Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

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Re: 2 things..

Postby MinM » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:25 pm

1) Jerry Policoff was right. This story did and does have legs.

2) Although given Chris Christie's actions or lack of action. Hackgate has yet to gain traction over in the States.

Rupert Murdoch’s American Media Immunity
4th April 2012
The paradox is how little interest, until now, the US press has taken in the scandals engulfing the tycoon’s News Corp empire

By Michael Wolff

The Guardian, 4 April 2012

Even as his British media empire seems close to collapse, Rupert Murdoch has seemed ‘untouchable’ in his adopted home of the United States.

Last week, PBS aired a Frontline documentary, more then six months in the making, about Rupert Murdoch‘s phone-hacking scandal. The big budget film, hosted and reported by Lowell Bergman, one of the pre-eminent US investigative journalists, broke no news nor offered new perspectives about the affair. Rather, the show – the first US documentary to delve into the Murdoch scandals – gave a diligent, if somewhat flat-footed account of events that came to a head last summer, for an audience that, the producers seemed to assume, had missed most of the story.

In the same week, the BBC and the Australian Financial Review, opened up an entirely new chapter in the ever-expanding chronicles of News Corporation‘s scandals: NDS, a News Corp subsidiary company that developed encryption technology for pay TV outlets, had allegedly mounted a long-term effort of piracy and hacking in an effort to undermine its competitors. News Corp’s Australian arm has denied the allegations.

Here’s the thing: Murdoch’s empire may be under siege in one of the most riveting business tales of our time – featuring wounded celebrities, a dynastic family drama, and toadying at the highest levels of government – but American journalism has been mostly absent from the story. At best, it has been a sidelined presence, late to the game, and generally confused about how to get ahead of events happening in another country. This is, arguably, the best thing Murdoch has going for him: in the US, the seat of his company and the main motor of his fortunes, he has been able to hide in plain sight.

So, why the disconnect? In a universe of equal-access global information, how can such parallel worlds comfortably exist? In the world abroad, almost everything is coming apart for Murdoch: his top executives, including his son, face possible imprisonment, his businesses face dismemberment, his reputation is in ruins. In the world at home, he remains the largely untouchable chief executive of one of the most influential companies in the nation. Within the US business and journalistic community, there is no real sense that he is even vulnerable – precisely, or circularly, because it would require a US outcry to bring him down. And the business and journalistic communities, which would have to lead that outcry, haven’t begun to stir.

Many journalists, including Bergman, make the technical point that without an instance of phone-hacking on US soil, there is no smoking gun. Last summer, a spurious report in a second-tier British tabloid suggested that Murdoch reporters might have hacked the phones of 9/11 families, which would have provided an emotional gotcha. But without that, well … shrug.

Still, while this lack of jurisdiction might change the legal direction of the story, it ought not to change the journalistic view. The UK evidence trail reaches ever-more perilously close to Murdoch, the big kahuna. And such pursuit of such a personality is the sport of journalists, isn’t it?

What’s more, the constant revelations in the UK, and now Australia, reflect on the ethos of the whole company, most of which operates in the U.S.: News Corp. has built itself by an aggressiveness that defines its character and actions. The smoking guns seem limited only by one’s imagination.

And yet, nothing: not a single US news outlet has meaningful advanced the investigation of Murdoch and his company.

The one significant contribution from the US media came more than 18 months ago when the New York Times ran a Sunday magazine piece about the scandal. The Times’ attention furthered the story in Britain, and demonstrated the power of US media interest. But in fact, the Times mostly regurgitated what the Guardian had already reported.

At one level, the conundrum for journalists is Murdoch himself. He lives here; he makes most of his money here; he is a business superstar here. But he has never cut the kind of figure – nor been the object of such obsession – that he has in Australian and the UK. In the US, he owns largely anodyne entertainment and sports assets, rather than newspapers (the obstreperous New York Post is a local extravagance, and the Wall Street Journal is his reach for respectability); the exception is Fox News, but Roger Ailes is correctly perceived as its mastermind, and Murdoch as its more remote proprietor. While Murdoch is a figure of respect and even awe in the media community, he has never much captured the interest of people outside it.

Still, that ought to be a journalistic opportunity: to take the shadow figure and bring him into the light. But unless you are singularly committed, it is hard to take on power until its hold begins to loosen – and it hasn’t, quite. At least not in the US.

This may have been Murdoch’s annus horribilis, but News Corp’s share price has advanced by 30% over the year – the ultimate sign of public faith and corporate solidity. (For a business story of this complexity and magnitude, the logical outlet to cover it would have been the Wall Street Journal. Alas.)

From a journalistic standpoint, it is hard, or ought to be hard, to ignore the sense of drip-drip inevitability. In London, there are three fronts: the original hacking charges at the News of the World; investigation of police bribery at the Sun; and possible charges of obstruction of justice (that is, the alleged cover-up). The latter most directly threatens Murdoch’s son, James. Many of Murdoch’s senior-most managers have been arrested – and not yet charged. While the lack of charges seems to be interpreted in the US as a signal of weakness in the allegations, it more likely reflects the process of British law: plea bargains occur before indictment.

In other words, some of the arrested subjects are likely bargaining and getting ready to testify against each other and those above. If the dominoes begin to fall, that will increase pressure on the US Justice Department to act under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. And now, with the NDS story, allegations of scandal reach by another vector into the uppermost levels of the company: anything to do with pay TV strikes close to Chase Carey, the chief operating officer, and presumed “Mr Clean” alternative to people named Murdoch.

Of course, to truly report this story, you need sources inside the company at a high corporate level. It is a testament to the kind of aggressive loyalty that Murdoch has cultivated at News Corp (which has, arguably, been at the root of so much of the companies’ feral behavior), that few American reporters have such sources. Omerta rules.

And so the story has unfolded from the far ends of the empire, with the New York journalists working in close proximity to the company’s center of power woefully out of the loop – though it is they who, if they wanted to, could buttonhole Murdoch on the pavement.

Still. Hollywood seems suddenly roused. Judging from the shocked and outraged calls I’ve gotten in the days since Frontline acquainted PBS viewers with the basic details of this long-in-progress, slow-motion downfall of the most powerful man of our time, maybe, finally, the story has reached us. And is ripe. ... sfeed=true ... ?ref=media

On Edit: NBC's Today Show did have a short segment this morning with Mark Lewis.

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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:11 am

Sun royal editor Duncan Larcombe held in 'illegal payment' raids
The Sun's royal editor Duncan Larcombe was today arrested by detectives investigating alleged illegal payments to public officials by journalists.

10:00AM BST 19 Apr 2012

He was one of three people, also including a former member of the Armed Forces, held in dawn raids by detectives from Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden.

Mr Larcombe, 36, who was The Sun's defence editor until last year, was arrested at his home in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office. He was being questioned at a police station in Kent.

The ex-serviceman, aged 42, and a 38-year-old woman were held at an address in Lancashire at 6am. The man was held on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and a woman on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. They were being questioned at a police station in Lancashire.

Officers carried out searches at the homes of those under arrest.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's management standards committee.

"It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

The Management and Standards Committee was set up by Rupert Murdoch's parent company News Corp in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World last July.

It is carrying out internal investigations relating to Mr Murdoch's remaining UK papers – The Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times – and is working closely with the police team investigating alleged phone-hacking and corrupt payments to police and other public officials.

The raids bring to 26 the number of people who have now been held as part of the Elveden inquiry – which is linked to the Met's wide-ranging phone hacking probe – since July. In total, more than 50 people have now been arrested by officers investigating phone hacking, computer hacking, and payments to public officials.

The arrests came a day after prosecutors announced that they were considering whether to bring charges against 11 suspects in the scandal, after police handed over the first set of files from its investigation. The 11 suspects in the files are believed to include Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive.

The files handed over to the CPS relate to four journalists, one police officer and six other individuals and cover a range of alleged offences stemming from the investigation which began when the full extent of the phone hacking scandal was exposed last year.

The four files, which were handed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) within the past few weeks, relate to a variety of alleged offences covering journalists from beyond the now-defunct News of the World.

While the CPS refused to reveal the identities of those journalists named in the files, it is believed those whose cases are with prosecutors include Mrs Brooks, Amelia Hill, a reporter on The Guardian, and the former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck.

A total of 43 people are on bail in connection with the various police operations and it is thought more files will be passed to the CPS in the coming weeks.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby Stephen Morgan » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:26 pm

John "Beggsy" Beggs, QC, defending the Chief Constable of Surrey at Leveson (£750 per hour), and head of 3 Serjeants Inn, and whose wife runs a company which trains police in how to testify in court, was once a member of the Hunt Retribution Squad. He was their press officer, in which role he claimed that when they dug up a Duke's corpse they had intended to send his head to Princess Anne, and who also said that if a scientist died while they were rescuing test beasties he "wouldn't lose a great deal of sleep". Called himself the "Gerry Adams" of the animal rights movement.

Private Eye quotes one of his former partners in crime describing him as something of a ringleader, especially of criminal activities which led to lengthy jail terms for other involved, but never for Gerry. The Eye speculates that he may have been a police informant the whole time, quoting a then-member of the group saying they all assumed there was a police mole but didn't know who it was.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Prince Andrew's former lover Koo Stark to launch landmark phone hacking claim in the US against the Murdoch empire
Her voicemails were allegedly targeted while she was in America, taking the scandal across the Atlantic for the first time
Ms Stark has been told by the Met that she may be another News of the World victim and has instructed star lawyer Mark Lewis
PUBLISHED: 09:40 EST, 27 April 2012 | UPDATED: 10:19 EST, 27 April 2012

Court claim: Actress and Prince Andrew's former girlfriend Koo Stark, pictured recently, is believed to be pursuing News Corp in the U.S. courts for the first time
Actress and former lover of Prince Andrew Koo Stark will be the first to launch a phone-hacking claim against News Corporation in the US courts, it was claimed today.
The Met has informed the 55-year-old she may have been another victim of the News of the World and Ms Stark has instructed expert lawyer Mark Lewis, who won £3 million for Milly Dowler's family from the Murdoch empire.
Her advisers believe her voicemails were targeted while she was in America, taking the scandal across the Atlantic for the first time.
This could potentially be hugely damaging to Rupert Murdoch's reputation in the States.
Detectives investigating phone hacking have also contacted a senior aide to the Queen, according to the Evening Standard.
Ailsa Anderson, the press secretary at Buckingham Palace, was approached six weeks ago by detectives from Operation Weeting, which is investigating claims of illegal voicemail interception.
She was told that her name had been found on a list of names and telephone numbers kept by former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, who was jailed over phone hacking.
The link comes after a dramatic week of evidence at the Leveson inquiry into press ethics, with 81-year-old Mr Murdoch claiming he was the victim of a cover-up by senior executives at News International.

'I stand by my words on Gordon': Murdoch maintains former PM 'declared war' on his media empire
Hunt to hand over all private texts and emails as Tories turn up the heat on him and clamour grows for a Whitehall inquiry
Former NotW chief reporter will NOT face charges for 'intimidating News Corp chief after publishing his address'
This 'shameful lie': News of the World lawyer hits back in fury after Rupert Murdoch accuses 'journalists' drinking pal' of covering up hacking scandal
New York-born Ms Stark is one of six cases Mr Lewis is set to launch in the US with Norman Siegel, an American lawyer who has represented families of September 11 victims.
The threat of further legal action in America is likely to expose News Corp, the parent company of News International, which published the defunct Sunday tabloid, to further embarrassing claims and bring the furore to the front door of Murdoch’s headquarters in New York.

Lovers: Prince Andrew remained friends with his old flame Koo Stark, pictured together, after he had gone on to marry Sarah Ferguson
A source close to the case said: 'This will open up a new front in the scandal. Currently, the contagion has been isolated in Britain but if it spreads to the US it could threaten the American parent company.'
Ms Stark became a favourite of the tabloids after she began an 18-month relationship with Prince Andrew following his return from the Falklands in 1982.
However, the romance ended soon after it emerged that Ms Stark had appeared in an erotic film called Emily.

Threat: Rupert Murdoch, who appeared at the Leveson Inquiry to defend his company's actions now faces a threat to his reputation in America
The Duke of York went on to marry Sarah Ferguson but the pair remained friends and she was invited to his 50th birthday party at St James’s Palace in 2010. Ms Stark divided her time between London and the US, living variously in Florida, Connecticut and New York. However, the actress-turned-photographer fell on hard times after a bitter divorce and she was ejected from her Kensington mews flat following a row with her landlord, Earl Cadogan.

Star: Koo Stark was a huge star but has more recently fallen on hard times and was declared bankrupt last year
Ms Stark was declared bankrupt last year after a lengthy stay at the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge. She reportedly ran up a £32,000 bill.
Scotland Yard contacted her recently to say she appeared in the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire, who was jailed for phone-hacking in 2007 with Clive Goodman. The Met is contacting up to 4,000 celebrities, footballers and politicians who appear in 11,000 pages, hard drives and other equipment seized from the private investigator when he was first arrested in 2006.
Ms Anderson, who is in charge of PR at the palace, said she was contacted because her number was found in Goodman’s contact book. She said: 'I have been contacted by Weeting. I am 99 per cent certain I have not been hacked and I am not surprised at all that my name and details appeared in the contacts book of a journalist.'
Mr Lewis refused to discuss Ms Stark’s case. However, he has recently returned from a trip to meet lawyers in the US. The Murdoch empire is facing two investigations in the US. The FBI is examining claims by actor Jude Law that his phone was hacked while he was at JFK airport in New York.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice is examining allegations that News International’s journalists in Britain paid police for stories. Corrupt payments to overseas public officials by US companies are prohibited by the Foreign & Corrupt Practices Act.
As executive chairman of NI at the time, James Murdoch could have his assets seized and even jailed if any employee is found guilty of bribing officials outside the US. News International declined to comment.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:47 pm

Steve Bell on the resignation of Jeremy Hunt's special adviser
Labour says Adam Smith sacrificed to deflect attention from culture secretary's own close relationship with News Corp

Steve Bell on the Leveson inquiry
Emails released by News Corp appear to show the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his office passed confidential information to the Murdoch empire over its bid for BSkyB
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:09 pm

Some sad and unfortunate (for me) revelations about Murdoch's involvement with Alex Salmond recently. Not the kind of thing that I really want to be hearing about Mein Fuhrer at the present time. Nothing too damaging really, when compared to the frantic decades-long Murdoch arse-camping of the Unionist parties, but still not edifying, or readily excusable.

Nobody knows what I'm talking about, do they? :lol: Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, the man I am mostly relying on to deliver independence, or at least deliver a referendum on it, apparently took a bit of a shine to Murdoch at one point and promised he would put in a good word on his behalf to Jeremy Hunt, who was adjudicating on the BSkyB bid.

I don't really know why the Murdoch Empire thought that Alex Salmond's views on the matter would be treated favourably at all by a Tory Culture Secretary in London, but it seems they did think that would be the case. I'm not sure why they bothered "cultivating" Salmond, since it seems clear that Jeremy Hunt was bought and paid for in advance anyway. But regardless - it looks bad for Salmond, and that is bad for me, for the time being.

Also, I'm sorry I took a big huff earlier over the fact that Paul McBride's death was not mentioned on this thread. I was really more annoyed that it was barely mentioned at all in the mainstream media here, and that's not nobody on this thread's fault.

It has still been barely mentioned in the mainstream media here. To put it in a North American context, it is a bit like if Clarence Darrow had been found dead in an Acapulco hotel room shortly before the trial of Leopold and Loeb, and nobody involved in the trial had showed any signs of caring one bit, at all, in any way, that the defence lawyer had just died without explanation in a place he had no reason to be in.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:33 pm

Gnostic, there is information being posted over on Something Awful by a guy who claims he was hanging out at THOIC when they were having ITV Digital's codes regularly leaked to them via Murdoch's NDS, so that they could hack and bring down Sky's rival cable companies. It is fascinating stuff - I cannot vouch for it's reliability. Tom Watson is following it though.

Something Awful isn;t as terrible as it once was, and it's serious discussion sections are serious, but I accept no responsibility for any offence or whatever caused by following the link: ... enumber=86

A sample of what they are saying over there about THOIC and NDS:

There are a ton of emails between Ray Adams and the Thoic webmaster, I will put a post together with any juicy bits I can find this weekend.

However in the meantime - and because every email seems to be a goldmine, this should tickle your fancy BM.


RFC Headers:

From: Gutman, Avigail
To: Adams, Ray
Date: 12/9/1999 2:47:06 AM
Subject: RE:
Ray -- I agree that we need to get exclusivity with him.

I would like to speak to Reuven, to increase my budget for next year so as to include part of his maintenance. What do you think?

I know Len is trying to help Lee manage his time better. One of the things I think Lee needs is a periodical "bigger picture" view, which will enable him to shift his focus according to our changing priorities... I would be happy to sit with him on some of these - if and when you think that would be appropriate.

Another thing that perhaps Andy can help him with is "automation" of certain routines he goes through. I don't know if he is open to this or not - but with the long-term relationship view in mind - this could save on time and resources....



-----Original Message-----
From: Adams, Ray
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 5:17 PM
To: Gutman, Avigail
Subject: RE:

No need to phone. I handled it. I said that English is not your
first language and that you are also under tremendous pressure with a
heavy workload and no one to assist you. I told him to consider
himself as your assistant.

We need to speak soon about making Lee totally and exclusively ours
and the budget that is needed. This month he cost me £5,000 out of
my budget for his retainer and a new computer and a 21" monitor.
This is very high but it gives an indication of the type of costs we
can run into. TEL is paying him something like £1,500 a month. We
will need to get the TEL part from somewhere else to bring him fully
in- house. I have thought of making him an NDS employee and thereby
subject to an NDA.

Anyway I would appreciate your thoughts. Also think of this.
Until now he has developed THOIC in design and content on his own with
nudges from me. We need to look critically at what THOIC is and dose
and see if it needs to change.


-----Original Message-----
From: Gutman, Avigail
Sent: 08 December 1999 15:04
To: Adams, Ray
Subject: RE:

Ray -- I'm sorry, written words are sometimes heard harsher than they
are said...

I was actually using the term jokingly, and the emphasis was on "is
everything alright" with HIM.

He IS a valuable resource and I tell him this every time we speak on
the phone and in emails, too. I don't say it for his ego - I say it
because I really think it.

Should I phone him on this - I don't want him to worry or to be
offended... I'll do whatever you suggest.



-----Original Message-----
From: Adams, Ray
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 4:41 PM
To: Gutman, Avigail


You are not and never, or will, be blacklisted. Why do you use such
strong words.

THOIC is now of significant importance to us. I am preparing a Mk 2
site in case THPOIC is ever exposed. However, I think you will agree
that THOIC is a wonderful tool to have. I keep impressing on Lee
that he must not take any risk and expose the site. Add to that his
jumpiness when he sees something that makes it look like the finger of
suspicion is pointing to him. Even MM said openly to him that he
suspected that his E Mail had been accessed.

Lee has no background or experience as a field investigator. He does
not have the ability to evaluate or judge. To him everything that is
said is true and of equal value. It is pointless trying to pass on
the skills and judgement to him - it would take too long. So my
constant message is that of caution.

He does not know you. He has not met you. He can only judge by the
written word. You have challenged him in the past but that is water
under the bridge. So please do not even suggest that there is
anything being witheld from you.

Now. It is clear from your message to him that you have other
sources. He will now be looking for clues as to who they are.
This is an ego problem. He means you know harm, but, you have
questioned his trust of you and want him to be open - and now you tell
him you have other sources and are keeping things from him. This
will wind him up. It is not necessary to let him know these things.
Always come to me with such issues.

Relax., You have complete access to a valuable resource.


Ray undoubtedly controlled Thoic.

In a very real sense I have no real idea who or what they are talking about, but it's important, and it seems that primary actors in the whole cable-hacking business are (very unwisely) posting over there. It's interesting anyway.

It seems News International, and News Corp, their executives etc. were deliberately collaborating with the cable TV hacking underworld and various mobs of pirates to bring down their TV rivals, and reduce their profitablity. Paying pirates to attack their foes. A digital form of privateering, basically. This would constitute clear criminality, and would rule out News Corp and News International as being "fit and proper" broadcasters and publishers in the UK. Which would be nice.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby gnosticheresy_2 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:07 pm

AhabsOtherLeg wrote:Gnostic, there is information being posted over on Something Awful by a guy who claims he was hanging out at THOIC when they were having ITV Digital's codes regularly leaked to them via Murdoch's NDS, so that they could hack and bring down Sky's rival cable companies. It is fascinating stuff - I cannot vouch for it's reliability. Tom Watson is following it though.

Something Awful isn;t as terrible as it once was, and it's serious discussion sections are serious, but I accept no responsibility for any offence or whatever caused by following the link: ... enumber=86

I LOVE this, it's making me laugh. "Ok lads, I have a cunning plan: we'll get some random internet people to hack all our rivals and then never talk about it" :rofl:

Don't mind SA, don't even mind the Goons in their various incarnations. Apparently I have a namesake over there, one day if I ever have any spare money I might subscribe and find out.

<edit> this helpful post on SA sums things up a bit

I admit I've completely lost track of what all this hacking stuff means, even after reading the thread. Could someone explain what all these connections Moses is finding mean?

NDS are a security company operating out of Israel who were owned wholly by Sky. Around the time that pay-TV competitors were entering the market against Sky (famously ITV Digital) NDS were in contact and employing hackers in a collective known as THOIC (The House of Ill Compute). NDS used their links with THOIC to root out hackers working on hacks of Sky digital boxes, but encouraged/helped/possibly gave real material aid to those who were hacking their competitors. NDS are now the main cable-card security firm in the world. News International have no knowledge of hacking and never participated in such grubby actions ever.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby gnosticheresy_2 » Tue May 01, 2012 8:01 am

Still think this will bring down the government, but in the meantime it'll be interesting to see how this will play in the US

Rupert Murdoch 'not fit' to lead major international company, MPs conclude

Select committee also says James Murdoch showed 'wilful ignorance' of extent of phone hacking at News of the World

Read the full select committee report

Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James's role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.

The Commons culture, media and sport select committee also concluded that James Murdoch showed "wilful ignorance" of the extent of phone hacking during 2009 and 2010 – in a highly charged document that saw MPs split on party lines as regards the two Murdochs.

Labour MPs and the sole Liberal Democrat on the committee, Adrian Sanders, voted together in a bloc of six against the five Conservatives to insert the criticisms of Rupert Murdoch and toughen up the remarks about his son James. But the MPs were united in their criticism of other former News International employees.

The cross-party group of MPs said that Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International, was "complicit" in a cover-up at the newspaper group, and that Colin Myler, former editor of the News of the World, and the paper's ex-head of legal, Tom Crone, deliberately withheld crucial information and answered questions falsely. All three were accused of misleading parliament by the culture select committee.

Rupert Murdoch, the document said, "did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking" and "turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications".

The committee concluded that the culture of the company's newspapers "permeated from the top" and "speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International".

That prompted the MPs' report to say: "We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of major international company."

James Murdoch is described as exhibiting a "lack of curiosity … wilful ignorance even" at the time of the negotiations surrounding the 2008 Gordon Taylor phone-hacking settlement and into 2009 and 2010. The younger son of Rupert Murdoch is criticised for failing to appreciate the significance of the News of the World hacking when the "for Neville" email first became public in 2009 and during subsequent investigations by parliament in February 2010 and a New York Times report in September 2010.

"We would add to these admissions that as the head of a journalistic enterprise, we are astonished that James Murdoch did not seek more information or ask to see the evidence and counsel's opinion when he was briefed by Tom Crone and Colin Myler on the Gordon Taylor case," the select committee said.

Even if James Murdoch did not appreciate the significance of the £700,000 Taylor payout, the committee concluded it was "simply astonishing" that he did not realise that the "one 'rogue reporter' line was untrue" until late 2010, after a previous inquiry by the culture select committee which ran during 2009 and reported in February 2010.

According to minutes published by the committee, the MPs were almost unanimous in their criticism of Hinton, Myler and Crone.

Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and News International boss, was largely spared from the MPs' criticism. The report said that it would not draw conclusions on evidence to the committee about Milly Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl whose voicemail messages were hacked by the News of the World in 2002, because of an ongoing police investigation into Brooks.

However, the MPs said that Brooks must take responsibility for "the culture which permitted" unethical newsgathering methods over Dowler in 2002. The MPs said: "The attempts by the News of the World to get a scoop on Milly Dowler led to a considerable amount of police resource being redirected to the pursuit of false leads."

Brooks is on police bail after being arrested as part of Scotland Yard's investigation into phone hacking on 17 July 2011 and, separately, on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice along with her husband, Charlie, on 13 March this year. Brooks denies knowledge of or involvement in phone hacking or other illegal activities.

The culture select committee charged Hinton with being "complicit" in a cover-up of wrongdoing at Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

MPs said that Myler and Crone deliberately withheld crucial information and answered falsely questions put by the committee.

The executives demonstrated contempt for parliament "in the most blatant fashion", the MPs said, in what they described as a corporate attempt to mislead the committee about the true extent of phone hacking at the News of the World.

The MPs said that Hinton, executive chairman of News International until December 2007, had "inexcusably" mislead the committee over his role in authorising the £243,000 payout to Clive Goodman, the former royal editor convicted of phone hacking in January that year.

"We consider, therefore, that Les Hinton was complicit in the cover-up at News International, which included making misleading statements and giving a misleading picture to the committee," the MPs said.

Crone and Myler were accused of deliberately misleading the MPs on the culture select committee in 2009 and again in 2011 about their alleged knowledge that phone hacking went beyond a single "rogue reporter" at the now-closed Sunday tabloid.

"Both Tom Crone and Colin Myler deliberately avoided disclosing crucial information to the committee and, when asked to do, answered questions falsely," the MPs said in the report.

All three executives now face the prospect of being called to apologise before parliament, in a constitutional move that has not been used for almost half a century.

The report could prove especially problematic for Myler, who is only five months into his editorship at the New York Daily Post.

The select committee said it would table a Commons motion asking parliament to endorse its conclusions about misleading evidence.

News Corp said in a statement: "News Corporation is carefully reviewing the select committee's report and will respond shortly. The company fully acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News of the World and apologises to everyone whose privacy was invaded."
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed May 09, 2012 10:20 am

The Woman Who Could Bring Down Cameron
May 9, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
This week, when the Leveson Inqury resumes in London, all eyes will be on Rebekah Brooks. Peter Jukes takes a closer look at the former Queen of Fleet Street.

In the spring of 2010, Paul McMullan found himself staking out a hoof-marked riding trail alongside some woodland near the country mansion of Rebekah Brooks, his former boss. A veteran Fleet Street journalist who’d spent much of his career at the notorious News of the World tabloid, McMullan was now hunting for a front-page shot: Brooks, one of Britain’s most powerful press players, on horseback alongside David Cameron, the man many pegged as its next prime minister.

Since taking the reins at News of the World a decade earlier, Brooks had risen to become a fearsome operator on the media scene. Now CEO of News International, Rupert Murdoch’s mighty U.K. media arm, she oversaw four of Britain’s most influential newspapers—making her a force for politicians to reckon with. McMullan was acting on a tip for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper that Brooks and Cameron often joined one another for riding jaunts. Local publicans, riders and dog riders had told him the group could be caught some weekend mornings around dawn. A photo would suggest how Cameron and the Murdoch family’s most trusted deputy were cozying up. “That was the shot that might have changed the whole election,” McMullan says. “It could have encapsulated the idea that David Cameron was molded by the Murdochs.”

McMullan never got his photo (he says he overslept). But the Murdoch newspapers had swung their support Cameron’s way, and he emerged as the new prime minister after hotly contested elections that May. Two years later, his relationship with Brooks has become one of the most contentious topics in the phone-hacking saga rocking Britain. And with Brooks scheduled to take the stand at the public inquiry into the scandal on Friday—amid reports that she’ll release texts and emails between herself and the prime minister, reportedly up to twelve text messages a day signed off with a kiss—Cameron is finding himself increasingly drawn into the middle of the drama.

For Cameron, this threatens to snowball what has been a damaging two weeks into something worse. The Conservative party was badly battered in Thursday’s local elections; it was announced that the U.K. had slid back into recession; and it was revealed that a senior News Corp. lobbyist may have been inappropriately close to officials in Cameron’s government as the company made a controversial bid for the majority stake in TV giant BSkyB.

“Even those who liked her knew she was a very dangerous friend.”

Britain Phone Hacking

In this Oct. 6, 2009 file photo, Chief Executive of News International Rebekah Brooks is seen at the Conservative Party Conference, Manchester, England. (Jon Super / AP Photo)

What started as a scandal over phone-hacking at the News of the World has now become an investigation into what could be an even bigger political scandal: The question of whether a quid pro quo may have existed between the Conservative Party, seeking the support of Murdoch’s four major papers in the U.K., in return for nodding through News Corp’s $16 billion bid for the remainder of the most lucrative U.K. broadcaster.

Nearly a year since the scandal reached a head, much remains fuzzy about Brooks—mainly, how she was able to rise so fast. Much of the speculation has focused on her relationship with Murdoch, with Brooks deemed an “impostor daughter” to the 81-year-old mogul. But there seems to have been one undeniable feature of her rise: an uncanny ability to get close to people in power. Nowhere was that more evident than in her relationship with Cameron—which was always a dangerous prospect for any politician, and may come back to bite him in the end.

“She was a formidable enemy to have,” Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been leading the campaign against phone hacking in Parliament, tells The Daily Beast. “But even those who liked her knew she was a very dangerous friend.”

Brooks was known to be close with both Tony Blair and his successor, Gordon Brown. They came to her wedding, and she famously attended a sleepover held by Brown’s wife. But sources say Brooks was especially intent on courting Cameron. “Rebekah effectively stalked David Cameron in his constituency home,” is how one Cameron opponent inside Westminster puts it. “The phone would ring all the time, and it would be 'Hi, it's Rebekah.’ She’s brilliant at the networking thing. She didn't just want to be Cameron's friend: she wanted to be his best friend. It was an aggressive courtship. It was a campaign.”

Cameron was director of public affairs for the powerful commercial TV station Carlton before he was elected to Parliament in 2001, a promising but relatively unknown MP. Brooks, for her part, was a regular weekender in Cameron’s wealthy North Oxfordshire constituency, whose honey-colored limestone mansions are just over an hour outside London. As the editor of the highest-circulation English-language paper in the world, with a formidable reputation for salacious celebrity scoops and merciless political exposes, she was a figure any politician would seek to please or pacify.

According to some colleagues, it was not Brooks’ journalistic skill that shone through during her three years editing News of the World, at a time when hacking was rife. “She didn’t understand journalism,” says a senior journalist who lost his job when the paper was shuttered last year. “So she created an atmosphere where things like hacking happened.” McMullan, who was caught on tape by the actor Hugh Grant talking openly about illegal activities at News of the World, first met Brooks in the late nineties, when she was a junior features editor. “She was sweet but out of her depth,” he says. “Most her ideas seemed to come from old copies of Cosmopolitan magazine she’d seen at a doctor’s surgery. She used to congratulate journalists for doing the simplest things.”

Though McMullan has openly accused Brooks and her deputy Andy Coulson of overseeing the phone hacking, he still has a soft spot for her. “She was so hopeless, she made you want to protect her,” he says.

It’s a common refrain among both foes and friends: Brooks evinces a strange mixture of charm and vulnerability. Tactile and open, she makes you feel both important and protective. She shares confidences as if you are the only person she trusts in the world.

McMullan left the Sunday tabloid a year after Brooks became editor, annoyed that she had become “more interested in her celebrity friends” than journalism. But Neville Thurlbeck, who was her news editor then and has since been arrested under suspicion of phone hacking, thinks this was part of her strength. “She had the full skill set,” he says. “Namely, a long list of highly placed contacts who would bend over backwards to help her.”

Those contacts took root. The seeds of what is now called the ‘Chipping Norton’ set, named after the local town in the rolling Cotswold Hills, date back to the late nineties when PR guru Matthew Freud (great grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis) retreated to a family house there during his reported on off relationship with Elisabeth Murdoch, who was then pregnant with his child. Brooks soon rented a cottage close to theirs on the Blenheim estate and was on hand for Elisabeth’s bridal shower, and attended the very small private wedding in which the elder Murdoch gave his daughter away.

Even one of Cameron’s biographer’s, the Independent’s James Hanning, says he doesn’t know for sure when Cameron and Brooks first met. The first public record of the Brooks/Cameron connection can be found in the House of Commons Register of Members Interests, which details how Brooks invited Samantha and David Cameron to a lavish World Cup Party hosted by the Beckhams in 2006.

But the relationship is more likely to go back at least a year earlier, to Cameron’s bid to become leader of the Conservative Party. At that point Cameron was a relatively unknown figure, and had held no senior office in government and had only been in the shadow cabinet for a couple of years, but he leapt onto the political stage with an impressively crafted PR campaign and the promise of a detoxified Tory brand. Plausible, articulate and claiming green credentials combined with a social liberalism, Cameron was billed by the press as an ‘heir to Blair’ from the centre-right.

In October 2005, Brooks’ close friend and former deputy, Andy Coulson, pre-empted an exclusive story in a rival paper, the Mirror on Sunday about Cameron’s campaign manager, George Osborne, and allegations of drug taking. Coulson was then editor of News of the World, which ran a "spoiler" on the same day in which Osborne denied the allegations. Months later, one of Brooks’ chief executive editors at the Sun was appointed Cameron’s speechwriter. Coulson would get even closer to the new Tory leader and be appointed as the party’s communications chief just months after he’d resigned from News of the World in the wake of the first phone hacking trials in 2007. He gives his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry this Thursday, a day before his former boss.

It was Coulson’s appointment, according to one former News International journalist, that seemed to seal Rebekah’s campaign to shift News International from years of Labour support. Until that point, Murdoch had been skeptical of the new Tory leader. According to Murdoch’s biographer, Michael Wolff, who spent hours with the media mogul during this time, “Whenever Cameron was mentioned, Rupert used to screw up his face and mutter dismissively, ‘PR’.”

In 2009, on the eve of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour Party Conference, the best-selling Sun tabloid changed twelve years of Labour support and in a fullpage headline claimed ‘Labour’s Lost It’. By the time of the 2010 general election, when all four News International newspaper titles had moved to the Conservatives, Brooks was the new CEO, and she had married Charlie Brooks. She moved into Brooks’ family pile, a large manor house only a mile or so away from Cameron’s constituency home. After the new government was formed, Rebekah was reportedly one of a select handful of guests at the Prime Minister’s private birthday party, otherwise attended by old school and college friends.

A source close to Cameron is known to regale friends with the story of the time he asked the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron, how she and her husband distinguish their real friends from those who have just latched onto them because of their power and celebrity. “Well, there’s x and there’s y and there’s z,” Samantha Cameron replies in the tale. “And then there’s Rebekah...”

“She courted him like crazy as soon as he became leader,” the source tells the Daily Beast. “It was all one way.” A former News International insider maintains the personal and political were one in the same for Brooks: “She liked to be close to power. It was very personal, but also about power in its purest sense—advancing the interests of the company.”

Since the events of last summer, the influence of the Chipping Norton set as an axis of media and political power seems gone for good. As Mark Borkowski, a rival PR titan to Matthew Freud, explains: “There’s a sort of strange unwritten law that no one talks about it. It’s like Victorian England, when everybody can’t deal with death. It’s not that the Chipping Norton set faded away. It’s now toxic.” But it’s this cosy set of friendships, riding excursions, and commercial and political interests that form the greatest danger for Cameron as Brooks and Coulson take the stand this week.

Rebekah has a new daughter, born in January to a surrogate mother. But she could be indicted on several serious charges and could well be facing prison time. The allegations against her have gotten so serious, and the coverage and vitriol so intense, that many are worried she’ll argue she can’t get a fair trial in Britain—and indeed, the human rights lawyer she hired to help her defense published an article in the Telegraph recently arguing exactly that.

Brooks has been arrested and interviewed on suspicion of three different offences—phone hacking, payment to police officers and suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Police files in the case of the latter suspect offense have been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, but no charges have been made against Brooks yet. Anything relating to possible criminal charges cannot be discussed at the Leveson Inquiry, in order not to prejudice any future trials. On Friday this week Brook's networking with politicians will be the main theme—and more than anyone Cameron will be in the dock. The cross questioning has already begun.

Only two months ago, the revelation that Brooks had been loaned the use of a retired Metropolitan police horse caused the Cameron to derail a press conference during an important EU summit, and admit he had ridden the horse in question, Raisa, which was reportedly returned to the Met in poor condition in 2010. The image of the Prime Minister out ‘hacking’ with a knackered old mare was a gift enough for cartoonists and satirists, but Cameron was careful to emphasize his friendship with Rebekah’s new husband, the former race horse trainer, Charlie. Cameron pointed that they were old school chums from Eton, Britain’s most elite private school.

But as a senior Tory explained “Cameron and Charlie were four academic years apart at Eton, and in different houses [halls of residence]. It’s highly unlikely they ever knew each other.” Riding in Britain is generally associated with the landed gentry and for David Cameron, whose Conservative led Coalition government is increasingly perceived as privileged (there are eight old Etonians in the Cabinet), the image of him consorting with an old boy network on horseback was hardly welcome But it was better than the alternative—a picture of the Prime Minister out riding with the former Queen of Fleet Street, Rebekah Brooks.

—With Mike Giglio in London

Murdoch’s Civil War

With the scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British papers engulfing his BSkyB network-and perhaps even threatening Fox-the empire is in full damage-control mode. Not even Murdoch’s son James is immune as News Corp., bent on reshaping its image, feeds fresh evidence to the police.
By Sarah Ellison

OUT OF CONTROL Evidence turned over by News Corp. has implicated more and more of Rupert Murdoch’s journalists as ripples from phone hacking continue to widen.

My heart stopped for 40 seconds. That was the front page of the first issue of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun on Sunday, launched on February 26 as a replacement for the News of the World, which Murdoch had shut down as a result of the ever expanding phone-hacking scandal in Britain. The new paper, which piggybacks the existing weekday Sun, was an attempt to maintain a presence in the lucrative Sunday-tabloid market—and to reassure the staffs at Murdoch’s British newspapers that, despite ongoing arrests, the proprietor stood squarely behind them. But Murdoch has not yet been able to get out in front of the scandal, and although the launch was a success—the first issue sold more than three million copies—the story didn’t prove a distraction for long.

The very next morning, in Room 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice, tucked away at the end of a hall of Gothic arches, Sue Akers, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, disclosed a headline-grabbing series of new discoveries from her investigation into Murdoch’s newspapers. Prior to her testimony, Akers, an attractive woman in her mid-50s, wearing Dior glasses, her blond hair cut short, sat in the front row of the press gallery, chatting with John Prescott, a former deputy prime minister. Akers had been the one to inform Prescott that his voice-mail messages, which the police had assured him on at least half a dozen occasions had never been hacked, had in fact been hacked 45 times. When Akers stood to take her place at the witness desk, straightening her boxy police jacket, I recalled that she had been the inspiration for Helen Mirren’s character in the British TV drama Prime Suspect.

Hands clasped on the desk before her, Akers told Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who is conducting a broad inquiry into the practices of the British media, that her investigation had found evidence of deep corruption at the weekday Sun, to which the spotlight had turned when it shifted from the News of the World. She talked of payments from Rupert Murdoch’s journalists at The Sun—in return for information—to “a wide range of public officials” in “all areas of public life.” There appeared to be, she said, “a culture at The Sun of illegal payments,” with systems to facilitate those payments, including a way to hide the identities of the officials being paid. One government official received £80,000 in alleged corrupt payments over a number of years, she testified, and one Sun journalist had paid out a total of more than £150,000 to various government sources.

The amounts of money and the sheer extent of the networks took spectators by surprise. The most important fact about Akers’s testimony, however, was not any specific piece of information but where all the information had come from. The authorities had not obtained it as a result of months of detective work. Rather, it had been gathered by Rupert Murdoch’s own executives and given to the police. Everyone inside his British newspapers (and within the top echelons of his company) now understands that there are only so many routes to survival—for themselves, for their employers—and that arrangements must be made with cold calculation. Self-preservation trumps loyalty at every turn.

But even as the company’s directors and executives promise to root out wrongdoing, new examples keep cropping up. The danger of this accumulation is that, at a certain point, the individual instances of misconduct become so numerous that the company’s leadership can no longer point fingers anywhere but at itself.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue May 15, 2012 8:04 am


Rebekah Brooks to Be Charged in Hacking Case


LONDON—Prosecutors in the U.K. said they will charge the former head of News Corp.'s NWSA -0.40% British newspaper unit, Rebekah Brooks, on Tuesday with conspiring to obstruct justice, marking the first charges filed in a wide-ranging criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the U.S. media company's British tabloids.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks leaving the High Court in London on May 11.

Ms. Brooks, who served as editor of the News of the World and the Sun tabloids before running all of News Corp.'s newspapers in the U.K., is due to be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with perverting the course of justice. Prosecutors also plan to charge her husband, Charles Brooks; her former assistant; her chauffeur; and two men who provided security for Ms. Brooks.

The obstruction charges relate to the continuing police investigation into phone hacking and the alleged corruption of public officials by News Corp. titles, the News of the World and the Sun newspapers, according to prosecutors. Ms. Brooks has also been previously arrested on suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications, but she wasn't charged Tuesday in relation to either of those allegations. She remains on bail for those allegations.

The planned charges spelled out by prosecutors date to a period from July 6-19 of last year, when the long-simmering phone-hacking scandal—the subject of a police probe since January 2011—boiled over publicly following a July 5 article in the Guardian newspaper alleging that the News of the World had hacked the phone of a missing teenage girl, who was later found dead. Days later, News Corp. closed the 168-year old News of the World.

Ms. Brooks, a longtime protégé of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, faces three charges. Prosecutors said she conspired with her husband, Charles Brooks; Cheryl Carter, her former assistant; her chauffeur, Paul Edwards; and two individuals employed by the company that provided security for her, Mark Hanna and Daryl Jorsling. Messrs. Hanna and Edwards remain employees of News Corp.

Prosecutors said she also allegedly conspired with her former assistant, Cheryl Carter, "permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International."

And Ms. Brooks, her husband and several of the others allegedly conspired "to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment" from police officers, prosecutors said.

Ms Brooks and her husband said in a statement, "We deplore this weak and unjust decision" and said they would respond later Tuesday to what they described as "the further unprecedented posturing" of the prosecution service.

A lawyer for Ms. Carter said in a statement that "she vigorously denies" the charges. The three others due to be charged couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Brooks, 43 years old, is a central figure in the scandal over illegal voice-mail interception and alleged bribery at News Corp.'s tabloids. She was the editor of The News of the World when many of the alleged phone-hacking incidents occurred.

The charges will also serve as an embarrassment for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is a longtime friend of Mr. Brooks and had become close to Ms. Brooks too.

A spokeswoman for News International, News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit said she didn't have any immediate comment.

Rebekah Brooks to be charged with perverting the course of justice

Former News International chief executive, her husband and four others to be charged in phone-hacking inquiry

Sandra Laville, crime correspondent, Tuesday 15 May 2012 06.48 EDT

The Crown Prosecution Service says Rebekah Brooks will be charged with perverting the course of justice. Video: ITN Link to this video

Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, is to be charged over allegations that she tried to conceal evidence from detectives investigating phone hacking and alleged bribes to public officials.

Brooks, one of the most high-profile figures in the newspaper industry, will be charged later on Tuesday with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in July last year at the height of the police investigation, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced.

She is accused of conspiring with others, including her husband, Charlie Brooks, the racehorse trainer and friend of the prime minister, and her personal assistant, to conceal material from detectives.

Brooks and her husband were informed of the charging decision – the first since the start of the Operation Weeting phone-hacking investigation last January – when they answered their bail at a police station in London on Tuesday morning.

They are among six individuals from News International, along with the company's head of security, Mark Hanna, to be charged over allegations that they removed material, documents and computers to hide them from officers investigating phone hacking. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life, although the average term served in prison is 10 months.

In a statement, Brooks and her husband – who are both close to David Cameron – condemned the decision made by senior lawyers and overseen by Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions.

"We deplore this weak and unjust decision after the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS," the statement said. "We will respond later today after our return from the police station."

The Crown Prosecution Service chose to announce the charges against Brooks, her husband and four others, in a televised statement in the interests of "transparency and accountability".

Brooks is accused in one charge of conspiring with her PA, Cheryl Carter, to "remove seven boxes of material from the archives of News International".

In a separate charge she is accused of conspiring with her husband, Hanna, her chauffeur and a security consultant to conceal "documents and computers" from the investigating detectives. All the offences are alleged to have taken place in July last year.

Alison Levitt QC, Starmer's principal legal adviser, said the decision to charge six of the seven individuals arrested over the allegations came after prosecutors applied the two-stage test they are required to when making charging decisions.

"I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except the seventh there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction," she said.

"I then considered the second stage of the test and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six."

Levitt said the televised statement had been made in "the interests of transparency and accountability to explain the decisions reached in respect of allegations that Rebekah Brooks conspired with her husband, Charles Brooks, and others to pervert the course of justice".

She said detectives handed prosecutors a file of evidence on 27 March this year in relation to seven suspects: Brooks, her husband, Hanna, Carter, Paul Edwards who was Brooks's chauffeur employed by News International, and Daryl Jorsling, who provided security for Brooks, supplied by News international.

The seventh suspect – who has not been named – also provided security. But Levitt said no charges were to be laid against him.

Brooks is charged on count one that between 6 July and 19 July 2011 she conspired with Charles Brooks, Carter, Hanna, Edwards, Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

On count two she is charged with Carter between 6 July and 9 July 2011 of conspiring together to permanently remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International. In the third count Brooks is charged with her husband, Hanna, Edwards and Jorsling and persons unknown of conspiring together between 15 July and 19 July 2011 to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Carter, in a statement issued through her solicitor, said she "vigorously denies" the charges.

All the allegations relate to the police investigation into allegations of phone hacking and corruption of public officials in relation to the News of the World and the Sun newspapers, Levitt said.

Brooks and her husband had travelled to London from their home in Oxfordshire to answer their bail following their arrest in March on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. They were informed of the decision at that meeting. They will attend Westminster magistrates court along with the four others at a date to be fixed.

The couple and the other four alleged conspirators become the first to be charged as a result of the new Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking, which began in January last year. The inquiry is one of three linked investigations for which the Yard has budgeted £40m for until 2015.

Carter was the first to be arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in January. Two months later the other suspects were arrested.

The news of charges comes as Scotland Yard announced on Tuesday that two further individuals had been arrested in connection with alleged bribery of public officials.

A 50-year-old man who works for HM Revenue and Customs and a 43-year-old woman from the same address were arrested by officers from Operation Eleveden, the Met police operation investigating alleged bribery of public officials. The man was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and the woman on suspicion of aiding and abetting the offence.

Brooks was a high-flyer at News International. At 31, she became News of the World editor and three years later, in 2003, was given the editorship of the Sun.

She was appointed chief executive of News International in 2009 before quitting in July 2011.

Days later she was arrested over alleged phone hacking and corruption offences, for which she remains on bail without charge.

She was arrested again in March in connection with the separate allegation of perverting the course of justice along with her husband and others.

Mr Brooks has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph as well as writing a novel entitled Citizen.

Prosecutors are still considering four files of evidence – relating to at least 20 suspects – and involving allegations of phone hacking, alleged bribery of public officials and misconduct in a public office from the linked inquiries.

Starmer said he was facing "very difficult and sensitive decisions" as he predicted last month more cases were coming his way.

Police launched Operation Weeting, the inquiry devoted specifically to phone hacking, after receiving "significant new information" from News International on 26 January last year.

Operation Elveden was launched months later following allegations that News International journalists made illegal payments to police officers.

Officers also launched three related operations: the Sasha inquiry into allegations of perverting the course of justice; Kilo, an inquiry into police leaks; and Tuleta, the investigation into computer-related offences, as the inquiry escalated.

News International did not immediately make a statement, but confirmed that it still employed Hanna and Edwards.

A spokesman for Rebekah Brooks said she and her husband were still with police, and that the couple were likely to release a further statement on Tuesday afternoon.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby Stephen Morgan » Tue May 15, 2012 12:27 pm

That Brooks is spending half her time in the police station recently. Involvement in the investigation into that murder case, phone hacking arrests, the time she beat up her husband. Home away from home for her now, I expect. Nasty piece of work.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible. -- Lawrence of Arabia
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 31, 2012 10:30 am

Report: Former News of the World editor charged with perjury
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:19 PM EDT, Wed May 30, 2012

London (CNN) -- A former editor of Rupert Murdoch's disgraced News of the World tabloid was arrested and charged with perjury over court testimony about phone hacking, according to the United Kingdom's Press Association.

Andy Coulson, 44, was held in connection with a Scottish police investigation into phone hacking and perjury at the trial of a politician, Tommy Sheridan, who had sued the News of the World.

The case is potentially deeply embarrassing for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired Coulson to run his communications team after Coulson resigned from the News of the World. Coulson no longer works for Cameron.

Earlier Wednesday, Scotland's Glasgow-based Strathclyde Police announced that they had detained a 44-year-old man in London on suspicion of perjury. They did not name him.
Inside the UK phone hacking scandal
UK panel: Murdoch 'turned blind eye'
Rupert Murdoch: 'I was not aware'

At the high court in Glasgow in December 2010, Coulson denied under oath that he had ever met or spoken to a private detective employed by News of the World to hack phones, according to British press reports at the time.

Coulson quit when a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, and the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, were sent to prison in 2007 for hacking phones.

Coulson has always denied knowing about illegal activity at the paper he ran. He said he quit because he was responsible as editor for what his staff did. He was snapped up by Cameron shortly after he left the Murdoch paper.

Coulson was arrested separately by London police last year on suspicion of conspiracy to hack phones and to bribe officials. He is free on bail.

Phone hacking at News of the World has sparked three investigations by police in London, two parliamentary investigations and a judge-led independent inquiry. The newspaper was closed in July 2011.


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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:16 pm

gnosticheresy_2 wrote:Still think this will bring down the government...

I'm undecided on that, there are plenty of other things that might do it beforehand, but we also have to remember how invulnerable Teflon Tony was (for years and uears) despite the masses and scads and slag heaps of evidence against him, and the unending multitude of subsidiary scandals that accompanied his reign. Here's hoping though.

Everybody should check out Brown Moses blog for the lowdown on all sorts of stuff - NDS primarily, but also Southern Investigations (which is what I want to know about most). He is doing sterling work.

Since this is RI, here's a bit from the Daniel Morgan/Southern Investigations entry, about SI and it's many, many, many sister companies:

This original 1987 murder investigation was corrupted and bungled badly. DS Campbell allocated an inexperienced detective, with no undercover experience, to try to trick FILLERY into admitting collusion. The inexperienced undercover officer, Duncan HANRAHAN, was perhaps a questionable choice as he was "friendly with Rees and Fillery", and a fellow Freemason. Another disqualification was his posting at Norbury police station, where Rees had many other friends whom he was allegedly going to use ahead of the murder to fit up Morgan on a spurious drink drive offence." ... -name.html

Let's not forget that Sid Fillery is not only a cop, a criminal, and a Freemason, but a peadophile too, and his crew were involved in the importation of cocaine on a massive scale, with the collusion of many other bent Met police and private eyes who also happened to work for News international.

News International is an intelligence operation. It infiltrated the Met to such an extent that the Met had to endanger itself in order to protect it. Not that the Met was ever a bastion of integrity to start with, but whatever. Southern Investigations were one of this intelligence network's active service units and funding front companies. Rees, Fillery, Marunchak, and the murder of Daniel Morgan. This is the story.
Last edited by AhabsOtherLeg on Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Report: UK tabloid hacked into voicemails

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:24 pm

Stephen Morgan wrote:...the time she beat up her husband...

She committed battery on Grant Mitchell. I mean, seriously. She's a danger.

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