Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
21 JULY 2009
Q1360 Paul Farrelly: How long are
the archives kept?
Mr Crone: They go back that far,
Q1361 Paul Farrelly: Over three years?
Mr Crone: Yes. I am not absolutely
certain about that.
Q1362 Paul Farrelly: If your checks
are thorough then it is important to be certain. Whether or not
you have checked with your IT department, it would not tell you
whether a transcript had been printed off. That is the purpose
of a transcript actually, to be read in hardcopy usually. Would
Mr Crone: No.
Q1363 Paul Farrelly: Did you ask
Mr Thurlbeck whether he had received a hardcopy of the transcript?
Mr Crone: He says he has never
seen it and did not know anything about it.
Q1364 Paul Farrelly: Why then would
the junior journalist say this specifically: "This is the
transcript for Neville"?
Mr Crone: I have no idea. The
junior journalist is currently in Peru, I believe. It may be inconvenient
but that is where he is. It has got nothing to do with us sending
Mr Myler: There is a far more
Q1365 Paul Farrelly: Have you asked
the junior journalistand we are not naming him but respecting
Mr Crone: No, I asked him at the
outset. I asked him in detail.
Q1366 Paul Farrelly: why he
said, "This is the transcript for Neville"?
Mr Crone: Yes. He said, "I
can't remember". He said, "Perhaps I gave it to Neville,
but I can't remember". Then Neville said he did not give
it to him.
Q1367 Paul Farrelly: You are basically
taking people's word on trust?
Mr Crone: I can only work on the
evidence. I can only work at and pass on the evidence. I cannot
speculate; I cannot guess. These are serious matters and I am
not going to speculate or guess in front of this Committee. I
can tell you what I asked and the information I was given and
the evidence I have seen.
Q1368 Paul Farrelly: I am not surprised
a junior journalist, who has now had to go to Peru, might-
Mr Crone: He is on a holiday.
He is going around the world.
Q1369 Paul Farrelly: He has not been
Mr Crone: He is 20 years old.
Q1370 Paul Farrelly: If he was transcribing
lots of these things I can quite understand why he might not remember
whether it was printed off and whether it was handed; but given
that it says, "This is a transcript for Neville", it
invites a conclusion, does it not?
Mr Crone: Sure, but I do not know
what he wrote on top of all the other transcripts he did. I just
do not know.
Q1371 Paul Farrelly: So you have
not seen any more emails from this journalist, despite your investigation?
Mr Crone: No, I have not.
Mr Myler: To be fair, Mr Farrelly,
you are accusing a young journalist, who has not been named, of
being involved in other issues here. What Mr Crone is saying is
there is absolutely no evidence to support that.
Q1372 Paul Farrelly: I am not saying
that at all, Mr Myler. I am saying, you have conducted an investigation
but you have now just said you do not know what he wrote on covering
notes to possibly other transcripts which may have come from Mr
Mr Crone: I am investigating this
email; I am investigating matters relating to Gordon Taylor; why
should I look at other emails that have nothing to do with that.
Apart from the fact that it actually breaches his own Data Protection
Rights et cetera, I cannot go on a general fishing expedition;
I have to look for what I know exists.
Q1373 Paul Farrelly: If you want
to be thorough and you have become aware that this junior journalist
is transcribing conversations which have come from Mr Mulcaire,
whom you know has been convicted and has served a jail sentence,
you may wish then to look at other transcripts which Mr Mulcaire
may have provided to this junior journalist to see what he was
writing down and who they were allegedly for; and you are saying
you have not done that?
Mr Crone: No I asked about this
Q1374 Paul Farrelly: That is not
a very thorough investigation, is it?
Mr Myler: Can I just come in here.
When I came back in January 2007 I interviewed senior executives
on the newspapers, and with the Director of Human Resources
Q1375 Paul Farrelly: Mr Myler, forgive
me. I want to come to this, but Mr Crone's answers are now begging
more questions as we go on. A final question on this point and
this is a loose end: you made a point regarding the use of the
name Paul Williams in a contract, but related that to the possible
use of the name in a story. The two are not connected, are they?
Mr Crone: No, not the name in
a story. He just did not want his name associated with the story.
If it is on contractual paperworkhis own name, Glenn Mulcairehe
is clearly associating his name with the story.
Q1376 Paul Farrelly: The account
you have given us, you have said, "This is what I have been
told", who have you found this out from?
Mr Crone: Greg Miskiw.
Q1377 Paul Farrelly: You have interviewed
him since he left?
Mr Crone: I think I said that,
Q1378 Paul Farrelly: It sounds very,
very strange indeed; or is this a usual practice?
Mr Crone: What is "usual
Q1379 Paul Farrelly: Using pseudonyms
in contractual paperwork which may lead to the payment of large
sums of money.
Mr Crone: No, it is not.
1 See Ev 469. Back