My regular reader will recall that I have been worrying away at the Observer involvement in acquiring illegally obtained material and wrote to the readers editor of the paper with a series of questions.
I yesterday received a reply indicating that the readers’ editor is conducting a thorough inquiry into the matter and will be writing a column on this in due course. This will involve consideration of some aspects of the INformation Commissioner’s 2006 publications as it is claimed the Commissioner did not consult any of the papers named (although how this stands alongside the Commissioner’s claim that the papers did not offer a public interest defence – which suggests that some contact was made with someone – or the Commissioner’s statements to Parliament in 2009 are not completely clear to me).
At the moment The Observer has clarified that invoices related to the Observer did not relate to phone hacking (not something that I suggested in my e-mail to them – as I pointed out the INformation Commissioner identified various other mechanisms to obtain this information).
Additionally, the four Observer journalists identified as being involved in the acquisition of the material no longer work for The Observer – but their departure did not relate to Operation Motorman. (although this begs the question whether any disciplinary action was taken while they were at The Observer).
I have been invited to submit any further questions and will do so. My correspondence will appear on this blog.