Friday, July 22, 2011

All Fluff?

I’ve never heard of such an idea. Is he saying what I think he’s saying?

The fears in Downing Street came as Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, hit back at a suggestion by former attorney general Lord Goldsmith that he had questions to answer over the failure to widen the phone hacking inquiry in 2006. Macdonald said: "What you can't do in a case is have 100, 200 or 300 counts on the indictment. The judge just wouldn't stand for it. What you do – and this is conventional charging strategy – is you put sample counts on.

"So Clive Goodman [former NoW royal editor] and Glenn Mulcaire [private investigator hired by the NoW] were charged. What the prosecutor [Carmen Dowd] did was select four victims and each one was representative of a sub-group. So you had one member of the royal family, one celebrity, one sportsman, one actress. That count was representative of all the other stuff. These are called sample counts."

UK Guardian

That’s pretty convenient for the perpetrator of the crime then, isn’t it? It’s your lucky day…there’s only room on this indictment for four counts.

After reading this oh-so-British article (really, you should read it just for the fun of the prose), I'm thinking James Murdoch isn't sweating about having lied to the committee.

Imprisonment or a substantial fine could theoretically be imposed as a punishment by parliament on anyone who told lies in evidence to a select committee. Misleading MPs, or refusing to answer a summons to appear at a session, would be a "contempt of the House" and referred to the committee on standards and privileges. Any offender would be summoned to the bar of the Commons.


The last time the Commons attempted to reprimand anyone at the bar of the house was in 1957 when the Sunday Express editor John Junor was criticised after offending MPs by publishing an editorial accusing them of abusing their petrol allowances. "Such a sanction would now appear high-handed," a recent standard and privileges committee report acknowledged.


.It is extraordinarily rare, however, for witnesses to be asked to swear in advance that what they are about to say was "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".


The last time the House of Commons imprisoned someone who was not an MP, except overnight in the custody of the Serjeant at Arms for disorderly conduct in the galleries, was as long ago as 1880 (for failing to attend as a witness).

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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