Max Mosley to give evidence to press standards inquiry
5 March 2009
By Paul McNally
Max Mosley, the motorsport boss at the centre of a tabloid sting operation last year, is to appear before MPs next week to give his views on libel law and privacy.
The FIA chairman has been called to give evidence on Tuesday morning to the cross-party culture, media and sport select committee, as part of its wide-ranging investigation into press standards.
Mosley won £60,000 in compensation from the News of the World last July after the Sunday tabloid published photos and a video of what it claimed was a "sick Nazi orgy" with five prostitutes.
High court judge Mr Justice Eady said Mosley had a "reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to sexual activities" and said there was no evidence of Nazi re-enactment.
The sum awarded was the highest ever given in a UK privacy case, dwarfing the £14,600 awarded to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones from Hello magazine.
Mosley is now asking the European Court of Human Rights to strengthen privacy laws - and make it a requirement for newspapers to approach the subject of a story before publication.
According to yesterday's London Evening Standard, Gerry McCann - the father of Madeleine, who disappeared on holiday in Portugal in 2007 - will also give evidence to the select committee next week.
Gerry and Kate McCann accepted a £550,000 libel payout from Express Newspapers last April for a series of more than 100 articles which Mr Justice Eady said were "seriously defamatory".
The Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday sister titles all published prominent front-page apologies for the untrue allegations, which the McCanns' lawyer said suggested they "were responsible for the death of Madeleine".
A Commons spokeswoman said McCann's appearance before the committee had "not yet been confirmed".
Source: Press Gazette
Joana Morais: Robert Murat, former arguido in the Maddie Case joins tabloid press debate
NUJ SUBMISSIONS ON MCCANN CASE TO SELECT COMMITTEE
Don't forget to mention this evidence Gerry
A few comments on The 3 Arguidos: Perhaps G. McCann give evidence to selected comittee/5.3.09
To me this is incredibly worrying. The McCanns are always going on about the 'wider agenda' - is that wider agenda complete governmental control over the citizens of the UK and an erosion of any democratic rights?
The government now tell us what to eat, where to go, where to smoke, what we can read....where will it end?
ID cards will soon be telling quangos where we shop, what we buy, we will be like prisoners of the free world.
The big question in my mind was, were the McCanns aware of the wider agenda before MM went missing, or was this seen as the perfect vehicle to use as action 1 by Blair / Brown - to silence the free press?
Is there no end to the McCann publicity machine!!!!!! Mosley received £60,000 damages for a far more damaging intrusion
on his private life, the McCanns received nearly ten times more for libellous accusations which were not nearly so damaging
given that we still don"t know what happened to Madeleine.
It will be interesting to see whether they do attend, my guess is they won"t .
It's strange this, because it's not the press that Gerry McCann is worried about.
Because the press, to a man, have willingly bent over forwards for Gerry McCann at every opportunity.
OK, there was the Express thingy, but they bent over forwards when threatened with the courts.
Could it be that, during his visit to the select committee, he might just be heard to say: "Oh, and while I'm here, could you do something about those naughty people on the internet?"
ETA - I hope they give him as much of a grilling as poor David Kelly got ...
Question for Tony Bennett
"We need to deal with one other matter. One person whom we believe was seriously libelled by many sections of the British press was the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, Snr Goncalo Amaral. He was frequently described in sections of the British press as a ‘disgraced cop’. The reason for this was partly over claims that he was removed from the Madeleine McCann enquiry because of unwarranted criticisms of the British government, but more because he was being accused of having ordered his officers to beat a confession out of Leonor Cipriano, the convicted murderess of her own daughter (see paragraph 15 above). At the time of submitting our report to the Select Committee, Snr Amaral is on trial in respect of this allegation in the court at Faro. He is thus innocent until proven guilty. To call Snr Amaral ‘the disgraced cop’ on the basis of this allegation was no better than if the British press had referred to ‘the disgraced McCanns’ after they were made suspects. In fact, the court proceedings in Faro are indicating, as many believed, that there is no substance to these allegations. We cannot really say more, as the proceedings have been mysteriously adjourned several times and are not yet concluded. If, as we expect, Snr Amaral is exonerated, we trust that those sections of the British press who have labelled him ‘the disgraced cop’ will have the decency to apologise and correct their statements. That is a matter that may yet come before the Press Complaints Commission. "