Hacked Off Responds to CPS decision to end phone hacking prosecutions

Hacked Off is surprised and disappointed by today’s CPS decision that there will be no corporate prosecutions of News International or any prosecution of former editors at Mirror Group Newspapers. The civil cases have revealed widespread wrongdoing at several of the country’s biggest newspapers. This decision means that the companies which profited from criminal wrongdoing over many years will not be held accountable in the criminal courts.

The way is now clear for the second part of the Leveson Inquiry. This will deal with the full extent of the wrongdoing and failures of corporate governance in the press. It will also investigate police misconduct and corruption. Lord Justice Leveson was not able to investigate these important areas until all the criminal prosecutions had concluded. The next part of the Inquiry can now begin. The public has the right to know what really happened at our police forces and newspapers so that steps can be taken to make sure it never happens again.

Dr Evan Harris, Joint Executive Director of Hacked Off said:

“Many people will find It hard to believe that there wasn’t corporate wrong-doing at news International, especially in relation to a cover up. Rebekah Brooks was involved in the deletion of emails and making massive secret pay offs to victims to “defend the company’s reputation”. The company profited from the phone hacking and corrupt payments to public officials but then shopped its own journalists and sources. News Corp has now achieved its aim of avoiding corporate charges but at great cost.

Hacked Off and most of the victims we represent have never wanted to see journalist foot soldiers prosecuted while their bosses who gave out the orders – and were promoted on the basis of their scoops – have escaped prosecution.
Given what came out at the Mirror civil trial, and the whistle-blowers that came forward it is surprising that the CPS are now claiming that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute. The hundreds of people who were victims of illegal conduct by the Mirror will be surprised and disappointed”.

Professor Brian Cathcart, Co-Founder of Hacked Off said:

“We call on the Prime Minister to honour his promises to the victims of press abuse and to take immediate steps to set up Leveson Part 2. The first inquiry was not able to question individuals about the details of phone hacking and other misconduct. Now that the prosecutions are over a Judge led inquiry will be able to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to ensure that the widespread abuse and criminality which has poisoned the British press for many years will never happen again”.

Note for Editors

The terms of reference of Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry were as follows:
3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.
4. To inquire into the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations or evidence of unlawful conduct by persons within or connected with News International, the review by the Metropolitan Police of their initial investigation, and the conduct of the prosecuting authorities.
5. To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen.
6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International
7. In the light of these inquiries, to consider the implications for the relationships between newspaper organisations and the police, prosecuting authorities, and relevant regulatory bodies – and to recommend what actions, if any, should be taken.

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

December 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm

I don’t understand. Peter burden published a book named, fake sheikhs & royal trappings. In it, all the journalists, editors & hackers, plus illegal practices are named & detailed. This book is basically a confession from someone working on the inside. Not sure if you’ve seen this book, but I have the book & am willing to share it.

John Nadinreply
December 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm

What kind of message is this sending out, justice must be seen to be done. I spent 30 years as a Prison Officer trying to convince prisoners that being honest and obeying the law was the right way to live their lives. Their reply has been that the wealthy and powerful don’t obey the law so why should I. This has now been reinforced.

December 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

I am disgusted.

Really annoyed, in particular that Rebekah Brooks is back working for NI.

The corruption is sickening. The PM should be ashamed of himself (on many levels).

It’s all about having money and who you know.

I’d like to see the public boycott their papers but it won’t happen.

Thank you for your work.

December 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

This just proves what the public are beginning to realise. Not only are politicians controlled by the media and industry but this news proves that the justice system also pees in the same pot. Our democracy is no more.

Sean Blakereply
December 12, 2015 at 12:27 am

As Neil Wallis said when debating the CPS announcement with Anne Diamond on Channel 4 News, “If Cameron wants Leveson 2 he’ll have it. There won’t be a Leveson 2.”
Succinctly put and an indirect indictment of the PM from someone who worked for Murdoch for nearly 20 years.

The truth is that the Conservative leader was never going to risk losing his cheerleaders in the press from the moment Rebekah Brooks was cleared.

sadly disappointedreply
December 12, 2015 at 6:48 am

very disappointed ,
obviously someone still has plenty
of photos and voice mails …..
what a scurrilous bunch …

fear not they will slip up,
as tongues will wag

John Rooksbyreply
December 13, 2015 at 9:56 am

Hacked Off was weak in its response to this decision. “Surprised and disappointed”? Why not, ‘Shocked and disgusted’? Why not, ‘Prepared to continue the fight against institutionalised corruption in the the UK’?

You can go to the highest courts in the land and see your fight for justice squashed without a shred of logic in the decision. I’ve personally experienced it over the years, and I’m personally experiencing it today; and there is stark evidence of it happening EVERYWHERE, from Sharon Shoesmith getting a 6-figure payout and keeping her job after presiding over the death of baby Peter, and before him, Victoria Climbie, to Doreen Lawrence’s YEARS of fighting for justice (should anyone have to fight for justice?) for the murder of her boy, Stephen. How will it ever end unless we, the public, not only fight injustice but ensure that the individuals responsible – the judges, the police chiefs, the heads of departments – are also punished (and punished such that they can never again get their hands on the reins of power)? Those responsible are NEVER punished.

christopher whittlereply
December 14, 2015 at 12:51 pm

It beggars belief that those individuals high up in Murdoch’s criminal and corrupt empire have got off with it. Yet another cover up.

As a victim of the lies and smears of the S*n it really does cut deep, even now, more that a quarter of a century later, that those people can still get away wit it. JUSTICE needs to be seen to be done.




April 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Absolutely disgusting that this bunch of paid stalkers are able to walk free. Many have been prosecuted for much less, but because they destroy lives under the guise of it being ‘in the public interest’, it’s considered alright. As Mr Nadin said above, how do we function as a healthy society when young people are seeing those with power abuse it day after day after day. I’m particularly saddened to see that Tina Weaver is not being held to account. For decades, she has been destroying lives under the guise of ‘journalism’ yet was deemed unbiased enough to sit on the PCC’s panel! Isn’t it time that these so-called journalists have their dirty laundry aired in public – all in the public interest, of course. Just despicable.

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