Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
21 JULY 2009
Q1380 Paul Farrelly: It is not unusual.
Mr Crone: No, it is not usual.
Q1381 Paul Farrelly: It is not usual?
Mr Crone: It is not usual.
Q1382 Paul Farrelly: Therefore, if it
is not usual it might strike you or any reasonable person as strange,
would you not agree?
Mr Crone: It is not usual. It
is strange; it is not usual.
Q1383 Paul Farrelly: Mr Myler, I
do not want to take up too much time because lots of other people
want to come in, but I wanted to explore the basis for the evidence
you gave the PCC, I believe, in February 2007 just after you arrived
at the News of the World. At that stage what stage had
investigations reached at the News of the World to your
knowledge, because you gave the evidence to the PCC?
Mr Myler: What had happened internally?
Q1384 Paul Farrelly: Yes.
Mr Myler: I think the first thing
to remember is that as soon as Mr Goodman and Mr Mulcaire were
arrested News International had an outside firm of solicitors
to absolutely oversee the investigation to cooperate with the
police, to be a bridgehead, to give whatever facility the police
required. It was completely hands-off, if you like, for transparency
from the company's point of view. It was a nine month investigation.
At the end of that nine months two people were convicted, tried
and went to jail. No other member of the News of the World
staff was questioned. It is important, if you would allow me to
say so, that John Yates's statement on 9 July after the first
Guardian story appeared says this: "This case has
been the subject of the most careful investigation by very experienced
detectives. It has also been scrutinised in detail by both the
CPS and leading counsel. They have carefully examined all the
evidence and prepared the indictments-"
Q1385 Paul Farrelly: We have seen
this; we have this in evidence.
Mr Myler: With respect, can I
just finish this one sentence: "No additional evidence has
come to light since this case has concluded; I therefore consider
that no further investigation is required".
Q1386 Chairman: Can I just check
one point to be absolutely clear. The police had the copy of the
email saying "This is for Neville", but the police never
Mr Myler: As I understand it,
he was not questioned. As I understand it no other member of the
News of the World staff, other than Clive Goodman, was
questioned by the police after their nine month investigation.
Q1387 Chairman: Greg Miskiw, whose
name was on the contract which the police also had, he was not
Mr Myler: I do not believe he
Q1388 Paul Farrelly: Who were the
solicitors who handled the investigation?
Mr Crone: Burton Copeland. They
are probably the leading firm in this country for white collar
Q1389 Paul Farrelly: Did that investigation
go wider than investigating the circumstances because the court
case was coming up of the Mulcaire/Goodman connection? Did it
go wider and ask people such as the deputy editor, the managing
editor, the news editor, the chief reporter as to whether they
had been involved in any way with Mr Mulcaire? Did it go wider?
Mr Crone: Sorry, this is for me?
Q1390 Paul Farrelly: No, this is
to Mr Myler because Mr Myler gave evidence to the PCC.
Mr Myler: I think Mr Crone is
the best person to answer.
Q1391 Paul Farrelly: This is the
basis of the evidence you gave to the PCC.
Mr Myler: Mr Crone was there.
This arrest took place, I believe, in August 2006. I think you
should allow Mr Crone-
Q1392 Paul Farrelly: To your knowledge,
did that investigation go wider?
Mr Myler: Wider than what?
Q1393 Paul Farrelly: Than simply
the relationship between Goodman and Mulcaire. Did the people
either interview them or ask them to come forward under the basis
of an amnesty if they had done something wrong to reveal themselves?
Did it go to the accounts department?
Mr Myler: I do not know whether
or not the police-
Q1394 Paul Farrelly: No, it is not
the police. It is the News International investigation when you
arrived. I want to know what your knowledge was of how far the
Mr Myler: My recollection was
that a very thorough investigation took place where there was
a review of everything from how cash payments were processed.
You have to remember that the Mulcaire contract, which the judge
in the Goodman/Mulcaire trial said was absolutely above board
and legal, meant that the staff had access to him 24/7. He was
conducting enquiries perfectly legally and lawfully that meant
journalists could call him for checks on electoral rolls or whatever.
As I understand it, the inquiry was thorough; and to the executives
that were there at the time they were happy with that.
Q1395 Paul Farrelly: Mr Crone, how
wide was the inquiry? You understand the questions I am asking?
Mr Crone: Yes. I got back the
Tuesday after the arrests. They were arrested on one Tuesday and
I was there the week after. By the time I got back, which must
have been August 15, Burton Copeland were in the office virtually
every day or in contact with the office every day. My understanding
of their remit was that they were brought in to go over everything
and find out what had gone on, to liaise with the police
Q1396 Paul Farrelly: Everything to
do with Mulcaire and Goodman?
Mr Crone: Yes, but what you have
got to realise is, at the time the only case being looked at was
an access of a Royal householdvoicemails. The other names
did not become known to us or, as far as I know, anyone else apart
from the prosecution and the police, and the defence lawyers probably
knew slightly earlier; the other names did not come out until
November 29, which is five months later. What I think was being
enquired into was what had gone on leading to the arrests; what,
in the relationship with Mulcaire, did we have to worry about.
Burton Copeland came in; they were given absolutely free-range
to ask whatever they wanted to ask. They did risk accounts and
they have got four lever-arch files of payment records, everything
to do with Mulcaire, and there is no evidence of anything going
beyond in terms of knowledge into other activities.
Q1397 Paul Farrelly: I want to wrap-up
fairly shortly. When the other names came into the frame after
November 29, did the remit of the investigation in News International
Mr Crone: Yes, to some extent
but the questions had already been asked. Was anyone involved
with Mulcaire, or doing this, that or the other? Burton Copeland
had looked at all of the financial records; and there was subsequently
an email check done which went to 2,500 emails; and that produced
no evidence either.
Q1398 Paul Farrelly: The question:
was anyone else involved with Mulcaire? The answer was: no. Nothing
else was found?
Mr Crone: No evidence was found.
Q1399 Paul Farrelly: Mr Myler, in
evidence to the PCC you said in February 2007, and tell me whether
the PCC's quote is accurate in their report, "This was an
exceptionally unhappy event in the 163 year history of News
of the World involving one journalist". They quote you
as saying that Goodman was a "rogue exception". That
is accurate, is it? But in the court case in January the judge
has said, "As to counts 16-20", which were the counts
involving Max Clifford, Simon Hughes, Elle Macpherson, Sky Andrew
and Gordon Taylor, who are not Royals, to Mulcaire, "you
had not dealt with Goodman but with others at News International".
On the basis of that import, how could you say that this was one
rogue exception involving one journalist?
Mr Crone: I was in court actually
and I remember him saying that and my immediate reactionobviously
nothing I could voicewas "Why is he saying that?",
because the prosecution did not open it, saying there was such