originally by: The Guardian
published: 12th April 2011
‘From the information I had, that is what I believed happened to me.” So Simon Harwood, the police officer who pushed Ian Tomlinson to the ground at the G20 protests two years ago, told the inquest into his death. The information Harwood had led him to believe two weeks after the event that he fell to the floor, lost his baton, received a blow to the head and was involved in violent and dangerous confrontations.
Last week he admitted that, though he had made these claims in a signed statement, none of it happened. So what was this information? Who gave it to him? Had he been brainwashed?
We have yet to hear John Yates’s explanations for the ever-widening gulf between what he told parliament and what appears to have happened in the News of the World phone-hacking case, but they will doubtless be just as persuasive.
Yates is acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police. He told a parliamentary committee that there was no evidence that MPs’ phones had been hacked; that the Crown Prosecution Service had given the police “unequivocal” advice that the paper had committed an offence only if it picked up messages before its victims did; that the police had contacted everyone targeted by the paper; and that the police had ensured that the phone companies had warned all the suspected victims. It appears none of this is true.
A Scotland Yard briefing paper shows that “a vast number” of people had their phones hacked, including at least eight MPs. The director of public prosecutions has testified that the claims Yates made about CPS advice are false. There are plenty of victims who have not been contacted by the police, and the phone companies say that the police didn’t ask them to contact their customers.