Top News of the World lawyer 'should be disbarred'
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Thursday 08 December 2011
Mark Lewis, one of the lawyers at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal, has called on the Bar Council to end the career of News International's former legal manager Tom Crone by "disbarring" him.
A formal complaint from Mr Lewis has been lodged with the Bar Council claiming that Mr Crone engaged in activity which aimed to destroy the reputation of an opposing lawyer, and that he lied to the Commons committee investigating phone hacking when he told MPs earlier this year that he hired a freelance journalist to spy on Mr Lewis and his former legal associate Charlotte Harris.
Mr Lewis said that Mr Crone had effectively admitted he lied to MPs by revealing that he personally contacted the then-news editor of the News of the World, Ian Edmondson, and asked whether he could mount a surveillance operation on Mr Lewis and Ms Harris.
If the complaint is upheld, Mr Crone would be disbarred and his legal career would be finished. Mr Crone has claimed that "apart from [the surveillance of Lewis and Harris] I played no part in, nor was I aware of, any surveillance of lawyers, committee members, claimants or anyone else connected with phone-hacking cases and inquiries". The Bar Council has yet to make a formal statement about Mr Lewis's complaint.
Last night, Mr Lewis said: "It would not be appropriate to comment as I have referred Mr Crone's conduct to the Bar Council. No doubt he has tried to retaliate to my attacks on him. The facts speak for themselves."
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