He will stand trial in Scotland on 21 April. 16 days before polling day…
He will stand trial in Scotland on 21 April. 16 days before polling day…
A national newspaper group today admits that “some years ago voicemails left on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed” and that it “apologises publicly to all its victims of phone hacking”. Yet for some reason the Leader of the Opposition is not calling for a Commons debate and a judge-led inquiry, and past crusaders for press ethics turned Mirror columnists, Tom Watson and John Prescott, are silent. How can Prezza, the victim turned scourge of phone hackers, work for the very people who hacked phones? What is about his grand-a-week column that makes him turn a blind eye to the criminality of his paymasters? What about Hacked Off? There is nothing about hacking at Trinity Mirror on the front page of their website this morning. The humblest day of their lives…
UPDATE I (11.42) Hacked Off have belatedly noticed the Mirror’s front page, over an hour after we clipped their ears for their silence.
With the video feed on a five minute delay for security reasons and evidence relating to Russian state responsibility heard in private, the Litvinenko inquiry began today. His lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, accused the Kremlin of committing “the calculated pre-planned murder of a British subject on the streets of our capital city by agents of a foreign government”, claiming “the trail of polonium traces leads not just from London to Moscow but directly to the door of Vladimir Putin’s office”. He says Putin is “a common criminal dressed up as a head of state”.
The inquiry was told the evidence will show MI6 informant Litvinenko was poisoned twice, famously at a hotel bar and also in an office two weeks earlier, where suspects Andrey Lugovoi – now a Russian politician – and Dmitry Kovtun had been present. Lugovoi and Kovtun, charged with Litvinenko’s murder in absentia, have been invited to appear by video link. It is alleged radiation was found in places visited by Lugovoi and Kovtun in London, including on the aeroplanes they had travelled in, cars, restaurants, hotels and Arsenal football club’s Emirates stadium.
Before he died, Litvinenko claimed:
“I know that this order about such a killing of a citizen of another country on its territory, especially if it is something to do with Great Britain, could have been given only by one person. That person is the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.”
The inquiry continues…
Police line-ups are notoriously unreliable, but a new scientific study may have stumbled across a more accurate way of identifying criminals – the BO test. According to the study published in the Public Library of Science, our noses could be more reliable than our eyes when it comes to picking out a bad guy.
In order to prove their overlooked “nosewitness” identification concept, the smell boffins behind the study showed some participants a short video of a man carrying carrying out a crime against a woman while a jar of body odour was wafted in front of them and other participants a neutral video with the same smell.
The participants rated the video in terms of “vividness, pleasantness and arousal” – the crime video were “rated as significantly more arousing”. When given a smell lineup 15 minutes later 68% of those who saw the crime and 45% of those who saw the neutral video were able to identify the odour.
The study notes that although highly arousing events such as witnessing a crime usually lead to a decline in visual recall of the event, it seems we are wired to remember odours encoded during negative emotions.
Is Lynx the new balaclava…
The CCTV footage above shows the moment Alastair Campbell was allegedly involved in a punch up with a passerby. Bad Al is walking down a road (despite being out for a jog), when he is approached by a man coming in the opposite direction who appears to recognise him. The man claims Campbell then “punched and spat” at him, allegations he strongly denies in a statement this morning:
“I was walking down Perrin’s Lane last Monday after a run in Hampstead when a man walking towards me began shouting in abusive and aggressive terms as he approached. As I passed him I did not look at him, did not respond to his insults and put my my arm out to his shoulder to stop him coming any closer. If there was any contact at all it was minimal. I walked on a few steps, thought he was doing the same but he turned back, followed me, continued to abuse me and when I turned around he came towards me and aimed a kick at me which came into brief contact with my leg. He then moved back but came forward again and spat at me, most of the spit landing on my shirt, some on my face. I then turned and walked away.”
Unfortunately the footage is inconclusive. Though the fact the supposed victim went to George Galloway rather than the cops might be an indicator of where the truth lies…
He says he was in a “full and consenting relationship” with the accuser.
“Insufficient evidence”. Investigation dropped, no further action…
The night Jeremy Thorpe was acquitted of conspiracy to murder his alleged male lover in 1979, satirist Peter Cook delivered this sketch of Mr Justice Cantley’s summing up at the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Almost as if he thought there was an establishment cover up…
Disgraced David Ruffley continues to strut around Westminster without a care in the world, despite being deselected by his local association in Suffolk following his caution for assaulting his girlfriend. As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, now cocky Ruffley has told friends that he is line for a peerage when he stands down.[…] Read the rest
Mr Justice Mitting found:
“I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word pleb.”
Mitchell had a Conditional Fee Arrangement with his lawyers, which means they won’t take a fee but he will have to stump up for The Sun and PC Toby Rowland’s costs out of his own pocket. […] Read the rest
Andrew Mitchell’s former colleagues in the whips’ office do not believe his account of Plebgate, describing it as “extraordinary”, a court heard today. Tory MP John Randall claims “Mr Mitchell told me he could not recall what he said to the officer” in a whips meeting at the time.[…] Read the rest
An “agitated” Andrew Mitchell called policemen “f**king plebs” in a “Mexican stand off” at the gates of Downing Street, it was claimed in court today. PC Toby Rowland claimed he threatened Mitchell with arrest because passers by could have been caused “distress” by his abusive language.[…] Read the rest
Andrew Mitchell told policemen at the Downing Street gates they were “just f**king plebs” who should “best know your f**king place”, a court heard today. Giving evidence against Mitchell, PC Toby Rowland claimed he did not know what the word “pleb” meant when the then Chief Whip allegedly called him one in September 2012.[…] Read the rest
Andrew Mitchell “could not recall” what he said to police officers at the gates of Downing Street, courtroom 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice heard today. That is what former Deputy Chief Whip John Randall and former whip Michael Fabricant will testify at the Plebgate libel trial, despite Mitchell providing a verbatim account of the incident to the Sunday Times and telling the court “I would never call a policeman a pleb let alone a f**king pleb”.[…] Read the rest