Judge in Phone Hacking Case Smacks Down Cameron’s Apology


Yesterday we posted on Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to distance himself from former comms director Andy Coulson after a court convicted the latter of conspiring to hack into the cell phone of a dead teenager.

Today, the judge in the case responded with what we would call a big rebuke or, more accurately, a rhetorical smack in the face. The judge didn’t just call the apology a bad idea; he said it “could have led to the collapse of the rest of the trial.

How so?

Well, at the time Cameron rushed to make his statement, jurors were still considering the charges. From Mr. Justice Saunders (not his birth name):

“[Cameron] has now told the public and therefore the jury that he was given assurances by Mr Coulson before he employed him which turned out to be untrue. The jury were not aware of that before and it is a matter which is capable of affecting Mr Coulson’s credibility in their eyes.”

The judge said he didn’t want to single Cameron out, but this morning he rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case due to all the chatter coming from pretty much every politician and media outlet in the UK. This Telegraph headline explains the lesson learned in the simplest way possible (exclamation point ours):

“Do not comment on [any pending] trial until all the verdicts are in!”