News of the World faces fresh phone hacking charge

News of the World faces fresh phone hacking charge
News of the World faces fresh phone hacking charge 

By Nick Davies, Vikram Dodd and Nicholas Watt
September 2010

The government tonight came under pressure to set up a judicial inquiry 
into the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World after the paper 
confirmed that it has suspended a journalist while it investigates new 
allegations of the unlawful interception of voicemail.

The prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, has denied a report in 
the New York Times which claimed he freely discussed the use of unlawful 
news-gathering techniques when he was editing the paper and "actively 
encouraged" a named reporter to engage in illegal interception of 
voicemail messages. Coulson has always denied knowing of any illegal 
activity by his journalists.

Scotland Yard, too, found itself in the firing line after the New York 
Times quoted unnamed detectives alleging they had cut short their 
investigation because of their close relationship with the News of the 
World. A group of four public figures, including former deputy prime 
minister John Prescott, is poised to sue police over a failure to warn 
them they had been targeted by the private investigator at the centre of 
the scandal, Glenn Mulcaire.

The Guardian has learned that the Metropolitan police commissioner at 
the time of the original investigation, Sir Ian Blair, was among those 
whose names were found in material seized from Mulcaire, raising 
questions about whether officers who were directly involved in the 
investigation had discovered that they, too, had been targets of the 
newspaper. It is understood Blair was assured at the time that his phone 
had not been hacked.


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