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Phone Hacking not confined to NOTW

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Phone Hacking not confined to NOTW

Post  Panda on Tue 15 Nov - 2:05

Phone Hacking Not Confined To The NOTW'








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1:16am UK, Tuesday November 15, 2011





An inquiry into phone hacking has heard it was a "thriving
cottage industry" - with links to more papers than just the News Of The
World (NOTW).



The Leveson Inquiry heard notebooks belonging to private detective
Glenn Mulcaire suggest he may have hacked phones on behalf of The Sun
and the Daily Mirror as well as the NOTW.


Mulcaire, jailed along with royal reporter Clive Goodman in 2007, had
noted down the name of someone linked to the Mirror and the words "The
Sun".


He also mentioned NOTW staff, with one - identified only as "A" - apparently having made 1,453 requests for information.


Mulcaire was sent to prison after pleading guilty to intercepting the
messages of the royal household, publicist Max Clifford, football agent
Sky Andrew, chairman of the Professional Footballers Association Gordon
Taylor, Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes and model Elle Macpherson.










Lord Justice Leveson is leading the inquiry





The identities of the people mentioned in the documents were not revealed so as not to prejudice the police investigation.


Robert Jay QC, counsel for the inquiry, suggested the problem was not isolated to Goodman - or News International.


"It's clear that Goodman wasn't a rogue reporter. Ignoring the
'private' corner names and the illegible, we have at least 27 other News
International employees.


"This fact alone suggests wide-ranging illegal activity within the organisation at the relevant time."


He added: "I suggest that it would not be unfair to comment that it was at the
very least a thriving cottage industry."


He said the names Mulcaire admitted culpability over should have
alerted News International to the actions of staff connected to the
paper.


"The five individuals I mentioned in the context of these counts
would not have been of interest to the royal editor (Goodman)," he said.


"This must have been obvious to News International at all material
times, by which I mean anyone within the company equipped with a basic
familiarity with these facts."


He suggested two potential conclusions.


"Either News International senior management knew what was going on
at the time and therefore, at the very least, condoned this illegal
activity," he told the panel and attendees.


"Or they didn't and News International's systems failed to the extent
that there was failure in supervision, failure of oversight with
possible failures of training and corporate ethos and checking of
expenses claims."


Bosses
at News International, including chairman James Murdoch, deny knowing
of widespread hacking until reports emerged in the press years later.



Lord Justice Leveson opened the public inquiry on Monday with a warning to newspaper editors not to unfairly target witnesses.













"Concern has specifically been expressed that those who speak out
might be targeted adversely by the press as a result," he said.


"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 come.


"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."


The inquiry, at the Royal Courts of Justice, was set up by David Cameronafter a series of revelations about phone hacking and and the closure of the NOTW.


Victims include murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler whose father, Bob Dowler, was present on the opening day of the hearing.


Lord Justice Leveson, an experienced High Court judge, will sit over
the hearings, supported by a panel of experts from the fields of media,
law, politics and the police.


In his introductory remarks, he thanked all those who had come forward to give evidence, particularly victims of hacking.


He said he had worked to combat his "perceived short-comings" in terms of how much he knows about the workings of the press.

The senior judge also said there was a "great deal to applaud" in the
British media and said he was not just interested in the industry's
failures.


The first part of the public inquiry will focus on relationships
between the press and the public, as well as links between newspapers,
police and MPs.










The last edition of the News Of The World





It will also review how the press is regulated and where it may have failed in the past.
With criminal investigations still ongoing, the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service have urged caution.


In written submissions, they said: "It is inevitable that this
inquiry will touch on areas which may have a close connection with the
criminal investigation.


"We are understandably anxious that nothing should be said or done which might jeopardise either the investigation or trial."


The specific issue of phone hacking, and whether illegal practices
spread to other papers, will be looked at during later hearings.

At their annual conference in Surrey, the president of the Society of EditorsRobin Esser insisted self regulation is still the way forward for the press.


Mr Esser, the executive managing editor for the Daily Mail, said:
"The Leveson inquiry is very useful - more useful I think for the
politicians and the chattering classes than the media.


"But now it's here, we have to embrace it and make sure they come to the right conclusions."


Victims of alleged phone hacking are expected to give evidence from November 21.


The first phase of the inquiry is likely to run until the end of February.


:: MPs investigating phone hacking were 'spied on'








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Re: Phone Hacking not confined to NOTW

Post  Panda on Tue 15 Nov - 7:47

Hacking MPs Meet To Discuss Spying Claims

























6:49am UK, Tuesday November 15, 2011





MPs investigating phone hacking are expected to meet today to discuss claims that they were put under surveillance.


It has been alleged members of the Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee were followed by private investigators or News International journalists in 2009.


Committee member Louise Mensch has told Sky News the claims must be
investigated to see if they are true, and if so, who signed off the
operation.


"If, and it's a big if, these allegations are true then it is
unbelievably serious. If it is true, we will want to know who authorised
it and why," she said.


Mrs Mensch added it would be "chilling" and "terrifying" if the
allegations were proven. "It sort of says, 'Don't mess with us or we
will come to get you,'" she said.










Members of the committee were allegedly trailed in 2009





The surveillance claims have been made by respected media commentator
Roy Greenslade, a former Daily Mirror editor and columnist for the
Media Guardian.


He told Sky: "In 2009, the staff were scrambled... in order to follow every single member of the DCMS committee."


Mr Greenslade said there was a dispute over how long they were under
surveillance for but it was thought to be "between three and 10 days".


He added there was then a "complete change of heart at the top level"
and "everyone was told to stop doing it, not to talk about it and give
up on the whole enterprise".


He did not tell Sky who ordered the surveillance but said it was a "senior executive".


News International has already admitted hiring a private investigator
to watch top public figures, lawyers acting for phone-hacking victims
and Labour MP Tom Watson.


Mr Watson, who is on the DCMS, has doggedly pursued the company over hacking allegations.


News
International executive chairman James Murdoch apologised for that
surveillance when he appeared before the committee last week.



Meanwhile, a separate inquiry into phone hacking has heard "at least
28 other NI employees" were named in notes made by a private
investigator using the practice.


The
probe, being overseen by Lord Justice Leveson, heard notebooks
belonging to Glenn Mulcaire suggest he may also have hacked phones for
The Sun and Daily Mirror.



Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 after pleading guilty to intercepting
messages of royals, Max Clifford, model Elle Macpherson and other public
figures.


Rhodri Davies QC, representing News International, will address the
inquiry as it continues its probe into the culture, practices and ethics
of the press.


Jonathan Caplan QC, for Associated Newspapers, and James Dingemans
QC, for Express Newspapers, are also due to give evidence to the
inquiry.


The Leveson Inquiry
was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron in July after revelations
that the News Of The World hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly
Dowler after she went missing in 2002.


Its first job is to look at the culture, practices and ethics of the press in general.


The second, examining the extent of unlawful activities by
journalists, will not begin until detectives have completed their work
and any prosecutions have concluded.

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