NoW reporter: 'Mosley orgy had overwhelming Nazi theme'

News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck told the Max Mosley sex party privacy trial that the justification for giving a clandestine device to a source – named as woman E – to film the orgy was that she had said quite extreme violence, to the point of illegality – was being used.

“The opinion that I formed was that it wasn’t merely a fishing expedition. We were investigating very real information from a first-hand eyewitness.”

He added: “Because the sadomasochism was so graphically outlined, we took it for granted that there was a public interest justification. We thought it was plain from the word go.”

Thurlbeck said it was necessary to get such evidence as, for all he knew, Mosley was going into the building “to fix the fusebox and have a cup of tea” while the party was going on.

“I would not know that a sadomasochistic orgy was going on simply because he had entered the flat separately with five dominatrices.

“We actually needed to gather some proof of the event taking place. We would never have run a story without that level of proof.

“He could have been doing a hundred other things other than taking part in a sadomasochistic orgy.

“A full statement from E would not provide sufficient evidence. It could be said that she wanted to sell the story to the newspaper for money so fabricated it.

“We needed absolute categoric evidence that an orgy had taken place.

“The standard of proof, in my experience at the News of the World, for getting a story into the paper is very, very high indeed.”

Thurlbeck denied that, when he was showing Woman E how to operate the camera for the covert filming, he was suggesting to her that she might want to get Mosley to do the Sieg Heil.

He told the court: “I realised that if there was going to be a Nazi theme and if Mr Mosley was to give the Sieg Heil then that was a very crucial image for us to capture, a very powerful and emotive image.

“I saw it as my job to make sure that if Mr Mosley did give the Fascist salute that our girl had sufficient instruction and we had a camera able enough to capture that image.”

Price put to him: “What you wanted from Woman E was clear film of Mr Mosley doing something unmistakably Nazi?”

He replied: “No, is the answer to that question. I wanted her to capture the Sieg Heil if he gave it.”

The QC asked: “Why should he do it?”

Thurlbeck countered: “Why should he order German dominatrices to beat him with sticks?”

What happened in the flat, including beatings counted out in German, “wasn’t Hansel and Gretel” he said.

He told the court: “I would say the whole video is unmistakably Nazi.”

Price said that E had not done anything “unmistakably Nazi” and that it would have been “terribly easy” for her to have said something like “Ve are ze SS officers and you are ze Jews” during the scenario.

Thurlbeck said: “There was an overwhelming, absolutely overwhelming Nazi theme.”

Thurlbeck rejected Price’s suggestion that he was disappointed when he saw the video.

“I was completely surprised by the level of the Nazism as we saw it. I didn’t quite expect the degree of Nazi-style humiliation that we saw.

“I kind of suspected it might be just some sort of watered down comedy version of Allo Allo. But, when we looked at the video it became clear very quickly that there was a very cynical Nazi theme running throughout. It was just clear to us all.”

He said that the “play” was improvised with the participants occasionally straying out of character.

“This is not a professional performance – this is Am Dram stuff. The wardrobe department let them down. Their script department let them down, but it’s quite clear what they are trying to mimic.”

Responding to Price’s suggestion that it was an English prison scenario, Thurlbeck replied: “I know of no English prison that beats its inmates with a stick until their buttocks bleed.

“I know of no English prison where the warder will deliver those blows and count them out in German.

“I know of no English prison where the inmates then have sexual intercourse with the warder who has just given those blows.”

Thurlbeck said that it was well documented that inmates of death camps were sexually abused.

Asked whether the uniforms worn on the 28th were not those worn by “convicts”, Thurlbeck said: “I don’t know of any fancy dress shop that sells concentration camp uniforms.”

He added: “I think they find the whole German/Nazi thing a big turn-on.

That’s why it was all characterised and staged that way.”

Thurlbeck said that after the publication, E was not upset about its content but was concerned that it had inadvertently identified her to the rest of the group.

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