Thursday, March 24, 2011
Words Fly Between London Police, Director of Public Prosecutions Over News of the World Phone Hacking Inquiry
An update from the Guardian on the News of the World phone hacking inquiry. The Metropolitan Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions are pointing fingers at each other over who bears responsibility for the mess over the failure to investigate the matter fully and to inform Parliament. At issue is the question of whether the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 applies to voicemail that has not yet been heard by the person for whom it is intended. Says the Guardian, "In evidence to the House of Commons' culture, media and sport committee, Scotland Yard's acting deputy commissioner, John Yates, listed a series of occasions on which prosecutors had advised police that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) made it an offence to intercept voicemail only if the voicemail had not already been heard by its intended recipient." However, DPP Keir Starmer told the Commitee that interpretation of the statute was not at issue when the police prepared charges, notably against former News of the World editor Clive Goodman, who was eventually convicted and sent to prison for four months.