Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#Leveson :Glenn Mulcaire sent News of the World voicemail transcripts 'daily', court papers allege

Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone-hacking in 2007, provided the News of the World with "daily transcripts" of intercepted voicemail messages, it is alleged in court papers released today.

Glenn Mulcaire sent News of the World voicemail transcripts 'daily', court papers allege
Glenn Mulcaire is alleged to have sent 'daily' transcripts of voicemail messages to the News of the World Photo: EDDIE MULHOLLAND
Phone-hacking was approved by at least two executives, it is claimed, and three journalists acted as Mulcaire's main point of contact with the newspaper at different times.
The allegations are contained in documents submitted to the High Court in London that would have been used in a civil trial by victims of hacking who have now reached settlements with News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the now-defunct tabloid.
Last week Mr Justice Vos, the judge who has presided over more than 50 hacking claims against NGN, released to The Daily Telegraph redacted copies of papers submitted by the claimants and NGN.
Today some of the passages of the documents which were previously censored have been made public following a further order from Mr Justice Vos.

They show that hacking victims wanted NGN to admit that all of the people named in Mulcaire's notebooks were either "victims of voicemail interception or other forms of illegal information gathering".

That would have meant admitting that almost 6,000 victims named in the notebooks were hacking victims, an admission that NGN refused to make. Scotland Yard has said there were 829 "likely" victims based on the evidence in the notebooks.

Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 together with Clive Goodman, the News of the World's then royal editor, after police found they had hacked phones belonging to members of the Royal household. A fresh investigation was launched last year after it became clear there were hundreds of other victims.

Documents submitted by lawyers for the claimants, who at the time included Sienna Miller, Kelly Hoppen and Tessa Jowell, allege that three senior journalists, named only as A,B and C, were conduits to Mulcaire with the power to sign contracts relating to his payments for voicemail interception.

A section which was previously redacted alleges that from 1998, when Mulcaire first started working with the News of the World, he "entered into a conspiracy with senior executives of [News Group Newspapers] including Clive Goodman and Journalists A,B,C,D and E whereby he would, on their behalf, obtain information about individuals of interest to [NGN] journalists and use electronic intelligence and eavesdropping in order to obtain this information.

"He also agreed to provide daily transcripts of voicemail messages to [NGN] journalists."
Mulcaire, who objected to the court papers being made public, has not admitted any of the allegations contained in the documents submitted by the victims' lawyers.

News Group Newspapers has admitted that more than 60 people were victims of phone hacking, and has apologised and paid damages to them.