Brandon Malinsky, the night news editor of The Sun, was represented by Philip Williams and Emma Harris of Blackfords Solicitors, a leading firm of serious crime specialists.
Mr Malinsky was alleged to have been part of a conspiracy offering payment to public officials in return for stories relating to celebrity prisoners.
His role, which on the Prosecution’s own case was minimal, was in relation to two stories which had been published in The Sun newspaper. The journalist who authored the stories was also acquitted, along with several others.
These are the latest acquittals in the Operation Elveden trials, where various editors, journalists and members of staff from The Sun, The Mirror and The News of the World have faced allegations of making payments to public officials in return for stories.
It follows the overturning of convictions in the last two weeks by the Court of Appeal and has led to speculation over the future of any further prosecutions.
Oliver Blunt QC, who defended Sun journalist Brandon Malinsky, described the Metropolitan Police inquiry Operation Elveden as a “misconceived witch-hunt”. He said that four journalists accused of paying prison guards for inside information about notorious prisoners had been treated like “exhibits in a zoo” while on trial.
Philip Williams, a serious crime case specialist at law firm Blackfords LLP, who represented Mr Malinsky said: “This has been a complex case from start to finish and has culminated in today’s fantastic result. We are very pleased to have worked on such a high profile case and are delighted to have a positive conclusion for our client, Brandon Malinsky, who was wrongly alleged to have been involved in making payments to public officials. Mr Malinsky had always believed that his innocence would be demonstrated during these proceedings and we have supported him on this basis.
“These prosecutions have been flawed from the start and the decision to pursue these cases should be scrutinised by the Director of Public Prosecutions. It is difficult to see how any further investigations or prosecutions can be undertaken given the number of acquittals to date. It is my understanding that decisions are due to be made on pending cases and it would not be surprising if Mr Malinsky’s case is the final Operation Elveden investigation to proceed to trial.”
The case concluded after a trial which began in February 2015 and which followed a number of other high profile cases, including that of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. It was prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service’s specialist ‘Hacking Division’, which was set up to deal with the volume of evidence and number of arrests in respect of payments to public officials, phone-hacking and other such activities.