"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!!!
20 Jul 2011
REBEKAH I WAS THE BOSS BUT IT WAS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY
Rebekah Brooks: phone-hacking payments were not my responsibility
Former News International chief says News of the World's managing editor approved payments to private detectives
Rebekah Brooks gives evidence to MPs on phone hacking. Photograph: PA
19 JULY 2011 I DID NOT PAY POLICE 2003 I DID PAY POLICE I CALL THIS THE MCCANN TYPE CONTRADICTIONS OR A LIAR IN ACTION - SHE EVEN DOES A GERRY FACE SCRATCH AS CALCULATING COULSON JUMPS IN TO COVER HER OBVIOUS FAUX PAS WE PAY POLICE WITHIN THE LAW ERM WHAT? GIVE HIM A JOB DAVE!
The former News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, has deflected MPs' questions about the News of the World's payments to private investigators, saying they were the responsibility of the paper's managing editor.
Brooks admitted using private investigators during her time as editor of the now-defunct tabloid, which she edited between 2000 and 2003, but said it was for "purely legitimate" purposes, such as finding out the whereabouts of convicted paedophiles.
But she said she had never heard of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective formerly paid by the News of the World to hack into people's mobile phones, saying the first time she had heard his name was in 2006 when he was arrested for this activity.
"The News of the World employed private detectives like most papers in Fleet Street," said Brooks, appearing before MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee to answer questions about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Asked if she had approved payments for the controversial use of private detectives, Brooks said: "That's not how it works."
Brooks explained that at News International "the editor's job is to acquire an overall budget from management" and then give this to the managing editor, who allocates it to a paper's department heads.
"Final payments are authorised by the managing editor, unless there is a particularly big item, a set of photographs or something that needs to be discussed on a wider level," she said.
Asked if she had ever discussed individual to payments to private investigators with Stuart Kuttner, the former News of the World managing editor who left the paper in 2009, said: "Payments to private investigators would have gone through the managing editor's office. I can't remember if we ever discussed individual payments."
Brooks, who did not specifically name Kuttner in her evidence today, said she had never met or authorised payments to Mulcaire.
"I didn't know Glenn Mulcaire was one of the detectives that was used by the News of the World, no. I had never heard the name until 2006, I did not know he was on the payroll. There were other private investigators I did know about, he was not one of them."
Brooks, who resigned from News International on Friday and was arrested and questioned by police for several hours on Sunday, admitted News International's internal investigation had been too slow and described the hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone as "abhorrent".
"The idea that Milly Dowler's phone was accessed by someone being paid for by the News of the World, or worse being authorised by someone at the News of the World, is as abhorrent to me as it is to everyone else," she said.
"Straight after my comment about payment to police it was in fact clarified [by News International]," Brooks said. "I clarified it again to the home affairs committee at the end of March. I can say I have never paid a policeman myself, I have never knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer."
She added: "In my experience of dealing with the police, the information they give to newspapers comes free of charge."
Brooks denied that she was too close to the prime minister, David Cameron, and said she had not recommended Andy Coulson to be his director of communications. "I have never been horse riding with the prime minister, I don't know what that story came from," she said.
"The truth is that he is a neighbour and a friend but I deem the relationship to be wholly appropriate and at no time have I had any conversation with the prime minister that you in the room would disapprove of," she told MPs.
Asked if she had recommended Coulson to be Cameron's communications chief, Brooks said: "The idea came from [chancellor of the exchequer] George Osborne."
Brooks added that the first she had heard that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked for a News of the World story was two weeks ago, when the Guardian broke the story.
"The important thing is we get to the truth ... as quickly as possible. Those who were culpable of that should face not just opprobrium but also the correct justice of the legal system."
She said at the time of the publication of the original story in 2002 – she added that it had run in a single column on page 9 – a number of checks would have been made by the paper's lawyers, the news editor and the night editor where the information had come from.
"I would tell you now that it would not have been the case that someone said 'that came from illegal voicemail interception'," Brooks added.
"It seems now that it is inconceivable that people didn't know this was the case but at the time it wasn't a practice that was condoned or sanctioned at the News of the World under my editorship."