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Friday 9 March 2012

Leveson Is Served (14)


Given what we now know about the relationship between the Fourth Estate and the Metropolitan Police, and the revelations over the Damian Green affair, next week’s list of attendees before the Leveson Inquiry is looking ever more tasty at each scanning. There are some names listed whose owners may be wondering if they could possibly arrange to be elsewhere.

One of those is kicking off proceedings on Monday morning: Cressida Dick supervised the Keystone-Cops-With-Uzis farce which wrongly identified an electrician as a wanted terrorist and ended up with Jean Charles de Menezes deliberately terminated in full view of several traumatised Tube passengers. This resounding success led to her subsequent promotion.

But she is a mere warm-up act for the following day, when Dick Fedorcio, the Met’s Director of Communications, will be explaining a variety of dubious behaviour: he was, after all, at the Guardian back in 2009 urging editor Alan Rusbridger to drop the enquiries by Nick Davies that were slowly but surely unearthing Phonehackgate. He was close to the Screws, and instrumental to hiring Neil “Wolfman” Wallis.

Moreover, Fedorcio was also there when Rebekah Wade (as was) was confronted over the surveillance on DCI Cook and his wife Jacqui Hames by the Screws, when Cook was working on the Daniel Morgan murder case. Also close to the Screws was suspect Jonathan Rees, and the action of the Murdoch hacks could well have been interpreted as an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

But, following Bob Quick’s testimony this week, the focus is bound to be on Thursday afternoon, when Stephen Wright of the Daily Mail will appear. Wright is now implicated in the Damian Green business, where the Mail went after Quick and forced the then head of counter-terrorism to briefly leave his own home after details were splashed by the paper.

On top of that, the Mail smeared Quick by suggesting he had been using the services of uniformed Police officers for his wife’s wedding car business. Wright had previous for attacking the Met, or at least parts of it, and the thought has occurred to many people that he was used to get at Quick. And, as I pointed out yesterday, the Tory Party is also bound up in the case.

Both Fedorcio and Wright have questions to answer here. I expect one or both of them to have difficulty being totally candid with Leveson and his team. And also in the mix on the same day as Wright is the man from the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, who is already familiar with law and order matters, having been arrested at the end of January as part of Operation Elveden. All warming up nicely, then.

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