Kate McCann's diary... modern day plague, capable of extreme violation and mental rape - but only in the English language it would seem. The diary entries previously made the front pages in Portugal, without so much as a whimper from the McCanns.
So where did the diary come from and who did or didn't give permission for its extracts to be printed in the News of the World. Despite the newspaper sitting on the story for some time, Mr and Mrs McCann and their spokesman deny all knowledge of it's then impending print. The main players at the News of the World maintain every authorisation was given to go to print, and that emails and transcribed phone calls exist giving permission.
The important job of tracking down, translating and forming a story on the diary was given to intrepid reporter Daniel Sanderson, in his own words... the most junior reporter on the paper. He was originally unaware of the ultimate source although when repeatedly pressed by Counsel, contradicted himself and said it could have come from the Portuguese police. He was reassured that the story would not run without the green light and express permission from the McCanns.
Former Legal Affairs Manager for News International, Tom Crone played some part in clearing it up afterwards, his understanding was that the representative of the McCanns had given permission to the head of the news desk to run the diaries. Mr Crone claims there are supporting emails.
Former News of the World editor, Colin Myler is adamant that the paper had permission to print from Clarence Mitchell (the man paid to speak on behalf of the McCanns). During his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry, he stressed over and over that Mr Mitchell had given his utmost assurance that permission was granted.
...it was absolutely clear from the Friday to the Saturday that that assurance had been given to him (Ian Edmondson) and given again to me.
Because I was given an absolute categoric assurance that Clarence knew what we were doing. Ian Edmondson was probably at that stage almost in daily contact with Mr Mitchell. What conversations had taken place, I don't know. But I know that they had a very close relationship and a very close working professional relationship.
...Ian Edmondson had assured me on more than one occasion that Clarence was aware of what we were intending to do and had said, "Good". I think it was very clear from Mr Edmondson's point of view how he'd spelt out what he was doing,
Mr Edmondson, given the number of times I asked him for the assurance to make sure that there was absolute clarity and understanding, had no view that there was anything ambiguous in what we were going to do.
Daily contact... very close relationship?... Mr Myler and the McCanns also had a very close relationship. Until Mr McCann accused Mr Myler of being irate and berating him on the telephone, that is. Something which disappointed Mr Myler to hear and which he categorically denies.
A 4-page transcription of a phone call between Mr Edmondson and Mr Mitchell was submitted to the inquiry. Mr Mitchell last night issued a denial and described the phone call as brief...
At no point in the one brief call that I received from Ian Edmondson on the Friday evening before publication did he spell out categorically that he had purchased a version of Kate’s diary that had been leaked by the Portuguese police and that they were planning to publish it in as big a way as they subsequently did.
Brief = 4 pages? Perhaps the caller forgot to hang up and all that was transcribed was background noise. Or the dialling tone. Ding dong. Interesting that Mr Mitchell contradicts himself by saying that he had no knowledge of the purchase of the diary, yet he was also unaware they were planning to publish it in as big a way as they subsequently did... Were the News of the World planning to simply translate the original Portuguese press reports? If so, where did the other extracts come from?
The jungle drums are already beating on McCann supporter sites, thanks to Counsel to Inquiry, Robert Jay QC's persistent references yesterday to the diary's original source as being the Portuguese police.
Did Mr Edmondson tell you clearly that he had told Mr Mitchell that a copy of the diary had been obtained via the Portuguese police...
I think it was a woman journalist, but it's not going to matter. Made clear to you that the Portuguese police had translated the diary and therefore they remained in Portuguese.
Were you concerned by the fact that the diary had been obtained from the police in some way?
But were you aware of some of the background which comprised this: that the police had obtained the diary, having seized it from Dr Kate McCann, and then there was an order by the Portuguese judge for the diary to be returned, but I think a copy by then had been taken?
But it was clear to you that the ultimate source -- the proximate source was the journalist, but the ultimate source was the Portuguese police. That much was clear, wasn't it?
While the proximate source is brushed over, the ultimate source has been named over and over as fact. A very serious allegation to make and something which is against the law in Portugal. Was Mr Jay so sure of his facts today when he questioned Mr Sanderson's thoughts on whether the McCanns put the diary out in some way themselves? A very pertinent question which should be explored further.
The Portuguese speculation has in turn led to the usual suspect, Goncalo Amaral to be named, shamed and put in the line of fire by supporters of the McCanns. Smeared yet again, and tied up with a pretty ribbon ready for the libel trial in February?
[Unlike some, I don't find it easy to lie, neither would I write something which I deliberately knew to be untrue. Thanks to an excessive amount of muppet froth directed at me, I've been alerted an error on my part and have removed the said error. My mistake gov, it's a fair cop... I would like to thank the said muppet for alerting me on this matter, although for speed of correction, it would have been helpful if a comment had been left instead of just whining with Kermit and co. Thankfully, I never blogged under oath...]
Another claim from Muppetland is if Clarence Mitchell really did know about the diaries being printed, then the News of the World could have cut out the middleman and headed straight to Kate McCann for an original copy of the diary. The only problem with this theory is the price - the diary most certainly wouldn't have been available at the Portuguese snippet price of £20,000. We have some seriously deluded muppets prancing about, tread carefully. Side splitting stuff yet again, they really should go back to knitting.
Mr Jay asked...
The newspaper was very supportive of the McCanns, and you wouldn't adopt the stance that other national newspapers had taken by printing malicious stories which had no foundation and emanated largely from the Portuguese press. So that was your position.
Isn't that what the News of the World did, took old news from the Portuguese press and regurgitated it to the gullible British public? The diary could be described as a British 'exclusive', but the NOTW were really just paying a cut price for old, already printed news.
A week after print and nipping at their ankles, there followed the swiftest of negotiations between the News of the World and Mr Thomson from Carter Ruck. An apology was given and the McCanns' palms were oiled, with a substantial amount of dosh being paid into their private company, the Madeleline Fund.
All done and dusted within the week. The way things are looking, the Team could well be commended for pulling a blinder on Murdoch... good play.
And the question remains... who lied under oath?