Years after Glenn Mulcaire was convicted and served prision time for wiretaping the royal family. News International continued to pay his legal fees. For months reporters and bloggers all over Britain asked why?
Why should a major media corporation be offering financial support to a man who went to jail for illcit activities that, according to its recent statements, were the cause of “genine regret”" So, I ask both questions again of Rupert Murdoch’s company: are you paying Mulcaires’s legal expenses? If so, why? and I intend to go on asking them every day until we get answers. (Roy Greenslade blog-Guardian UK-April 18,2011)
A few days after Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch were summonsed to Parliment, Mr Mulcaire’s legal payments were terminated by News International. At the hearing Rebekah Brooks said the company entered into a control which paid the fees where he was named as a co-dependant with News International.
This contract was in violation of the editor’s code of practice:
15 Witness payments in criminal trials
i) No payment or offer of payment to a witness – or any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness – should be made in any case once proceedings are active as defined by the Contempt of CourtAct 1981. This prohibition lasts until the suspect has been freed unconditionally by police without charge or bail or the proceedings are otherwise discontinued; or has entered a guilty plea to the court; or, in the event of a not guilty plea, the court has announced its verdict. * ii) Where proceedings are not yet active but are likely and foreseeable, editors must not make or offer payment to any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness, unless the information concerned ought demonstrably to be published in the public interest and there is an over-riding need to make or promise payment for this to be done; and all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure no financial dealings influence the evidence those witnesses give. In no circumstances should such payment be conditional on the outcome of a trial. * iii) Any payment or offer of payment made to a person later cited to give evidence in proceedings must be disclosed to the prosecution and defence. The witness must be advised of this requirement.
So the question is with the legal payments ending, Can Glenn Mulicaire damage News Corporation? Will he follow Sean Hoare? Will he disappear? There are many who believe Mr Mulicaire has the stuff… Will he be called to tesifiy?
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