Supplementary written evidence from the
Metropolitan Police Service
Thank you for your letter of 20 October 2009
and I hope that the information and comments provided below will
enable the Committee to bring its enquiry to a satisfactory conclusion.
In going through some of the questions it was considered
that particular themes emerged. For ease of reference, I have
grouped the questions together with my response under those subject
Question 1. I would be grateful if you would
confirm who has been contacted by the Metropolitan Police as a
result of the Guardian articles (Questions 1985-88 of 2 September
Question 4. In written evidence to us you said
that the investigating police: "led on informing anyone who
they believed fell into the category of Government, Military,
Police or Royal Household, if we had reason to believe that the
suspects had attempted to ring their voicemail" (para 15.)
How many suspected victims were contacted in each of the four
categories listed above and how many additional people since the
police statements of 9 and 10 July? The submission goes on to
state that the police contacted individual phone companies about
other suspected victims. How many names and/or numbers were passed
on for assessment in this way?
Question 5. Specifically we would be grateful
for confirmation as to when the police contacted Tessa Jowell
MP, who was named in the Guardian as a victim of Mulcaire.
"Given the nature of the issues the MPS
was investigating ie interception of sensitive/personal telephone
conversations, one of the key parameters of the investigative/prosecution
strategy was to ensure proper consideration was given to individuals'
right to respect for their private and family lives. One of the
fundamental tenets of the investigation was therefore to protect
those individuals' rights to privacy by not revealing any information
without their consent. Furthermore many potential "victims"
or "persons of interest" to Mulcaire and Goodman had
potential national security issues, or personal sensitivities
associated to their role/position in public life and therefore
did not wish to be part of a prosecution. Many have also more
recently requested that any communication with them remain "strictly
private and confidentialnot for publication".
Given our duty to respect these individuals' private
and family lives, we are unable to provide all of the details
requested, however we are able to confirm the following:
Question 1. As confirmed by Andy Coulson in
public to the Committee, he was contacted by the MPS as a result
of the Guardian articles. We are unable to confirm any other names
but can inform the Committee that the numbers are no more than
Question 4. A very low number of individuals
were contacted in the categories listed and no additional contact
has been instigated by the MPS since the police statements of
9th/10th July 2009. In terms of part two of Question 4, to maintain
individual privacy the individual phone companies were not supplied
with lists of potential victims (apart from those who had agreed
to be witnesses in the trial), but rather they were supplied with
the potential phone numbers that Mulcaire and Goodman had used
to see if they could ascertain to what degree their respective
client base may have been vulnerable due to calls from these numbers.
Question 5. The MPS is not formally aware as
to whether Tessa Jowell MP has made any public declaration in
relation to this matter and therefore to respect her right to
privacy we cannot comment any further.
To assist and reassure the Committee we can
confirm that at the time of the investigation where we believed
someone did fall into the relevant category as described above,
those persons were contacted promptly individually and as part
of further wider security awareness the Cabinet Office was briefed
about the risks (not about individuals.)
Question 3. In evidence to us on 21 July Tom
Crone, Legal Manager of News Group Newspapers, told us that: "The
police raided Mulcaire's premises; they raided Goodman's premises;
and they raided the News of the World offices. They seized every
available document; they searched all the computers, the files,
the emails et cetera".
(Q 1339) We were also told during that session, by
Colin Myler, that Glenn Mulcaire had a "vast database of
contact numbers in the sport and show business world" (Q
1420.) Please would you confirm whether any such database was
found during your searches.
The searches and seizure of material all took
place on 8 August 2006. In the case of Clive Goodman his home
and office at NOTW were searched. The offices of "Nine Consultancy"
used by Glen Mulcaire, his home address and his parents address
were also searched yielding a huge quantity of documents. Hundreds
of unstructured handwritten sheets showed research into many people
in the public eye. These included those linked to the Royal Household,
Members of Parliament, military staff, sports stars, celebrities
and journalists. There was also a quantity of electronic media
and computers recovered which in Mulcaire's case did contain similar
personal data as found on the hundreds of handwritten individual
sheets of paper. It is reasonable to expect some of the material,
although classed as personal data, was in their legitimate possession,
due to their respective jobs. It is not necessarily correct to
assume that their possession of all this material was for the
purposes of interception alone and it is not known what their
intentions was or how they intended to use it.
Question 6. Further to your and Mr Williams'
answers to Questions 1938, 1989 and 1990 please clarify what the
range of material was that the police sought and what answers
you received from the lawyers representing the News of the World.
Post arrest there were meetings and a series
of formal letter exchanges that took place between CPS, lead council,
police and the solicitors employed to represent News of the World.
A range of material was asked for, examples include:
Who does he report to, has he worked
for other editors/journalistsif so copies of that work.
Details of their internal phone systems
(including itemised billing) and floor plans of phone extensions.
We made clear that "the investigation
is attempting to identify all persons that may be involved including
any fellow conspirators."
News of the World instructed lawyers to respond
to our requests for disclosure and they took a robust legal approach
to our requests and provided material strictly based upon the
evidence against Goodman and Mulcaire. When it came to anything
wider their position was that either the material did not exist
or they assessed that it was confidential journalistic material.
What was received did become part of the prosecution, but following
legal advice we did not have any power or basis upon which to
compel further disclosure.
Question 7. A number of references were made
on 2 September to material collected by the police as part of
your investigation. We would be grateful for:
(a) a log of that material and in particular
information on the material which you described to us as "
sensitive, unused material" (Question 1892.)
(b) a log of the tape recordings of Mulcaire
and to whom he was speaking and a transcript of any conversation
with someone called Ryan.
(c) further information as to how and why you
have reason to believe the Princes' phones had been directly accessed;
whether this was disclosed to the News of the World during the
investigation; and why no prosecutions were pursued in this respect.
(d) a log of the evidence supplied to Gordon
Taylor in his civil action.
7(a) The "logs" of material being
requested are extensive, include material not relevant to the
prosecution of Mulcaire and Goodman and sensitive material eg
it might reveal investigative techniques or tactics or personal
details of individuals. It is difficult to see how disclosure
of this material can assist the Committee in their inquiry. Additionally
as outlined in my answer to Q1, 4 & 5 above consideration
needs to be given to individuals' right to respect for their private
and family lives, which much of this material consists of.
By way of assurance, the CPS examined all of these
disclosure lists at the time and more recently. As part of that
process, you will be aware that Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public
Prosecutions has confirmed that he is satisfied that in the cases
of Mulcaire and Goodman, the CPS was properly involved in providing
advice both before and after charge; that the MPS provided the
CPS with all the information and evidence and that the prosecution
approach in charging and prosecuting was proper and appropriate.
7(b) Police hold no tape recording involving
someone called Ryan.
7(c) In line with my opening comments in
relation to seeking to preserve individual rights to privacy we
are unable to provide any further information in respect of the
In terms of the witnesses who agreed to be part
of the prosecution I would draw you to DPP Keir Starmer's comments,
"from a prosecution point of view what was important was
that any case brought to court properly reflected the overall
criminal conduct of Goodman and Mulcaire. It was the collective
view of the prosecution team that to select 5 or 6 potential victims
(in addition to the 3 Royal Household ones (Private Secretaries
and Press)) would allow the prosecution properly to present the
case to the court and in the event of convictions, ensure that
the court had adequate sentencing powers."
7(d) The "log" of material provided
to Gordon Taylor was provided pursuant to a court order and it
contains material relevant to the proceedings he brought against
the News of the World. If relevant to the Committee the consent
of Gordon Taylor should be obtained to disclose the terms of the
Question 8. You provided to us a schedule of
intercepts which showed "potential intercepts" by both
Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire on Helen Asprey from February
2005. Please clarify the evidence that you have in relation to
this, and why the charge period was shortened from January 2005August
2006 to start instead from November 2005.
The final charges were a matter for the CPS.
It is our understanding that the reason Count 1 changed
from January 2005 to read 1 November 2005 was primarily to ensure
that the "best evidence" could be adduced to demonstrate
Mulcaire and Goodman were working together as part of a "conspiracy",
(one of the key points to prove for Count 1 was the period from
November 2005 onwards.) This directly supported "a prosecution
point of viewwhat was important was that any case brought
to court properly reflected the overall criminal conduct of Goodman
and Mulcaire" and was therefore the optimum means of
securing a conviction to "ensure that the court had adequate
Question 2. Please would you provide a copy of
all statements issued by the Metropolitan Police on this matter
following the Guardian's article.
Two statements have been issued by the MPS following
the Guardian's article and they are attached as Appendix
We have endeavoured to answer the Committee's questions
as fully as possible, whilst recognising our duty to balance individual's
rights to privacy. However, if the Committee feels we can assist
further please do let me know.
ACSO JOHN YATES9/7/09
FOR OFFER: I have been asked by the Commissioner
today to establish the facts around our inquiry into the alleged
unlawful tapping of mobile phones by Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire.
I was not involved in the original case and clearly come at this
with an independent mind.
Just by way of background. In December 2005, the
Met received complaints that mobile phones had been illegally
We identified that Goodman and Mulcaire were engaged
in a sophisticated and wide ranging conspiracy to gather private
and personal data, principally about high profile figures. Clearly
they benefited financially from these matters.
Our inquiries found that these two men had the
ability to illegally intercept mobile phone voice mails, commonly
known as phone tapping.
Their potential targets may have run into hundreds
of people, but our inquiries showed that they only used the tactic
against a far smaller number of individuals.
In January 2007, Goodman and Mulcaire were jailed
for four and six months, guilty to conspiring to unlawfully intercept
Mulcaire also pleaded guilty to an additional
five charges relating to similar matters.
On sentencing the two men, Mr Justice Gross
at the Old Bailey said the case was "not about press freedom,
it was about a grave, inexcusable and illegal invasion of privacy".
The police investigation was complex and was
carried out in close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service,
Senior Counsel and the telephone companies concerned.
The technical challenges posed to the service
providers to establish that there had in fact been interception
were very, very, significant.
It is important to recognise that our enquiries
showed that in the vast majority of cases there was insufficient
evidence to show that tapping had actually been achieved.
Where there was clear evidence that people had
been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by the police.
These people were made aware of the potential
compromise to their phones and offered preventative advice.
After extensive consultation with the CPS and
Counsel, only a few were subsequently identified as witnesses
in the proceedings that followed.
I said earlier in this statement that these
two men were engaged in a sophisticated and wide ranging conspiracy
to gather personal data about high profile figures. One was a
private detective and one was a journalist. It is reasonable therefore
to expect them to be in possession of data about such matters
as it's part and parcel of their job.
I emphasise that our enquiries were solely concerned
with phone tapping. This, as far as we are aware, affected a much
smaller pool of people.
There has been a lot of media comment today
about the then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. This investigation
has not uncovered any evidence to suggest that John Prescott's
phone had been tapped.
This case has been subject of the most careful
investigation by very experienced detectives. It has also been
scrutinised in detail by both the CPS and leading Counsel. They
have carefully examined all the evidence and prepared the indictments
that they considered appropriate.
No additional evidence has come to light since
this case has concluded.
I therefore consider that no further investigation
However, I do recognise the very real concerns,
expressed today by a number of people, who believe that their
privacy may have been intruded upon.
I therefore need to ensure that we have been
diligent, reasonable and sensible, and taken all proper steps
to ensure that where we have evidence that people have been the
subject of any form of phone tapping, or that there is any suspicion
that they might have been, that they have been informed.
FOR OFFER: Following on from a statement yesterday
by AC John Yates in relation to the MPS investigation into unlawful
mobile phone tapping by Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire the Met
has this evening (10/7/09) begun contacting a number of people.
AC Yates said yesterday that he wanted to ensure
that the Met has been diligent and sensible, and taken all proper
steps to ensurethat where we have evidence that people
have been the subject of any form of phone tapping by Goodman
or Mulcaire, or that there is any suspicion that they might have
been by the two menthat they have been informed.
The process of contacting people is currently
underway and we expect this to take some time to complete.