David Sherborne is questioning ex-MGN lawyer Marcus Partington about the arrest of former Sunday Mirror journalist Doug Kempster in 1999 by police who were monitoring the activity of private investigator Jonathan Rees.
Mr Partington wrote a letter to a detective inspector within the Met Police following Mr Kempster’s arrest, and after police had visited MGN’s offices.
In the letter, he said he had carried out investigations into the matter and found no evidence of payments from the journalist or the paper to Southern Investigations – Mr Rees’ agency – or Mr Rees himself.
In his witness statement, Mr Partington said he had “no recollection of this meeting or writing the letter, which took place over 23 years ago”.
“Is that really your evidence, you say you have no recollection of police attending the office and arresting one of MGN’s journalists?” Mr Sherborne asks.
“They didn’t come to the office to arrest… they turned up unannounced and said they’d like to meet somebody,” Mr Partington responds.
Questioned about why his memory of the event had “suddenly come back”, the former in-house MGN lawyer says his memory is based on reading the first two sentences of the letter and what he has heard in evidence during the trial.