"We can't even make a consistent prognosis of her fate, including... whether she is alive or dead."
UPDATE JANUARY 2010 THE MCCANNS COULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH CHILD KIDNAPPING AND TRAFFICKING (Pt Prosecutor giving evidence in an ongoing case in Portugal where the McCanns are demanding ONE MILLION POUNDS IN DAMAGES FROM THE OFFICER WHO INVESTIGATED THEM!!!
13 Jul 2011
MPs LAUGH AT ASST COMMISSIONER JOHN YATES AND CALL FOR HIS RESIGNATION
My thanks go to "Carmen" on Missing Madeleine for finding these two excellent videos. I hope I have not got you the sack!
Dodgy Geezer Hayman adopts the profile really well here, with all the body language and gestures of a gangland thug, and talks the defensive talk, you know, do you wanna say that again (I dare you) how dare you attack MY integrity, Good God.... erm what integrity Mr Hayman. I have to say you do not sound like a former Deputy Commissioner. You do not sound even like someone who works for The Times, but there again it is hardly an illustrious title under the control and ownership of Murky Murdoch, I never bother with the rag. There are plenty better.
Meanwhile Kay Burleigh refuses, repeatedly to apologise to Chris Bryant for rubbishing his claims about hacking at News International. Instead she proceeds to ask her question, do you think Gordon and Sarah Brown regret their close links with News International over the years. She can hardly wipe the snigger from her mouth as she says it. The Murdoch/right wing conspiracy against him clearly continues, but as Chris demonstrates, she is an intellectual light weight. It is a bit like the repeated attempts of the McScams to insist they did nothing criminal it was the bad man who took Maddie from her bed, he deserves all the blame, yes we know Gerry, but one small problem, was there any evidence of Maddie having been in that bed? I wonder how you looked down on her at 9.05 pm on that cold night on 3 May 2007 and thought to yourself how beautiful she was. I think you about as believable as some of the other goons here. It is easy to get to the top of a profession, you just need to be a smooth talking liar with no morals. Trust me I know, I worked in Probation, the decent officers never wanted to be promoted.
How mean of them, I think he is every bit as convincing as Gerry McCann. Both are just doing their best to bury some bad news. Both seem to like to pray but do not come across as God botherers in the strict sense of the word. In fact Gerry thinks that is family time he can do without.
John Yates evidence on phone hacking mocked by MPs
Scotland Yard chief urged to quit after select committee greets his account of failed initial inquiry with laughter
John Yates was forced to deny he had lied during a previous appearance before the commitee. Photograph: Reuters
MPs investigating the police's response to the hacking affair yesterday derided the evidence of one of Scotland Yard's most senior officers, fuelling calls for his resignation.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who was recalled to appear before the home affairs committee, faced 50 minutes of hostile questions over the force's failings in the initial investigations into allegations of hacking at the News of the World.
Yates's former colleagues Peter Clarke, previously the Met's counter terror chief, and former assistant commisisoner Andy Hayman were also given a tough time by the committee which demanded answers on why the Met had for years failed to identify up to 4,000 victims.
The officers and ex-officers insisted their efforts had been thwarted by the failure of News International (NI) to divulge evidence – with one of them accusing the firm of telling "lies".
Sue Akers, deputy assistant commissioner and head of the current investigation, which began in January this year, revealed to MPs that so far 170 victims and suspected victims had now been contacted by her team working through 3,870 names in evidence including the 11,000 pages of files from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Those files were part of the evidence used in 2007 to convict the News of the World reporter Clive Goodman, and Mulcaire, who had hacked phones for the newspaper.
And yesterday Yates, first to appear before MPs, was under huge pressure to explain why, in July 2009, after the Guardian alleged there were thousands more victims of the illegal practice, he did not order a fresh investigation after being asked to review the case by the Met commissioner.
Yates, once strongly tipped as a future commissioner himself, admitted his examination of the case was limited to talking to the original senior investigating officer – and reviewing legal advice.
He apologised for his "poor" decision saying that given the new evidence from NI showing how widespread hacking and even bribing of police officers for information was, it was clear he had been wrong. Yates was forced to deny he had lied during a previous appearance before the committee and insisted all his evidence had been in "good faith".
"It is a matter of great concern that, for whatever reason, the News of the World appears to have failed to co-operate in the way that we now know they should have with the relevant police inquiries up until January of this year," Yates told the committee.
He told MPs he had not offered his resignation and insisted his role had been small and it would be wrong for him to suffer for the actions of NI.
The Met's commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, responded later by abandoning plans to stay silent over the committee session and issued a statement backing Yates: "We need to give him credit for his courage and humility in acknowledging that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have taken different decisions.
"He currently undertakes one of the most difficult jobs in UK policing, and is doing an outstanding job leading our fight against terrorism. He has my full support and confidence."
But Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson said Yates had to resign. "It is shameful that John Yates found time to have five lunches with the News of the World and News International, but after just a few hours decided there was no additional evidence to justify a further investigation into phone hacking"
The former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown also said Yates, with a reputation as the Yard's troubleshooter, should go: "This is a man employed for judgment and it is plain by his own admission that he has made a very serious error of judgment.
During the hearing, MPs passed notes to the chair containing one-word descriptions of Yates's evidence.
Some MPs wrote "evasive" but when Yates finished, committee chair Keith Vaz MP said he and his colleagues found his testimony "unconvincing" and he could be recalled.
Next in front of MPs was Peter Clarke, who oversaw the first investigation which began in 2005, who admitted that evidence recovered from Mulcaire had not been thoroughly gone through by his detectives. Thus they had failed to identify victims of the NoW hacking including the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose voicemail was accessed after she disappeared. Clarke said NI's size and wealth to afford the best legal advice had been a factor in his investigation, which he said was also hampered by the law.
In his evidence, Clarke accused NI of "lies" over its claims it would co-operate with the first investigation which he said they had tried to thwart.
Clarke said he could not justify the resources that going through the 11,000 pages of files would have taken. In 2006, when Goodman and Mulcaire were arrested, he was overseeing 70 terrorism investigations and said he prioritised resources at operations to stop terrorist attacks.
Asked if he believed whether more than one News of the World journalist had been involved in hacking, Clarke said: "Not only was I suspicious, I was as certain as I could be they had something to hide."
Clarke claimed NI lawyers carefully crafted letters, offering limited cooperation.
Clarke said: "This is a major global organisation with access to the best legal advice, in my view deliberately trying to thwart a police investigation.
"If at any time News International had offered some meaningful co-operation instead of prevarication and what we now know to be lies, we would not be here today."
Former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, in charge of the section that carried out the first flawed investigation, was called a "dodgy geezer" by one MP on the committee. He denied being corrupt, but was criticised for dining with NI executives while officers under his direct command were investigating the company for criminal offences.
Hayman, who left the Met in 2008 and took up a role as a coulmnist for the Times, said: "I was seen by the [Times] editor and deputy editor. I didn't know them from Adam … I can absolutely say that any hint that I am in their back pocket is unfounded." Any dinners were "businesslike" rather than "candle-lit affairs where state secrets were discussed", he said.
News International declined to comment on Clarke's accusations about their conduct. Akers's evidence contained more problems for Yates. He claimed he had asked officers to enter the thousands of documents on an electronic database, but Akers said this had been bungled and her team had had to start again.
Yates said new evidence from NI led to the new inquiry, called Operation Weeting. Akers said this was true, but also that civil actions brought by people who felt let down by the lack of police investigation and who feared they had been hacked, had also been a factor.
Inside Scotland Yard there was anger at the treatment by MPs to senior officers and former officers. Despite Yates insisting he would not quit, he will continue to be under pressure and will likely face significant criticism from the MPs in their final report expected in several months.
And here is Sue Akers, immediately below Yates but in sole charge of "Operation Weeting" into the conduct of the News of the World. She is adopting a broad brush approach which is code for doing a proper job rather than deliberately limiting the remit of the investigation. It must be a tough call for her to have to investigate what her corrupt boss (and former bosses in that post) wanted to cover up.
Thousands of hacking victims yet to be contacted, says Met's Sue Akers
Officer leading latest investigation into phone hacking tells MPs police have contacted only 170 of the 4,000 potential victims
Scotland Yard has notified just 170 of the 4,000 suspected victims ofphone hacking named in Glenn Mulcaire's files, it has emerged.
Sue Akers, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan policein charge of the fresh investigation into phone hacking, Operation Weeting, told a group of MPs that the Met was trying to contact every one of the people named in Mulcaire's notes, but admitted that just 170 had been told so far.
Giving evidence to the home affairs select committee, Akers told MPs she was adopting a "very broad" approach to the inquiry. People who have left messages on hacked phones feel that their privacy has been invaded, as well as those people to whom the messages were directed, she said.
The figure came to light shortly after Andy Hayman, the former senior police officer who oversaw the original investigation into hacking in 2006, told MPs it was "news to me" that his phone had been hacked; and Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who reviewed that investigation in 2009, said he was "99% certain" his own mobile was hacked.
In a tense session, Yates was accused of giving "unconvincing" evidence to the committee of MPs reviewing the police investigation into hacking.
But Yates insisted he had no intention of quitting over the affair, despite admitting that it had been "damaging" to the reputation of the police.
Scotland Yard officers involved in Operation Weeting are examining 11,000 pages of material containing nearly 4,000 names of possible hacking victims. But Yates conceded he had not seen the 11,000 pages and did not know what was in them.
Yates's session began with a warning from Keith Vaz, chair of the committee, that witnesses who give false evidence and "persistently mislead a committee may be considered guilty of contempt of the House of Commons".