Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
21 JULY 2009
Q1500 Alan Keen: I was not exactly
sure: did Glenn Mulcaire want to use the name Paul Williams just
in the publication of a story or did he want paying as Paul Williams?
Mr Myler: I do not know.
Mr Crone: I have looked at the
payment records and no, he had two different companies, I think.
In the early days it was one company and it was subsequently a
company called Nine Consultancy Limited.
Q1501 Mr Watson: Mr Crone, on the
Taylor case, your advice was to settle in April 2008, I think
Mr Crone: I agreed with the outside
advice that was given, yes.
Q1502 Mr Watson: So you took it to
the Board in June 2008?
Mr Crone: No, I did not take it
to the Board; I reported to Mr Myler as editor, and at one stage
we both reported it upwards together.
Q1503 Mr Watson: A £700,000
payment would be a decision taken at Board level. Is that right?
Mr Crone: I am not aware of that.
Q1504 Mr Watson: So the News International
Board did not agree the payment in any way?
Mr Myler: What do you mean by
Q1505 Mr Watson: Your managing Board;
the directors of the company.
Mr Myler: Why would they need
to be involved?
Q1506 Mr Watson: Because it is a
huge amount of money and they have got a responsibility to the
proprietor and shareholder, I assume?
Mr Myler: Yes. As I have said,
Mr Watson, the sum of money that Mr Taylor first set out to receive
was significantly higher than the sum he did receive.
Q1507 Mr Watson: I am sorry, I thought
that was the easy question. So the Board did not know about the
Mr Crone: I do not know. I am
sorry, I do not know. All I do is report to the next stage up.
Q1508 Mr Watson: So you could let
us know afterwards; you could write to us and let us know whether
the Board took the decision?
Mr Crone: I could ask the question
and give you the answer, yes.
Q1509 Mr Watson: Would that be minuted?
Could you let us have the Minute?
Mr Crone: If it was raised at
the Board I assume it is minuted.
Q1510 Mr Watson: Could you tell us
how it would appear in the accounts?
Mr Crone: No, I do not know the
answer to that. It would appear againstI probably do know
the answer to that. It would appear against the legal department
Q1511 Mr Watson: When did you tell
Mr Crone: I did not tell Rupert
Mr Myler: The sequence of events,
Mr Watson, is very simple, and this is very clear: Mr Crone advised
me, as the editor, what the legal advice was and it was to settle.
Myself and Mr Crone then went to see James Murdoch and told him
where we were with the situation. Mr Crone then continued with
our outside lawyers the negotiation with Mr Taylor. Eventually
a settlement was agreed. That was it.
Q1512 Mr Watson: So James Murdoch
took the ultimate decision?
Mr Myler: James Murdoch was advised
of the situation and agreed with our legal advice that we should
Mr Crone: What you have to understand
about litigation, which I do not think you do, is that if you
are in it then you are in it until it is over. You can stay in
it and have a full trial and pay £3 million or you can get
out at a certain stage and pay £600,000.
Q1513 Mr Watson: I am just trying
to find out who took the decision to make the payment.
Mr Myler: It was an agreed, collective
decision. It is how newspapers work. Indeed, Mr Watson, I think
you probably know that it is good, sensible, practical business
practice across most industries. Are you telling me that you have
never come across an agreed payment between two companies or an
individual that falls out over something that is done? Is that
what you are saying?
Q1514 Mr Watson: No, I am just trying
to find out
Mr Crone: Mr Watson, because you
are on a Conditional Fee Arrangement in your litigation against
Q1515 Mr Watson: I do not want to
get into that.
Mr Crone: you have no knowledge
of how litigation finances work?
Q1516 Mr Watson: All I am trying
to find out is who took the decision to settle
Mr Myler: Very simple, and I think
we have given you the simple answer.
Q1517 Mr Watson: Could I ask about
the payments to Mulcaire, just for clarity? You said that he had
been working for the paper since the late-1990s.
Mr Myler: I believe that the association
may have gone back that far. I think his first contract was, I
believeand, again, perhaps Mr Kuttner
Mr Crone: The first one I have
seen is 2001.
Q1518 Mr Watson: You have seen 2001.
Would you be able to let us know if it goes back before that?
Mr Crone: Yes, sure.
Q1519 Mr Watson: I think the only
thing in the public domain is that he was paid £100,000 in
2003 to Nine Consultancy. Is that right?
Mr Crone: I do not know.