PRESS RELEASE: Hacked Off responds to Anthony France appeal decision
Responding to the decision by the court of appeal to overturn Anthony France’s guilty verdict for aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, Hacked Off’s Joint Executive Director Dr. Evan Harris said:
“The result of the Anthony France appeal means that there are no more trials due under either Operation Elveden or Operation Weeting. This in turn means that there is now no barrier to the second part of the Leveson Inquiry taking place. The terms of reference for this Inquiry include looking at what led to widespread misconduct in public office in the police and why the police failed to properly investigate the News of the World ten years ago when the newspaper got away with the mendacious “One Rogue Reporter” excuse.
“With huge irony, the Sun has asked the police to apologise for an investigation which uncovered widespread corruption in the police and public services, with 33 convictions of police and other public officials for taking payments from Sun journalists and other sources.
“The Sun has not apologised for the fact that its journalists’ conduct sent more than twenty public servants to prison, nor for the fact that its own Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, admitted to Parliament that she paid police officers – an admission that could not be sued in court because of Parliamentary privilege.
“The Sun has also glossed over the fact that the investigation was turbo-charged by the handing over of journalistic source material and emails by the Sun itself – material which put junior and middle-ranking journalists in the firing line while protecting the top bosses.
“The CPS decided there were sufficient grounds to prosecute journalists as well and in the vast majority of cases, judges agreed with the CPS and ruled that the cases should go to a jury.
“Unlike the Sun which refused to fund his appeal, Hacked Off has never wanted to see junior reporters like Anthony France carry the can for the policies of the editors and the bosses, and joins those who accept the judgement of the Appeal Court that the judges summing up did not adequately explain the public interest.”
Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press. The Campaign works with victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.
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