'Press data requests' published
Figures claiming to show the extent of a private investigator's dealings with national newspapers and broadcasters have been published.
An analysis of data apparently shows that newspapers made hundreds of requests for information about celebrities, members of the royal family, sports personalities and crime victims, some of which may have been illegal.
The analysis of documents seized in the investigation into Steve Whittamore's activities, known as Operation Motorman, by ITV News claimed that between early 2000 and March 2003, the Daily Mail and its Weekend magazine made the most requests for information with 1,728. It paid Whittamore £143,150 during this time.
The broadcaster said the newspaper asked Whittamore, who was later convicted of illegally accessing personal data, to discover 1,285 ex-directory numbers.
It is claimed the newspaper and the magazine also made other requests - including asking for personal details of the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton.
From 2000 - 2003 it is reported that the Daily Mirror requested 984 pieces of information, including 660 ex-directory number searches and 19 criminal record checks.
The broadcaster said its analysis of the files could not determine which pieces of information were obtained legally.
It added that much of the information bought was legitimate but other requests may not have been - such as requests for ex-directory numbers, numbers of family and friends, police record checks and vehicle checks. These searches could be deemed illegal unless it could be shown they were in the public interest.
ITV News also claimed invoices showed the investigator charged News International £490,739 between 1995 and 2003.
Trinity Mirror commissioned him for £376,918 of work, while Associated Newspapers spent £268,311. Other newspaper groups also paid him tens of thousands of pounds to conduct investigations for them.