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Tuesday 2 August 2011

Murdoch Is Served (54)

[Update at end of post]

Another week, another arrest as Phonehackgate demonstrates that there is plenty more life yet in the saga of Rupe’s troops and the less than totally legal goings on at the now closed Screws. This time it was former managing editor Stuart Kuttner who turned up at a Police station of his choosing to answer questions, only to find himself nicked and taken into custody.

Kuttner’s arrest was inevitable for a number of reasons, firstly that he was the public face of the Screws – and had been for 22 years before he left the stage in 2009 just as Glenn Mulcaire’s bin bag was finally being opened and examined. It was Kuttner who asserted that there had only been one rogue reporter, reminded the world that the editor had resigned, and that was that.

That turned out not to be that, and Kuttner was further undermined by the twinkle toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks when she gave evidence to the Commons culture committee and told them that payments to private investigators would have gone through Kuttner’s office. Brooks’ tenure as Screws editor came before Mulcaire became “effectively an employee”, so any payment to him or other PIs would have been down to Kuttner.

And the previous arrests – Brooks, Andy Coulson, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck, Terenia Taras, Clive Goodman, Mulcaire and Neil “Wolfman” Wallis, will during their questioning by Police have yielded – knowingly or otherwise – information pointing to others, and leading further up the management tree. Kuttner’s arrest was next on the list.

So who will be next? Well, there aren’t many more senior figures from the Screws or News International left that have not had their collars felt. I reckoned the other week that Murdoch Junior may be next, and still believe he will be helping Police with their enquiries before too long. The fallout from wrongdoing at the Screws isn’t over yet.

[Meanwhile, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, are ignoring the arrest completely. The less than dynamic duo has instead homed in on the Sunday Mirror having once allegedly paid a Police officer £50 for information.

Somehow they have failed to realise that this is the kind of act admitted to by Rebekah Brooks back in 2009, but no doubt it helps them to believe they’re getting revenge for the rotten lefties taking out the Screws. Love the headline, chaps – keep your noses clean and Paul Dacre might give you a job]

[UPDATE: the man the Murdoch Wall Street Journal alleged paid the £50 bribe, and who was not asked to comment prior to the publication of the article, has now vehemently denied the accusation. One to watch, especially if he takes out a lawsuit against the WSJ. My thanks to the commenter who left the link - much appreciated]

1 comment:

Tom Powdrill said...


Great blog. You might want to note that the bloke the WSJ accused of bribing the police has now flat-out denied it.

"Mr. Luckett, who is now a crisis manager for the public-relations firm Hill & Knowlton in London, didn’t respond to requests for comment prior to publication of this article. After it was published, he said, “I can state categorically that during my time as a journalist I have never ever paid a police officer for a story. At the time of the trial I was not prepared to disclose my source but can confirm categorically that it was not someone within the police service."