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February 15 - 21 2012
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Shame on us Celebrity supporters of Gary McKinnon attack extradition laws
What does India want? Why the sending of aid to the subcontinent does us no favours
Riding the storm British film-makers are doing swimmingly at the Sundance festival
The proof of greatness A new show has the largest ever selection of Lucian Freud’s work
13 7 16 31 36 44 1 23 24 31 45 49
Bonus Ball 26
Bonus Ball 6
There was one winner of Saturday’s £4.5m jackpot & three winners of Wednesday’s £7.1m prize
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David Barrett and Robert Mendick RUPERT MURDOCH was due to fly into London this week for a crisis meeting over the future of The Sun following the arrests of five senior journalists on the newspaper.
The journalists, including The Sun’s deputy editor, were detained at dawn as part of the Metropolitan Police investigation into corruption of public officials.
A serving officer with the Armed Forces and his wife, who is a Ministry of Defence official, were also arrested in Wiltshire.
Their arrest significantly widens the police inquiry launched following phone hacking revelations at The Sun’s now-defunct sister title, the News of the World.
There was speculation that The Sun may also be closed down or that Mr Murdoch might choose to sell it.
But last Saturday night, News International’s chief executive said he had been personally assured of Mr Murdoch’s “total commitment” to a newspaper that he is said to cherish above all others in his empire. Tom Mockridge said in a memo to staff: “You should know that I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper.”
News Corporation, News International’s parent firm,
said it was committed to stamping out “unacceptable news-gathering practices by individuals carried out in the past”.
The Army officer, a 36 yearold described as “relatively senior”, and his wife, 39, who works for the Ministry of Defence, were arrested at their home in Wiltshire. They were questioned regarding misconduct in a public office and conspiracy. It is not known in which branch of the Army the man serves, or what position his wife holds.
The couple, who have not been named, were among eight people arrested by Operation Elveden, set up to investigate illegal payments to police officers. The arrests suggest it is now focusing on a wider range of alleged illegal activity, including money possibly given to other officials. Of the other six arrested, five are senior Sun journalists and one, a 39 yearold, is an officer with Surrey Police.
The five journalists are Geoff Webster, the tabloid’s deputy editor; John Kay, the former chief reporter who joined in 1974 and more recently described himself as an “ambassador” for the newspaper; Nick Parker, the chief foreign correspondent; John Edwards, the picture editor, and John Sturgis, the deputy news editor. They were all released on bail.
Detectives searched The Sun newsroom in Wapping, east London, and the homes of the eight, all arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. The widening of the investigation was prompted by detectives trawling through 300 million individual email messages from the archives of The Sun and the News of the World. They were given access to them by News International’s Management and Standards Committee, set up last year to handle the company’s response to the investigation into phonehacking allegations at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.
As many as 100 people, including forensic accountants, computer experts and lawyers, are combing through emails and accounts. Scotland Yard has allocated 120 officers and staff to Operation Elveden and related investigations into phone and computer hacking.
A source close to the standards committee said: “It is a very sad and very unfortunate day. The management committee is committed to getting to the bottom of this problem and making sure the journalism at News International newspapers is done in full compliance with the law.”
When the former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks appeared before a Commons committee in 2003, she was asked about payments to police. She said: “We have paid the police for information in the past.”
Andy Coulson, her successor as News of the World editor, who later worked as David Cameron’s director of communications, rapidly moved to suggest to the committee that any payments were made “within the law”.
Allegations of police payments are based on a series of emails passed by News International to the law firm Harbottle &Lewis, shortly after Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s royal reporter was jailed for phone hacking in 2007.
That file was passed to the police only in June last year, prompting accusations of a widespread cover-up at a very senior level. Operation Elveden has now arrested 22 suspects, including Mrs Brooks, who is on police bail.
But worries were expressed about the investigation. Mark Stephens, the media lawyer, said: “I am concerned that in the longer term, this will have a chilling effect on journalists and their sources, not just at News International but at all titles. The police are effectively working towards criminalising the relationship between the media and their sources, and that is a bad thing for democracy.”
The arrests come after four current and former Sun executives were arrested three weeks ago. The four – Fergus Shanahan, 57, who was Mrs Brooks’s deputy at The Sun; Graham Dudman, 49, the former managing editor; Chris Pharo, 42, head of news; and Mike Sullivan, 48, the crime editor – are all on bail.
By John Bingham BISHOPS and MPs said last Friday that a ruling banning local councils from saying prayers during meetings was an assault on Britain’s Christian heritage.
A High Court judge ruled that there was no “lawful” place for prayer during formal proceedings after an atheist former councillor objected that the tradition excluded non-believers.
Secular campaigners insisted that the case had only “modest” implications and would not interfere with anyone’s freedom of religion. But church leaders said it amounted to a victory for an “aggressive secularist agenda”.
There were also fears that the ruling could throw local preparations to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee into doubt by opening the door to legal challenges from opponents of the monarchy. Practices such as singing the national anthem could also come under threat, it was claimed.
The comments followed a legal challenge by Clive Bone, a former member of Bideford town council, in Devon, who objected to the tradition on grounds of conscience, supported by the National Secular Society. At the High Court in London last Friday, Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that it did not breach Mr Bone’s human rights or amount to discrimination.
‘He had a prayer book and
I think he was planning to use it’
But he nevertheless concluded that it was “not lawful” to say prayers as part of formal meetings under a clause of the Local Government Act 1972.
He issued a formal legal declaration stating that councils had “no power” to include prayers in meetings – although they could be held in council chambers before the formal proceedings get under way.
Simon Calvert, a director of The Christian Institute, which supported the council’s case, said: “We are talking about something that has gone on for centuries in a constitutionally Christian country; this outlaws it at a stroke and is another example of the courts siding with an aggressive secularist agenda.”
He added: “Local authority lawyers are going to be asking themselves: what about singing the national anthem? What about celebrating the Diamond Jubilee? Do they fall outside the Act?”
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is understood to be concerned about the fear of legal action affecting councils’ plans for Jubilee street parties. His lawyers are preparing to issue emergency legal guidance, effectively urging them to ignore the ruling. He said freedom to worship was a “fundamental and hardfought [for] British liberty”.
The Rt Rev Michael NazirAli, the former Bishop of Rochester, said prayer was “central to public life”, and Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, the Islamic group, said the judgment was an “attack on all faith”. “We are a religious country, a majority Christian country,” he said. “As people of faith – whether we take inspiration from Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Hinduism – we should take pride in that and be able to say prayers. I think this judgment is a step back, it is an attack against freedom.”
Mr Bone, a retired engineer, said he was “delighted” by the ruling. “This will stop sending out the wrong message — that local government is for a certain type of person.” telegraph.co.uk/expat
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February 15 - 21 2012
By Gordon Rayner and Thomas Harding PRINCE HARRY is to return to Afghanistan, having qualified last Wednesday as a front-line Apache attack helicopter pilot.
The 27 year-old, who spent 10 weeks as an infantry soldier in Helmand in 2008, will join a unit that has the highest “kill rate” of any serving in Afghanistan.
Royal sources said he was looking forward to “doing his duty” after completing a gruelling 18-month training programme that culminated in him finishing top of his class and being declared “limited combat ready”. Once he has completed predeployment training with his squadron, he will be classed as fully “combat ready”.
With his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, currently serving as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot, the Prince’s forthcoming deployment means that two members of the Royal family will be on operational service for the first time since the modern Armed Forces were formed.
In a marked departure from the media blackout agreed during his previous tour of Helmand, the Ministry of Defence made it clear in an
‘It could be worse. We could be getting a concert by Elton
John, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones and Paul McCartney ’
Diamond Jubilee plans: Page 9
announcement last week that Prince Harry will be expected to fly in combat. No date has been announced for his fourmonth tour of duty, which will be subject to review by senior generals and even the Prime Minister until the last minute.
But the MoD decided that no blackout was necessary this time because the Prince will be far less vulnerable as a pilot than he was when he went on foot patrols four years ago.
In his role as co-pilot gunner in a two-man crew, the Prince will operate the aircraft’s weapon systems, which include Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun. Flying out of Camp Bastion, he will also be expected to provide air cover on missions by special forces.
Apache pilots have the highest “kill rate” of any unit serving in Afghanistan, currently averaging around two Taliban killed every week.
“Killing insurgents is what the machine Prince Harry flies is there for; you cannot put it any other way,” said one defence source.
The Prince, who has proved a natural pilot since switching to the Army Air Corps, was told last week that he had been declared the best copilot gunner of his class of more than 20.
Captain Wales, as he is known in the Army, was presented with a trophy — a polished 30mm round from an Apache cannon mounted on a stand — during a celebratory dinner with his fellow pilots at their base at Wattisham airfield in Suffolk.
He will join 662 Sqn, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, having passed the final part of his training, a survival course during which he was hooded and interrogated in a simulated Taliban kidnapping.
It marked the end of his “conversion to role” course, having previously completed a “conversion to type course” in which he was taught how to
Capt Wales prepares his Apache for a mission; and, right, on foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2008
fly the Apache. Fewer than one in 10 soldiers who applies for helicopter pilot training with the Army Air Corps qualifies to fly the Apache.
A royal source said: “Prince Harry never thought he would make it on to the Apache at all, as only the best pilots are selected, so to have been declared the best in his class is just a huge achievement.”
The Duke of Cambridge is said to be “incredibly proud” of his brother. “There’s lots of banter between them because of them both being helicopter pilots,” said the source. “Prince Harry tells Prince William he is flying a washing machine, because the Sea King is such an old, reliable workhorse, and William tells Harry he is flying a computer game because the Apache is so sleek, fast and advanced.”
FIRST ROYAL DOUBLE
PRINCE HARRY’S deployment to Afghanistan will mean that, for the first time since the creation of the modern Armed Forces, the second and third in line to the throne will be on operational service simultaneously.
The Duke of Cambridge, currently in the Falkland Islands on a six-week tour of duty with his RAF Search and Rescue squadron, will be flying from his base on Anglesey when his brother is in Helmand. Prince Harry is expected to be sent to Afghanistan towards the end of the year, meaning that both he and the Duke will be operational in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.
Having the future king and his brother fulfilling such dangerous roles as helicopter pilots at the same time represents something of a gamble for the monarchy, but the Queen is known to be 100 per cent supportive of her grandsons.
The princes’ father, the Prince of Wales, had finished his active service with the Royal Navy by the time the Duke of York joined the Navy in 1979. The Duke was the last member of the Royal family to fly a helicopter in a war, in the Falklands conflict in 1982 as a Royal Navy rescue pilot.
During the Second World War, the Queen was an Army ambulance driver. Her sister Princess Margaret was too young to serve. The Duke of Edinburgh served in the Royal Navy for five years during the Second World War and had achieved the rank of commander by the time his naval career came to an end with the Queen’s accession in 1952.
THE RIGHT STUFF
ONLY the “best of the best” get to be Apache pilots.
Candidates start with psychometric tests designed to discover whether they have the right memory and co-ordination to be a military helicopter pilot. Medical tests can reject people with mild colour-blindness, poor eyesight or even hay fever. With Apaches costing £37million each, the Army does not want to take a risk on any pilot.
In 13 trips in a Firefly fixedwing aircraft, recruits are assessed on their flying skills and their rate of learning. “You are doing a driving test every day,” said one pilot. Recruits with the top grade go on to Apaches. For the first five months, they learn flying skills on fixed-wing aircraft. To earn their Army pilot wings, the soldiers spend a year flying Squirrel helicopters mostly at Middle Wallop in Wilts, where they are assessed and graded on every sortie.
It is understood Prince Harry finished near the top of his course and initially wanted to fly Lynx helicopters but was seduced by the allure of the Apache, despite the risk. “It is the toughest course,” said one pilot. “If you are going to fail anything, you’ll fail Apache.”
During his “conversion to role” training on the Apache, Prince Harry faced a series of tests from night navigation and flying with a “forward-looking infrared” device covering his right eye. His final test was live firing and learning to land in dusty “brownouts” in California and Arizona. Again he finished top of the class.
Only the “best of the best” in the Army Air Corps are sent to the US attack helicopter “Top Gun” training centre at Naval Air Facility El Centro, near the Mexican border in Arizona. El Centro is used for teaching air-to-ground gunnery, bombing, electronic warfare and low-level manoeuvres. It’s an ideal location to practise live firing because the terrain is similar to Helmand.
By Victoria Ward NATHANIEL ROTHSCHILD, the billionaire financier, brought Lord Mandelson’s public office and personal integrity into “disrepute” by inviting him on a business trip with a Russian oligarch, a High Court judge ruled last Friday.
The 40-year-old heir to the Rothschild banking dynasty lost a libel action regarding a newspaper article that had suggested he had helped to smooth a £500 million deal with Alcoa, America’s biggest aluminium company.
The story, published in the Daily Mail, claimed that Mr Rothschild was the “puppetmaster” behind the deal and used Lord Mandelson, then European Commissioner for Trade, to impress Oleg Deripaska, owner of Russia’s biggest aluminium plant. Mr Justice Tugendhat found that Mr Rothschild’s conduct had been “inappropriate in a number of respects”.
He said: “In my judgment, that conduct foreseeably brought Lord Mandelson’s public office and personal integrity into disrepute and exposed him to accusations of conflict of interest, and it gave rise to the reasonable grounds to suspect that Lord Mandelson had engaged in improper discussions with Mr Deripaska about aluminium.”
He said it was “clear” that the January 2005 visit to Siberia, during which the men were thrashed with birch twigs in a sauna and plunged into an ice bath together, had “always been a business trip” so far as Mr Rothschild was concerned. He did not accept the banker’s assertion that he had taken Lord Mandelson “as a friend and not for any other business reason”. Mr Justice Tugendhat noted Mr Rothschild was “clearly not comfortable” when crossexamined about whether Lord Mandelson had been aware he would be staying with Mr Deripaska, visiting an aluminium plant and flying in Mr Deripaska’s jet.
There were reasonable grounds, he said, to believe that Mr Deripaska’s interest in providing Lord Mandelson with such “luxurious and generous” hospitality was his trade and business responsibilities. He could not accept that Mr Rothschild was unable to foresee this when he invited the former Labour minister on the trip.
“I accept Lord Mandelson had no role in the joint venture, which is what the trip was arranged to promote,” he said. “But I do not accept there is a clear line between the business and the personal sides of Mr Rothschild’s relationship with Mr Deripaska. They have very extensive business relationships.”
While the judge accepted that the group would have spoken about aluminium during the visit, he did not find that they discussed tariffs as the Daily Mail article alleged. He said that Mr Rothschild’s differing accounts of the reasons for the visit to the plant were “confusing” and found the banker had “not been entirely candid” during the case.
The judgment noted that Associated Newspapers, owner of the Daily Mail, accepted that it could not prove allegations relating to Lord Mandelson’s participation at a dinner for the closing of the Alcoa deal, and amended its defence to rely on the version put forward by Mr Rothschild. The financier, who was not in court, said in a statement that he intended to appeal against the decision.
“I am disappointed with today’s ruling. I brought this action seeking an apology for the Daily Mail’s utterly false claim that I had arranged for Lord Mandelson to attend a dinner in Moscow to close a deal between Alcoa and [aluminium giant] Rusal, and that this had caused the loss of 300 British jobs.
“The truth is, as the Daily Mail has now accepted, I had nothing whatsoever to do with this deal and it had in any event been completed before Lord Mandelson and I even arrived in Moscow.”