Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

McCann phone hacking attempt claim

The spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann claims an attempt may have been made to hack his phone

The spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann has spoken of his fear that he may have been a victim of attempts to hack into his mobile phone.

Clarence Mitchell, who also worked for the Conservative Party during the General Election, said records from Vodafone appeared to show someone had tried to get information from his phone at the height of the case involving the missing girl.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's PM programme, Mr Mitchell said he had no idea who might have made the three suspect calls but said it seemed to be a "cack-handed" attempt to get into his voicemail messages.

He said he was led to make inquiries after he was approached by the BBC.

"I was always concerned that if some journalists were up to this sort of thing, then I might be a target but I had no proof," he said.

He told the BBC that Vodafone looked back at records for calls regarding his number on their customer services number and flagged up three entries.

Mr Mitchell said he believed someone had been "fishing" for information.

He continued: "It is impossible to state with any accuracy who was behind these calls. I do know they weren't me.

"It would be naive of me, given the situation I was in at the time and the amount of journalistic inquiry and traffic that I was receiving on that number, to think that it wasn't journalistic in its nature. There's no other reason for anybody else to try to get into my number. This was a cack-handed, pretty low-level amateurish attempt."

He said the McCanns would be "angered and upset" by the alleged attempts to intercept messages during the time of the investigation into their daughter's disappearance.

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