Phone hacking: Met had the evidence. How will it explain five years of failure?

The Guardian:

Over the two-year timeframe, Yates repeated his misleading version of events to two Commons select committees and visited the Guardian to complain to the editor, Alan Rusbridger, about the paper’s coverage. Later, he threatened to sue the Guardian for publishing claims that he had misled parliament. Yates and Hayman specifically denied that Prescott had been a victim even though Caryatid in August 2006 had found evidence Mulcaire had been intercepting his voicemail from the phone of his special adviser, Joan Hammell.

The home affairs select committee criticised Hayman for his “cavalier attitude” towards his social contact with News International staff being investigated by his detectives and suggested this had “risked seriously undermining confidence in the impartiality of the police”. They also accused him of “deliberate prevarication in order to mislead the committee”.

Leveson found that Yates had adopted an “inappropriately dismissive and close-minded attitude” to the scandal and had been dogmatic and defensive in his comments.

Neither the select committee nor Leveson concluded Hayman, Yates or anybody else at Scotland Yard had let their judgment be influenced by contact with or fear of News International. Leveson concluded that although there had been “a series of poor decisions, poorly executed”, there was no evidence to challenge the integrity of the senior police officers concerned.

On the specific questions raised by the new information from the Old Bailey trial, there is no evidence at all – no phone records, no diaries, no internal memos, no expenses records, no interviews with the key players – because Scotland Yard has failed to commission the inquiry which might have found it. The questions hang there, looking for an answer.