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Judge in Mirror hacking trial says he will consider the ‘reliability’ of a journalist helping Harry | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


  • Mr Justice Fancourt will carefully consider the ‘reliability’ of Graham Johnson
  • Johnson is said to have been paying potential witnesses in the hacking trial 

A Judge in the Mirror hacking trial brought by Prince Harry and three other claimants said today he will carefully consider the reliability of a journalist who has been paying potential witnesses.

Mr Justice Fancourt described Graham Johnson’s role in the case working for the claimants’ lawyers as ‘certainly unusual’.

Mr Johnson, a convicted phone hacker and ‘self-confessed professional liar’, offered thousands of pounds to private investigators who did work for newspapers. 

The Mirror’s KC, Andrew Green, said today it was ‘truly extraordinary’ that he had tried to persuade the investigators to give evidence in court by ‘forking out supposedly very substantial amounts of his own money’.

The judge said: ‘I shall need to make some findings about the reliability of a number of witnesses. Mr Johnson is an important witness and his position is certainly unusual, as an investigative journalist and a witness as well as assisting the claimants. I will need to consider his case in particular detail.’

A Judge in the Mirror hacking trial brought by Prince Harry (pictured) and three other claimants said today he will carefully consider the reliability of a journalist who has been paying potential witnesses
Mr Justice Fancourt described Graham Johnson’s (pictured) role in the case working for the claimants’ lawyers as ‘certainly unusual’

Mr Johnson, 55, gave evidence at the start of the seven-week trial at the High Court. He said he was now a whistleblower who wanted to expose Fleet Street crimes, partly through his memoir.

No one was directly paid to give evidence, the court has heard, and the Mirror’s KC has said there was ‘nothing ostensibly improper’ about the payments – but he urged the judge to consider the reliability of evidence.

Mr Johnson said the cash came from his own pocket and he was definitely not funded by Hacked Off, the anti-Press campaign group spearheaded by Hugh Grant. 

He explained he was buying potential witness material because he was an investigative journalist exposing press corruption.

The Mirror denies hacking Harry and the others. The case is due to end tomorrow, with the judge making a ruling later this year.

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