Murdoch media empire engulfed in scandal as Scotland Yard’s net spreads | Media | The Observer
Combing through the potential evidence being presented to the MSC is proving painstaking work. Some of it is in the form of emails that had sat for years in the archives of Harbottle & Lewis, the law firm commissioned by News International following the original phone-hacking allegations that saw the News of the World’s royal editor, Clive Goodman, jailed in 2007.
A one-paragraph letter supplied by Harbottle & Lewis to News International, and presented to the parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking, stated that senior editors on the paper were unaware of Goodman’s “illegal actions”. The letter appeared to corroborate claims made by News International executives that there was no evidence criminal activity on the paper went beyond one rogue reporter.
In response to a question by the Tory MP Philip Davies about whether Goodman was working alone, Colin Myler, the News of the World’s then editor, said: “I conducted this inquiry with Daniel Cloke, our director of human resources. Over 2,500 emails were accessed because we were exploring whether or not there was any other evidence to suggest, essentially, what you are hinting at. No evidence was found; that is up to 2,500 emails.”
But when the former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, was hired by a law firm acting on behalf of News Corp to review some of the emails a vastly different picture emerged. Macdonald told parliament that it had taken him “about three minutes, maybe five minutes” to determine that the emails contained evidence of possible criminality. “I can’t imagine anyone looking at that file and not seeing crime,” said Macdonald, who recommended the file should be handed over to the Yard.
In one email contained in the file it is alleged a senior News International journalist agreed a police contact should receive a “four-figure sum” for leaking a confidential document containing the movements, locations and phone numbers of members of the royal family.