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'Police chief's comments may threaten News International journalists' corruption trial'

London, Fri, 09 Mar 2012 ANI

London, Mar 9(ANI): Former News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks' lawyer has expressed doubt whether she would receive a fair trial after a "spectacular failure" allowed a senior police officer to give evidence about corruption allegations at the firm.


"There is no excuse for the spectacular failure that occurred last week. Normally our system protects those who are suspects in criminal investigations reasonably well ... It restricts the circulation of facts, comment and speculation about their guilt or innocent," The Telegraph quoted Parkinson, as saying.


"Last week, that did not happen - and it has not happened for much of the last seven months. Witnesses have been summoned before both parliamentary committees and the Leveson Inquiry. As a result, much prejudicial material has come into the public domain," he added.


Stephen Parkinson said that a police officer, Akers' comments could threaten journalists' rights, who have been arrested in the ongoing probe.


Akers had claimed that there was a "culture of illegal payments" at The Sun newspaper and added that the newspaper paid a "network of corrupt officials" for stories.


Parkinson also slammed the Leveson Inquiry for allowing Paul McMullan to accuse Brooks of being the "criminal in chief".


"This was received uncritically. Mrs Brooks had been denied permission to be a core participant in the inquiry, so no one was there on her behalf to challenge the evidence," he added.


Brooks is among 17 News International journalists arrested in Operation Elveden, the Scotland Yard probe into allegations of corrupt payments from journalists to police officers. (ANI)


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