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Met police drop the action against the guardian of the sources of hacking

Posted by VdoCity Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Metropolitan Police said the reporter Amelia Hill, could have "incited" a source of breaking the Official Secrets Act. Photograph: Katherine Rose 'The Guardian'

The Metropolitan Police has abandoned its attempt to force the Guardian to reveal their confidential sources of stories about the phone-hacking scandal.

Scotland Yard wanted a court order to force the Guardian reporters to reveal their sources confidential items reveal that the phone Milly Dowler murder of teenager was hacked on behalf of the News of the World. They argued that the role of the journalist Amelia Hill, could have "incited" a source of breaking the Official Secrets Act.

A police spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police Directorate of Professional Standards Service consulted the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the alleged leak of information by a police officer Weeting operation.

"The prosecution has asked today to provide more information to their lawyers and for the appropriate time to consider the matter.

"In addition, the MPS has taken up the legal opinion this afternoon and, consequently, has decided not to pursue at this time, the request for production orders scheduled hearing on Friday September 23. We agree with the CPS that we will work together with them to consider next steps. "

The Met's attempt to identify possible leaks of police was widely condemned.

The statement issued by the Met to announce his retirement left open the possibility that the order could be applied to production again, but a senior source Patio said. "It's on the agenda will be a hard thought this was a decision taken. Good faith but without recognition of the wider consequences.

"Obviously, the last thing we want to do is go into a big fight with the media. Do not want to interfere with journalists.

"In hindsight, the view is that certain things that should have been done, not done, and that is regrettable."

The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, said: "with great satisfaction the decision of the Met to withdraw this order reckless threat to journalists with the Official Secrets Act claim was a new device to circumvent the protection of confidential journalistic sources. .

"We have fought this assault on journalism in the public interest until the end. We are delighted that common sense has prevailed."

The Met production orders requested as part of Operation Weeting, his research on telephone hacking.

An officer working in the operation was arrested last month on suspicion of misconduct in public office on the unauthorized disclosure of information. He has been suspended from the force and is free on bail.

Scotland Yard said the investigation into the alleged leak was ongoing, and stressed its investigation was "to establish whether a police officer has leaked the information, and collection of evidence that proves or disproves that."

The Met said: "Despite recent media reports, there was no intention to attack journalists or ignore obligations of journalists to protect sources.

"It is unacceptable for police officers to disclose information about any investigation, let alone one as sensitive and Weeting high-profile operation."

The force said the request for production orders have been made under the Law on Police and Criminal Evidence in place of the Official Secrets Act.

Highlands Scotland Yard sources said the force "regretted" the attempt to get the guard to hand over notes and reveal their sources.

The picture painted by the Metropolitan Police is relatively young officer made the decision without consulting his superiors, triggering a calamitous chain of events that force was roundly condemned for attempted assault on press freedom.

The sources said senior research officer (SIO), investigating the information if a team member had leaked Weeting, had itself made the decision to seek the order of production.

The senior source said that even the Deputy Commissioner Mark Simmons had not been informed of the decision beforehand. Simmons is head of the professional issues of Scotland Yard and is seen as a rising star within the force.

The senior source said: "There was a lot of people happy in our house this weekend because it was a decision taken by the SIO There was no reference above, and have thought of something as sensitive as this would not. Been ".

The Met's decision to end his attempt to get to The Guardian to hand over notes and reveal their sources, the source said, came after the force eventually consulted the CPS and consult again with their own lawyers.

Simmons and force the incoming commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has been discussing the issue, as the chorus of criticism rose, but the source said the commissioner had left Simmons to make the decision, and that there was no instruction or directive .

The Met stressed that Hogan-Howe, even though the deputy commissioner to be responsible for professional standards, who was not involved in the initial decision to seek a production order, and that Simmons had made the decision after the storm of criticism to review the implementation of the WIS.


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