Examination of Witness (Question Number
10 MARCH 2009
Q160 Paul Farrelly: Why?
Mr Mosley: Because they libelled
Q161 Paul Farrelly: Why not in the
Mr Mosley: I just explained. I
have not yet taken the decision whether to do it in the UK. In
France the way it works is if there is a criminal procedure then
you can, and you have to make your mind up very quickly, attach
to it a civil action for libel. The advice from the lawyers in
France was it is advantageous and assists the criminal proceedings
if you attach also a claim for libel so that is what we have done.
Q162 Paul Farrelly: Your actions
that are still ongoing and under consideration, be they in the
UK or overseas, are restricted to the News of the World,
its editor and reporters, not the people who facilitated it, Madam
E and her husband.
Mr Mosley: The suit in France
there is the Penal Code against the two individuals and I think
also the newspaper, the action under their law of 1881 against
both the individuals and the newspaper.
Q163 Paul Farrelly: The offence occurred
in the UK. Are you not concerned that you are going to be accused
of libel tourism or forum shopping?
Mr Mosley: No, their offence was
in France. They published the pictures in France. Unfortunately
publishing the pictures in England is not a criminal offence.
Publishing the pictures in France or Italy is a criminal offence
so therefore I am going after them for the criminal offence in
France and Italy. Unfortunately, at the moment, it is not a criminal
offence in England. If there were, I would go after them here.
Q164 Paul Farrelly: To clarify, you
would like both a privacy law and mandatory pre-notification on
Mr Mosley: Absolutely, because
without prior notification a privacy law is nugatory for the reasons
I have already explained.
Q165 Paul Farrelly: You do not think
that might have not only a chilling effect but real repercussions
for the sorts of journalism that are practised in the public interest
and not the sort of journalism that you have been suing the News
of the World for?
Mr Mosley: No, because we get
back always to the same point. You have to trust the judges. If
we had a law that says you must not publish something that is
private unless it is in the public interest, which is pretty much
what the law says now, then who decides whether it should or should
not be published? In a difficult case it has to be the judge.
Most cases are straight forward.
Q166 Paul Farrelly: Would you not
admit that judges sometimes are known to follow their own prejudices
and sometimes judges get it spectacularly wrong? Not in this issue
but I remember Lord Denning on the Birmingham six saying, the
biggest non-sequitur in recent UK legal history, that what he
was being told about the treatment of the Birmingham Six could
not possibly have been as the consequences would have been unimaginable.
Mr Mosley: For anyone to advance
the proposition that judges are infallible would be foolish but
equally for somebody to advance the proposition that we cannot
trust the judges so we will leave the whole thing to the tabloid
editors is perhaps more foolish.
Q167 Chairman: We have no more questions
so can I thank you very much.
Mr Mosley: Thank you for giving
me the opportunity.