Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Murdoch Is Served (74)

[Update at end of post]

What did I tell you? In March, there were six arrests in connection with Operation Weeting, on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. One of these was the News International head of security – still, as far as is known, in post – and two of the others were Rebekah and Charlie Brooks. My take on the arrests, made without notice, was that we should “look for charges to follow in short order”.

The news from the CPS is rapturously received

And so it came to pass: the former editor of both the Screws and the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, together with her husband, has this morning been duly charged. If convicted, they could be looking at a handful in the clinky of Her Majesty’s choice. So what may lie at the heart of this action? Ah well. That is, partly, in the update to my post from March 13.

Two areas are the most likely to form the case against the Brooks. One is the “laptop in a bin” incident, where Charlie Brooks was very keen to recover a device found near the couple’s London apartment, only for the Met to get to it first, and then unlock the hard drive. One of Charlie’s two counts of perverting the course of justice looks like being over his attempt to stop the Police doing their duty.

Maybe not so winning this time

As for his twinkle-toed yet domestically combative spouse, there is the matter of seven containers of alleged evidence from the Murdoch headquarters at Wapping, which may have been on its way to be destroyed or otherwise covered up. And on top of that is the possibility of email deletion – or failed attempts thereat. So that’s two of her counts, for starters.

So one might have thought that Rebekah and Charlie would be more than likely to keep schtum after being charged, having seen the potential evidence ranged against them. But that thought would be misplaced: they were out of the traps even faster than the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to denounce the latter for making a “weak and unjust decision”.

And the duo doubled down by accusing the CPS of “Unprecedented posturing”, which means, er, precisely nothing. The statements will have no effect on the CPS, and are merely for media consumption – most likely finding favour with Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Sun. The Brooks say there will be more after they visit their chosen Police station, but they might as well not bother.

After all, the CPS’ Queen’s Counsel (QC) has stated that “There is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction”. Naturally, Rebekah and Charlie are innocent until proven guilty – something the Sun and Screws often failed to dwell upon – but they could be looking at a bit of the old custodial in the comfortable surroundings of Holloway, or down the Scrubs.

And accusations of “posturing” will cut no ice with those particular screws.

[UPDATE 16 May 0930 hours: sure enough, today the Sun has published an account of the Brooks' arrest suitably slanted towards their former editor. "Scapegoat fury as Rebekah Brooks charged" screams the headline, with "Ex-Sun boss hits out" just for good measure.

The piece includes the CPS' QC's statement at the very end - just one line. Much of the rest is given over to quoting Rebekah and Charlie - more or less in full. As I predicted yesterday, those rebuttals have indeed found favour with Rupe's downmarket troops. Doubtless it's no more than a coincidence]


SteelMagnolia said...


The best is yet to come , the McCanns and Brooks have been running for the last five years the biggest missing person fraud the world has ever seen.

I understand you will not publish the post but I can promise you this, by December 2012 it will be proven with or without Leveson.

Tim Fenton said...

The opinions expressed by commenters are not necessarily endosed by me. I may not agree at all with the sentiments expressed. But I may also be more than happy to report what happens - or not - by December 2012.

Tony said...

The internet is an absolutely fantastic way of discovering new ideas and opinions.

Sadly, on its outer margins, you also get conspiracy nuts pedalling cruel lies about people who have suffered terribly (i.e. McCanns in this instance).

There but for the Grace of God etc...

(Obvs this is a reference to the first comment and not the blog itself. V much enjoy reading Tim even if don't always agree).