Sounds like Leveson was rolling with the punches today:
Former Times legal chief Alastair Brett today admitted he made a “mistake” by failing to divulge the fact one of the paper's reporters hacked into an email account to reveal the identity of anonymous police blogger NightJack.http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp ... =48955&c=1
Earlier this year it emerged that former Times reporter Patrick Foster hacked the emails of Lancashire police detective Richard Horton to reveal he was the man behind the award-winning blog.
The paper controversially revealed his identity in June 2009 after it successfully overturned a privacy injunction at the High Court – but in its submission to court it claimed Foster deduced Horton's identity using only publicly available information.
At no point did it acknowlege the fact Foster had in fact first discovered Horton’s identity through hacking into his email.
The inquiry heard today that in the days approaching the injunction hearing of June 2009, Brett received a question from Horton's lawyers suggesting that Foster had hacked their client's email. Brett replied that this was a "baseless allegation". He said today: "Baseless was not the best word to use."
He said he had initially believed Foster may have had a public interest defence under the Data Protection Act for hacking the email account, but said that he had not been aware at the time of the Computer Misuse Act, which has no public interest defence.
How can a legal chief for a top national newspaper not know this piece of legislation?! It's baffling.
Some choice tweets from David Allen Green:
So Brett and others didn't even tell their QC re email hacking. So Times misled court, own lawyer and #NightJack's lawyers. #Leveson
Agreed. RT @HungryHatter: @JackofKent I don't think I've ever seen Lord Leveson this angry before. He's furious with Brett.
My general theory re hacking: generation of newspaper lawyers knew libel/contempt law, but not technology law such as CMA and RIPA. #Leveson