Afternoon Hearing on 01 March 2012

Andy Hayman gave a statement at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(12.00 pm) MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Mr Yates, who is in Bahrain, I think. MR JOHN MICHAEL YATES (sworn) (Evidence by videolink) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Your full name, please, Mr Yates.
A. It's John Michael Yates.
Q. Thank you. May I check that you can see me?
A. I can see you, yes.
Q. Thank you very much. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Hang on. If I speak, you shouldn't see me if I'm not speaking, but if I speak
A. I can see you now in wide vision, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed. Thank you very much for your statement. Yes, Mr Jay. MR JAY Mr Yates, may I first of all ask you to confirm your witness statement. It is dated 22 February and signed by you. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?
A. Yes, it is. It's 46 pages.
Q. Thank you very much. May I just check the bundle that you have in front of you, just check it's the same bundle as I have. It contains the various exhibits to your statement, which are in subtabs. Do you have a bundle which runs to 79 tabs?
A. I have a bundle, it isn't 79 because the numbers go slightly odd thereafter, but it wouldn't be about 79, I can see it goes to 31, 62, and then a series of alphabets, but we might have to work it out from the scale rather than bundle tabulation, if that helps.
Q. We'll navigate our way through it. First of all, Mr Yates, your career in the Metropolitan Police Service. You retired in the or resigned, I should say more precisely, in the rank of Assistant Commissioner in July 2011; is that correct?
A. Not quite correct. I actually officially left on November 7, I think.
Q. Thank you very much. You set out your earlier career in paragraph 5 of your statement, but what is material to this Inquiry is that in April 2009 you were the national lead for counter terrorism in Assistant Commissioner rank; is that right?
A. Yes, together with the responsibilities within London as well, as set out at paragraph 7. So it was a national role it was a national role in terms of counter terrorism as a coordinator and then there were responsibilities within London itself around aviation, Parliament, diplomatic protection and the like.
Q. It was in that role, and we'll come to this in due course, that Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Commissioner, asked you to review the evidence in relation to Operation Caryatid in July 2009; is that correct?
A. I don't want to hit semantics around the word review, but you'll understand from my statement the difference between a review and what the Commissioner asked me to do, which was to establish the facts.
Q. Yes. So that we are clear about it, at the time Operation Caryatid was being conducted in 2005 concluding in January 2007, you had no role in counter terrorism; is that correct?
A. Absolutely correct, yes.
Q. Paragraph 8 of your statement you explain and this is at page 06472 on our pagination, page 3 on the internal numbering that for the vast majority of the time there was a healthy and transparent relationship at all levels, and you're dealing here with a culture of relations between the MPS and the media.
A. Yes.
Q. Why do you say that, Mr Yates?
A. In terms of a vast majority because there's clearly been instances in the past where actually it hasn't been healthy, and I'm talking about the current corruption allegations and the like. So to say there's always been a healthy relationship would be wrong because there have been instances in the past where that hasn't been the case. Rare though they may be.
Q. How do you define a healthy and transparent relationship?
A. By the very words I've used to describe it, really, in terms of trusting in each way healthy and transparent. I can't think of other ways to describe it.
Q. Does that include in informal transactions, for example over lunch or dinner with individual journalists?
A. Yes, it could well be, yes.
Q. In relation to those transactions, how do you ensure that those particular transactions remain healthy and transparent rather than unprofessional?
A. It's a matter for one's professional judgment and discretion. The vast majority of my dealings with the media would be around the sort of strategic policy issues that I was exposed to in my service at the senior rank. So in terms of the big issues of the day, be it counter terrorism legislation, be it data retention, be it rape policy, for which I was responsible nationally for a number of years, the very vast majority would be around that.
Q. Did you see
A. And I think sorry.
Q. Carry on.
A. Yes, and I think, as I set out, I think there's a great value in that in terms of both educating myself, testing hypotheses, testing views, and getting the views back as well, so the last thing I think we would want is policing to be in a bubble and in a vacuum where one isn't connecting to other thinking.
Q. Do you or did you see the purpose of interactions between the police and the media, at least from the perspective of the police, to pursue the public interest as distinct from the interests of the police itself?
A. I think there's occasionally a bit of both, but public interest is always paramount. It's making sure that whatever in terms of things like counter terrorism legislation, counter terrorism legislation reviews, making sure we have the very best policies that are fit for purpose and will work.
Q. You make it clear in your statement in various places that given the importance of the work you were doing and the nature of the work you were doing, you were very often the "public face" that's the term you use for policing and policy matters. You use that terminology in paragraphs 15 and 16.
A. Yes. I think that's a fair assessment which covers my period in charge of serious and organised crime in the capital, both as Deputy and Assistant Commissioner and also my role in counter terrorism as well.
Q. Do you consider that there is any sort of risk that you being a public face might put you too close to the media in general, or certain sections of it in particular?
A. No, I don't, actually. The certain sections bit. I mean, if you look at the registers, as I know you will have done, Mr Jay, it shows a very broad spectrum of coverage with the media. I would actually deliberately seek out the more obscure sections in terms of some of the views that they might hold, and I particularly look in terms of rape around that, and that's why I did so. So the "certain sections" bit is and I know where you're leading to, but I wouldn't say I would say I had a very broad spectrum of coverage in a broad spectrum of the meetings with the media.
Q. You tell us in paragraphs 23 and 24 of your statement our page 06478, page 9 on the internal numbering, you consider that the media was seeking through its personal dealings with you to fully understand the context around policing issues or particular events.
A. Yeah.
Q. Might it be suggested there, Mr Yates, that you're being slightly naive, if I can put it in those terms? The media might have been expecting through its personal dealings with you something additional in exchange. Would you accept that?
A. No, I don't really actually, because I do think many of those dealings, the vast majority, as I said, had been around understanding the context. If you take, for example, the government's desire to legislate around data retention and the use of police (inaudible) data in its general sense, there was a fundamental misunderstanding about how important that was. So if you have the opportunity to explain that and explain the full context and the value of those sort of issues, then I think I'm doing it in what I believe, and I still believe, was in the best interests of the public and the best interests of policing.
Q. Don't you feel though that there were sometimes occasions, particularly in social contexts and possibly when alcohol was exchanged or imbibed, when the press were trying to get something more out of you, either perhaps an indiscreet comment or perhaps to influence you in a certain way? Did you have a sense that that had occurred?
A. I can certainly see your point, Mr Jay, but as an individual that hasn't happened.
Q. Okay. I'll come back to that when we look at the register. Paragraph 22 of your statement, if you forgive me from darting around a bit, you tell us that the security services were understandably concerned about the degree of media contact "my previous role had involved"; this presumably was in 2009, and then you say presumably in part because of all the briefing against you and the cash for honours investigation. Can we be clear: what are you referring to there, Mr Yates, in the parentheses?
A. I'm firmly of the view that I was briefed against on an industrial scale during the cash for peerages investigation. That's what I'm referring to.
Q. I can see that, but what was being said about you, insofar as it's relevant to the sentence we are looking at here in your witness statement?
A. Because I think what it put me in, it put me in the public eye in a way that was quite unhelpful. There were allegations made against me about all sorts of things, I was a Kenneth Starr, I was this, I was that, and I was very much in the public eye, and in terms of a counter terrorism lead that's not necessarily a good thing.
Q. Was it being suggested you were the sort of policeman who does leak to the press and that the security services felt that you were the last sort of policeman they would like to see in a counter terrorist role? Is that the point?
A. That was the inference, Mr Jay, but it's not true.
Q. Okay. Again we may come back to that. I'm going to move forward to paragraph 41 of your statement and the issue of hospitality and gifts, which is 06483 of our pagination, where you tell us that you accepted hospitality, mainly lunch or dinner, from the media in accordance with the relevant guidance, and hospitality was declared in the register. I'm going to call that the hospitality register, and of course that has been made available to the Inquiry. You say a little bit later: "This would not include any occasion when I met casually with a journalist and drinks or coffee were bought on a reciprocal basis." So you're excluding, are you, anything which is minimal and therefore shouldn't trouble the register? Is that your policy or was that your policy?
A. No, I think the word is "reciprocal". So if you are buying and being bought, I don't consider that to be hospitality. So if you buy a drink, you buy one back, I don't consider that hospitality. It didn't come within, in my view, the guidelines.
Q. I understand. Paragraph 42: "I do not consider a casual meeting in those circumstances So you're making it clear, are you, that it's the casual meeting where one round of beer is bought by you and then reciprocated half an hour later, that's not the sort of thing which amounts to hospitality but everything else would, is that correct?
A. No. In that sense LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Does it matter who pays? Whether it's your personal money or reclaimed back or the journalist's personal money? I'm just asking.
A. No, it would have been my own personal money, so you wouldn't claim for those. MR JAY Paragraph 43: "An arrangement to have supper or lunch or attend a dinner or social function with a journalist was considered perfectly acceptable and had many benefits."
A. Yes.
Q. Some of the benefits you've already explained. Was it your practice to drink alcohol at these occasions in the evening?
A. Yes, in sensible quantities, yes.
Q. Okay.
A. And again, as far as I'm aware, the hospitality guidance says that is perfectly acceptable.
Q. It does. Paragraph 47, before I come to the detail of the register, page 06485, the then Deputy Commissioner Mr Godwin advised you, as he did all other management board members, to reduce contact with the media, and that was advice you accepted. Can you recall about when that advice was given?
A. With Tim it was reinforced on several occasions because that was his style, so it would be difficult to say exactly when, but there was a management board or a senior management team meeting where I think it was said, but Tim would repeat it quite a lot.
Q. So far as the phone hacking events were developing, the advice was particularly relevant to you, wasn't it, because of what happened in July 2009 and subsequently; do you accept that?
A. Yes, I suppose I do accept that, yes.
Q. Because the advice to other management board members, although salutary, was less relevant to them because after all they had nothing to do with phone hacking or its aftermath, did they?
A. Yes, but I think it was generally well-known and by many people in a perfectly proper way that I had and had had good relationships with the media going back a number of years, so it was very well-known and, as I say, but I absolutely accept what you're saying in terms of it may have been more directed to me than, say, the director of resources.
Q. But his advice that contact should be reduced is obviously in part evaluative or prescriptive, because it suggesting there might have been too much contact with the media and particularly by you. Would you at the present accept that?
A. I think and Tim will talk for himself I think Tim was of the view that the media were the enemy and we shouldn't be in contact with them. Now, I don't concur with that view, never have done, and I've had some healthy dialogue, debate, with Tim on those points. He took it a different view to me and others.
Q. Of course we'll ask him, but his view might have been rather more direct, and it was this, that as phone hacking developed as an issue, certainly in and after July 2009, it was particularly inappropriate that there should be any interaction between those investigating phone hacking, such as you, and the media, in particular News International. Do you accept that interpretation?
A. No, I don't, actually, because the fact of the matter was that we weren't investigating News International after July 2009. I came to a view then, which no doubt we'll discuss, that there was no any evidence on which to base an investigation, and so to say they were under investigation is not correct. They only became under investigation in January 2011.
Q. But then Mr Godwin's advice was completely wrong because it was predicated on the premise, wasn't it, that there should be less contact with the media because of the phone hacking events developing, so it doesn't matter whether you call it investigation, whether you call it establishing the facts; it is the public perception which he was driving it, wasn't he?
A. But that's if you come from that premise, you're saying that after July 2009 we shouldn't have had any contact with the media at all, and I don't accept that. It's not logical. If we were investigating them, then yes I agree, but we weren't investigating them. The matter was concluded then, there was no new evidence and we always said we would reopen the case if there was new evidence and that became apparent when they provided us with material in January, I think the 26th, 2011.
Q. Okay, Mr Yates. We have, and I hope you have, as part of the material which has been provided by the MPS, the gifts and hospitality register insofar as it relates to you for the period after 1 January 2005. In the bundle I have, it's tab 12, although I'm afraid I don't know the page number on our system. It runs out before tab 11. It's going to be about 06460, but we'll find it about there.
A. Is it in bundle 1 or bundle 2? I have bundle 2. I think bundle 1 is mostly around Select Committee stuff. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON There is a bundle which is headed "MPS master bundle gifts and hospitality", but you may only have been sent a small file which contains your own register. MR JAY Yes, I think that's what happened, if I remember rightly. It runs over about 32 pages. Do you have this?
A. No, I don't well, I may do, but it's not immediately obvious. Just take me through it and I'll be happy with that, if you're happy.
Q. I've also been given but I don't think anybody else has as yet, because the Metropolitan Police Service have kindly provided it to us but we will make this more generally available, a compilation of your diary entries.
A. Yes, I've got that.
Q. Involving contact with the media. I just want to correlate the two, if I may. I'm going to look at one year, which is 2009, so one year in particular.
A. Okay.
Q. According to the diary entry, for 28 April 2009, a meeting was
A. Yes.
Q. a dinner was organised, although in the end you didn't attend, with SPS, Dick F, which must be Dick Fedorcio, and NW
A. Yeah.
Q. who we think must be Neil Wallis. Is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. That was at a restaurant called Luciano's.
A. Yes.
Q. I know you didn't attend it, but can you tell us what the purpose of that meeting might have been? Can you recall?
A. I have no idea. I didn't go.
Q. But if the meeting was going to be for a proper professional purpose, as it was, one would need to know in advance why it had been organised. Can you recall at all why it was set up?
A. No, I can't. I'm sorry.
Q. On 3 June 2009 there was a private appointment in the evening. Nick Candy, you and Neil, that's Neil Wallis?
A. Yes.
Q. Dinner for four at Skalini's.
A. Yes.
Q. Do you know what the purpose of that meeting was?
A. It's it was a private appointment. It was friends. It had nothing to do with policing at all. That's why it says "private appointment".
Q. Who is Nick Candy?
A. Nick Candy is a friend. He works in property.
Q. I think there was also someone called Neil Reading who attended, if I've correctly understood this. If I have, who is he?
A. Neil Reading is a friend. He works in PR. It shouldn't have to be in the diary because it was a private appointment. It just helped me managing my diary. So it's nothing to do with policing at all.
Q. So does it follow that you paid for this or
A. No, I think Nick paid. As I say I think Nick paid, but as I say, it's friends, so there were many times I paid for dinner which don't go in my diary either, so.
Q. I understand. So for these purposes, we're going to regard Mr Wallis as a friend; is that correct?
A. If it says a private appointment, yes.
Q. Would policing issues have been discussed, though, in passing or at all?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Why do you say that so categorically, Mr Yates?
A. Because it's not of interest to the others there and it's it just wouldn't be it wasn't the purpose of the dinner to go and discuss policing. It was to go and have to go out with friends and enjoy a dinner.
Q. I understand that, Mr Yates. Did Mr Wallis discuss the media world at all, or the News of the World in particular?
A. Not that I can recall. This was it's more likely to be discussions about boring stuff like football, to be honest.
Q. Well, not necessarily boring, depending on the precise nature of the discussion. Did each of you that's you and Mr Wallis support the same team?
A. No.
Q. All right.
A. He comes from the Manchester United end of life and I come from the Liverpool end of life, so.
Q. Did you go to football matches together?
A. Yes, we did.
Q. Was this on occasion in Manchester and on other occasions in Liverpool?
A. No, I mean probably two or three times I've been to a football match with him.
Q. I didn't catch that.
A. Sorry? Two or three times.
Q. Was it once in Manchester, twice in Liverpool?
A. No, I don't think I don't think he's I don't think I let him go to Liverpool, so it was Manchester and I think Arsenal when Liverpool were playing Arsenal, I think.
Q. May I ask you this: who paid for the tickets?
A. On the Liverpool/Manchester United, he paid for the tickets, and I paid for the travelling, so it's sort of pro rata, really.
Q. It sounds as if Mr Wallis was, at least at that stage, a close friend of yours. Is that fair?
A. He was I've always been completely open that he's a good friend. He certainly was a good friend. I haven't seen him for nigh on a year.
Q. Inevitable, wasn't it, Mr Yates, that on these social occasions if you're travelling up from London, whether it be to Manchester or Liverpool, you're with Mr Wallis for at least a couple of hours on the train either way?
A. Yes.
Q. There's going to be discussion around what you do professionally and around what he did professionally. Would you accept that?
A. In the margins, yes, but, seriously, it was far more about domestic life, family life, football and, you know, there was a life outside the Met, and I'm sure there's a life outside of News International for him.
Q. So there was no, as it were, seeping in to professional or work issues during these social interactions, is that right?
A. As I say, completely in the margins. Of course there must have been, but, you know, nothing of a you know, I can I know a number of lawyers, and count them as good friends, and we can talk about the legal system without talking about particular cases. I know bankers, you can talk about banking systems and not talk about individual accounts. You'd have to accept there's a sort of element of professionalism and sound judgment that stops you going into areas where you shouldn't go into, and I think it's you know, the inferences shouldn't be there.
Q. Are you assuring us that Mr Wallis kept to the proper boundaries and did not share with you matters which related to his work?
A. Well, you'd have to ask him himself, but I certainly didn't hear anything from him that caused me concern, no.
Q. To go back to your diary, 9 September 2009, another private appointment: dinner with Neil et al, and then it says "spk", which must be speak, and then the initials KB at a restaurant called
A. She's my PA.
Q. Pardon me?
A. KB is my was my PA.
Q. Thank you. At a restaurant called Scott's, which I think is in Soho. Again, obviously it doesn't feature in the actually, I think on this occasion it does. Just bear with me. No, it doesn't feature in the gifts and hospitality register, I suppose because this was a private appointment; is that correct?
A. Yes. For all private appointments, read private.
Q. Again, it's the same points that you would make that there was no improper discussion with Mr Wallis at any stage?
A. No, absolutely.
Q. Just bear with me. 1 October 2009 is another private appointment, dinner with Nick Candy and Wallis at a place called Cecconi's, this time in Burlington Gardens. It exactly the same point, is it?
A. It is, yes.
Q. A lunch with Mr Wallis organised for 14 September I assume was cancelled. He was a very close friend of yours, wasn't he?
A. He was a good friend, yes.
Q. 7 September it's out of sequence in the diary as has been compiled there's an entry this time in the mid-afternoon, "Mr Wallis to NSY", which obviously is New Scotland Yard, "arranged direct by JY", which is you. Can you recall why Mr Wallis went to New Scotland Yard to see you on that occasion?
A. What was the date, sorry?
Q. 7 September 2009.
A. I think there were several attempts to get an appointment with him, myself and Dick Fedorcio regarding potential work, I think. I can only think it must have been that.
Q. Potential work for Mr Wallis; is that right?
A. I think that I'd imagine that's what it is, but I can't be certain in terms of the timing.
Q. Is this the business surrounding Mr Wallis' company, Shami?
A. Yeah, I think so, yes, but I can't be certain.
Q. So you think that this was a meeting which related to that matter? Have I correctly understood it?
A. I think it was with Dick Fedorcio, but I can't be absolutely certain without seeing the diary entry.
Q. How many of these meetings took place surrounding the Shami issue and Mr Wallis? Can you recall?
A. I think one or two in terms of the work he was doing for us. Is that the question, sorry?
Q. I think just the number of meetings, and you've given your evidence about that.
A. Yeah.
Q. This was about two months after you were establishing the facts in relation to News International, News of the World and Operation Caryatid on 9 July
A. 9th, yes.
Q. When you were establishing those facts, was it ever suggested to you that the conspiracy, if I can use that term, went quite high in the organisation? Or might have done?
A. No, absolutely not. It was I saw you taking through the briefing notes yesterday exactly what was there, and there was certainly no evidence to suggest that, so absolutely not. And I was you know, the level of reassurance I had on that was from a number of pointers, both from sort of Peter Clarke and the late John McDowall in terms of their seniority and their oversight of it, some exceptionally good detectives from specialist operations who were involved with it, the DPP concurred with my view, counsel
Q. We're going to come back to that.
A. We will be covering that?
Q. We will certainly be covering that.
A. Thank you.
Q. 5 November 2009 in the diary, this is an entry which does appear in the gifts and hospitality register. The register says: "Dinner, News of the World (to improve understanding of each other's operational environment)." Which is a formulation one sees very commonly in the gifts and hospitality register whenever one is meeting a news organisation.
A. Yes, it's common across it's not just me, it's common across, I think, all the rest, isn't it?
Q. We'll see whether it's exactly the same for Mr Hayman.
A. I think it was a form of words that was I had nothing to do with the formal words, but that was the formal words that appeared to sort of encapsulate it and satisfy the police authority.
Q. Because looking at this register you'd have no idea who the dinner was with, but one does from the diary entry: "Dinner meeting with Colin Myler and Lucy Panton." And this is the Ivy Club, which apparently is upstairs from the Ivy restaurant.
A. Yes.
Q. What was going on on this occasion, Mr Yates? What was discussed?
A. Again I think it was probably I think it was my in terms of coming into the CT job, I think it was the first time I'd met Colin Myler. Again it was exactly what it says, it's trying to understand perspectives from one of the biggest selling or then biggest selling national newspapers what their big issues of the day were, what our big issues of the day were. It's talking about it at a sort of strategic level, if you like, and helping to understand both his perspective and my perspective.
Q. You tell us in your statement that Lucy Panton was one of the most active members of the Crime Reporters Association; is that right?
A. She was certainly one of the most visible ones in that sense, yes.
Q. She was and probably still is married to a detective in the MPS; is that right?
A. Yes, as far as I'm aware.
Q. What was the nature of your dealings with her? I'm not suggesting for one moment sorry, we're getting an echo on the system. I think it's stopped.
A. Am I too loud?
Q. No. I mean, how often did you meet with Lucy Panton?
A. I've known Lucy, like I've known a number of the crime reporters, for many, many years. I think I put in my statement about a decade. So I've known her an awful long time. It would be difficult to say how often I'd met her, but probably two or three times a year, I would say. I don't know.
Q. This is an expensive restaurant, isn't it? It goes without saying. We get the idea with the Ivy Club.
A. I think all restaurants in London are expensive, Mr Jay.
Q. Okay, Mr Yates, but this is at the expensive end, and I mean you don't get out of the Ivy Club, possibly, for less than ?100 a head. Obviously alcohol was bought as well, wasn't it?
A. Yes, absolutely.
Q. Was this an appropriate interaction with Mr Myler and Lucy Panton, in your view, looking back on this?
A. I don't I mean, in terms of what we know now, yes, it clearly as I say, in terms of what has happened in the last three or four months, yes, I suppose it is, but it certainly wasn't at the time in terms of what we knew about the events, Mr Myler's position, he was the new editor who'd come in, and I go back to what I said at the start. I think it's hugely important that senior police officers have a relationship and interact with the media, that they are not the enemy, they are occasionally critical friends and occasionally much worse.
Q. Mr Myler's position we heard his evidence to this Inquiry was that there was one rogue reporter. Was that your understanding of the position? Was that affirmatively established to your satisfaction that there was only one rogue reporter at the News of the World?
A. In terms of what we knew and what the evidence was, yes, that was the position in July 2009 and remained that position up until January 2011. We had no other way of affirming it either way.
Q. In your opinion, there was no evidence at all to suggest that others might be involved; is that correct, Mr Yates?
A. Well, there was the you know, the long spoken about "for Neville" email, which again was covered in terms of what its value to an investigation was on several occasions, not least by the DPP and counsel in terms of what it would value its evidential value. There was nothing else that we knew differently then.
Q. Okay, we'll come back to that, but I'm still on this diary. There's a meeting with Nick Davies of the Guardian, which is quite interesting. 30 November 2009.
A. Yes, got it.
Q. Which is probably at New Scotland Yard.
A. It was.
Q. We know from the time of day that it wasn't going to be lunch, and indeed the diary entry, at least as transcribed to me, says: "Meeting with Nick Davies, Guardian, 30 minutes only." You're making it clear that that's the limit of your time for Mr Davies, isn't it? I'm not saying you're wrong about that, but this is going to be an abbreviated, short as possible, professional interaction, isn't it?
A. Well, if you looked at my diary in its broader context, you would see it's sort of fairly round from dawn till early dusk. I imagine that's because it was considered important to have the meeting. Nick was quite a challenging individual for us to deal with in a perfectly proper respect, and we felt there would be some value in having that meeting with him. We had a follow-on meeting, I think, with the editor and the deputy editor around exactly the same issues in terms of just trying to explain what the MPS position was around phone hacking.
Q. And on 15 December 2009 in the diary: "Meeting between JY, Dick Fedorcio and Neil Wallis."
A. Yeah.
Q. This probably relates, does it, to the Shami employment issue?
A. Yes. I think, if I recall it, I don't think I actually made the meeting, but I think you're right, Mr Jay, that's what it was about.
Q. 9 April 2010. This is a CRA lunch.
A. Yes.
Q. At a place called Racine's in Knightsbridge. Were there only four other people there, John Twomey, Lucy Panton and Justin Davenport with Sara Cheesley attending, or was it wider
A. No, that was it. It was the sort of practice of specialist operations going back several years, before way before my time, to arrange these to arrange these almost monthly, although I never made them monthly, I think I probably got to them only every three or four months, with the CRA, where Sara Cheesley calls the press officer.
Q. This one isn't in the gifts and hospitality register. Is there a reason for that?
A. I can only think that's an oversight. It's in the diary. Maybe I didn't make it, I don't know. If you look what you're of course not pointing out, Mr Jay, is the number of meetings that were cancelled during those years, which were probably more than the ones I attended, so I think that's probably helpful to point out.
Q. Thank you. 21 May 2010, again in the diary. It's not in the gifts and hospitality register, but it may be that this one didn't take place.
A. I don't think it did.
Q. It says "Dinner with Neil then it says "TBC". Are we to deduce that it didn't take place?
A. Yes. It probably took place in four days' time.
Q. Yes I was going to come to that, 25 May, private appointment: "NC". That's Mr Candy, I think, isn't it?
A. Yes, the private appointments, Mr Jay I shouldn't have them in my diary.
Q. Well. It's at somewhere called the Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriential. NC confirmed booking. So it suggests that he probably paid?
A. He may well have done, yes.
Q. Mr Wallis was there again, wasn't he?
A. Yes, the same four people who I have dined with probably three times that year. As friends.
Q. Another private appointment, Neil Wallis, 10 June 2010. Do you see that one?
A. Yes. But he was no longer working for News International. I think he was working for us then.
Q. Also been transcribed as a diary entry for 3 August 2010, although this one appears to have been postponed. It's a drink with Ron McGivern(?) and possibly Wallis.
A. Yeah, didn't happen.
Q. I think the reason why this was drawn to the Inquiry's attention is the email to the right-hand side. Do you see that? "Hello John." And there's a rather disparaging reference to Mr Wallis being drunk in a restaurant and you trying to control him.
A. Yeah
Q. Do you recall that?
A. That didn't happen. It's not my email. Give us a break.
Q. This is coming to an end shortly. 24 August 2010.
A. What you I can understand why you are ignoring it is all the other appointments with other sections of the media, the Guardian, the Independent, Channel 4, ITN, which of course show the balance of the level of media contact, which was actually way in favour of those people over News International, in my view, if you did the counting.
Q. Thank you.
A. I'm just making a point.
Q. Yes, fair enough, Mr Yates. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But is there a difference, Mr Yates, if you're going to be involved in investigating anything, between the professional contact that you might have with a newspaper or organisation to further the interests of the Metropolitan Police and a relationship with somebody which might be perceived I mean perfectly innocently, you're entitled to be friends with whomsoever you wish, but who might be perceived to impact on your professional judgment in circumstances that you should be careful to avoid?
A. I agree with you, and what I've done in the last year is to cut off contact with someone who was a good friend because of the way things had developed, but from 2005, 2006 onwards, whenever Caryatid started, there was never any question of Mr Wallis being involved. He hadn't resigned, he continued to work at the newspaper. There was no evidence in July 2009, there was no evidence in the New York Times, so LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's not that he personally would necessarily be involved, but he was associated with an organisation that certainly was being the subject of scrutiny, whether correctly or not, and I'm sure that you in your experience from your other investigations have more than enough scars of problems of relationships.
A. Yeah, I mean I the way this has been described in the past in terms of if a Detective Inspector at Bromley police station gets arrested in a big organisation gets arrested for corruption, that doesn't mean you cut off contact with the rest of the organisation. So as far as we were aware, you had Mr Goodman, as a cog in a large organisation, arrested for wrongdoing and sent to prison. That, as far as I was aware at the time and others were aware, no other evidence to suggest others' involvement, does that mean you cut off relationships with a very influential section of the media? I don't think it does. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I don't think it necessarily does either, but that's rather different if you are then required to make judgments about the existence or otherwise of evidence, and that you then run the risk of somebody saying actually you have something of a not an interest
A. Because there's so many formal checks and balances and informal checks and balances in these matters. Public perception, I accept your point, my Lord, but if you want you saw Keith Surtees yesterday. If you're honestly suggesting that someone like Keith Surtees would accept a perverse decision just because I was the senior officer, it's just nonsense, sir. These are the informal checks and balances that take place as well, and, you know, I absolutely know what I did on July 9th, I know what I was provided with, I know the judgment I made. You know, time has shown that to be and what's happened not the greatest call, but at that time it was the right call, and it wasn't influenced in any way, shape or form by other matters. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Those are two questions, aren't they? First of all, whether the basis for the call, and secondly whether whatever basis there was for the call, it was justified by events or and finally, whether what happened thereafter. I understand the separation of the issues.
A. Yes. Thank you. MR JAY Mr Yates, in relation to the diary and the register, the diary shows, looking elsewhere now, that there were occasional meals, usually in the evening, with Mr Witherow, editor of the Sunday Times.
A. Yes.
Q. On each occasion, those do feature in the gifts and hospitality register. Do you follow me?
A. Yes. They all should. But if there's the occasional oversight, that's regrettable, but it's what it is.
Q. But your interactions with him were always, as it were, a deux, there weren't other people there. Do you follow me?
A. Yeah, that's right.
Q. Then on perhaps more occasions you're having drinks with a journalist called James Hanning, which this Inquiry's heard from, of the Independent. Does that match your recollection?
A. Yeah, it does, and James was a sort of very interesting interrogator, small "i", and challenging some of my many of my assumptions and preconceptions around phone hacking, and I found it extremely useful to talk to him because he was giving a completely different view about the public perception around what had taken place. So I found that extremely useful.
Q. So he was telling you, was he, from what he'd heard and knew, this activity was far more widespread than you believed? Is that right?
A. And it was that's what James' view was, and he can speak for himself, I don't want to put words in his mouth. But from my perspective what I was trying to get across to him was the limitations on what could have been done in 2005/6 when I wasn't responsible, the exercise I undertook in 2009 when I was responsible, and the continuing attention I gave it, which I think is probably clear from the paperwork, from July 2009 onwards until January 2011.
Q. I mean did he share with you his belief, albeit in this informal context, that the conspiracy, as it were, went high up in News International?
A. He was one of those ones that would (break in transmission)
Q. Sorry, we didn't catch that.
A. He was one of the ones sorry. He was an individual, I think, and again he can speak for himself, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but James did see a grander conspiracy, and, you know, the discussion was around this is what we've done, this is why we've done it, and I believe again he can speak for himself that I would have been very helpful in terms of putting context around why police do certain things and why police can't do certain things.
Q. I'm not dealing here with the rights and wrongs of this; I'm dealing solely with what he told you, and so
A. Yes.
Q. you say he can speak for himself, but what in fact is important is what you can tell us as to what he told you, and he was telling you
A. Okay, if the point you're getting to is sorry to overspeak. If the point you're getting to is did he give me any nugget of evidence that enabled me to do anything with it, the answer is no. And if he had done, of course I'd have taken it forward.
Q. Yes. But what he was doing, though, was casting or perhaps this is what ought to have happened casting doubt in your mind as to the propriety of you continuing to have frequent social interactions with Mr Wallis. Wasn't he at least doing that?
A. He had a view about it was not so much I can't actually recall the exact details of the conversation it wasn't so much about Wallis, it was about others. He had a view. He had a view about what had taken place. It was actually certainly far more about other senior people in the Murdoch stable, as it were, than Mr Wallis. He by then didn't work for them, of course.
Q. I go back to Lucy Panton in paragraph 65 of your statement.
A. Yes.
Q. You refer to an email that you were shown from James Mellor to Lucy Panton, 30 October 2010. The email itself is in our bundle at our page number 06530. Tab 3, probably, of the bundle you have.
A. I have it, yeah.
Q. It's a rather odd email to get one's mind around without knowing a lot more of the context.
A. I can help you with the context, probably.
Q. Yes. Very briefly, Mr Yates.
A. Sorry?
Q. Please do, but very briefly.
A. The context was around the background is the weekend of that 30 October was I think it was about two or three days beforehand there had been a printer cartridge bomb found on a DHL flight up in the West Midlands Airport, so there was a lot of interest around what had happened that weekend.
Q. Why you were shown this email and it may have been the MPS who showed it to you was the last two lines: "Thinks John Yates could be crucial here. Have you spoken to him? Really need an exclusive splash line so time to call in all those bottles of champagne
A. Yeah.
Q. One interpretation is, well, you'd been providing bottles of champagne to Lucy Panton; it was time to call in the favour, as it were, or it may have been the other way around. But you can see the point. I think it's the other way around.
A. Yeah, and I sort of put a I mean, firstly I have no clue who James Mellor is, I never met him in my life. Secondly, it's not my email and it's a turn of phrase, and thirdly, it would indicate even by October 2010 that those perceived favours had never been called and I hadn't provided them with anything before and that's the position. So I can't account for yes, it's a phrase, and I think it's slightly unfair that it's put to me in that way, and I've said I put a completely different spin on it to you.
Q. The only spin I put on it and I prefer the word interpretation, actually, rather than spin is that Lucy Panton is plying you with champagne, that was known about to James Mellor, and the suggestion is that the favour needs to be returned and that's what this clearly says, doesn't it?
A. It's a turn of phrase. No, I hadn't been plied with champagne by Lucy Panton and I think it's an unfortunate emphasis you're putting on it.
Q. I'll only ask one other question: did you ever drink champagne with Lucy Panton?
A. There may well have been the very odd occasion, yes, when a bottle was being shared with several people, but no in the sense that you're suggesting.
Q. This email was drawn to our attention, and therefore it was right to ask questions about it, but I leave it there. Can I move on to the next section of your witness statement?
A. Paragraph?
Q. This is paragraph 66, our page 06489.
A. Yes.
Q. This is Mr Wallis coming to work for the MPS. There's detailed evidence or rather there's a statement from you, it's not that detailed, but it runs over a few pages your exhibit JMY3.
A. Yes.
Q. Mr Wallis coming to wok for the MPS. We'll take JMY3 as read, but the conversation you had with him, when you referred to evidence you gave to the Home Affairs Select Committee
A. Yeah.
Q. wanted "absolute assurance there was nothing in the previous phone hacking matters still being reported and chased by Nick Davies that could embarrass him, me, the Commissioner or the Metropolitan Police Service. I received categorical assurances that this was the case." What was the
A. Yes.
Q. value of those assurances, Mr Yates?
A. It was the proper assurances and the proper due diligence, as it were, is of course done through the normal channels of the procurement branch in the Met. It was a type of formal reassurance to me that there was nothing. I wanted to be doubly certain. I knew the rumours that were swilling around potentially, and I just wanted to be absolutely certain.
Q. But he was hardly going to say yes to you. You, of course, are a policeman, and an extremely senior policeman. He has to say no, whatever the truth of the matter. Do you see that? Asking Mr Wallis for a categorical assurance is entirely worthless, isn't it?
A. I don't think it is, actually, because I think it is me saying, "Come on, Neil, is there anything, anything, anything, that's going to embarrass you, me or the Met in the future?" I felt it was valuable. You know, it would if anything, it would put him off taking the job if he thought there was something, rather than say, "Oh yes, lots to embarrass you." He might just say, "Do you know what, I don't think it's worth it", or something. So it was me sort of reinforcing those facts with him.
Q. The offer of work by the MPS to Neil Wallis' daughter Amy, that's paragraph 74 of your statement. That's a matter which has been considered elsewhere.
A. Yeah. Considered elsewhere, of course there was absolutely no wrongdoing. I've been completely cleared of any sort of wrongdoing regarding that.
Q. Questions of course were asked by a Select Committee, but the gist of it is this, that you passed on an email and said words to the effect, "Let me know what happens to this so I can manage expectations"; is that right?
A. Absolutely. So I was as I've said before, I was completely equivocal about whether Amy got the job or not, and I had no influence on it at all. As has been confirmed.
Q. Just the appearance of this, Mr Yates. You're an Assistant Commissioner, you're passing on the email to someone in human resources
A. To the sorry. I was passing it to the director of human resources.
Q. Yes, but that person knows by the very fact that you're passing on the email that you know the father.
A. Yeah.
Q. That's the reason why expectations need to be managed. There is at least the perception of influence by you, which might be said by some to have been or at least give the appearance of being causative in Amy Wallis getting the job. Do you see that point?
A. No. I disagree with you. This is passed to a peer on the management board who had a reputation for telling it as it is. If he thought there was anything inappropriate, if you were to read out the email from Martin Tiplady, you would actually see what he said about that. So no, I don't accept that and of course the IPCC have agreed with me.
Q. I move on to a separate issue now, that of leaks. Paragraph 85 of your statement, page 06496. Cash for honours
A. Page 5?
Q. Paragraph 85.
A. Yes.
Q. You say you have always denied being the source of any inappropriate information reaching the public domain and still do. It was being suggested by many that you were the source of leaks of information into the public domain, wasn't it?
A. It was, but that was the inference that was put out, I don't know if it was ever put quite as starkly as that, but it's not true.
Q. So your clear evidence is that you were not the source of any leaks in relation to that investigation; is that right?
A. I don't put out anything in the public domain that I wasn't entitled to do so by virtue of my rank or authority by somebody else, no.
Q. That's a slightly different formulation. It suggests that you might have put things into the public domain, but feel that it was appropriate to do so by virtue of your rank and status?
A. No, no, no. Okay. No. In terms of knocking down stories that weren't right, yes, I did that on at least a couple of occasions, because we were saying if that story goes to the public domain that will distract the team for days on end, create a media furore that is completely unnecessary and you would say you provide the items to say you're completely wrong. But I stand by what I put in my statement that the salient facts and the in media terms the salacious facts about that enquiry remain known to very few people and that's the way it's always remained. We managed to interview a certain Prime Minister four times with no one knowing so I think that bears testament to the tightness of the team and myself during what was a very testing period.
Q. Can I move now to the phone hacking investigation, which starts at paragraph 95. You feel now, this is paragraph 96, our page 06498: "It is now very clear from the outset News of the World deliberately failed to co-operate with the original investigation and have seriously misled a variety of people and institutions over the past several years."
A. Yes.
Q. The reference to "from the outset" is presumably a reference to what, do you mean literally by that? What happened on 8 August 2006 and subsequently; have I understood that right?
A. Yes, I think that is my view. It's clear that both from the sort of the solicitors' and lawyers' letters that were traded from the earlier investigation, that there was a deliberate obfuscation around all these matters, and that they clearly had material which they didn't provide us, and didn't provide until some five years later, January 2011.
Q. Weren't you told, though, by Mr Williams Mr Surtees, of course, wasn't part of what happened in July 2009 that News of the World had been obstructive in the police's view in August/September 2006?
A. There's obstruction that which I heard about yesterday and I knew about in terms of sort of a slight lockdown at Wapping when police turned up, and then there's the obstruction that has to be a deliberate obstruction that would foil us in terms of getting a production order. When lawyers wrote, as they did, on numerous occasions the opening paragraph was always the lines of "we intend to co-operate completely with your enquiries". You would know and I would know and our lawyers told us that that would foil the ability to get a production order then. That's my understanding, of course. I wasn't part of that team. That's my understanding.
Q. You may well have followed the evidence that was given to this Inquiry yesterday, but it was I think I'm right in saying the view of all three officers from whom we heard yesterday at the time that they felt News of the World were being obstructive. Was that communicated to you by Mr Williams in July 2009?
A. I recall sort of the phrase a sort of Mexican stand-off at Wapping HQ when they turned up with a warrant, but I think that would happen at a lot of newspaper offices if the police came in with a warrant. I think the newspaper lawyers would want to test that warrant and do everything they could do to safeguard journalistic material. I wouldn't necessarily think that would be an unusual turn of events at a newspaper.
Q. Even if the police had a warrant which excluded from its ambit journalistic material? Is that still your evidence, Mr Yates?
A. It's difficult what happened in 2005/2006 obviously had nothing to do with me and I can't make those judgments. The important thing is in 2009, when it did come under my umbrella, that a production order was was just not relevant any more. So you've heard the evidence from Mr Clarke, Mr Williams and Mr Surtees around those matters. Obviously what they say is correct.
Q. There's a difference between whether it might have been possible to obtain a production order and whether News International or more specifically those at the News of the World were obstructive through their lawyers in failing to reply to police requests in late August and September 2006. Do you see that?
A. But that is it wasn't part of my remit at that point, so you're asking me to comment on something that was for others to do. My remit was 2009 onwards.
Q. It's part of the inferential picture one might draw as to whether there was evidence generally speaking against others at the News of the World. Do you see the relevance of it from that point of view?
A. I do and I don't. I mean, the inference of was there other evidence, you will see the note from counsel dated 14 July, we could go to that, I'm not sure where it is in the
Q. We've seen it yesterday, it's Mr Perry's note.
A. But it's a very important note from my perspective, Mr Jay, because what it
Q. Please carry on.
A. Thank you. What it says is that leading counsel saw the material, albeit I know in terms of the indictment they were looking at it, but they say in that I haven't got it in front of me that we were not told about others' involvement, and the crucial phrase "nor did we see any evidence of others' involvement". So I have counsel, the leading counsel, and I knew junior counsel had spent a considerable amount of time, two and a half, three days, going through all the material giving me that level of assurance that there was no evidence of others' involvement. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm not sure it means that, does it? MR JAY Does it sorry.
A. Well LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, we'll go through it, Mr Yates. It's quite important. MR JAY I must say
A. It is important.
Q. the inference I drew from it, and possibly Lord Justice Leveson, was different. I think they were saying, in answer to your suggestion that there was no evidence, they had been shown no evidence but that doesn't mean that there wasn't any evidence. Do you see the difference? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Let's have a look at it. MR JAY I think it's in your bundle there. We have it at tab 163 of a much bigger bundle. Do you have the note there to hand, Mr Yates?
A. I jump from 18 to LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's behind
A. Yes, I've got it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's behind divider 23.
A. Yeah, I've got it. It's my 19, but I have it. My particular point is the sixth line down: "We were told there was not and we never saw any such evidence." I take that to mean that Mr Mably had reviewed all the unused material and in that exercise he had never seen any other evidence to suggest others were involved. MR JAY No. This was Mr Perry and Mr Mably before Mr Mably had reviewed the unused material making it clear that at the conference on 21 August 2006 the specific questions were asked: was there any evidence against others? And they were told there was no such evidence and we never saw any such evidence.
A. Yes.
Q. Do you see that? So what they might be saying well, there are a number of things they might be saying by implication, but one of them is: don't draw the inference from our advising conference that there was no evidence; merely this: we were told that there was no evidence and we never saw it. Do you see the difference between that?
A. No, I don't. This is written on 14 July 2009. Yes?
Q. Mm-hm.
A. And Mr Mably and Mr Perry are putting their name to a document that says, "We were told there was no evidence and we never saw such evidence". Mr Mably had done the disclosure exercise allegedly seeing all the unused material in 2006, 2007, I'm not sure when the (inaudible) are, and he's saying two years later, having done that exercise, he never saw any such evidence. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But the exercise Mr Mably was doing wasn't to decide how the investigation should proceed. As I understand it, he was never asked that question. The question which Mr Mably was dealing with was whether there was any material which might exculpate those who were being charged. In other words, he was doing a CPIA piece of work. Now
A. I completely LORD JUSTICE LEVESON is it really fair to place so much reliance on this incidentally, I want to know about dates of this, because I don't quite understand them to justify the sort of conclusion that you were reaching when you came to review the matter in July 2009? That's the issue.
A. It's one limb that was helping me form views, both on July 9 and thereafter, as we you know, as we've seen from the information and stuff I've submitted, it was a constant exercise over the next 18-month period almost, around, you know, is there anything new, have we treated the victims appropriately, all those issues. This was quite an important limb, I would say, in terms of saying, well, okay, he was looking at it from the CPI perspective from the indictment, but if counsel is telling me that they never saw any such evidence, then of course I'm going to place some reliance on that. But it was only one limb of a series of aspects which enabled me to come to that view, if you like. MR JAY Mr Yates, there are two points here. The first point is that you had already stated your view in your press statement on the afternoon of 9 July, and this
A. On?
Q. 9 July 2009. This note from counsel, of course, postdates your press statement, doesn't it?
A. It does, and the press statement was solely dealing with establishing the facts about the Guardian article, and there's a caveat at the end of that article, you'll recall, which says, "We need to do everything possible to check we've done everything appropriately around victims", so I sort of left a slight open end to say I was going to look at this afterwards very carefully as well, and I think the documentation you see bears that out, but it wasn't just an eight-hour exercise that has been seen by staff, it was a continuing exercise of reviewing, considering, reflecting about, you know, whether we were on the right track and whether we needed to do something different.
Q. We'll come back
A. That 14 July
Q. We'll come back to that point, because it's important, but I do suggest to you you misunderstood what leading and junior counsel are saying, but the review of the evidence which Mr Mably carried out after the conference on 21 August 2006 was merely for the purposes of the 1996 Act and wasn't to advise the police as to whether to start investigating other journalists. It was focused solely just wait for the end of the question, Mr Yates on the Goodman/Mulcaire prosecutions and whether there was any exculpatory evidence. That's what the law required, wasn't it?
A. Well, if you read out the sentence in the note, I think it's abundantly clear what's there, and on any reading, exculpatory, CPIA or whatever, they are saying they've done the exercise on CPIA and they never saw any such evidence about others' involvement. I just I can't I know you're cross, Mr Jay, but I can't see any other reading of it that would you know, it's there.
Q. We'll see whether there was any evidence in a moment, but can I deal first with paragraph 106 of your statement, our page 06501.
A. Yes.
Q. Where you say: "The advice described at paragraph 105 That's the advice as to the true meaning of section 2 of RIPA.
A. Yes.
Q. dictated who the police considered to be victims."
A. Yes.
Q. "I have confirmed in evidence to various select committees the fact that the activities of Glenn Mulcaire affected many people. However, I have also said in evidence to the same committees that in the light of the legal advice received, the police were only able to positively identify a small number of victims, ie where the offence could actually be proved to the requisite evidential standard as per paragraph 105 above." And then you say that in fact the only person in respect of whom that was conclusively proved was Mr Lowther-Pinkerton. So is this right, that your definition of victims for the purpose of notifying people is far narrower than anybody else's, it's confined to those in respect of whom there was conclusive proof of unlawful interception before the voicemail was read by its intended recipient? Is that correct?
A. That is correct. That is definitely what I thought at the time, and it was in good faith, based on the briefings I'd received, but I absolutely accept now that I got that wrong and I made a fundamental misjudgment there. So I've said that before in other forum and I do regret that.
Q. Okay, can we move forward to the events of 9 July 2009. This is paragraph 111 of your statement, page 06503.
A. Yes.
Q. You wrote yourself a file note, which is 06539, under your tab 7.
A. I have it. It's in the statement itself.
Q. Is this a contemporaneous file note?
A. Contemporaneous in terms of that day, yes. I can't actually remember when I did it. It was within sort of 24 hours of doing it. It was taken from the rough scrawl into a proper file note. So yes, contemporaneous.
Q. So the request by Sir Paul Stephenson was to establish the facts around the case. You set out the approach you were going to adopt in relation to establishing the facts, and then you say in paragraph 8 you're going to deal as well with approach to victims, how they were managed and dealt with and the impact of any further enquiries if deemed necessary on them. Is that correct?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. There are two exercises here. You're going to establish the facts, and once the facts are established, you're going to set out your opinion, and then there is a separate exercise, which is ancillary to that, which is the victim notification management exercise. Is that correct?
A. Yes. That's right.
Q. Am I right in saying that the establishing the facts exercise was completed when you gave your press statement that afternoon?
A. Yes, about 5.30-ish, I think.
Q. Whatever the time was, the press
A. Yes, it was.
Q. You established the facts. Can we establish when the fact-establishing exercise commenced? What time of the morning do you say it commenced?
A. I can't recall exactly. I think Paul Stephenson was up at an ACPO conference. The article would have been in our press cutting, would obviously have raised issues without Paul asking me to do anything, so I imagine first thing in the morning, sort of 7.30, 8-ish. But I can't in terms of that time, I would have been you know, the sort of battle rhythm of the Met was to review press cuttings first thing and see if any issues arose, and clearly that was part of the specialist operations investigation that came under specialist operations in the past, so I would have been looking at it then.
Q. Yes, but that was before Sir Paul Stephenson asked you to do anything about it, wasn't it?
A. Yes. I would have been considering it then. You know, it would have been clearly of interest to me, Mr Jay.
Q. Yes, interest, it was vaguely on your radar because you were looking at a whole range of press cuttings, weren't you?
A. It would have been more than on my radar. It would have been of significant interest to me because I was then in charge of SO and this was an SO job.
Q. You're not trying to persuade us, are you, that this was part of the establishing the facts exercise that Sir Paul Stephenson was later on going to ask you to do, are you?
A. No.
Q. Because that didn't start until 11.00 in the morning, did it? Look at tab 8, our page 06540.
A. I don't have it. My numbers are all different. What's the
Q. Tab 8.
A. the document?
Q. Your tab 8. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Hang on. MR JAY Our page 06540.
A. No, my tab 8 is about the Information Commissioner. Would you give me a hint LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It is your tab 3, I think.
A. Oh, I see, the Gold Group minutes, yes, I've got it. MR JAY I have it in tab 8. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have it in tab 8 too but I also have an exhibit list to Mr Yates' statement, which I can use to correlate it. MR JAY Thank you very much.
A. Thank you, my Lord.
Q. The only point I'd note, Mr Yates, is this: this meeting didn't start until 11 am, did it?
A. No, that's the formal meeting where everyone is present and everyone can pool their knowledge or whatever. That's the formal meeting. There were several meetings going on way before that that I'd have been briefed on and given insight into what this was about.
Q. But who was doing the briefing? The person you needed to hear from in particular was DCS Phil Williams; is that right?
A. There were several people involved. Clive Timmons was involved, Keith Surtees was involved, Kevin South there were numerous people who had worked on the inquiry at whatever level and those informal briefings would have started almost immediately, but this was a formal meeting to discuss the facts and record decisions in the way that you can see there.
Q. I know we're trying to get to our eight hours by one route or another, Mr Yates, or indeed you are, but
A. Mr Jay, can I assure you I'm not, and I don't quite understand why you're suggesting that.
Q. Well, because
A. This was a simple exercise and one of a number of exercises that the Commissioner or Deputy would ask ACs like me to do almost on a weekly basis. It was an article in a newspaper, and it was no more, no less than that. So the fact that I sort of cleared my diary and did something relatively formal around this, recognising some of the challenges, is actually qualitatively different than many times you'd do it. So it's what it was. It was an article in a newspaper. Events make that look very different, I know, but give me the credit, this was an article in a newspaper, that's what it was about. It wasn't a formal review. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think we're going to have just five minutes because we've been going for an hour and a half and the shorthand writer needs a break and I think it might be just a good idea. Five minutes.
A. Thank you. (1.32 pm) (A short break) (1.40 pm) MR JAY Mr Yates, can we go back to 9 July 2009?
A. Yes.
Q. And the Guardian article, which I have under tab 6, it's page 06536. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's your tab 1.
A. Thank you. MR JAY It refers to the settlement of legal cases. Third paragraph: "Today the Guardian revealed details of the suppressed evidence which may open the door to hundreds more legal actions as well as provoking police enquiries into reporters who were involved and the senior executives responsible for them." And then there's various comments about difficult questions which might have to be asked.
A. Yes.
Q. So the general thrust of the article was that this was potentially a conspiracy which embraced others at the News of the World and possibly went quite high up in the organisation. Is that correct?
A. That's the tone of the article, yes.
Q. And Mr Wallis at the material time was of course the deputy editor of the News of the World, wasn't he, in July 2009?
A. Yes, he was. I can't remember whether he'd left then. I cannot remember.
Q. He was deputy editor in July 2009.
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. And you told us that you read the Guardian article and it was of significance and interest to you that very morning, didn't you?
A. Yes, I did, yes.
Q. So there are two points here. The first point is that didn't any alarm bells ring at all about the appropriateness of you carrying out this establishment of the facts exercise given your relationship with Mr Wallis?
A. No. No, it didn't. There was the inference you're making is, you know, that there was the relationship was improper. It was not improper. You're talking to someone who's
Q. No, that's not the point, Mr Yates.
A. It's
Q. Just wait. What the Guardian was saying, rightly or wrongly, was, look, this has the appearance of being a conspiracy which goes to other journalists at the News of the World and possibly high up in the organisation. Fact number one. Fact number two, Mr Wallis is someone high up in the organisation of the News of the World. Fact number three, or point number three: why didn't it pass your mind that, at least putting it at its lowest, it was inappropriate for you to be carrying out this establishment of the fact exercise at all?
A. Well, you might as well ask that to the Commissioner as well and others who knew full well that I had a relationship with Neil Wallis, and, you know, I was looking at this dispassionately from the evidential perspective and I had people advising me on that, and we went through an exercise, and we got to the point we got to. To suggest that I would be influenced otherwise, which I think you're making, is wrong. You know, you're talking to a person, Mr Jay, who investigated serving government on which the Home Secretary has the final say on my career. I have a reputation and a track record of doing difficult things and doing them in a dispassionate and evidence-based way and that's exactly what I did in this case. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's not quite the point, Mr Yates. The issue is slightly different. As I said before, you were entitled to be friends with whomsoever you wish. There's nothing wrong with that, and nobody is suggesting that anything improper should be inferred from your friendship with the deputy editor of the News of the World. Mr Jay's point is rather different. It is not that you would in fact be influenced or affected; it is that here was the Metropolitan Police having to review an inquiry which it undertook in circumstances in which some pretty big players were expressing concern. You knew your friendship with Mr Wallis, therefore the perception might be that you would be affected. Not the reality, but the perception.
A. No, I take of course I take your point, but I think the benefit of hindsight once again comes into play because in July 2009 there was nothing to suggest that Wallis was involved in any way whatsoever, and what's happened in the last few year, and of course nothing has been proven yet, but in July 2009 there was just there was no indication at all, and I did this very dispassionately, and I take your point about the perception, but it didn't appear to me to be a problem then and it didn't appear to others to be a problem then. It is clearly a problem now. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, well, actually
A. And I accept that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The third paragraph of the Guardian article speaks about "senior executives responsible for reporters", and I would have thought somebody would say that the deputy editor was a senior executive responsible for reporters. It's a perception thing. I'm not saying it's any more than that.
A. I completely take that as a perception, but what this was on July 9, 2009, was a newspaper article. It didn't present evidence. Newspaper articles, as we all know, can have basis in facts and they can have lots of flour put around them to make them more interesting. I can only go on what the evidence was that day and that's where I got to. MR JAY Mr Yates, you're not evening beginning to answer Lord Justice Leveson's question, you're answering a different question. His question was: isn't there at least the appearance of a lack of disinterestedness by you because of your close friendship with Mr Wallis? Mr Wallis is within the ambit of those referred to by the Guardian in the third paragraph of their piece. You should have left this for another Assistant Commissioner to do. Do you accept that or not?
A. I think I've just accepted that with Lord Justice Leveson actually. I think I just said that, but anyway. It's we are where we are.
Q. The second issue is the one you were dealing with which I'm now going to ask you about, namely the issues raised by the Guardian article and your response to those issues. Do you accept that the issues raised by the article, whatever the evidence base for them, were wide-ranging, serious and important?
A. The interference with people's voicemail is serious. On a serious end this is what I'm thinking in July 2009 and not now. It would not be at the serious end at all. One looks at the invasion of privacy uncovered by Motorman and Glade and the sentences they got there, which was conditional discharges, so I would not put it at the serious end. What we know now puts it at the very serious end, but in July 2009 it was phone hacking. I was three months into a new job as head of anti-terrorism, we were dealing with the fall-out of a very difficult operation up in Manchester, which was still going, numerous other high-profile operations involving the security of the state. This did not present itself as a hugely serious thing in 2009.
Q. Was it for that reason, then, that if you go back to the summary of the meeting which took place on 9 July starting at 11 am
A. Yeah.
Q. that you made it clear at the very outset that you were going to establish the facts and you were going to put out a press statement for release later that very afternoon?
A. Yes, and the press statement could of course have said we're not going to do anything, which it did, or it could have said we're going to conduct a full investigation or it could have said we're going to conduct a full review. That's what the press statement meant.
Q. You weren't indicating at 11 o'clock, when you started on this exercise, you were going to get through this quickly and, come what may, you were going to publish your decision, as it were, having established the facts that very afternoon?
A. If you look at the list of people who were present at that meeting, all very senior, all very experienced. If there had been a scintilla of evidence that said we should be doing something differently, I can absolutely assure you they would have challenged me and I'd have challenged myself and we'd have done something different. The fact of the matter was, as I was briefed, there was nothing else in that article that led us to suggest that anything else needed to be done immediately regarding the investigation, or anything about the investigation.
Q. Can I just be clear what material you were provided with on that occasion? You were provided with briefing documents by DCS Clive Timmons, there referred to in about the fourth paragraph.
A. I can't actually recall the content of those documents. If it said there were briefings, then I would have seen them, yes.
Q. And then Mr Timmons gave a brief overview, and then there's a synopsis of what the investigation was?
A. Yes.
Q. It's all quite succinct, isn't it? We're skim reading it as we proceed.
A. But it covers the key issues around the you know, there was a lot of data, the evidence against it was limited, the phone companies have been tasked, the Prescott phone issue was covered.
Q. Yes, the Prescott phone issue was covered on the next page, 06541.
A. Yeah.
Q. "PW [of course is Phil Williams] confirmed he had no knowledge of John Prescott's phone being intercepted. If he had been subject to interception and evidence supported then he would have been informed." Of course you weren't aware of the evidence which related to his PA, were you?
A. Not I don't think so at that point. But I cannot tell you the amount of times I checked and sought further and better particulars about the possibility that Mr Prescott's phone had been interfered with. It would be literally scores over the following months, Mr Jay, there would be scores of times that, you know, because the level of concern I had about it is commensurate with the number of times I sought clarity about it, and every time, right up until I think the end of 2010 when there was a piece of paper that showed that he might have been involved or had some access to his sent messages, that was the first time. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But were you not told about his PA?
A. I think she as I recall, that individual had been I was aware I can't remember what time I was aware, but I think she had finished working for him at that point, and I think the as I recall, any targeting of her was almost in her own right as an individual, having put herself in the public domain by selling her story, I think, to one of the newspapers. That's the best of my recollection. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, Mr Yates, I'd like chapter and verse on that, because that's absolutely not the evidence I've heard, and it's not my understanding of the Mulcaire notebook.
A. Well I mean LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Don't get me wrong, in one sense this may not be your fault in the sense that you're relying on information you are provided with. I recognise that. Nobody is suggesting that you should then burn the midnight oil going through the Mulcaire documents yourself. That's not the job. You're relying on what you're told.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON What may be relevant is the extent to which some of these issues were glossed over or taken seriously, and I say that because what you've just said has caused me real surprise. When you say that there were scores of times that you went back to check on Mr Prescott's position because he was writing to you, I have no doubt and you were still getting the same information, and we now know what the position is
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I am disturbed that your persistent requests didn't reveal the answer. And that concerns me for reasons which I probably do not need to explain. MR GARNHAM Sir
A. I think what happened, and I say and I've absolutely stated this in my statement and accepted it, that there was an indexing issue around the name John Prescott being linked to his I think it was his adviser, whose name I would never have known or could never I don't think anyone could have made the link, to be honest. And I think what happened was sorry? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm sorry, Mr Yates. You ought to know that the investigating detective who interviewed Glenn Mulcaire within a day or so of his arrest made the link and specifically asked Mr Mulcaire about that person. So this wasn't an unknown fact.
A. I saw that, and I was just as surprised as you seem to be surprised now. That was the first time I was aware of that. I have checked that with the Met lawyers and the individuals, as in Phil Williams. Was I ever made aware of that? No, I wasn't, because he wasn't aware of that either. I can't answer to that, I'm afraid. I was only as good as my briefing. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand that point, but what concerns me, and after I've said this Mr Garnham wanted to say something so I'm going to let him say it, is that people were bleeding over these papers for Mr Prescott for some time, yet somehow this has all slipped through the cracks.
A. No, it's deeply regrettable and I can't account for it, I'm afraid. But the reassurance in terms of what I did was I asked him there'll be a Met lawyer sat in court who will be nodding now saying he asked scores of times around this. Because I was so concerned, the idea of misleading the Deputy Prime Minister is not something I'd relish and I was absolutely desperate to get to the bottom if there was something there. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. Mr Garnham, you wanted to say something. MR GARNHAM Sir, only this, that it may be important to ensure that Mr Yates is clear as to whether he's talking about Mr Prescott's assistant or the person with whom it was said Mr Prescott was having a relationship, and the answer appears to have confused the two. MR SHERBORNE Sir, I was going to rise before Mr Garnham but he beat me to my feet. The fact is for the record, contrary to what Mr Yates says, Joan Hammell was working as the special adviser to Mr Prescott at the time, and she did not sell any story, nor did she put herself in the public domain. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. MR GARNHAM That is right, but
A. I was LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right, now we've unpicked it. The reference to that
A. I was desperate LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Sorry.
A. I was desperate not to mention any names, so I apologise for the confusion. It was clearly not her. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You've got the point that bothers me and it bothers you too.
A. Yes, it does. MR JAY Can I ask you please to continue to look at the note of the meeting on 9 July.
A. Yes.
Q. Under the heading towards the top of the page: "Did we alert others? "Yes, as outlined above. No evidence to support wider phones had been intercepted." If you look a few lines above that: "Wider people were not informed as there was no evidence to suggest there was any criminal activity on their phones." So you were
A. Yeah, and I got it redacted thereafter, so whatever that is.
Q. Don't worry about that bit, because we don't know what's behind the redaction, but you were therefore being told that only those in respect of whom there was evidence of criminal activity on their phones were being informed as victims; is that right?
A. Yes, that was certainly the case, yes.
Q. And then a little bit further down: "Why was there not a more wide-ranging investigation? "There was no evidence to expand the investigation wider, which, if it had done, then this would have been an ineffective use of police resources. "What other journalists were involved? "There was no evidence at that time to implicate involvement in any other journalists." These are the
A. Yes.
Q. only references in the note to any consideration being given to the main sting of the Guardian article, which was that there were other journalists involved, or at least there might be. Do you accept that?
A. Yes, I do, but it's clear from this that we went through an exercise to try and establish the facts, and this was the summary note of the briefing that I received that day, which led me to the conclusion that I did.
Q. To what extent did you test the proposition "there was no evidence at that time to implicate involvement in any other journalists" because there's no written record here of you testing that proposition and answers being given to you pursuant to any such probing. Would you accept that?
A. I can assure you I can't recall the exact questions I would have asked, but I would have been I would have said, "Did counsel see it? Did the CPS see it?" All the sort of levels of assurance that from sort of independent people, those are the type of areas that I would have gone into, and said, for example, was all the unused material reviewed properly? And accepting the point I know you make that it was only reviewed on a sort of CPI basis but it still gives you a sense that all this would have been gone through and from what I was told on that day, that was the position. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But do you think it's really fair to rely on that for this reason: the article you've made the point was the Guardian that morning. The investigation had been conducted just short of three years beforehand and, save for the prosecution of two persons, had been brought to an end in September 2006. Now, it's true you had Detective Chief Superintendent Williams, as he then was, with you, who had been
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON the SIO, but he must have done many things in two and a half years. Let me just take one other fact from the meeting to ask you about. It says this at the top of the third page, 6542: "There was no evidence to prove criminally any other person's phone had been intercepted. There was strong evidence that they had intercepted three Royal Family aides' phones and a further five other high profile people all of which were the subject of charges and proceedings in court." Now, you will have heard yesterday, if you have seen Mr Williams' evidence, that actually they looked at a number of people to make complaints, but they didn't want to get involved. And the choice of
A. I think the LORD JUSTICE LEVESON the other charges wasn't because there wasn't a basis to proceed; it was because these were the people who were prepared to say something, and leading counsel had said five or six was enough.
A. Yes, and I was aware of that. I hesitate to say this, but this is not a sort of forensic note of everything that took place that day, because it's the minutes of the Gold Group, probably completed by my superintendent, I think, and capturing what, you know, he will consider to be the summary points. As a sort of full forensic note and a full legal advice file, no, it's not, and I was certainly aware that at least three other people had been approached, all quite high profile people had been approached around potentially giving evidence and their phones had been hacked. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON We can't do more than read what you wrote at the time, Mr Yates.
A. No, no, Mr Leveson, I absolutely I accept that, but this was July 2009, and would we have thought there would be the scrutiny that there is now in 2012? No, we wouldn't. It was a sort of summary note of the Gold Group, it was the best we'd got. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I agree. I'm going to stop in a moment, but if I look at your meeting of the Gold Group the following day, on Friday 10th at midday, the second line says: "Previous minutes agreed." In other words, it's agreed that that's a reflection of the previous day's meeting.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Which it's obviously not.
A. Yes, it's a fair point. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. MR JAY Did you ask for a succinct summary, at least, of what the evidence was in relation to any other journalists?
A. What I asked Phil to do, I think it was that weekend, was to produce me a full note once they had access to more material actually to refresh their memories around it. Because I readily understood that this would be a matter of interest to both the Commissioner, the police authority and probably the Home Office as well, and that was absolutely right. So there was a fuller note completed by Phil Williams and Keith Surtees, I think, that over that weekend, which I think is in the bundle somewhere.
Q. That's right, Mr Yates, but you were giving your press statement out that very afternoon without waiting for the fruits of any later briefing notes from Mr Williams, weren't you?
A. Yes, because we in the vernacular, we'd established the facts and the facts were, then, that that Guardian article had some new information for the general public, but it wasn't new to the investigators or to the police, and there was nothing there was no new evidence presented by that article to warrant reopening the investigation at that stage. So I came out and said it. I could have waited a week, two weeks, and choreographed it and spun it, but I didn't. I said it as it was.
Q. It's not a question of choreographing and spinning it. Why not wait until your Detective Chief Superintendent, as I think he then had become, had spent the weekend and started to prepare you a briefing note before precipitantly giving a press statement? Why not do that?
A. Because the briefing note was the flesh on the bones, as it were. I mean, whatever you say about what I did that day and whether it was precipitous or not, the fact of the matter was only a week later the DPP came out and agreed with exactly what I'd done, so precipitous or not, it was
Q. Well, you're now beginning to argue a case. The question was: why didn't you wait? And we've heard your answer. The press statement is at tab 16, or it might be in your bundle at tab 11. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It is. MR JAY It is. Page 06555. You come to a clear conclusion here, don't you, on the two main points: "No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded and I therefore consider that no further investigation is required." You're really closing the door to any further establishing the fact exercise, aren't you?
A. Well, not entirely, because I say later on that if further evidence comes to light, of course we'll consider it. So it is simply the exercise is: is there anything new in the Guardian? It is not a review, it's establishing the facts. Answer: no, there wasn't. I think even on the cold light of day today, there wasn't at that time. And I opened the door to, one, review the victim strategy, and secondly, that if further evidence came to light, we would consider reopening it. We've been consistent or I've been consistent on that point throughout.
Q. Where do you say that in this press statement, "If further evidence comes to light, we'll consider it"?
A. It wasn't in this press statement. It had been in every other public comment I've made. I thought it was in this statement.
Q. It's pretty clear, isn't it, Mr Yates, that you came to a rapid conclusion that there was nothing in this and in less time than the eight hours which has been suggested elsewhere you took, possibly a maximum of six hours, you had all this done and dusted, including the drafting of this press statement, which must have taken a bit of time, and that was the end of it. Isn't that the position?
A. It was a fairly straightforward again, you talk with what's happened since, with sort of the taint of what's happened since, and I completely accept that. But in July 2009, that's what I was asked to do. If I'd seen anything to suggest that I needed to do more, of course I'd have done I'd have gone beyond establishing the facts, because for the level of seniority I was, of course that is part of my discretion. I spoke with the key people who had run the operation, who had dealt with all the liaison with the CPS. That's what I was briefed and that's the conclusion I came to.
Q. Mm. It's true there's a difference of emphasis, really, or it may be a bit deeper than that, between the evidence of Mr Williams and Mr Surtees we heard yesterday, but if we take into account Mr Surtees' evidence, it amounted to this, that he had very considerable suspicions if not accepted the proposition that there was circumstantial inferential evidence in relation to other journalists, but it was really the overwhelming impact of resource considerations which closed down this investigation in September 2006 rather than any perception that there was no evidence against other journalists. You followed yesterday's evidence and understand that?
A. As best I could, as best I could, and I absolutely, you know, accept the resource constraints then, but that's not part of my business at that point. The irony of this, I suppose, is something that on one hand we are asked as senior police officers to make difficult decisions. If you look at something like the HMIC report into the Damian Green affair, we are absolutely directed by the chief HMI, but you have to make difficult decisions, I have the paper here, based on proportionality, seriousness, public interest and costs. Such cases always involve making difficult choices and sometimes the decision is not to investigate. That's the advice and guidance we were given in September 2009 by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary. We are paid to make difficult decisions. There are constant resource constraints and constant resource challenges.
Q. Mr Clarke explained all that to us this morning. You may not have heard his evidence. But it may have been more accurate on 9 July 2009 to have said: there may well have been evidence which implicated others, but the decision was taken in September 2006 to close down this investigation for resource reasons alone. But that's not what you said, was it?
A. I don't accept that's the case, either. There may Keith Surtees may have had suspicions and those suspicions are clearly well-founded now, but they weren't there was no evidence then. If there had been any evidence for us to pursue you've got to let me finish this point because this is really important. You're judging me on 2012 by what was taking place in July 2009, and we are paid, I am paid or was paid to make those difficult resourcing decisions about competing priorities. Two people had gone to prison. The mobile phone networks, as far as I was aware, were aware of the problems, they'd put the security parameters around it, and it was time to move on to other things, as it were. But this was a simple exercise. It looks extremely challenging now, two and a half years later, with all that we know, but then at this time it was a straightforward exercise, it's something I probably did every couple of months and assistant commissioners would do every couple of weeks for the Commissioner based on these sort of premises.
Q. What was your reaction, then, Mr Yates, to the evidence you heard yesterday before this Inquiry, which was to the effect and I summarise it that there was circumstantial and indeed other evidence which implicated other journalists before the investigation was shut down in September 2006?
A. Well, I'm surprised it was phrased that way because it's never been phrased that way to me. There was the "for Neville" email, which has been well ventilated in a number of areas. That is all I knew that was additional.
Q. That wasn't the question. I'm just asking you as formerly an extremely
A. I'm very surprised, very surprised.
Q. You were surprised?
A. Yes.
Q. Would you characterise what you heard from Mr Williams, Mr Surtees and Mr Maberly, would you characterise the evidence which existed at all material times, but in particular August/September 2006, as amounting to good circumstantial inferential evidence involving or implicating a number of other journalists?
A. I don't think I was ever given that inference at all. There was certainly a desire to go to the phone hubs and all that. The evidential challenges were paramount, and as far as I was aware from them were completely that they could not be overcome.
Q. I think your position, Mr Yates, is then you were surprised by hearing that evidence because that wasn't
A. I didn't
Q. Is this right, because that wasn't the picture you were being given on 9 July 2009? Is that right?
A. I haven't seen all their evidence from yesterday, so I can't make that judgment, it would be unfair. I have seen snippets but not all of it, so I can't make that judgment without seeing it at all. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Have you had a chance I don't suppose you have of yourself seeing some of the entries in the Mulcaire notebook with the phone numbers, the PIN numbers, the details, the addresses, the links, the paper material that was available as a result of the search? You may never have seen it. I don't know.
A. No, I I've seen I've certainly seen samples because I wanted to see you know, I was always being told "scraps of paper and hieroglyphics all over it", so I've seen samples, but have I gone through any of that in a formulaic way? No I haven't. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, I wasn't suggesting you'd go through it formally. I've already said I wasn't expecting you to reinvestigate this yourself. My point was rather different. Had you seen a name and addresses with links to other people with phone numbers and PIN numbers and this sort of documentary material, once you got a PIN number, somebody's worked quite hard to get hold of that.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Would you not agree that that provides an evidential basis
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON for investigation? It may be you're absolutely right: for good resource reasons, it can't be done.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And I recognised, if you didn't hear it, to Mr Clarke earlier today that I well understand on resource grounds in the light of what was happening in 2006 why the investment of resource into this operation could not be justified. I quite get that.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But my point is different, and it's therefore not looking at what we know now because of Weeting; it's looking at actually what the piece of papers then said.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON How much work it involved I recognise.
A. Yes, and I think the point I would have been aware of but I can't absolutely recall when was yes, Mulcaire must have targeted many people and I knew he was a private detective. Whether there were PIN numbers involved or whatever. But I took the view, rightly or wrongly, that more evidence against Mulcaire would actually take us nowhere at all. He was never going to stand trial again for phone hacking. He had been dealt with, sentenced and that process had been complete. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But did you know about the corner names of other journalists with mobile phone numbers of journalists?
A. No, I was aware of the "for Neville" bit. MR JAY Of course the briefing note from Mr Williams, which he prepared on Sunday, 12 July, three days after your press statement, does make reference in paragraph 14 to the corner names. I don't think you have that
A. And the only well, if you could confirm if his Lordship would just help me with the tab.
Q. I don't think it's in that bundle. Oh, it is.
A. The only one I can LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It may be behind MR JAY Tab 14, thank you. Yes, it is.
A. The one that stands out is awareness and a clear recollection is the "for Neville" bit, because that's the bit which has caused concern. It may well be in this briefing document about others, but it didn't hit home in that way.
Q. Maybe the reason why it didn't hit home is that you'd already made your decision, as it were, three days before, and that when you got to read this briefing note it was of little interest to you because the facts had been established. Is that fair?
A. No, I don't think it is fair. I maintained a very close and continuing close oversight and almost constant review, if you want to use that word, of how this was developing over many months and if not well over a year, until it was handed over, so I don't think that's fair at all.
Q. So reading paragraphs 14 and 15 of this briefing note of 12 July carefully, did you adhere to the view that there was no evidence that other journalists were involved?
A. The point at 15 is the point I highlighted, and it was the evidence, the evidential threshold. That was exactly the same evidential threshold that was the problem with the "for Neville" stuff in terms of the knowledge of how they would have known how the information was obtained. MR JAY There's a difference LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's a rather interesting issue, that, isn't it? A journalist gets hold of a private detective and wants some information, then gets that information back quite quickly in a specific form, which he could then use. It's rather unlikely that the journalist would have personal links with the celebrity or person about whom information is being given. The inferences aren't bad, are they?
A. Sorry? Can you LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The inference that this is likely to have come from some sort of interception are not bad. I'm not saying they're solid, but they're not bad.
A. Oh, not bad, sorry, I get who knows what techniques, lawful or unlawful, private detectives use and how they get the information, you know, I can't be the judge. What we were worried about was is there any evidence around this, and the view I was given was: no, there wasn't. MR JAY Just
A. Even the "for Neville" email, which was closely analysed by the DPP and counsel, came to the same view on that.
Q. Just the formulation "no evidence", there are certainly different levels of evidence or its absence. At the very bottom, of course, there is literally no evidence.
A. Yes.
Q. Higher up the food chain there is some evidence. Then there's some evidence plus circumstantial, inferential evidence, which may or may not be sufficient to raise a prima facie case in a criminal court, and then there's evidence which my satisfy a jury. But to say there is "no evidence", which is a term you consistently used before Select Committees, is putting it far too baldly, isn't it, Mr Yates?
A. I suspect you may, on what has happened since, I think you're right, Mr Jay.
Q. But on what was available, information available to you on 12 July 2009, that was putting it too broadly, wasn't it?
A. I think you described the word "evidence" in a very legalistic way, as you would do. There is a different syntax if I can finish. There's a different syntax put on it in police work, and that's where the difference is.
Q. I understand. So you're telling us that in police circles, "no evidence" is really another way of saying "insufficient evidence to bring before a criminal court"?
A. Insufficient evidence to take forward, yes, to develop. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON We have to be a bit careful about that, because the one thing Deputy Assistant Commissioner Akers has done is take forward what was there in quite a far way.
A. Yes, I completely accept that and that's entirely proper. MR JAY It might have been safer to say, Mr Yates, back in July 2009, really the same thing that we heard from Mr Clarke, namely the resources which it would require to bring this to a successful conclusion would be immense. That would be unjustified in the public interest, given competing priorities on the police. Rather than saying there's simply no evidence. Because there's a big difference between those two propositions, isn't there?
A. I accept your point, but from what I was told, what I was briefed, on a matter that had gone some four years out of date or had happened four years ago, that's what I was briefed, so that's again, that's what I said. MR JAY Well, that's, I think, as far as that can In relation to the victims, which was a matter you left open in a limited way at the end of your press release, were further victims notified?
A. We went through a fairly torturous exercise, actually, which was not satisfactory on a number of levels, over many months. And with the very best intentions that the appropriate people should be notified. It was not a successful exercise and I accept the responsibility for that. It's a matter of great regret that didn't take place as it should have done.
Q. Of course you did revisit the issue at least consequentially on Monday, 13 July, which is tab 16, the minutes of the Gold Group meeting on 13 July. It's our tab 21.
A. My 16, is it?
Q. It's your 16.
A. 13 July, yes. I didn't just revisit it then. I revisited it on numerous occasions over the following months and went through a series of, as I say, torturous exercises to try and get this right. Regrettably, that failed, but it wasn't just 9 July and doing what I did. It was a continuing exercise and attention to this matter for about 18 months to try and get it right.
Q. But on this occasion you weren't carrying out any further establishment of the fact exercise, were you?
A. No, this was to do with all about the victims, actually, all about the victims.
Q. It was all about consequential matters including sending letters to the Guardian, and indeed we note at the bottom of this page, it's page 06581: "DCS Williams' update from informing Andy Coulson and others from 10 July onwards. PW informed Coulson and no issues. He took it well." I say nothing about that.
A. No, in terms of he was one of the individuals that was contacted and we tried to contact several others with limited success.
Q. He was being contacted in his capacity as communications director at Number 10, wasn't he? No, he wasn't at that point, sorry. He was advising the Conservative party. He wasn't being contacted in his capacity he'd left the News of the World, hadn't he?
A. Clearly the focus was on him, and him not to be aware that he was a victim himself would have been intolerable, really.
Q. Oh, so he was being contacted only in his capacity as victim, not in any other capacity?
A. Yes. Clearly he would have been making the focus of the article was very much inferenced around him, so as he was a victim and we knew he was a victim then, then it was clearly appropriate that he should be made aware.
Q. Sorry, the article was suggesting that he might be one of the conspirators, not that he was a victim.
A. The article yes, the article
Q. Isn't that a better way of putting it?
A. Well, maybe, yes.
Q. I'd better move on from that point. Further material came to you, including the note from Mr Perry, and we've looked at that and other matters. You've summarised the Gold Group meetings at paragraph 120 of your statement. But it's fair to say though Mr Yates that at no stage did you carry out any further analysis of the evidence, did you?
A. No.
Q. Because the die had been cast with or by what you'd said in your press statement on 9 July 2009, hadn't it?
A. In some sense yes, but the reason why I say I thought it was in the statement that if any further evidence came to light we would consider it is because I have said that in on the six or seven Select Committee appearances I did, I think I must have said that on every occasion, so that's why it was on in my mind. I said it. So the die hadn't been cast in that sense because we are always alive to the possibility that new evidence would come to light, be it in the New York Times or be it through our efforts or be it through of course News International eventually co-operating and producing some material which was relevant.
Q. You see, what happened in relation to the New York Times this is paragraphs 115 and 116 of your statement was that they wrote a lengthy and detailed piece in I think it was September 2010.
A. Yes.
Q. You, as a result of that, caused letters to be written to 19 current and former reporters and desk staff of the News of the World. You say in paragraph 16: "As I recall, many of these letters were ignored and no relevant replies were received." So another
A. You've missed a significant chunk of work in between that. So the article comes out and raises a number of issues. We then set up a small team to scope and review that with the CPS. A number of people were interviewed, some under caution, some not. A full scope took place. It went to the Crown Prosecution Service and they considered it with their independent hat on and came to the view that none of this constituted new evidence. Part of that exercise was to write to those people.
Q. You tell us in paragraph 130 that you believe that you yourself were a victim of phone hacking?
A. Yes, and I've explained that, I think, in a Select Committee.
Q. What evidence do you have for that, Mr Yates?
A. The modus operandi of the effect on your own phones. I was abroad, a particularly difficult weekend for the Met, where I was doing a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with both Dick Fedorcio and the Commissioner's office and every time a voicemail was left on my phone, I couldn't access it, I had to reset my password, probably the PIN number. So knowing that the MO was in use, I surmised, 99 per cent certain, that my phone was being hacked. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR JAY The irony of this I don't think has been lost on many in this room. You're applying a different evidential standard to yourself than you applied to victims who were not yourself. Isn't that right, Mr Yates?
A. Well that certainly (inaudible).
Q. Well, you are, aren't you, because according to the standards you were rigorously applying earlier on, this is no evidence.
A. I hadn't listened to the voicemail messages, Mr Jay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That may not matter, but that's another point. All right. MR JAY Media coverage of you, paragraph 130 and following, 6509.
A. Sorry, those numbers don't mean anything to me.
Q. No, paragraph 130, on the internal numbering it's page 40.
A. Yes, I have it.
Q. You feel, to use the term victim again, that you're a victim of unfair or were a victim of unfair press coverage and media intrusion; is that right?
A. To some extent. I mean victim in that sense is a bit too strong a word, actually, on reflection. Some of it's the rough and tumble of senior life, but certainly there was some intrusion and certainly there was some inaccurate reporting around me.
Q. I've been asked to put to you certain points which bear on paragraph 132 and then 135 and 136 of your statement. I'll do so, if I may. You refer to two members of the MPA Professional Standards Committee, who you say clearly decided you were guilty of misconduct, called for your resignation publicly on several occasions, not only
A. Yes.
Q. before the committee met to discuss the case, but also and even worse during the meeting itself. You've seen the minutes of the meeting, haven't you, which indicated that they left the meeting before your case was considered; is that right?
A. Absolutely right, yes, yes, but they're members of the committee, and they recused themselves and then decided to go out both before the meeting met and knowing the meeting was in progress and called for me to resign.
Q. So the reference to during the meeting itself isn't intended to be a reference to anything which happened at the meeting but it was contemporaneously
A. No, no, no.
Q. Just wait, Mr Yates contemporaneously with the meeting but outside it. Is that what you're intending to convey?
A. Yes.
Q. I understand.
A. Yes.
Q. You say: "This added to the media frenzy, placed additional pressure on those left on the committee." Of course, those left on the committee wouldn't know what was happening outside, would they?
A. I strongly suspect they did.
Q. What basis have you for saying that the remaining members of this committee were biased against you apart from pure speculation?
A. I mean in terms of well, one only has to look at the evidence they considered and the way they considered it to know that they cannot possibly have reached the conclusions they did without that bias being there.
Q. All right. You infer bias from the decisions they made rather than from any anterior facts, but it's true, isn't it, that in relation to what they were doing, they weren't making a decision on the merits, they were merely determining whether there should be an investigation by the IPCC; is that right?
A. Yes, and I let me be clear. I have absolutely no issue with that. What I have the issue with is the fact they didn't consider salient facts which they had before them, and they took a decision to suspend on the basis of not a lot, and, you know, both those matters they referred to or they referred to the IPCC, on neither matter was I on neither matter was I even interviewed, as a witness or anything, so
Q. But to be fair to the MPA, the Amy Wallis matter, which was one of the matters which were before them and which was referred to the IPCC, was a misconduct referral to the MPA by the Deputy Commissioner on behalf of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, wasn't it?
A. Yes. And they had a range of facts which they could have considered which would have fully explained the position, and which they declined to do so. That is the bit I took issue with.
Q. But the Commissioner clearly thought that there was something which needed to go to the MPA, at least for a preliminary ruling. You have to accept that, haven't you?
A. No, no, no, I completely accept that and that is absolute due process, but it was the process they followed thereafter and the matters they could have considered, which they didn't, which they had before them, that's the bit I have an issue with.
Q. And the Shami Media issue was again a misconduct referral by the Deputy Commissioner and the
A. Not for me.
Q. And the MPA on 18 July didn't refer it to the IPCC but said it needed to be investigated further, didn't they?
A. With no but my name was not that doesn't involve me at all.
Q. What happened was that you resigned before you were suspended, weren't you?
A. Say again, sorry?
Q. You resigned before any decision was made to suspend you?
A. Yes. My sort of resignation statement makes that clear.
Q. Do you think, looking back on this, Mr Yates, that at the very least there is a perception of improper inference on your judgment by your contacts with News International?
A. No, I don't accept that.
Q. Not even a perception?
A. The perception I can't fault perception, because that's such a broad phrase, but I absolutely know and I guarantee that none of that played any part in my decision making. That's my conscience is completely clear on that.
Q. Mr Fedorcio has put a statement to the Inquiry. In paragraph 84 of that statement, he says this: "I was aware that John Yates and Neil Wallis knew one another through work, but did not understand them to have any significant contact outside of work." Was that awareness in Mr Fedorcio based on anything that you told him?
A. I wouldn't have seen to discuss it with Dick. Why would I? Dick certainly knew that I knew Neil Wallis and that he was a friend. Whether he knew that we went to the football together on the odd occasion we did, I don't see the relevance of it.
Q. Well, it goes to the Shami Media issue, and possibly other issues. Just the basis of Mr Fedorcio's knowledge of course we're going to be in a position to ask him soon, Mr Yates, but one possible source of his knowledge was what you told him. Do you follow me?
A. Yes, and I I would have thought he did know, to be honest, but I can't if he says he doesn't know, he doesn't know, but in terms of the Shami Media contract, that was let a million miles away from me, and I made that absolutely clear.
Q. When you said you would have thought that he would know, you're basing that on presumably your personal knowledge, and you may be suggesting that you told Mr Fedorcio of your contact with Mr Wallis outside work, and it was because you told him that you would have thought that he would know. Is that what you're telling us?
A. You have to rephrase that in a slightly less wordy way, Mr Jay. Sorry.
Q. Too many words?
A. It's three hours into this and that's defeated me, sorry.
Q. The basis of his, Mr Fedorcio's knowledge might have been what you told him, in other words he knew
A. Yes, I would absolutely know that Dick would know that Neil and I would be fighting about football and that would be absolutely in his knowledge, I would have thought.
Q. And all these dinners? Do you think he knew about that, from what you told him?
A. I'd imagine so, yes.
Q. You imagine so?
A. There's nothing I'm trying to hide around it. It's in my diary, even a private appointment. MR JAY Yes. Well, thank you very much, Mr Yates. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Yates, I understand why challenges to your decision-making may be seen by you also as challenges to your integrity, and I understand
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON why you feel that. But I would like your observations on how one deals with what may be legitimate perception. So we now know and we knew at the time News International are raided by the police, the Mulcaire notebook has emerged, with lots and lots of names, lots and lots of details. A decision has to be taken in 2006, which is entirely understandable, given what is happening in the country at the time.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Then there is clearly a return to it, there is a big civil case. There is a very substantial payment made. There are documents that reveal other material. Then the Guardian article, Sir Paul Stephenson is up in some other meeting. You view it and there is the suggestion of senior executives. You take the view that your knowledge of Mr Wallis is well-known that nobody could impugn you. But then when one is reviewing the matter on 13 July, at your Gold meeting, I think this is you have two meetings on 13 July. This is the one at 4.30, which is your divider 16.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And it's reported there's been some press coverage, and you've heard there are two newspapers have spoken about backhanders and that this was the reason why the investigation was not being reopened, and that's because Rebekah Wade had apparently said to a Select Committee that she paid the police. Did it occur to you then, in the light of all this, that the reputational risk to the Metropolitan Police was not such that you really did have to go back to be seen to be absolutely 120 per cent clear that there was nothing in the original investigation?
A. Sir, I absolutely take your point, my Lord. It's just that at that point in time forget what's happened since LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, I agree, I agree with that, I agree.
A. At that point in time, it was just there was nothing there that would say would I put 40 detectives, because that's what it would have taken, for several months if not years, to do that exercise, when there was no evidence to support that as a resource decision? We you know, the public sector cuts were kicking in, your Honour, the challenges around what you devote your resources to were immense. To say I'm going to do that on something where two people had gone to prison, all those things had happened, it just wouldn't have occurred to me and I deeply regret it now. In terms of what's happened LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand that you say in the scale of serious behaviour, this doesn't rank anywhere near all of the other
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON work that you were engaged with, but this isn't just about criminality.
A. I know. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is about reputational risk to the Metropolitan Police, and I wasn't suggesting that you put 40 police officers on for a year. I'm just wondering whether it didn't require somebody to go back to the original detective sergeants and the detective inspectors who really were at the root of all this and say what would a scope look like and what do you think with your feet very firmly on the ground, rather than me from my Olympian height and I'm not suggesting that's a word you would use, but you understand the point I'm making
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON what would it look like?
A. I mean, in fairness in fairness to me LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, I want you to do that.
A. on 23 July or whatever it was, I asked all this thing I was so concerned about our inability to analyse the material in any shape or form that I asked for it to be put on the HOLMES system. You have that email in your pack, where I've said as a matter of priority I took people off counter terrorism operations to put all the material on the HOLMES system. Now, if during that exercise run by detectives who, you know, would have a detective outlook, I would have expected, if concerns began to be raised about what's actually in that material, stuff that's come out, that I would have been told, but that didn't happen. So I was sufficiently exercised, as a critical incident in the Met parlance, to put the stuff on a computer, to invest I think it was ten detectives for three or four months working long days to put all this material on a system so I could search it, so I could actually with confidence say when people wrote in, I could say you're either on the system or not on the system. Now unfortunately that exercise wasn't done as thoroughly as it should have been. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But that was to do with victims. That wasn't to do with
A. Yes but LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I take your point.
A. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm just concerned that the very, very best person to have answered quite quickly what looking further would cost, what it would involve
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON what it would lead to might have been the DSs and I'm talking about sergeants here, who were actually doing the job.
A. But LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm not suggesting you should have asked them, I'm not suggesting there weren't chief inspectors and superintendents who could have all allowed it to flow down the chain of command, but
A. But that's what happened, by the way. The person that was in charge of putting it all on the system was the DS that was in charge of the original inquiry, so that absolutely was what happened. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Okay. We're talking about Mr Maberly?
A. Yes. And others. I mean, others who had been involved in the operation, I think. I can't say that for certain. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. Mr Yates, thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
A. My Lord, thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Right. I think we need another half an hour, then we have had our lunch hour. (2.51 pm) (A short break) (3.20 pm) MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Mr Andy Hayman, please. MR ANDREW CHRISTOPHER HAYMAN (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Mr Hayman, first of all, your full name, please?
A. It's Andrew Christopher Hayman.
Q. Thank you. You provided a statement to the Inquiry dated 14 February of this year. You signed and dated it and there's a statement of truth. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. I hope you have a copy of your statement
A. Yes.
Q. and a couple of exhibits in front of you. In relation to your career, you started at Essex Police in 1978. You worked your way through the ranks. You were Chief Constable in Norfolk between 2002 and 2005, and then you transferred back to the MPS as an Assistant Commissioner in charge of specialist operations, and so it follows then for Operation Caryatid you were in charge in the sense that you were responsible, although you didn't have day-to-day conduct of operations; is that right?
A. It's a small point, but just worth clarifying, really, that you're right in saying that day-to-day responsibility was taken by others, but I remained accountable for not only that operation but everything else that's going on. The buck stops with me.
Q. Yes. We will deal more precisely with what you did or did not do in relation to Operation Caryatid in a moment. You announced your retirement from the police service in December 2007 and left in April 2008. In terms of the relationship between the MPS and the media, you deal with this in paragraphs 11 and following, our page number 02224, just how would you define, Mr Hayman, what you describe as a healthy collaborative working relationship; what are the incidents of that relationship and the purposes of that relationship?
A. I think to understand that maybe go to the other side of the coin and one that's unhealthy and one that's not helpful to reduce crime, to make sure the public are well informed and then unaccurate reporting, and also that not only bad news but good news gets out. I think it may be seen as a bit of a generalisation, but I think it's not just about the Met, it's also about the rest of the country in UK policing. Some years ago there was a reserve position which very much kept the press and the media at arm's length, and I don't think that that is a tenable position. And I certainly, after 7/7, felt that that was an impossible position, because the hunger for information was such that if you did not share information then there was massive speculation, and so the balance needs to be struck between on the one hand making sure that there is a clear division between what the roles of the media are and the police, and on the other, making sure that there is a collaborative relationship which has developed over time when there's no crisis, non-extremist, so that actually when you now need to use the media to ask for witness help or to put suspects' pictures out onto the press for trying to arrest people, you're not just making that one phone call out of the blue, actually there's a relationship already developed, which hopefully will give you the co-operation and support that I think the wider community would look for.
Q. Thank you. In paragraph 16 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That reflects, presumably, your view as the ACPO lead on media?
A. Yes, sir. Thank you for that point. What happened I forget the exact timing of it, but it was shortly after I returned back to the Met and I was no, actually it was before that, I was a Chief Constable in Norfolk. The then ACPO president, Sir Chris Fox, was concerned that actually nationally the relationship and co-operation between the police and the media could be improved. I competed against I think one other Chief Constable to pledge to try and improve it and in one of my exhibits we managed to retrieve my presentation, which sets out exactly how I thought we could work over the next sort of couple of years as part of a development plan. I haven't got it literally to hand here, but it's certainly in the bundle. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. I think it's probably in that little file there.
A. Oh, okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And it's probably behind divider 2.
A. Thank you, sir. Maybe just for those who haven't got it in front of me perhaps if I just read out a few points that I think might be pertinent. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON 2197.
A. This was the start of a strategic plan, with action plans underneath it, and it had a national footprint, so I was looking to get the co-operation from other chief constables going to ACPO Association of Chief Police Officers meetings. I wanted to develop communications, which I thought would be focused on the citizen, neighbourhood policing, trying to understand the enhanced profile of ACPO and its work, increase the awareness of communications, what role we would play in that. Basically trying to professionalise the service and improve the reputation. I considered that the benefits of that was it would be a better use of resources, it improved efficiency. We were using our communication people better because I think some of our professional staff in the media, as it were, worked for us, were not given the support they should have done, and there was a professional communications advice with greater influence. There's quite a weird sort of diagram there which I won't go to try and explain here because it might be more difficult, but that's really the headline of it, sir. MR JAY Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. MR JAY Paragraph 16, towards the top of 02226 on the internet numbering page 6, you say you concluded that there was benefit on both sides to having a professional relationship but the terms of engagement between the two had to be clearly understood. How would you define the terms of engagement, as it were?
A. I came to this work with the background and I've put this in my statement of being very reserved towards the media. I didn't feel I needed to engage, because I felt that sometimes that kind of relationship was difficult. There was some if you went and speak with colleagues, there were probably experiences where it wasn't particularly positive on either side. So I saw that at worst there could be the media's objective to try and get exclusives and cross a line, and on the other side at worst, from the police side, the danger would be that maybe people would cosy up and start leaking inappropriately information to the media. But I didn't feel that that was necessarily an obstacle to embark on this work. That was just something that we needed to manage. I have to say, trying to drive this nationally was difficult, because I think people always went to their default position of this is just too difficult, I'm not going to do it.
Q. You told the Select Committee, I think, that your career choice was always between police and journalism. It might be said that very statement indicates that you might be close, if not overly close, to people in the media. Is that a fair interpretation or not?
A. I would say that up until 2005, July 2005, that was not the case. That was a I shared that with the Home Affairs Select Committee. It was a private thought, and I did it to illustrate a point at the time and I stand by that. That's not something I paraded elsewhere. I had a wake-up call on the post the attacks on 7 July when suddenly the international media were there and I realised that this was just an untenable position to keep that amount of distance between the international media and we had to do something about that. Now, the fact that there may have been personal aspirations and interest in writing is a side issue as to what professionally we had to do to make sure the police service was well equipped and well positioned to deal with extremists on a scale we'd never dealt with before.
Q. In paragraph 32, page 02231, you say you would "like to think that the media saw their contact with me as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the challenges the police were facing", et cetera. Now, maybe that was a careful choice of words, you would "like to think". It suggests that perhaps the media saw the purpose of their contact with you more broadly or differently. Is that what you're trying to say or to avoid saying?
A. No. That's a very astute observation. What I'm trying to diplomatically say, I think if you look at the media in its broadest sense, which just doesn't include the written media, it includes radio and TV, is that there's not one type, there's all different styles and approaches, just as there are with senior police officers or junior police officers. It would be a lot easier, wouldn't it, if everyone was operating in the same way, but they don't, and therefore I think what I'm trying to say there diplomatically is there may be I would like to think that the mainstream would see it for what it is, that relationship, but I hope I'm not naive to realise that there may be other agendas playing which people might seek to exploit.
Q. What was your attitude in relation to social encounters with members of the media? Particularly dinners I'm referring to.
A. Yes. I think we would describe the relationship in the Met, which it certainly wasn't my idea and I put that in my statement, I can't remember whether I inherited it or not, but there was a structure in place where with this Crime Reporters Association there were regular lunches which my colleague, Peter Clarke, would go to, and when I joined the Met, that's something that I did as well. And it's on as regular basis. The purpose of those lunches was to develop and foster the relationship I tried to describe earlier where you just didn't pick the phone up when you wanted something. Of course I was operating here with two hats on, and I was trying to do the same nationally with the ACPO media group hat on, and therefore what I felt there was an awful lot of benefit in probably going the extra mile with that ACPO hat on, because I wanted to get traction not just in London but also elsewhere, and I wanted to support the media officers within each force accordingly. So that would extend beyond a lunch, and I would have meetings in the evening at dinner, not necessarily in London, it could be elsewhere. And I remember one event which I put in my statement was with the Society of Editors where I think I spoke at their conference, so it would be beyond just those CRA lunches, but I would want to make sure everyone understood that the social scene of interacting was businesslike, but it was also to develop the relationship which hopefully I could have built on around that plan I set out.
Q. So entirely businesslike and always within proper bounds, is that the way you would characterise it?
A. I hope so, yes.
Q. What is your reaction to page 237 of Lord Blair's book in relation to you where he says that something went wrong: "I began to pick up that Andy seemed to be spending a great deal of time with the press. Quite early on there were rumours that he was briefing in a careless and sometimes disloyal manner, although I never had any proof." He's making two points there. Can we deal with the first point, an implied criticism, spending too much time with the press and inappropriately.
A. If you viewed it as my primary role in the Met, I can understand why he might say that, his opinion. But if you put my other hat on as well, I would argue that that was a proportionate amount of time being spent. He's expressed a view there about information that was being shared. I completely disagree with that and I think it's important that he does qualify that at the end.
Q. He does. Then he says, page 240: "So what happened? Perhaps Andy got carried away by the power and prestige of his job. Burned the candle at both ends, developed a lifestyle of late evenings and could not see the danger to his professional standing." Well, the lifestyle of late evenings may well be intended to accommodate, in that sentence, late evenings with members of the press; is that right?
A. That's not right. I am not saying that there weren't meetings in the evening with the press. I'm sure that they could be found. What I will say is that the hours that were being worked through that period between 2005 and beyond, even after I retired, were on a scale that no other none of us in our team had experienced before, to the point where fatigue across the team, both junior and senior levels, was a regular facet of work.
Q. May we look at some entries in relation to you and the gifts and hospitality register, the first page of which is 6382. This is the formal register, of course, which
A. Would you direct me on the papers here, please?
Q. Well, I think you have printed out only the pages which relate to you for the period March 2005 to April 2007; is that correct? This is in the register. If not, it's going to come up on that screen.
A. Oh, okay.
Q. I'm not quite sure whether that LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, that's Mr Hogan-Howe. MR JAY Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think in order that you make progress, let Mr Hayman have my copy. (Handed). MR JAY I also have your personal diary, in the sense that the Metropolitan Police have transcribed for me, as they have done in relation to the previous witness, Mr Yates. There was a dinner, 8 November 2005, with Lucy Panton, who of course was with the News of the World, and that does feature in the register.
A. Yes, I have it.
Q. On the third page. The register doesn't tell us, because strictly speaking it's right, the offer, as it says, comes from the News of the World. It's to you in your capacity as ACSO; is that right?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Described as a working dinner. What sort of things might have been discussed at that dinner with Lucy Panton?
A. There was another, on my recollection, I've put it in my statement, I can't be 100 per cent sure about this, but what I can so I'm in a way speculating, but given the timing of this and it was shortly after the attacks, we were keen sorry, the News of the World were keen to run campaigns to help tackle the threat from terrorism. They had some rough ideas of what they wanted to do, and I recall trying to guide and give advice on that. A good example of that was when the airline plot was discovered and we had a very graphic reproduction of a plane a pressurised plane being exploded with the types of explosive that were going to be smuggled onto the plane and we wanted to run an article in the paper about that, and then put on the website the reconstruction of the video. So when we talk about working dinner, I can't accurately remember what that was about, but it was certainly in line with my recollection that the paper was being proactive about trying to tackle the whole issue of this unfolding home-grown threat from terrorism.
Q. Three days later there's a meeting at the News of the World offices, it's not in the gifts and hospitality register because there may well not have been any hospitality, because it's only between, according to the diary, 12.30 to 13.00 hours, and Lucy Panton was going to meet you at the entrance. Can you remember what that
A. I haven't got that in front of me. It's very difficult to remember that, Mr Jay, but I'm trying to be helpful. Not knowing you were going to ask that question, that does fall in line with my recollection which I've just rehearsed to answer the previous question. I can only guess that it was something to do with a campaign. That working dinner would have been probably because it was very busy during the day, that was the only time to get it, and it was a precursor before going to their building maybe to develop the conversation further, but I'm guessing.
Q. 25 April 2006, which is on the internal numbering page 5 of the hospitality register, it's: "Dinner, editor and deputy editor of the News of the World."
A. Mm-hm.
Q. And the location we don't know from that document but probably do from the diary.
A. I think I can help you on that. I believe that it was Soho House, I think.
Q. Correct.
A. Yes.
Q. Well, it's all correctly recorded in the hospitality register, as we can see. The editor and deputy editor, editor at the time was Mr Coulson. The deputy editor, I believe, was Mr Wallis, but I'm not 100 per cent sure. Maybe you could help on that.
A. I think it was, yes.
Q. What was the purpose of that dinner?
A. I can't remember, but what I do remember from that was it ordinarily that would be not some those people would not be someone from professional life that I would be on a daily contact with. That dinner was not arranged by me, my recollection is it was arranged by the Met's director of public affairs, and it was I imagine it was to meet these two people, because I didn't know them beforehand, and I so I'm half guessing but I think it's just to meet them.
Q. Well, it's clear from the diary that Mr Fedorcio is there as well, so again that chimes with your recollection.
A. To reinforce that point, sir, I it would just be inappropriate given who was in contact with who at the Met at that time and I wouldn't even know what to do in terms of contacting those two individuals, having not met them before. I don't think I'd met them before, anyway.
Q. Fair enough. At that stage, what well, presumably you did know about Operation Caryatid; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. But the scope or possible scope of Operation Caryatid was not known to you; is that right?
A. No, it wasn't, not in the detail that many think was the case.
Q. Okay. The diary entry, just to clear up one doubt in my mind LORD JUSTICE LEVESON We will be returning to that, will we? MR JAY Yes. There's an entry in the diary for 22 August 2006. I only mention it so you can clear this one up. This is in the afternoon: "Rebekah introductory meeting following Lucy Panton's maternity leave." What was that a reference to?
A. My recollection is I don't know the surname certainly all the events that are going on, people need to know was that Rebekah Brooks, I guess. That was not. That was a member of staff that was going to take over Lucy Panton's role when she went off on maternity leave, and I think that I'm more than sure that was an introductory meeting to say, look, this is the person taking the job over and this is as a mutual sort of handshake thing.
Q. Because Lucy Panton was your contact at the News of the World, and whilst she was away, you needed a different contact; was it as simple as that?
A. Yes, she was the CRA rep from the News of the World, yeah.
Q. She was someone, like the previous witness, who you saw on a number of occasions. There was, for example, 8 March 2007. This is just for half an hour, though, at about lunchtime. Lucy Panton comes to 556 New Scotland Yard to meet you. It's not in the hospitality register, it's in the diary, and she's coming alone. Is that when she's back from maternity leave and you're picking up contact with her?
A. I don't know.
Q. 24 October 2006. There's an evening meeting with Neil Wallis, but it's between 1700 and 1900 hours and it's with him alone. Can you help us with that entry?
A. No, I can't. The trouble with relying on the diary is sometimes the diary might hopefully the diary is as accurate as it possibly can, but I'm not sometimes it becomes dated, the meetings don't happen, or if they're in there and there's no other note beside it to remember what that meeting was about or indeed if it happened is very difficult.
Q. Okay. 29 March 2007, only in the diary, not in the hospitality register: "Lunch. Working lunch at Santini's", Lucy Panton and Neil Wallis this time.
A. What was the date, sir?
Q. 29 March 2007.
A. Yes. I can remember that.
Q. What was the purpose of that meeting?
A. I can't remember the purpose. I can remember the lunch. I can't remember the purpose of it. But it would not be anything different to what I've described earlier, which is the ongoing support that that paper was trying to give to the terrorism campaign, as it were.
Q. The conversations didn't extend further than that; is that right, Mr Hayman?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Again it's not in the register. What probably happened on this occasion, but tell me if this is right, is that you paid for that lunch with your MPS Amex card. Might that be right?
A. If the records show that, that my instinctive answer to that, sir, is that and I've made the point in my statement, that the CRA lunches and I'm using this as a comparator to try and describe my thinking on that were always under the basis for I think when Peter Clarke went, and maybe my successors, were on the basis that the CRA were actually paying for things, and I over time did feel uncomfortable about that, and on two occasions I paid the bill for the lunches to the CRA and I would imagine the same principle, if it shows I paid for that on the Amex, if the Amex shows that, then that would be under the same arrangement, but I can't remember paying for it but I wouldn't dispute any record that's there.
Q. Your expense claims were investigated at a later stage, as you know, and there are two entries for 1 February 2007 which are not in the hospitality register. The first is at Shepherd's Restaurant, lunch for nine. Page 4 on your Amex card, which again is the MPS Amex card. ?566, of which ?181.50 was spent on alcohol. What was the purpose of that lunch?
A. It was the regular practice I don't know whether other people do it, but I certainly did it in Norfolk as the Chief Constable there and also in the Met that when people were leaving, their departure, whether it's on retirement or promotion, would be marked as a thank you. That in this instance in my view would be too extravagant. So it was that was one of the reasons, one of the colleagues on our top team was leaving to another force on promotion. Coincidentally that was at a force where we were building a new detached counter terrorism unit. But more importantly, the reason for taking my top team out there was that we would normally have away days where we would go to different venues for planning meetings for the whole day, but these were people that had sacrificed holidays since 2005, and had really worked their socks off for nearly two years, and I did that as a Metropolitan Police gesture of gratitude because of the fact that their families and them had gone through what they had, and also to mark the colleague's promotion.
Q. Okay. There was a business dinner this is a Crime Reporters Association business dinner later that same day. I gave 2 February, in fact it's 1 February, both of these occasions. But it ended up in the or maybe it started in the Oriel Wine Bar and Bistro and just before 10 o'clock you spent ?47 on a bottle of champagne on your Amex card, and when asked about it you stated that you recall that this was a Crime Reporters Association representative, possibly from the News of the World. It could have been a female whose name you did not know.
A. Mm.
Q. Is that right?
A. Yes, I think the only thing I'd put right there, sir, is that it wasn't a function or a dinner. I can't remember the event. If that's what I said in interview, then I'm going to rely on that from that interview.
Q. Just who that representative might have been, might it have been Lucy Panton or possibly Rebekah? Can you help us?
A. I can't remember, sir. But if I've said in interview that it and I think I've re-looked at that and I was cautioned against guessing, I think, by the interviewer.
Q. But if it's Crime Reporters Association, if it's News of the World, the number of candidates, I think, are reducing logically. It's only going to be Lucy Panton, or maybe if she was on maternity leave, it would have been Rebekah. It can't have been anybody else.
A. No, I'm no, I'm not arguing that point. All I'm saying is I remember at the time I tried to be helpful but the interviewer said, "If you don't know, don't guess".
Q. Would you accept, if I can put this gently, that this is possibly an example of going a bit too far in entertaining a member of the press? Or not?
A. My judgment was at the time the work it was producing was worth the investment of the time.
Q. I'm not going to labour the point on these registers, but in the diary there are two further working lunches with Wallis, Mr Wallis, these are both in the register as well, 5 September 2007 and 16 November 2007. And also there's a CRA lunch both in the diary and register for 31 August 2007, and Lucy Panton was there. So some involvement in your case continuing with the News of the World into 2007; is that right?
A. Yeah, and I've never and the reason why they're in the diary and in the register is because I've always wanted to declare as best I can everything that was going on.
Q. Okay. May I go back to your witness statement and paragraph 42, which deals with your writing for the Times. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Just before we move on, I understand your judgment at the time, but do you think it creates or runs the risk of creating a perception of a relationship which goes beyond that which is appropriate?
A. In hindsight, sir, I totally see the point you're making and I think when we go on to the discussion about the Times, the same point could be levied at that as well. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, I deliberately before you got onto the Times, I just wanted to section that little bit off.
A. On reflection and I want to go back and think, well, what was my thinking at the time. I was very enthusiastic about the whole national build for counter terrorism. We wanted to be much better than we were in 2007, 2005. That meant building a national picture, counter terrorism units, both covert and overt, across the country from scratch. What had to go hand in glove with that was a media strategy, and inevitably a lot of that was centred in London because that's where the hub of the media was. So it was nothing but enthusiasm and a bit of a bit hasty, because we didn't know when the next attack was going to come. But the point you're making in hindsight as we pore over this, at the time it was absolutely well intended, honourable, but on reflection I can see what people can see. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Nobody was to know what was going to happen, but well, you've got the point. Yes? MR JAY Maybe we can take the evidence in relation to the Times quite shortly. You leave the Metropolitan Police in April 2008 and your contract with the Times starts, I think, in August and continued through until July 2011. You were paid ?10,000 per annum, not the sort of figures we've seen bandied around in some place. In hindsight in your own words, what is your view about this?
A. Would you mind, sir, if I just spent a couple of minutes just building the picture on this? Because I think it's important that people understand how this came about. I will be brief. Once I'd retired, I didn't do an awful lot, just tried to sort of make the transition into retirement, and so effectively on paper I wasn't entering the Yard from December 2007, and it was towards the beginning of the summer I was approached not by a News International outlet, but by someone else, another paper, and also TV outlets who were interested to sign me up, as it were. In hindsight I think probably because there were a lot of activities going on with trials around terrorism and they would want someone to perhaps offer an opinion on it. This was something that I'd never really thought would happen, and I therefore went to an agent to get some advice and help, and I let the agent deal with all the negotiations. The point that I now find out is that News International, the Times, and I think this has been put in statement, is got wind of the other person's interest and then that's how we ended up having two outlets, as it were, wanting to sign me to write. Now, I did give this long thought, and I thought what is the difference here set phone hacking aside just for one minute, if we may. What is the difference here between a retired police officer, of which there are others who have written, doing commentary and hopefully working alongside a journalist who can do a factual journalistic reporting, but a police commentator can give more of an insight to the reader, and working hand in glove, that could actually produce some good reportable material, which would also enhance this profile and contact with the police as well. I made the comparisons in my mind, albeit they're not directly comparable, between sportsmen who retire, maybe politicians and maybe financiers, and I honestly did not make the connection that I was embarking, if I made that choice rather than that choice, into a stable that was part of the News of the World. I just didn't make that connection. I didn't know the people, didn't know the editor, the deputy editor. I was formally interviewed. Never met them before. Throughout the whole relationship, never any hint of trying to exploit what may be my contacts, what may be a relationship there. My experience was it was completely above board. However, going to the point of your question, if I had my time again and I was able to make that link, presentationally that is difficult and it's difficult to people to probably in a way believe that account, but that is the account as it happened and there are many people who were involved in those negotiations that I think can corroborate what I've said. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's all a perception thing, isn't it?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Although presumably if you walked into were the Times then working in Wapping?
A. Yes, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Then they're in the same building, different floors of the same building, aren't they?
A. I used to walk past the News of the World entrance and go down the road to the Times. The editorial even when I went to the office, as it were, you know, there was no feel of I don't mean this in a disrespectful way of the red tops. It was the broadsheet writing and commentary and everything was around that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think one of the witnesses from one of those journals gave evidence that actually there was no real connection between the Times on the one hand, the Sunday Times on the other, the Sun and the News of the World. They were all very, very different and very competitive.
A. To the point where LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's what somebody said, anyway.
A. To the point I can honestly say I can't ever remember in that building bumping into anyone that I had professional contact with when I was in the police service. MR JAY We'll go back to the issue of one piece you wrote in the Times on 12 July 2009 fairly soon, but can I go straight now, Mr Hayman, to Operation Caryatid? The other parts of your statement which we're not dealing with specifically we're going to take as read, if you follow me.
A. Okay sir.
Q. It's been absorbed fully into your formal evidence. But I've taken the view it doesn't need to be tested today. I'm sure you would wish to develop paragraph 89 of your statement, which is our page 02253. It's the distinction between being accountable for Caryatid, because you were the Assistant Commissioner at the top of SO13 at the material time on the one hand, and being involved in the day-to-day running of Operation Caryatid, which of course you weren't, on the other hand. Is that right?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Can I just understand, though, and this is possibly of some importance, we know that you had regular briefings from DAC Clarke as to what generally was going on in S13, and I think probably on a daily basis when you were both there; is that right?
A. I wouldn't no, that's not right. Daily would not be the case, no.
Q. About how often would you speak to Mr Clarke?
A. We'd have contact daily, but on that particular operation
Q. No, I wasn't suggesting you had daily contact over Operation Caryatid.
A. Oh, sorry, then what you said is right, sir.
Q. Can I just understand, though, in relation to Operation Caryatid, how much contact was there between you and Mr Clarke? First of all, how frequently was it?
A. On one hand, I would say, sir. The whole life of it. I think it was yes, on one hand.
Q. Can we just see at what stages, counting out by five occasions, Mr Hayman, this might have been? Might you have been involved at the very start, because it was an investigation into the security of the royal household?
A. Would it help if I just spent a very brief time positioning not only that operation but others that were going on not the detail of those, but the style of working? Because I think again on reflection there is some learning that comes out of this. If you my span of command was not only looking after specialist operations which had something like, I don't know, 150 investigations, maybe more, going on at one time. I also had my corporate responsibility of running the Met, and then the national build responsibility, which we've already heard about. I don't think any colleague chief constable can honestly say that when there's investigations going on in their command in the counties they have all the details to hand. I think you always remain accountable as being the person who's the chief constable, but the day-to-day responsibility you empowered us to do because they're the best people to do it. And what is really difficult is that if you start allowing yourself to get drawn down into too much detail, you're actually neglecting your role which I believe is to create the environment where all these investigations can flourish, so you're putting an umbrella over the investigation and protecting day-to-day operations from the intrusion maybe of senior people and maybe outside stakeholders. It was very regular for me to understand the general scope of it, to try and create that environment and give resources and empower people. Now, the real nub of this operation, which I think what hacking has elicited here, is that in the widest sense of what else was going on, you're making the judgment is this as important and I don't mean to minimise the terrible impact this has had on the victims about the threat to life or what hacking represents, and that will be a dictation as to the decisions made by the SIO. But had we known my job would be to make a judgment: how much do I intervene and take a notice of what's going on in that operation? And the more I give to that, I'm neglecting that one over there. I have to say, sir, at that time with the threat of a future attack around the airline plot, and then six weeks after the airline plot we arrested 12 more people in Operation Overamp, all of the intrusion from me, if ever, was on the terrorist rather than that job, and the danger would be more effort putting into something that doesn't endanger life means that you're neglecting something that does. A long-winded way of answering the question, but what I'm trying to put here is some flesh on the bones of something that says you're accountable but you're not responsible for day to day, but when you do empower people to do the day-to-day responsibility, occasionally you would have to intervene and it's a judgment as to do I intervene a lot or not? On this one, the briefings I were getting was enabling me to brief above and protect them and allow them to get on would be their job, but I had a deputy that I would rate very, very highly and he had a team which he would rate very, very highly and, as far as I was concerned, it was light of touch and that's why I left it very much to them.
Q. Can I just understand what you were told by Mr Clarke as Operation Caryatid progressed. Maybe in your own words, Mr Hayman, presumably at the start you were told possible security risks to the royal household. Were you told who the perpetrators were or might be, who the main suspects were?
A. No. My recollection is, in my own words, it originally was identified by the royal command, who have particular functions which does not include specialist investigations. They haven't got the skills and experience. They're very good at what they do but this would be beyond their experience and capability, with all due respect, and that therefore I allocated that to Peter, Peter Clarke, said, "Can you please look at this and come up with an investigation strategy and an operation?" So I was actually allocating that to Peter, and my recollection is that Peter would brief me on exemption, ie when there was something in his judgment was significant that I needed to brief up or that he needed more people with. I think it's very significant, sir, that I didn't know when the arrests were going to be made, I didn't know when the search warrants were going to be executed; indeed, I wasn't in the country when that happened. That illustrates the empowerment that Peter was given by me and the detachment that I had, because I felt that at that time I mean this I say this term graphically to make the point you could have eaten that on what we knew at that time. What we now know, we didn't know then, and of course we would have had a completely different approach. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, that raises a couple of interesting issues, but what I take from that is that your exercise of command was to allocate it to the Deputy Assistant Commissioner and then effectively to leave him to get on with it, to come back to you (a) if he felt there was something you needed to report up to the Commissioner, or (b) if from within his own resource he had a problem coping with demand. Is that
A. That's a fair summary. But I do allude to what we would do differently, because clearly there needs to be something done differently in the light of how things unfolded. It's about making clearer in strategy terms about that level of intrusion intervention, and I don't know how you would solve that, but there needs to be the check and balance that strikes the balance between the boss getting in the way of people who know how to do it better than he or she does, but at the same time the boss not find themselves completely isolated. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm just not quite sure I'm not sure I understand precisely what you're suggesting. "Make clearer in strategy terms about the level of intrusion into intervention"? Sorry, could you elaborate, please?
A. What it's the what you're trying to do, sir, is give people their space by creating that environment that they can succeed, hopefully, in their endeavours, and what you're doing is you're making a judgment as to how much latitude and that's just not me, that's all senior people and that probably goes down to supervisors as well you give that individual, and the question would be that they deserve the checks and balances so they have something to have their own decision-making checked against. MR JAY Are we to derive this message from your evidence, Mr Hayman, and tell me if we're not, that if you knew then what we know now, you would have wished the investigation to have been expanded?
A. There's only one proviso on that, is that the decision always must be about the threat to life, and I LORD JUSTICE LEVESON In 2006, the terrorism issues were such that you were sucking people into the Met to help cope with them.
A. Sir, it was unprecedented. There's again examples to try and illustrate the point. If you imagine New Scotland Yard, the incident rooms for the attacks on 7/7 stretched right the way around two floors and when you compare a typical incident room for a murder would be a room something like this, that's the scale of the 7/7 attack. Then we had the other plots that were going on that we were trying to thwart, and of course running in parallel with this operation, the phone hacking operation was going to probably dwarf 7/7 and be, as many commentators have said, the sort of 9/11 for the UK, and that was also the other operation, Operation Overamp, which was the 12 people arrested in Sussex. They were the ones that were, you know, grabbing all the attention and close management, and it was I'm I feel terrible for the impact for the victims of phone hacking, it must be absolutely awful and I wouldn't minimise that, but at the same time I'd rather be facing questions around that than I would be about more loss of life, which 7/7 was awful. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's entirely understandable and you may not have heard what I said to Mr Clarke this morning that, as a use of resource, the decision-making is perfectly understandable, and it's nothing to do with me, it's the police decision not mine, but I would have thought inevitable. The question then is what you do about the work that you can't do and how you characterise the state of that investigation. The issue for me may be just as much that, what was said, what was done, what was not said and what was not done, not merely in 2006 but thereafter, and it's important in the context of this Inquiry because of the perception of a relationship which might have meant that the police did not go as hard into this particular problem not because of resource implications of terrorism, but because of a relationship issue. That's effectively what I think I am required to think about, and you've picked up yourself, as you've given evidence this afternoon, strands of material which would allow somebody you would say: quite wrongly and inaccurately to draw an inference about that, and that's the issue.
A. I'm totally with you on that. Just a couple of three points to help. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Please do. It's your evidence, not mine.
A. Firstly, the number of police officers that were being brought in from around the country was unprecedented. You know, the without making any sort of alarmist statements here, the pot was actually running dry, so we had nowhere really to go. Within the Met, that was exactly the same. We see the number of resources that are now being used as events have unfolded. That would have had a massive impact on counter terrorism, those numbers. I can absolutely accord with your point around perception, but I can tell you that the team that were on it are ferocious, they have a reputation of being ferocious, and if, let's say, there is a scenario, which some people have argued around the conspiracy that there was a not such ferociousness around because of a perceived relationship, it was impossible, in my view. If you wanted to be disproportionate towards those alleged perpetrators, or you wanted to dilute down the investigation, the security and parameters that were set by the SIO would make that impossible. And if I personalise that, if there was an agenda from me or any other person, Assistant Commissioner, who wanted to dilute or disproportionately ramp up that operation, it would be impossible for that to happen without the SIO calling foul or asking for that individual to record why they want something done in that decision log. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, it's not specifically an Assistant Commissioner going in and saying, "I don't think I want you to do this any more." It would be much more subtle than that. Somebody would say, "Well, this isn't terribly important and that seems more important and I have to balance all these resources." It doesn't specifically arise in this case in relation to 2006 because of the enormity of the problems that you were facing, but that may not be quite so easy to explain away in connection with all the later decisions. That's the point.
A. I accept that. MR JAY Were there any discussions between you and Mr Clarke as to the possible widening of the investigation? By which I mean not merely to embrace other victims, but more importantly other journalists?
A. I can't recall any conversation on that.
Q. Was there any conversation about with Mr Clarke about the quality of the evidence? Not merely in relation to Goodman Mulcaire but more generally?
A. I can't recall that, no.
Q. Were you aware at any stage that there was a there were potential security issues here because Members of Parliament, cabinet ministers, members of the military, policemen, even, were suspected to have been victims of this operation?
A. No, sir.
Q. When the issue comes back in 2009 in July, you, of course, wrote a piece in the Times on 11 July, which I hope you have to hand, do you, Mr Hayman? You probably remember it. In the bundle which has been prepared for you, it's tab 4.
A. Yes.
Q. First of all, so we can be clear about this, when you wrote this piece in the Times, did you have reference to any documents or were you writing this just from your memory?
A. Absolutely no reference to any documents. Indeed, when I left the Met, that would be absolutely inappropriate for me to either try and elicit that or have any conversation about that. This was on what I understood from my recollection, my general broad recollection, of how events were.
Q. Fair enough, but can we look at what you said? The third paragraph, the Guardian has said that it understands that: the police file showed that between 2,000 or 3,000 individuals had their mobile phones hacked into, far who than was ever officially admitted during the investigation and prosecution of Clive Goodman. Yet my recollection is different. As I recall the list of those targeted [and we'll come to that in a moment], which was put together from records kept by Glenn Mulcaire, ran to several hundred names. Of these there was a small number, perhaps a handful, where there was evidence that phones had actually been tampered with." So, pausing there, Mr Hayman, it appears that you were shown this was a point which came out through the Select Committee
A. Yes.
Q. a list of those targeted which your reaction before the Select Committee was along the lines that it was eight to ten pages; is that right?
A. I can remember it distinctly, sir. I think Peter was away, Peter Clarke. The late John McDowall was standing in as his deputy, and the conversation probably only lasted less than, I don't know, four or five minutes when he I was in my office, he came to my office and it was along the lines of, "Just so you're aware, the investigation team appear to be creating a list and here's a list of names, we don't know what the status is, haven't got a clue where this is going, but we just want you to know there's a list emerging", and I didn't think any more of it and I remember that being on the numbers I've come to here and, sorry, there was also within that conversation he described where the investigation may be able to identify if someone went beyond just having an address book into having more than the telephone number, but that's my recollection.
Q. The list that's being referred to can only be tab 94 of the first file. Now, it's going to be probably one of those files over there. I don't know what that file is. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's at the end of volume 1 of files disclosed. Somebody will find it for you. MR JAY I'm going to ask you to look at it and see whether this chimes with your recollection now.
A. I will obviously, sir, but the way the interaction went, it was a flying of the sheets of paper. You know, I don't remember pouring through it and looking as to who was on the list at all. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You won't see much on the list here because it's been redacted, but
A. Without again, sir, with respect, it was a colleague coming in and sort of flying in, flying out, "There's a list here that's emerging"; "Okay, thanks very much". MR JAY But you're writing here in the Times that your recollection was that this list ran to several hundred names, which is not actually far from our we think there are probably 419 names on the list. Of these well, you say a small number, perhaps a handful, where there was evidence that the phones had actually been tampered with. That's your interpretation of what the evidence showed, presumably?
A. Of what was said to me, yes.
Q. Can we just see? It won't take very long. Look at tab 94 of that bundle, which is towards the very end of it. The list we have runs to 25 pages or 24 pages. This is the only one I think
A. I don't my first reaction is I don't remember grids and matrices; I remember just a whole sheet of list of names.
Q. Can you recall why the late commander came to you with this list?
A. No. John was a sort of guy who would just turn up to the office, and if I wasn't either busy or in a meeting he would probably then literally say "good morning", "good afternoon". He was a very sort of sociable guy, and he also kept me I suppose in his mind I don't know what he was thinking, but I guess he thought he's been told that and he's briefing me but it wasn't anything substantial.
Q. Well, is that right, Mr Hayman? Can we just think through this? From your perception you knew about the arrests on 8 August 2006, didn't you? You had in your mind an operation which was very narrow. It involved two men and it involved the mobile phones of members of the royal household. Yet what this list showed, or might have showed, is that the operation of Mulcaire and perhaps others went far wider. Instead of there being five victims or nine victims, you had hundreds of victims. Maybe that was information which he felt quite rightly he needed to share with you because of its importance. Don't you think that's a possibility?
A. I can see why you wouldn't want to say that, but having remembered what that interaction was like, if he wanted more and it was something more substantial, he would have asked for it. He didn't ask for that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It obviously made an impact on you because three years later you remembered it and even remembered it was a list targeted running to several hundred names, with only a small handful of phones actually tampered with.
A. Yes. MR JAY The ordinary common sense of this, or the sense of one's understanding of the human interactions here, you're the Assistant Commissioner, you're leaving this to DAC Clarke to run, quite rightly. He's in charge. You deal with the more Olympian issues. Yet here is the Clarke is away so he's in command for the time being, he's coming to you with something important, something exciting, to share with you. That must be right, mustn't it, Mr Hayman?
A. I think that's probably the accurate way, yes.
Q. Yes. And what he was trying to share with you was at least this much: look, this extends far more widely than the Royal Family, it extends to a range of victims in different walks of life. Isn't that the message of it?
A. No, that's not. Because I think the distinction was being drawn at the time between what's the difference between a journalist or someone who works for a journalist having telephone numbers, which is sensibly an address book, versus it going beyond just an address book into something more sinister. And my recollection was this is a number of people who could just be part of the address book as opposed to something that had been more sinister or attacked. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well MR JAY But why bother the Assistant Commissioner with that prosaic piece of information? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON He's got an address book!
A. I don't know, I don't know. MR JAY Well
A. If the judgment there is that that could have been a trigger that should have been acted upon, I hear what you say. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Let me just take the next sentence in your MR JAY Well, that's what I was coming to. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Jay, you do it, you do it. MR JAY I'm sorry, I was just setting it up a little bit. Had there been evidence, you say in the Times, of tampering in the other cases, that would have been investigated, as would the slightest hint that others were involved do you stand by that?
A. I didn't say that again, please?
Q. Just read it for yourself. It's your own words.
A. Yes, I see the point now.
Q. But what's the answer then, Mr Hayman?
A. Well, they weren't investigated and I don't understand you know, I've written that as part of an article, and to go back to in that office and that interaction to remember why things were or weren't done, I just can't do.
Q. Maybe this is to help you out a bit, if I may say so, journalistic licence. Are you reacting perhaps peremptorily to something which you saw in the Guardian, you thought was nonsense wrongly, as it happens and you fire off from the hip with this when in fact you don't mean this, do you?
A. I can see how you can others and you could have that view.
Q. Well, that's helping you out, because if you do mean this, it probably works in a different LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have another alternative suggestion, which is to the one which Mr Jay says is the alternative. Would you agree that if there was a list not merely of a mobile phone number, but also the private PIN number that could be used by the owner of that mobile phone to access their own private voicemails, and that access to the private voicemails itself constitutes an offence under the Computer Misuse Act, and might also, depending upon your view of the law, which I won't trouble you with now, constitute an offence under RIPA, that is evidence of tampering in other cases?
A. Yes, I would take your learned view on that. If that was known at that time, then LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, there's no learned view here at all. I'm merely asking you well, you can take my view on what the Computer Misuse Act says and what RIPA says, and I don't think that's contentious, but if there is evidence on a piece of paper that somebody like Mulcaire has not merely the phone number but the PIN number, would you agree that would be evidence of tampering in another case, in that case?
A. I think it's persuasive, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. And if there was a reference in the corner to a name which could be linked to a journalist, that would at least be the slightest hint that somebody else was involved?
A. Yes. That's persuasive, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So your view is that in the normal course of events, if there's evidence such as we've just described, or the hint such as we've described, you would expect that to be pursued and to be investigated?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. Now, that may be overtaken by events because of the terrorist threat.
A. Yes, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I agree, I recognise that. So far from it being journalist spin, which is one possibility, one Mr Jay has just offered to you, the other is that what you are here setting out is accurately your understanding of how the police investigate material which comes into their hands?
A. Right. What I can definitely say is that the way you've set that out was not known to me. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Oh no, no, no, no, no. Of course it wasn't. I understand that. You've described very carefully how much you knew and how involved you were, and I understand that. I'm actually trying to get to think about what others have said about the quality of the material that actually was available in the Mulcaire documents.
A. Right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do you see the point?
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Because what you're saying to me is that material of the type that I've just described to you would itself be sufficient to justify carrying on, of course, all other things being equal, and if there are terrorist
A. I see the point. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON problems then that's very different. Now, is that fair or not?
A. I think that's what you said there with those caveats is fair. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR JAY Because what you told the Select Committee, Home Affairs Committee, on 12 July 2011, dealing with the Commander McDowall evidence, was that you can look at it if you like, but I'll paraphrase it I'm sure accurately that you were shown foolscap or A4 pages, you think they were in the region of eight or nine. There were three groups of names. There was ostensibly a contact list, which in itself you wouldn't expect from anyone, it's like an address book of numbers of people. Then you said: "I believe that the second column or list was a shorter number where I think my recollection was that they might have been PIN numbers that were known." That was your best recollection on 12 July 2011, which of course was more or less two years to the day, bar one day, after the piece you wrote in the Times, so your recollection had well, it may not have improved, it may be that you just didn't set that out in the Times article?
A. Sure.
Q. But is that your best recollection?
A. Absolutely.
Q. And then the third column, the third category of person where they had technologically proved that they'd used the PIN number and the telephone number to access the voicemail, so this was, as it were, the people you are referring to in the article, and you say perhaps a handful, where there was evidence that the phones had actually been tampered with?
A. Mm.
Q. I think Lord Justice Leveson's questions were directed to the second group of person, if your recollection is right, and possibly even the first group of persons?
A. Sure.
Q. Had all of this been explained to you by DAC Clarke or by anybody else, would you then, as you say in the Times, have taken the investigation further, or would you have accepted DAC Clarke's decision not to broaden the investigation?
A. I would go on the judgment of the people who are weighing up the competing demands. I mean, the danger with the just holding onto the article is that the much bigger picture, the finesse of the bigger picture just would not get included in that and therefore that gets lost, the full understanding gets lost. But again it's Peter's and the team's decision weighing up against the threat to life, et cetera, the things that have already been said.
Q. Yes. I'm not going to go through all the evidence you gave to the Select Committee save to note that you were severely criticised by the Select Committee. Do you accept their criticisms or not?
A. I respect their view and they have expressed their view. MR JAY Okay. Unless there are other matters, I'm going to leave it there. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'll just ask one more question. Just looking at the Times article again: "The obvious way of getting to the bottom of whether more could have been done by the police is to conduct a review Now, a review means going through the whole thing again.
A. Yes, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON as suggested by the CPS. This route will bring closure by either endorsing the original investigation or demanding further work be completed. In retrospect the speed with which the Met came out and said it would not be reopening its files might have been a mistake." Do you endorse that view even more so today?
A. Yes, sir. MR SHERBORNE Sir, can I rise just to ask one question? As you may be aware, the core participant victims have provided Mr Jay with a line of inquiry in relation to all of the witnesses, the police witnesses who have come to talk about the phone hacking scandal. Mr Jay has covered pretty much most if not all of them but there is one in relation to Mr Hayman which I would like to ask. It's simply one question, sir. I hope it won't detain us very long. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. Questions by MR SHERBORNE MR SHERBORNE You were asked about socialising with the News of the World. You referred in particular to an event in February 2007, which is on page 186 of the transcript. And specifically, Mr Hayman, you may recall Mr Jay asked you if you were going a bit too far in entertaining a member of the press. Do you remember being asked that question?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And your answer was that: "My judgment was at the time the work it was producing from News of the World, that is, was worth it, in effect. Can I just ask you this. In terms of the work that the newspaper was producing, which made it worth it, did that work include the provision of information to you?
A. No, sir. This was can I clarify what I meant by that?
Q. Yes, of course.
A. This was about trying to get accurate balance, responsible reporting, in an environment where in some quarters people were sceptical about the degree of the threat, and more importantly, one thing that was a real shock to the authorities was that we were always planning for a threat of terrorists coming into this country from abroad as opposed to home grown. My recollection, sir, is that to try and get those messages out, that was very, very important to try and garner support to get that reported.
Q. But it didn't involve the provision of information from the News of the World to the police?
A. Not to my recollections. I never did, no. MR SHERBORNE I'm very grateful. Thank you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much, Mr Hayman. Thank you. Right. A rather unusually ordered day today, but thank you very much for co-operating to allow us to hear the evidence of Mr Yates from whichever part of the world he was. Monday morning, 10 o'clock; is that right? Thank you very much. (4.40 pm)


Gave a statement at the hearing on 01 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 4 pieces of evidence


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