Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A ticking timebomb': Nine journalists and three police officers 'face jail' over News Of The World phone-hacking scandal

Last updated at 11:14 AM on 10th July 2011

At least nine journalists and three police officers face jail over the phone-hacking scandal, according to reports from inside News International.
Internal papers dating from 2007 are understood to have contained evidence that hacking was more widespread than previously admitted. Scotland Yard was apparently not told about the document at the time but now has a copy.
A News International source was last night quoted as saying: 'We were sitting on a ticking timebomb'.

Team: NotW editor Colin Myler brandished the final ever edition of the paper in front of his staff before announcing: 'And now in the best traditions of Fleet Street, we are going to the pub'

Causing a stir: News of The World staff members Francine Packer (left), Hannah Eades and Jane Hamilton (right) carry cups of tea to waiting reporters outside the News International offices
New documents are said to reveal that six journalists acted as 'gatekeepers' to private detective Glenn Mulcaire. They and three other journalists who knew about Mulcaire's activities may be charged, according to a Sunday Times report.

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Separately, a cache of emails and cash records is thought to shed light on potential four-figure payments to police officers.
Meanwhile, News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks faces questioning by police in the coming days. The former News of the World editor is expected to be asked to present herself at a police station to explain, under caution, what she knew about phone-hacking and payments to police officers.
A News International source insisted she would be treated as a witness, not a suspect.
However, both the company and Scotland Yard refused to comment on whether Brooks would be quizzed.

Sky's the limit: Ed Miliband wants a vote on whether News Corps' BskyB vote should be halted
Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband will use a television interview this morning to ratchet up the political pressure on the Government over the scandal.
The Opposition yesterday called for the immediate appointment of a judge to head the public inquiry into the News of the World announced by the Prime Minister on Friday.
And Mr Miliband is reported to be preparing to force a Commons vote this week on whether consideration of News Corp's proposed takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB should be halted.
Still further financial pressure looked set to be heaped on the media group as it was reported that Labour will table a motion next week opposing News Corporation's proposed takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
The tabloid's farewell issue hit shelves as News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch was expected to fly in to the UK to deal with the phone hacking crisis that forced the paper's closure.
It comes as a senior Scotland Yard detective expressed his ‘extreme regret’ that he did not act to reopen police inquiries into the hacking allegations two years ago.
Speaking after this week's revelation that the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was targeted, Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who ruled in July 2009 that there was no new evidence, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘We are all extremely shocked by it and it is a matter of massive regret we didn't deal with it earlier.’
At Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron is to meet Milly Dowler's family to discuss the Government's response to the phone hacking crisis.
Milly's parents Bob and Sally Dowler are suing the News of the World over claims their daughter's phone was targeted when she went missing in 2002.

Mistake: Assistant Commissioner John Yates expressed his 'extreme regret' that he did not act to reopen police inquiries into phone hacking two years ago
As the paper was finally put to bed, the criminal investigation into alleged illegal practices continued to gather momentum with officers poised to make more arrests.
In the past three days, three people have been quizzed by police.
A 63-year-old man arrested in Surrey on Friday in connection with alleged corrupt payments made to police officers, has been bailed to return to a London police station in October. Officers would not confirm reports that he is a private investigator.
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was questioned for nine hours on Friday over suspected corruption and the scandal which forced the paper's closure.
Ex-royal editor Clive Goodman, 53, has also spoken to police over claims officers were bribed following a dawn swoop on his Surrey home.
Mr Cameron is also likely to face further scrutiny over his decision to retain Mr Coulson as his spin chief on coming to power.

They've got the look: Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and his former spin doctor Andy Coulson have a strangely similar dress sense
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown said he had warned Downing Street it would be a ‘disaster’ shortly after the general election.
He told The Observer that he spoke out after being briefed on information that could not be published for legal reasons at the time concerning the ex-newspaper editor who resigned after his royal reporter was jailed but denied any knowledge of hacking under his watch.
‘I warned No 10 within days of the election that they would suffer terrible damage if they did not get rid of Coulson, when these things came out, as it was inevitable they would,’ he said.
With two independent public inquiries on the horizon, News Corporation was also faced with the threat of losing £4million in investments from the Church of England if the organisation fails to hold ‘senior managers’ to account.
It has already strongly denied allegations published in The Guardian which claim millions of emails from an internal archive at News International may have been destroyed in what could be seen as a bid to obstruct Scotland Yard's inquiry.
The News of the World bade farewell to its readers after 168 years with the simple words ‘Thank you & goodbye’.
The 8,674th edition of the tabloid features the headline emblazoned over images of its most famous front pages.
A sub-headline reads: ‘After 168 years, we finally say a sad but very proud farewell to our 7.5m loyal readers.’
And in the top right corner are the words: ‘The world's greatest newspaper 1843-2011.’
The closing issue features much celebration of the best scoops and greatest campaigns that have helped the newspaper make its mark over the years.
But there is also an apology for the phone hacking scandal that eventually brought the tabloid to its knees.
The statement, printed on page three, reads: ‘We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards.
‘Quite simply, we lost our way. Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry.’
Although it claims there is no justification for the ‘appalling wrongdoing’, it goes on to say: ‘Yet when this outrage has been atoned, we hope history will eventually judge us on all our years.’
Inside the paper is a 48-page souvenir pull-out featuring some of the tabloid's most memorable splashes, such as last year's expose of alleged match fixing involving Pakistan international cricketers.

Farewell message: The News Of The World signed off with a simple front page message of, 'THANK YOU & GOODBYE'
Front-page revelations of celebrities' affairs are featured alongside historic events, such as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, recorded in a ‘shock 8am issue’.
Elsewhere in the paper, investigations editor Mazher Mahmood, famed for his undercover stings as the ‘fake sheikh’, pays tribute to the News of the World's achievements in helping bring criminals to justice.
And campaigner Sara Payne praises the paper for being a ‘force for good’ and a driving force behind the call for Sarah's Law.
Another page celebrates the ‘always tasteful Nudes of the World’, with images of the likes of Kelly Brook, Lily Allen and fuller-figured pop star Beth Ditto adorning the page.
The newspaper, which has doubled its print run to five million today, is expected to record its biggest sale for years as its historic final edition becomes a collector's item.

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