Prison staff payment probe

Two prison officers at separate high security jails allegedly took payments of thousands of pounds from journalists, the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told the Leveson Inquiry today.

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Sue Akers outlines arrests as a result of the press standards inquiry

The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers gave information to the Leveson inquiry on the number of arrests made by police in connection to the phone hacking scandal:

  • 15 current and former journalists have been arrested under Operation Weeting, the Met's probe into alleged phone hacking.
  • 12 of those are on bail.
  • Six people, including former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie, have been charged.
  • Forty one people have been arrested under Operation Elveden, the investigation into alleged corrupt payments to officials.
  • 23 of those are former or current journalists.
  • Four are police officers.
  • Nine are current or former public officials.
  • Five allegedly acted as go-betweens.
  • Seven arrests have been made as part of Operation Tuleta, which is looking at allegations of computer hacking and privacy infringement.

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Leveson: "There was no cosying up"

Neil Graham QC gave the closing comments to today's Leveson inquiry

After the Met's Sue Akers, the inquiry heard closing submissions from Neil Garnham QC for the Metropolitan Police Service.

He said that there was no inappropriate "cosiness" or corrupt relationships between journalists and the police.

"We frankly admit that there have been incidents which led to a plain perception of cosiness between particular senior MPS officers and particular journalists.

"There was no relationship between senior officers and journalists that was in fact corrupt. There was no cosiness or inappropriately close relationship that in fact tainted police decision making."

But Mr Garnham admitted that the decisions not to re-open the phone hacking investigation in 2009 and 2010 were taken too hastily.

Leveson: Two prison officers allegedly "accepted nearly £50,000"

Giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers alleged two prison officers at two separate high security prisons took payments from journalists.

The first official is accused of receiving payments from Trinity Mirror, News International and Express Newspapers between April 2010 and June 2011, totalling nearly £35,000.

Another prison officer at a different high security prison allegedly received payments from Trinity Mirror between February 2006 and January 2012, totalling more than £14,000, the inquiry heard.

Leveson Inquiry: Alleged payment to prison officers produced nothing in public interest

The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers has told The Leveson inquiry that alleged corrupt payments made to two prison officers by journalists didn't produce anything in the public interest.

She told the inquiry that detectives had analysed stories potentially linked to payments to two prison officers at separate high security prisons:

It's our assessment that there are reasonable grounds to suspect offences have been committed and that the majority of these stories reveal very limited material of genuine public interest.

Final week of witness reports in the Leveson inquiry kicks off with Sue Akers

Sue Akers speaking to the Leveson inquiry today

In a final week of witness hearings at the Leveson inquiry, Sue Akers, the officer in charge of investigations into alleged phone hacking and corruption of public officials has stepped up to the witness box.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers says that the Metropolitan police believes another prison officer has received £14,000 in payments from Trinity Mirror and that her force have seen articles in the Daily Mirror which it believes relate to these payments.

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Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers due at Leveson

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is leading the Metropolitan Police investigations related to phone hacking, is set to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry today.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers will give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers will give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Credit: Press Association.

The inquiry will also hear closing submissions from the Metropolitan Police, the Telegraph Media Group and Associated Newspapers at the Royal Courts of Justice.