Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Detective claims News of the World fully aware of hacking

The private detective at the centre of the 'News of the World' phone-hacking scandal yesterday turned on his former employer and said the paper had been fully aware of everything he did for them.

In a strongly worded statement issued through his solicitors, Glenn Mulcaire said any suggestion that he acted "unilaterally" was "untrue".

"As an employee he acted on the instructions of others," the statement said.

"There were also occasions when he understood his instructions were from those who genuinely wished to assist in solving crimes."

The statement suggests that Mr Mulcaire, who was jailed with former 'News of the World' royal editor Clive Goodman for accessing the voicemails of public figures in January 2007, is likely to accuse his former employees of commissioning all the phone hacking he did.

Coming just a day after it emerged that the phone number of Sara Payne had been discovered in his files, it also suggests that she may have been targeted by people at the paper.

Earlier this month, News International announced it was going to stop paying his legal fees "with immediate effect".

The company had covered these since his arrest in 2006.

It was also announced yesterday that James Murdoch is likely to be recalled before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee to answer allegations made by former senior News International staff that he may have misled parliament.

Colin Myler, the former editor of 'News of the World', and Tom Crone, the paper's legal manager, issued a public statement last week disputing evidence given by Mr Murdoch that he had been unaware of an email which implicated the paper's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck in the phone-hacking scandal when he authorised a payment of over £700,000 (?800,500) to a victim.

Yesterday, the Culture Committee Chairman John Whittingdale said he intended to write to all three asking detailed questions about the disputed events and added it was likely they would be recalled in order to give oral evidence.

"I think the chances are that we will reissue to take oral evidence, but before doing so I want to get the answers to the detailed questions," he said.

The committee is also likely to take evidence from Jon Chapman, News International's head lawyer, who wrote to the committee saying that there had been "a number of serious inaccuracies" in the Murdochs' evidence.

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