The story of the phone hacking scandal reads like an investigation into a criminal clan in a mafia state. It’s all there, the bribery, the intimidation, the political collusion and, most worrying of all, the organisation’s penetration of the police force.
Such stories usually start with a few brave people determined to take on the criminals. They begin by building up evidence against some of the organisation’s foot soldiers. A few of these can then be persuaded to turn against their former bosses and incriminate those further up the chain of command. While all this is going on, the criminal gang fights back, using a mix of bribery and intimidation to silence would-be witnesses. The investigators are frustrated at every turn. People accept payoffs or just decide not to talk. Even when evidence is assembled, police officers and politicians prove reluctant to prosecute or investigate further. Only much later does it emerge that many of them were also under the influence of the crime family.
All the time, pressure is being put on the investigators to give the whole thing up. Hostile voices threaten while seemingly friendly ones point to the futility of the campaign. The mafia just is, they say, you’ll never get rid of it....read more