The Operation Alice report revealed that The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn refused to co-operate with officers, even though he was himself threatened with arrest for aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. Journalists are protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights from having to reveal their sources and Tom Newton Dunn knew his rights. So the Met legally hacked his phones. The Met report into Plebgate states:
“On Thursday, 31 January 2013, PC James Glanville was arrested on suspicion of committing the offences of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. His arrest came about as the result of the initial analysis of the mobile telephone records from the Sun political editor, Mr Tom Newton Dunn, which showed a series of contacts by text and voice calls between the two over several days.”
Welcome to Britain in 2014, where the coppers access journalists phones to sniff out leaks from within their own ranks.
According to the Guardian:
“If police are seeking journalistic material, including information about confidential sources, they should use the procedures laid down by Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which provide article 10 compliant safeguards to ensure that sources are properly protected. It is alarming that in this case the police appear to have used other powers which do not have those safeguards and are not intended for use in these circumstances,” said Keith Mathieson, partner at law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. Under PACE, police are required to go to court to ask a judge’s permission to get records belonging to a journalist. Journalists are then notified to enable them to attend court to formally resist disclosure to a third party. On this occasion this did not happen.”
Guido’s learned lunch partner spots a hole: By making Tom Newton Dunn a suspect, which the Met’s report into Operation Alice admits they did, the coppers could bypass having to alert him. Sun sources tell the Guardian they are consulting lawyers. A fight between Murdoch and the Met over accessing phones? Play it again, Sam.