Sunday, July 31, 2011

#Hackgate #Harbottle trying to save their skin...

Snippet from article

In one e-mail, from 2003, the paper’s royal reporter, Clive Goodman, complained to the top editor, Andy Coulson, about a management push to cut back on cash payments to sources, saying he needed to pay his contacts in the Scotland Yard unit that protects the royal family.

In another e-mail, Mr. Goodman said that he did not want to go into detail about cash payments because everyone involved could “go to prison for this,” according to the two people who described the e-mail’s contents.

The two people also said that in the exchange of e-mails, Mr. Goodman requested permission from Mr. Coulson to pay £1,000 for a classified Green Book directory, which had been stolen by a police officer in the protection unit.

The book contains the private phone numbers of the queen, the royal family and their closest friends and associates — a potentially useful tool for hacking.

In the years since the letter was written, various revelations have confirmed that phone hacking was endemic at the tabloid. Evidence disclosed in the past several weeks of widespread payoffs to the police have given rise to a second, and potentially more potent, front in the scandal.

Both Harbottle & Lewis and News International took notice of the e-mails to and from Mr. Goodman containing those initial indications of payoffs in 2007, according to the two people knowledgeable about the events.

News International’s chief lawyer set them aside for a second look, and they were among the e-mails retained in the files of the law firm.

 Yet they were not turned over to the police until last month, and no hint of their existence made its way into the firm’s single-paragraph letter four years more