Phone hacking: core participants in full

A raft of celebrities and prominent public figures are among 46 named individuals who will be invited to give evidence at the inquiry into phone hacking.

A raft of celebrities and prominent public figures are among 46 named individuals who will be invited to give evidence at the inquiry into phone hacking.

Lord Justice Leveson, who is leading the inquiry, yesterday (14 September) named 46 individuals  who will be expected to give evidence in the judicial inquiry into phone hacking and media ethics and practices. 

The inquiry, which expected to begin in October and last around 12 months, is being held in two parts; the first will focus on the behaviour of the press in relation to the public, the police and politicians and the second into how the scandal occurred and what can be done to prevent repetition.

Included in the ‘core participants’ of politicians, celebrities, sports stars and members of the public are parents of missing child Madeleine McCann and murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

Also on the list of individuals awarded ‘core representative’ status, which allows those testifying to give evidence personally or via a lawyer and cross-examine witnesses, is author JK Rowling, who has openly criticised the behaviour of the press and, in 2008, represented by Schillings, won a legal  battle, to secure the privacy of her children after  their pictures were published in a Scottish newspaper (see story 7 May 2008).

However, Lord Justice Leveson made it clear that he would not allow lawyers representing victims of the News of the World or national newspapers to dominate proceedings.

Others on the list include model Abi Titmuss, Christopher Jefferies who was arrested on suspicion of murdering Joanna Yates in December and subsequently successfully sued several newspapers for libel, Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and racing boss Max Mosley. MPs Chris Bryant, Tessa Jowell, Denis MacShane. Simon Hughes and former Labour deputy leader Lord Prescott also feature.

Jude Law, who is currently suing News International owned the Sun over phone hacking and is represented by Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC, was not among those listed but is expected to contribute to the inquiry

Lord Justice Leveson ruled that all 46 victims of phone hacking or press intrusion would be represented by a single barrister.

Claimants represented by barrister David Sherborne of 5RB, who is representing BLP litigation partner Graham Shear  (see story 26 July) and Hogarth Chambers’ Jeremy Reed were all accepted as core participants, except for individual ‘HJK’ (who was granted anonymity in a High Court civil claim.)

Leveson said he was not prepared to give core participants status to those who could not be named.

Former chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks, private investigator Jonathan Rees (William Rees), and campaigning groups English PEN and Index on Censorship were all refused core participant status for Part 1 of the inquiry.

About Mrs Brooks, Lord Justice Leveson wrote: “Although I can understand the reason for this application, in my judgment, it does not pay sufficient attention to the terms of Part I of the Inquiry which is to analyse the way forward in the light of the broad experience (not descending into the detail required by Part 2 of the Inquiry) of the past.

“Mrs Brooks has very considerable knowledge and experience; I hope and believe that her input into the Inquiry will be of enormous value but, at this stage and in the context of what I am presently required to do, I do not consider that it is necessary or appropriate to designate her as a core participant.”

The Metropolitan Police Service and Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin have also been named as core participants and will be assisting the inquiry.

News International, the owner of the now defunct News of the World, the paper at the centre of the scandal and the Sunday Times and The Sun, also owned by Murdoch’s News International has been given core participant status as has Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers and Northern & Shell, owner of the Daily Express, the Sunday Express and the Daily Star. Also included is Guardian News & Media, the owner of the Guardian.

Read Lord Justice Leveson’s ruling in full here: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/news/outcome-of-core-participant-applications/