There’s a striking similarity between the strange behaviour of Gardai, in three cases in which were just forgotten, or in which no serious inquiries were commenced and the behaviour of John Yates, who in 2009 dismissed within eight hours the suggestion that there were any further evidence of wrong doing in the case of the News of the World:
Yates was asked by the commissioner to “establish the facts”. It is clear that he failed to do so. On Tuesday, he conceded that he had spent only eight hours doing so; that he had not spoken to Andy Hayman, the former assistant commissioner who oversaw the original inquiry; nor to Peter Clarke, the former deputy assistant commissioner who ran it; nor had he taken any legal advice; nor had he examined the contents of the material seized from the News of the World’s investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, in August 2006. This is now known to include 11,000 pages of Mulcaire’s hand-written notes, computer records and tape recordings of intercepted messages.
Yates’ statement itself appears to be misleading. If he had not established the facts, he was in no position to judge whether or not the inquiry should be reopened, nor to make public any conclusion about the number of people who had been victims.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty