A judge beginning
an inquiry into media practices has warned newspapers not to victimise
inquiry witnesses who speak out against press intrusion.
Leveson is examining the culture and practices of the press following
the hacking scandal.
warning, he said he had "absolutely no wish to stifle freedom of speech
private detective's notebooks suggest he hacked phones for the Sun and
the Daily Mirror.
The hearing heard
Glenn Mulcaire wrote names in his notes which recorded the voicemails he
illegally intercepted, which suggested he worked for those newspapers as
well as for a series of News of the World journalists.
later examine the extent of unlawful conduct by the press, and the
police's initial hacking investigation.
This second phase
will wait until after the current police investigation into News of the
World phone hacking, and any resultant prosecutions.
Leveson said concerns had been raised that the press might target those
who spoke out against it during the inquiry.
"I have absolutely
no wish to stifle freedom of speech and expression, but I anticipate
that monitoring will take place of press coverage over the months to
"And if it appears
that those concerns are made out, without objective justification, it
might be appropriate to draw the conclusion that these vital rights are
being abused, which itself would provide evidence of culture, practice
and ethics which could be relevant to my ultimate recommendations."
remarks, he reiterated: "I fully consider freedom of expression and
freedom of the press to be fundamental to our democracy. But that
freedom must be exercised with the rights of others in mind."
He said the press
provided "an essential check on all aspects of public life".
"That is why any
failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this inquiry
therefore may be one simple question - who guards the guardians?"
Counsel to the
inquiry, Robert Jay QC, has been outlining the inquiry's terms of
reference and the reasons for its establishment.
He said what could
be justified as being in the public interest and how, lay at the heart
of the hearings.
The inquiry had
not yet seen any examples of phone hacking by media that could "even
start to be justified on public interest grounds", Mr Jay said.
"A constant theme
will be the alleged subterranean influences operated by the press on the
'Body of evidence'
correspondent Ross Hawkins, who is reporting on the inquiry via twitter,
says that Mr Jay has stated that "questions must be asked as to how high
up in News International the metaphorical buck stops".
Mr Jay went on to
say evidence is beginning to emerge that phone hacking was not limited
to News International, our correspondent added.
The lawyer gave
the hearing details of the notebooks belonging to Glenn Mulcaire, who
was jailed with the News of the World's former royal editor Clive
Goodman after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages on royal
Some of his notes
corresponded to News of the World employees, one of whom - referred to
only as "A" - apparently made 1,453 separate requests for information
But he also wrote
"The Sun" and a name relating to the Daily Mirror in his notebooks, the
inquiry was told.
In total, about 28
legible corner names are legible in the 11,000 pages of notes which
police seized from Mulcaire, which relate to a total of 2,266 taskings
and the names of 5,795 potential victims, the inquiry heard.
witnesses are not expected to be called until next week.
earlier this year that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked by the News
of the World prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to establish the
inquiry, and led to the closure of the tabloid.
Those giving evidence will include the parents of the murdered teenager
and the parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann.
alleged victims have now granted core participant status, meaning they
can be represented by a barrister, seek to cross-examine witnesses and
make opening and closing statements during the inquiry.
Peter Hunt says Milly's father, and MPs Denis MacShane and Chris Bryant
are attending day one of the hearings.
Leveson is being advised by a six-member panel consisting of Liberty
director Shami Chakrabarti, former Ofcom chairman Lord (David) Currie,
former Channel 4 News political editor Elinor Goodman, ex-Daily
Telegraph political editor George Jones, former Financial Times chairman
Sir David Bell and ex-West Midlands police chief constable Sir Paul
editor Trevor Kavanagh told Today he thought there was insufficient
representation of the tabloid press on the inquiry panel.
"With such a very
large part of the newspaper industry unrepresented, I think there is a
risk that it will not look at the whole picture."
Leveson is expected to report back within a year.
Live video of all
the sessions is being streamed on the inquiry's website