A. Yes.
Q. When you arrived, did you change the News of the World's policy in relation to private investigators and the circumstances in which they might be used?
A. I said in the letter that went out to all members of staff that any use of private investigators had to be within the way in which the newspaper would work, within the PCC code, within the law, and that they could not be used for any improper means; in other words, sort of arm's length journalism.
Q. I think you said as well, but we can look at the letter at 02065
A. Sorry, which book are we in?
Q. I'm afraid, Mr Myler, we are in your witness statement file, which is file 1.
A. Yes. Sorry, the number again?
Q. It's your letter of 7 February which I hope is going to be 02065. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's about halfway through. It's just before your second statement, just a few pages before your second statement. MR JAY Yes, I have got the right page.
A. Yes. I have it, yes.
Q. Just dwell on this letter a little bit. I should perhaps have done so at an earlier stage in my questioning of you.
A. Sorry, I was finding it. I'm sorry, I missed that, sorry.
Q. Under the heading "The law" on 02605, you say: "First and foremost we obey the law." Do you see that, Mr Myler?
A. Yes.
Q. "The law under various acts concerning privacy and the obtaining of private information must be strictly observed. There are no circumstances in which those laws can be ignored or sidestepped."
A. Yes.
Q. You don't identify the acts or tell us what the law is, do you, there? Apart from the fact it must be strictly observed?
A. Well, not in terms of are you talking about the actual act itself?
Q. Yes.
A. Well, no. But I think everybody understood what the law is.
Q. But even the law of privacy; is that correct?
A. It says privacy.
Q. You think people understood what the requirements of the law were?
A. Well, yes, but taking in tandem with the PCC seminars that they were undertaking, which lasted about two and a half hours each time. And they had been operated under the laws of privacy within the PCC code before I got there.
Q. Okay. On the next page under "Cash payments", you tell your staff: "We already have a clear policy on cash payments, but to reiterate." First of all, what was the clear policy on cash payments when you arrived?
A. I can't remember to the letter exactly what it was, but they were strict. I believe that departmental heads had to sign them off in the first instance and to be happy that the circumstances in which they were proposing that they should be paid they had checked out themselves and supported. And I believe they had to sign off the name of the person it was going to, the amount of money and what it was for.
Q. Because the policy which you are apparently reiterating is that cash payments are only permitted in exceptional circumstances. First of all, was that the policy which you found on your arrival in January 2007?
A. Well, subsequent to what I discovered and was told, I didn't believe that was the case.
Q. No. Was it the policy which you in fact implemented at all material times after January 2007, namely cash payments should only be permitted in exceptional circumstances?
A. Yes. With the caveats that I explained before.
Q. To be clear, what were they?
A. That each departmental head would have to sign them off, be satisfied that they were real and proper, that the person that was identified as the recipient was on the electoral roll, and it was very clear what they were being paid for and they had delivered what they were being paid for.
Q. Because the policy went further: "Every such payment requires a compelling justification and must be fully recorded." Was that the policy which you implemented and maintained at all material times after January 2007?
A. Every cash payment was recorded, yes. Were recorded, yes.
Q. But did it require always a compelling justification?
A. Yes. That was signed off by each departmental head and then it would go through the managing editor's office.
Q. And then on the final page, 02607, a series of very strong statements. For example, the third paragraph: "There must be no misrepresentation or deception, either by commission or omission. Nor any breaches whatsoever of the Data Protection Act."
A. Yes.
Q. In your experience, was that adhered to?
A. I'm not aware of any instances that it wasn't.
Q. Okay. "Further, there must be no unwarranted intrusion into personal privacy without the clearest justification, as set out under PCC rules." Was that the policy which you applied and maintained at all material times?
A. Yes.
Q. Not in the case we've been looking at 20 minutes ago, I suppose you would have to agree?
A. With Mr Mosley?
Q. Yes.
A. Mr Mosley was the head of the richest sport in the world. He was elected to the president of the FIA, they had a global membership of I think 125 million, including the Automobile Association. As head of that organisation, he presided over a huge expansion programme. He should have, I believe, displayed ethical standards to merit the status and the position that he had, and taking part and organising orgies, which were brutal and depraved and that including paying women for sex, was not, I believe, the ethical standards that the membership of the FIA could reasonably expect.
Q. That's telling us that you strongly disagree then with Mr Justice Eady's conclusion. I think that must be right, mustn't it?
A. I said I respected and I accepted the decision, but I didn't totally agree with it, no.
Q. Okay.
A. And I don't think I was on my own.
Q. Commissioning private LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That was the point I was making about appeal, actually, because it's not just a question of fact, it's a question of law as well, and mixed law and fact can all be the subject of appeal. Anyway. MR JAY Can you just confirm this, Mr Myler? Did leading counsel advise on an appeal or not?
A. My understanding was that without exemplary damages being awarded, we didn't have grounds to appeal. That is what I understood and what I was told.
Q. Was that Mr Crone's advice or was it Mr Crone's advice backed by leading counsel?
A. I understood it was Mr Crone's advice, but he would have talked to leading counsel, I suspect. I don't believe
Q. You don't know one way or the other whether he did, is that your evidence?
A. I don't know as a matter of fact, but I know it was discussed.
Q. All right. Then to continue with this letter: "Commissioning private investigators or freelances to undertake, at arm's length, enquiries which may be deemed improper is also unacceptable." What did you mean there by "may be deemed improper"?
A. If I could go back a little bit, one of the issues that I wanted to make very clear was that if a reporter was out on the road and did something that was in breach of the code or in breach of the law, and his defence would be, you know, "The news editor said if I didn't get this story I would be fired", it was a cop-out. They had to take responsibility and accountability for their actions on behalf of the paper, and that went also to anybody who was working for the newspaper, whether it would be a freelancer or whether or not it would be a private investigator. It wasn't sufficient to be able to say, you know, "I was told to do it".
Q. Okay. I come back to paragraph 39 of your witness statement then, 02508. What you were telling us there, Mr Myler: "I am aware that newspapers often use investigators I'll give you time to find it. It's paragraph 39.
A. Yes.
Q. "I am aware that newspapers often use investigators to carry out legitimate investigatory work. I only have specific knowledge of a private investigator being used by the newspaper on one occasion. In that case, I was told that the investigator was being used to conduct surveillance activities." Can we be clear, I think you make this clear in your second witness statement, you're referring there to Mr Derek Webb, aren't you?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you regard him at all material times as being a private investigator?
A. He was when I became aware of him. Shall I explain how I became aware of him?
Q. Yes.
A. I became aware of him when he was arrested and charged with an offence relating to, I think, a local journalist down in the Thames Valley. Once I was made aware of that, I said that he could no longer continue to work for us until the case had been completed, finalised. In the event, I believe the case collapsed and the news editor approached me and said that he was excellent at what he did, he was a former police officer who was particularly expert in surveillance, and because of my discomfort, would I feel better if he became a member of the National Union of Journalists? And I said, well, yes. And that's how I became aware of him. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It didn't make him a journalist, did it?
A. No, of course not, but it made him more aware of the responsibilities of working for the News of the World. MR JAY Why did it do that, Mr Myler?
A. Because of the code that we operated, which he would have been aware of anyway.
Q. Yes. Just rather an odd thing to do, give him an NUJ label as it were. What were you trying to achieve?
A. It was a proposition that was put to me, and I actually thought that it was something that was being thoughtful and sensible of the executive who thought of it. I certainly don't regard it as being reckless.
Q. The one occasion that you refer to in paragraph 39, Mr Myler, could you help us, please, with what that occasion was?
A. What he was doing?
Q. Yes.
A. I'm not aware of what that particular job was. I don't know.
Q. But are you telling us that you are only aware of one particular job he ever did for the News of the World?
A. I only became aware of Derek Webb on this occasion when he was arrested, yes, and I instructed that we couldn't use him.
Q. I understand. But when he came back in 2009 and carried on working for the News of the World with his NUJ card, if I can so describe it, were you aware of the sort of surveillance activities he was undertaking?
A. Not specifically, no.
Q. In general terms, were you aware of the sort of surveillance activities he was undertaking?
A. No, because his name was never mentioned to me again. His name was never brought to my attention again either by anyone in the news department or by anyone in the managing editor's office. He was never on my radar.
Q. So you have no clue, therefore, as to the gamut of his activities and the purposes behind them; is that your evidence?
A. No, I had no detail of his of the jobs he was commissioned to do. All I know is that I never had any reason to be asked or questioned or make a decision about what he had done via either a complaint or an issue or a payment or a problem.
Q. Did you consider that there were any public interest issues regarding the engagement of someone like that on surveillance activities?
A. Someone like what?
Q. Private investigator.
A. Private investigators have been used by newspapers for many years. Banks, insurance companies, all use private investigators.
Q. It depends on what they're asked to do, doesn't it?
A. Yes, I accept that.
Q. Perhaps you would accept hypothetically that if they're set on to someone to carry out discreet surveillance really as a fishing expedition, that might be one side of the line, but if you had a specific tip from a source that that person was indulging in an improper activity and you wanted to substantiate that by getting evidence from a private investigator, that might be on the other side of the line. Would you agree with that as a generality?
A. I think that as far as I'm aware any work that was commissioned by the News of the World to Derek Webb was lawful and legitimate, and nothing has been presented to me to suggest otherwise.
Q. But if you didn't know what he was doing, how could you make that judgment?
A. Well, there were practices in place, and very transparent practices in place, to find that out rather quickly. I assumed that Mr Webb would be invoicing monthly, weekly, I don't know. I don't know how often he was used.
Q. He was used a lot. But someone else, the managing editor would approve his bills?
A. Yes. And if there was any suggestion of improper working, he would have raised it first of all with the person who commissioned Mr Webb and then with me if he felt it was appropriate to do so. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You may be suffering from the fact that you don't have the detail, but if the bills don't identify precisely what he's doing, then it's quite difficult to second guess it. Then it becomes
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON a communication and the extent to which the managing editor wants to investigate what this person is doing.
A. It does, and you have to rely on the person who is putting down the purpose of the work for Mr Webb to be giving an accurate presentation of what that work was. If, for example, that had not happened, I would have expected perhaps the departmental head who signed that off to explain to the managing editor why he'd put down something else. That's what I hope would have happened. MR JAY Were any stories put up for consideration by you on the basis of information which had been sourced in some way by Mr Webb or some other private investigator, to your knowledge?
A. Stories that I put up?
Q. No, put up to you for consideration.
A. That originated from Mr Webb?
Q. Yes.
A. I'm not aware of any, no. You mean that he was the tipster?
Q. Yes.
A. No.
Q. The circumstances in which you would require an editor to know more about the identity of the source, those would be confined, would they, to circumstances when you might have some doubt about the accuracy of the story; is that correct?
A. Yes, the veracity and the impact of what the story might be, the consequences of what the story might be.
Q. How often did you know the identity of the source?
A. Oh, in a lot of cases it was very transparent because with big set issues, ie page 1 stories, they tended to come pretty well from the same sort of circle of people. People like, you know, Max Clifford or other agents. They tended to be in the main very transparent. They would say the person is looking for X and I'm looking after them, and it often became a bidding war within market forces.
Q. Can I ask you about public interest and the weighing of factors. Paragraph 47 of your first witness statement. You tell us there: "The consequences of failing to meet these standards were significant and decisions on balancing the public interest in a free press and the private interests of individuals were not made lightly." Your experience in 2001 which you've told us about, did that cause you to be more cautious in terms of weighing up the public interest balance?
A. It made me more cautious about taking legal advice, on the basis that three lawyers had told me that it was okay to publish it. But no. I mean, situations like that are a huge learning curve and you have to hope that you take that into account when you're making further decisions.
Q. Yes. Did you have Mr Crone on hand for difficult or hard cases?
A. If he wasn't away, yes. And, you know, pretty well more often than not outside leading counsel, too.
Q. Were there many occasions on which you overrode or rejected Mr Crone's advice?
A. Not many.
Q. Did he express himself in terms of allocation of risk or was he more definite or bold in the advice he gave?
A. Always very clear. The relationship that existed and the system that existed before a story even got to me was very clear, tried and tested, and appeared to work and did work. They knew they being the departmental heads and in some cases often reporters, I suspect, would have gone to him in the course of putting up a story or working on a story, irrespective of going to the news editor or the news desk. He was very, very experienced, very clear in his advice and very good.
Q. Okay. Can I just test with you, if you don't mind, the Michael Phelps story and just see how far we get with it. Of course we clearly remember this, but just so we can be absolutely clear about it. Was the photography or the party in the United Kingdom or elsewhere?
A. It was in America, I believe. I think it was on a university campus.
Q. Yes. And he was photographed smoking cannabis at a private party. That was the basic background which you knew about?
A. I think it was a bong.
Q. I didn't catch that.
A. It was a bong. It was through the glass smoking pipe.
Q. Right. So even in the United States of America, I don't know what the law is in relation to the smoking of cannabis or the taking it in by the method you've described, we're at the very lowest end of criminality, aren't we, Mr Myler?
A. Taking drugs is at the lowest end?
Q. Smoking cannabis is at the lowest end of criminality?
A. It was against the law.
Q. Yes, we're agreed about that. Did you know the circumstances in which the photograph was taken?
A. Again, I think it was explained to me that he was at a party on a university campus and that's when the photograph was taken.
Q. Yes, well, we know that from your witness statement. But was it taken using a long lens? Was it taken by a friend at the party? Could you give us some context?
A. I don't believe it was taken by a long lens. I think it was taken by somebody who was at the party.
Q. Was that somebody then selling it to the highest bidder; the photograph, that is?
A. I can't recall about the circumstances of how it specifically came to us, whether it came to us via the person directly who took the photograph and owned the copyright of it, or whether it came to us via another source, via somebody that that individual who took the picture went to and came to us.
Q. Did you at least have to pay for the photograph?
A. The records to the managing editor's office will show that, clearly. I assume payment was made, but either the source whether the source of the story was the person who took the photograph but I'm pretty sure that some money would have exchanged hands, yes.
Q. So in deciding whether to publish the story, there are two considerations in play, are there not? First of all, this was a private party and Mr Phelps, who after all is a world famous swimmer, at the very top of his profession and sport, is enjoying a quiet evening out but breaking the law?
A. I think that's stretching it, with respect, Mr Jay.
Q. Is it?
A. Yes. Michael Phelps was a huge Olympic champion, a role model for millions of people, and his endorsements as a result of that were clear for all to see. And I think you know the consequences of us going to his people and what they offered us in return for not publishing the story.
Q. I'll come to that.
A. Sorry.
Q. I'm just trying to go through the decision-making process.
A. Yes, sorry.
Q. On the one hand, there's his privacy. On the other hand, there are the public interest considerations which you've told us eloquently about, and you felt that the latter outweighed the former; is that correct?
A. Yes. I think there's an element of false image there, yes. In that particular case. Doesn't mean to say that he was smoking and taking drugs every night, clearly.
Q. The false image was or is he's an Olympic swimmer at the very top of his sport and therefore a role model; is that right?
A. No, I mean he was I can't tell you immediately which products and which companies he was endorsing, but they were considerable, and I think as a result of the story being published, he lost some of those endorsements and he was suspended.
Q. But to be fair to the News of the World, the features editor, you tell us, did contact Mr Phelps' agent about this story in advance of publication?
A. Yes.
Q. Because, after all, here you had the hard evidence in the form of the photograph, and I suppose you were running the risk that he might apply for an injunction, weren't you?
A. I don't think we felt that that was measurably high.
Q. Okay. It was argued on his behalf that publishing the story would breach Mr Phelps' privacy. Well, evidently yes, but are there any other considerations or factors which came into play at that stage?
A. Not that I can recall.
Q. Of course, a consequence of publishing the story you set out there. You may be right about the public interest decision you took in this case, but can I just ask you this: was it proportionate in regard to the minor infraction of the law we're talking about here?
A. Well, we're not we're not arbiters of the law, Mr Jay. Michael Phelps was a huge sports star, known throughout the world. A very, very leading Olympic champion. And he and his team clearly understood the significance and the seriousness of the story becoming public knowledge.
Q. Fair enough. I just wanted to test that one with you and others will consider where we are in the public interest. Can I ask you next, please, about your third statement, before coming on to other matters. This is dealing with the McCann diaries.
A. Yes.
Q. Amongst other matters. You make it clear in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the statement, 51874, Mr Myler
A. Yes, I have it.
Q. Do you have it to hand? The newspaper was very supportive of the McCanns, and you wouldn't adopt the stance that other national newspapers had taken by printing malicious stories which had no foundation and emanated largely from the Portuguese press. So that was your position.
A. Yes.
Q. You had a very successful appeal, which raised ?1.5 million in 48 hours. In paragraph 7 you say that you spoke to Dr Gerry McCann on a frequent basis about developments in the case, "or more often than not just to catch up". About how often did you speak to him?
A. Every maybe in the early stages, probably a little bit more regularly, but weeks, perhaps, depending on what was happening, what was developing, what we were aware of or what we were working on. But as I explained, the news desk in particular were in much more regular contact with their spokesman.
Q. This is Mr Ian Edmondson on the one hand who was the news editor?
A. Yes.
Q. And the spokesman was Mr Clarence Mitchell, who we heard about on the other?
A. Yes. And before that, I think it was Justine McGuinness, yes.
Q. Did you have any direct dealings with Mr Mitchell?
A. Not really, no.
Q. Not really or at all?
A. No, hardly at all.
Q. There was evidence from the McCanns about three weeks ago now that following something published in Hello magazine, there was an irate phone call between you and him. Is that right, Mr Myler?
A. I was surprised to hear that from Gerry. I think he actually said that I berated him. I don't recall that. I've not really got a reputation for berating people, and I certainly wouldn't have any cause to berate Gerry after what and what they were going through. I pointed out to him simply that the surprise of doing something with Hello magazine with a circulation of, I don't know, I'm guessing at that time maybe 300,000, against a circulation of the News of the World which was over 3 million, and as I'd said There's only one mistake in this statement, actually. It says we initiated discussions with Vodafone about a European amber alert system. In fact, they came to us through somebody I knew at Vodafone who had been thinking about this, and proposed that we could try to establish with Vodafone who would waive all frees, it would be free, a system that other telecommunications firms would join in, which in many cases could be of huge importance in the case of somebody going missing. So an alert would flash up on your cellphones, wherever you were, giving basic details of boy, girl, size, age, what they were wearing. I know that Gerry and Kate were very interested in the scheme that was very successful in America and I think they'd been over to America to explore how it worked and how they could bring it back to Europe. It was one of the things that they were working on.
Q. That's fair enough, Mr Myler, but the context of the Hello magazine evidence was Dr McCann, in the transcript: "I think it would be fair to say that Mr Myler was irate when he learned of the publication which happened and was berating us for not doing an interview with the News of the World." So it's accepting the berating from you, but he was irate. Maybe it's a matter of perception.
A. He was irate?
Q. Mm.
A. No, I don't think it Gerry wasn't irate.
Q. Sorry, it was you.
A. I was irate, yes.
Q. And berating them.
A. I had no cause at all at any stage to berate or be irate with Gerry. Indeed, the relationship was such that he would call and thank me for what the News of the World had been doing. It was a relationship that I valued.
Q. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So one understands, you can get in touch with him whenever you want, if you want to, if you think it's important?
A. To a point. I mean I was very aware that they did enjoy and protect their own privacy and space, as it were. They had a lot going on and they were dealing with a lot of issues, and dealing with a lot of I mean, the pressure was pretty intense on them. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Oh, I'm sure. I didn't quite mean that. I really meant that if you had something that was significant and important, particularly if you felt it might impact on that privacy
A. Yes, I LORD JUSTICE LEVESON you were able to pick up the phone
A. I know where you're heading, yes, of course, yes. I know where you're going, sir, with respect. And I mean respect, as opposed to what you said the other day to Mr Wallis. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm a very open person, Mr
A. I like to think I am, too. MR JAY Mr Myler, did you have his mobile phone number?
A. I think I did, yes. The point I'm making, Mr Jay, is that I didn't abuse that. I was aware of what they were dealing with, and unless there was a reason specifically to discuss, I didn't want to waste their time.
Q. Right. You tell us that the "Kate's diary in her own words" story was published in the News of the World on 14 September 2008 and you also tell us it was not a story which was produced in a matter of days.
A. That was again, might I just say that I only received from Linklaters yesterday in the bundles, six arrived yesterday morning, so I only saw for the first time records from other people that were requested, because I've not had access.
Q. I think it's
A. And the statement to you was obviously made before that, so it was from recollection.
Q. I think it's important to try and understand what material, documentary material, you had available to you in September 2008, rather than material which you've only seen subsequently, since only the former would have informed your thinking at the time, wouldn't it?
A. Yes, but it's we're now 2011. It's remembering.
Q. Indeed. You tell us in your witness statement that the story was presented to you by Mr Edmondson, is that correct?
A. It is.
Q. And he made it clear to you that he had a copy of the diary. Did he let you know or tell you from where he had obtained it?
A. I can't recall the conversation specifically, but I'm sure he would have done.
Q. Well, we can be more precise. If you could pick up the Linklater file, if we can describe it in those terms, and look, please, at tab 2.
A. Sorry, what number is it?
Q. The papers which arrived from Linklaters which you mentioned three minutes ago. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do you not have the file?
A. If it's not here. MR JAY We can provide you with another file. It's there. We'll get it to you.
A. Sorry. I couldn't fit it in the bag, actually. MR JAY It has tabs, so it's easier to
A. Thank you.
Q. Tab 2.
A. Yes.
Q. Mr Edmondson to you, 5 September. So we are nine days before the story: "We have got the Kate McCann diaries journalist at a meeting. They are in Portuguese, translated by cops. Official police document looks good. Don't think this is a set-up. We can take possession after paying a small deposit and pay the balance upon publication, 3,000 euros in total. Get it as great stuff for next week? Ian." So your source, as it were, was I think a Portuguese journalist?
A. Mm.
Q. I think it was a woman journalist, but it's not going to matter. Made clear to you that the Portuguese police had translated the diary and therefore they remained in Portuguese but they looked as if they were what they purported to be; is that correct?
A. Yes, according to this.
Q. Were you concerned by the fact that the diary had been obtained from the police in some way?
A. I can't recall exactly how the conversation developed and when and where it would have taken place with Mr Edmondson, but if I remember correctly, elements of the diary had already been published in some of the Portuguese papers, I believe, previously, so I assumed that it was the same journalist who was the author of those stories, who had come to us.
Q. But were you aware of some of the background which comprised this: that the police had obtained the diary, having seized it from Dr Kate McCann, and then there was an order by the Portuguese judge for the diary to be returned, but I think a copy by then had been taken? Were you aware of any of that background?
A. I don't recall that specifically, I'm sorry.
Q. But it was clear to you that the ultimate source the proximate source was the journalist, but the ultimate source was the Portuguese police. That much was clear, wasn't it?
A. I think it's clear that that's where it probably would have emanated, yes.
Q. And then there were discussions about the cost, which I don't think we need dwell on. And then LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is a formal agreement is made in writing, behind tab 3?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is 5 September?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON A substantial sum of money to supply the diary of Kate McCann for exclusive publication?
A. Yes. According to this, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. That's the MR JAY So at that stage you had a contractual commitment to pay an amount, and the consideration would be exclusive publication in the News of the World; is that right?
A. Generally, yes.
Q. It wasn't your understanding that anybody had asked for Dr Kate McCann's consent by that stage, was it?
A. At that stage?
Q. Yes.
A. I well, this is Friday at 8.06 pm. I know, as I said, that Ian Edmondson was probably at that stage almost in daily contact with Mr Mitchell. What conversations had taken place, I don't know. But I know that they had a very close relationship and a very close working professional relationship.
Q. I think the question is a bit more precise. Before making the contractual commitment
A. Yes.
Q. which would save you having to pay money which might not lead to anything
A. Well, it would be on publication.
Q. It would be on publication. But were you satisfied that Dr Kate McCann had given her consent or was the issue of consent something which you were going to address later?
A. Well, I don't know at that stage, I didn't know whether or not they had it. You know, physically had from the journalist what she said she had.
Q. No, indeed not. But
A. So I the question really about whether or not we had permission from Kate or whatever conversations Ian Edmondson would have had with Mr Mitchell, until he had it, I'm not sure it was relevant.
Q. Sorry, my understanding of this contract, and it's quite a short document with very few stipulations, is that on consideration of the diary being supplied to the News of the World, News of the World would pay 20,000 euros to the journalist, and its purpose would be for exclusive publication in the News of the World?
A. Yes.
Q. But the payment of 20,000 euros wasn't dependent on it being exclusively published in the News of the World? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, it was, paragraph 6.
A. Yes, it was. Yes, it was. All the contracts were on that basis because we would run out of money rather quickly MR JAY Yes, you're right, I'm wrong. So the next few days, I think the documents show, were devoted to establishing that the diaries were what they purported to be, do I have that right?
A. Yes.
Q. And then did there come a point, you having established that, that you wanted to ascertain whether or not there was consent from Dr Kate McCann for publication? Have I correctly understood the position?
A. Yes.
Q. But the obvious question, Mr Myler, is this: why did you not telephone either of the McCanns and find out whether they consented?
A. Because Ian Edmondson had assured me on more than one occasion that Clarence was aware of what we were intending to do and had said, "Good". I think it was very clear from Mr Edmondson's point of view how he'd spelt out what he was doing, and indeed I stressed very clearly by using the phrase that I did not want Kate to come out of church on Sunday morning and find that the diaries were there without her knowledge.
Q. But you were of course aware that if Dr Kate McCann had not given her consent to the publication of this personal diary, she would be outraged by the publication. You were aware of that, weren't you?
A. I wouldn't have published if I'd thought that she hadn't been made aware of it.
Q. And Mr Edmondson was telling you that he'd obtained consent on what day?
A. Well, it was absolutely clear from the Friday to the Saturday that that assurance had been given to him and given again to me.
Q. It was going to be a front page story, wasn't it? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Which Friday to which Saturday are we talking about? What date? MR JAY 12th and 13th, isn't it?
A. In other words, sort of from the Friday conference to deciding, you know, what you're doing with the front of the paper. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I see.
A. I made it clear, I think on the Friday, by using that phrase, and I repeated it to him again on the Saturday. And at no stage did he indicate to me that Mr Mitchell had told him it wouldn't be appropriate to do what he'd been told we were doing.
Q. Given the importance of all of this, why not just pick up the phone yourself and find out?
A. Mr Mitchell was a very experienced media spokesperson, absolutely. I had no reason to believe that what Mr Edmondson was telling me wasn't correct.
Q. Did Mr Edmondson tell you clearly that he had told Mr Mitchell that a copy of the diary had been obtained via the Portuguese police, had been translated by you, and that sections of that translation were going to be published in the News of the World as opposed to the News of the World simply using publications which had already been made in Portugal to base a story?
A. No, no, no. My understanding was that it was very clear that Mr Edmondson had explained what had we had because I think the extracts that had appeared in Portugal were very minor, limited. I don't know how much they used. But there was a I think there's a transcript in here of a conversation where he explains that he was trying to get me to go big with it, and I think in the course of that conversation I think Mr Mitchell had said that he'd vaguely remembered when they had been used in part in the Portuguese press and that they were obviously very selective.
Q. Yes, but did Mr Edmondson make it clear to you that he had made it clear to Mr Mitchell that he had the whole diary and was going to cause extracts from it to be published in the News of the World?
A. That's what he led me to believe, yes.
Q. Because reading the transcript, and this is something which you didn't, of course, see at the time, the transcript of the conversation
A. Sorry, which tab are we?
Q. This is tab 9. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You did see it just a few days later on the Tuesday. MR JAY A four-page transcript of a conversation between Ian Edmondson and Clarence Mitchell on Friday, September 12, 2008. It's quite a complicated document, and certainly bears at least one interpretation, probably several. You saw it two days later or two days after publication, on the Tuesday, didn't you?
A. This is the transcript of the conversation between Ian Edmondson and Mr Mitchell?
Q. Indeed.
A. Yes.
Q. We know Mr Edmondson sent it to you. You're the first recipient on the email, aren't you?
A. Yes.
Q. Having seen that transcript, and I'm not going to go through it now, why did you apologise to the McCanns at all? Unless it was capable of bearing at least a number of interpretations?
A. Well, because I felt very bad that she didn't know. And as I've said before, without her permission, I wouldn't have published it. I mean, why would I do something as personal as that, however much behind a shield of nailing the lies of the Portuguese media and the press? I don't think that would have been sufficient for the grief it caused her, and I had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose, given the relationship that we had established.
Q. But if that was your thought process on 16 September, why wasn't it the thought process you had the previous week, Mr Myler?
A. Because I was given an absolute categoric assurance that Clarence knew what we were doing. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, you've read this transcript, I'm sure. It's clearly not a document that spells it out in words of one syllable, is it?
A. You know, Mr Edmondson, given the number of times I asked him for the assurance to make sure that there was absolute clarity and understanding, had no view that there was anything ambiguous in what we were going to do. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It may be, Mr Myler, that it's unfair to ask you much more about this, but would you agree with this: this document is most clearly ambiguous?
A. This LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is the transcript that you were sent by Mr Edmondson as establishing, presumably, the consent about which you were then concerned. And it's not terribly clear. Would you agree with that?
A. I need to LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right.
A. I only got this bundle yesterday. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's entirely fair enough.
A. I'm sorry. MR JAY What was the total sum that the News of the World paid for this diary?
A. I don't know. We'd have to check. Because often when sums are going into a managing editor's sheet, particularly when they have brackets which says they're still being negotiated, the tendency was for that sum to be negotiated down, and therefore it was a running memoir, if you like. Chances are that that figure possibly could have come down. So the managing editor's office will have a record of that.
Q. Okay, but you made a donation to the Madeleine fund?
A. Oh yes.
Q. Was it a substantial donation?
A. I believe it was. And an apology the following week, I think it was the following week, negotiated with, I think, Mr Thomson from Carter Ruck, and in it was an acceptance and an acknowledgment that there had been a misplaced understanding that we had Kate's permission and, you know, we made that very clear, that the last thing we wanted to do was to cause her any more distress.
Q. May I move off that to another topic. This topic is such that I won't be able to conclude it today. I don't know how you LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do I understand that, save for Mr Myler, we're not going to find ourselves tomorrow running over a witness? MR JAY We won't, because there's another witness, Mr Sanderson, who deals with these matters. He'll be quite short. And then Mr Webb, who won't be that long either, so although we're not doing very well today, overall we're not doing badly. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, well, I understand the point. All right, I think that Mr Myler is due a break as well.
A. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. We'll resume at 10 o'clock tomorrow. Oh, pause. MR CAPLAN Sir, just one thing very briefly. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, Mr Caplan. MR CAPLAN Just to exercise a brief right of reply on behalf of the Daily Mail. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You're absolutely right. I'm very sorry that one of the few moments that you're not here MR CAPLAN Yes, I'm sure that was coincidental. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sure it's coincidental and I knew that you would see it. MR CAPLAN Sir, yes. Might I say this. I understand that Mr Sherborne referred to an approach that was made by a Daily Mail journalist to Mr Mark Lewis, the Dowlers' solicitor, yesterday evening, and the suggestion was made, I think by Mr Lewis, that this approach and the question that was asked was an attack upon the Dowler family. I'm mentioning this first of all because it was mentioned in public to this Inquiry, and also because it has been taken up by one or two other online publishers. May I say this: the journalist was not attacking the Dowlers in any sense. He was making a proper approach to Mr Lewis as their solicitor, trying to see what the implications might be from recent reports concerning deletions from Milly Dowler's voicemails. No more than that. And I'm very anxious that that position should be understood, that there was no attempt at all, or intention, to mount any attack on the Dowlers. It was an inquiry to their solicitor. No story has resulted from it and I'm surprised that Mr Lewis brought it to the attention of the Inquiry. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON There it is. You will have noticed that after Mr Sherborne started, I interrupted him, probably quite rudely, and dealt with the topic, which is concerned with the deletion of the emails with which am concerned, for reasons which I'm sure you will understand, as I dealt with it. MR CAPLAN Thank you very much. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. (4.37 pm) (The hearing adjourned until 10 o'clock the following day) Housekeeping ..1 MR THOMAS GERALD CRONE (on former ..7 oath) Questions by MR JAY 7 Questions by MR SHERBORNE ..75 MR JON CHAPMAN (sworn) 83 Questions by MR JAY ..83 MR COLIN MYLER (sworn) ..116 Questions by MR JAY .116


Gave statements at the hearings on 14 December 2011 (AM) and 14 December 2011 (PM) ; and submitted 1 pieces of evidence
Gave statements at the hearings on 14 December 2011 (PM) and 15 December 2011 (AM) ; and submitted 6 pieces of evidence


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