Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Officer 'stupid' to give News of the World information

A senior officer at Scotland Yard made an "extremely stupid" decision to give the News of the World information about a new police inquiry into phone hacking, her lawyer admitted yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was reacting in an "angry and emotional way" to resources being removed from the fight against terrorism when she contacted Rupert Murdoch's tabloid in September 2010, Patrick Gibbs QC said.

Appealing to a jury not to convict the officer, who ran the Metropolitan Police's financial investigation unit into terrorism, Mr Gibbs said that she had been acting in the public interest when she passed on information about Operation Varec.

A NOTW journalist's note of the eight-minute call stated that DCI Casburn had been seeking to "sell" information about the hacking inquiry to the paper, whose former journalists were the principal suspects. She has described the claim as "ludicrous" and denies misconduct in public office.

The jury will begin considering its verdict today.

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