Phone hacking: News of the World bosses ordered emails to be deleted – Telegraph
However it is details surrounding the cover-up which are the most damning.
The papers state that from 2008 on, the News of the World had a legal obligation to “preserve all relevant evidence” of phone hacking because it had been notified of civil claims that were pending.
But in Nov 2009 it created the “Email Deletion Policy” to “eliminate in a consistent manner across News International (subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements) emails that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation in which an NI company is a defendant”.
The document includes emails sent from a senior executive which says that all emails prior to January 2010 would be deleted.
A further email to a lawyer at News International asks “how are we doing with the…email deletion policy?”
The lawyer sent the email to a member of News International’s IT department asking: “Should I go and see them now and get fired – would be a shame for you to go so soon?!!!…Do you reckon you could add some telling IT arguments to back up my legal ones?”
The document alleges that the need for email deletion intensified following a legal claim by Sienna Miller on September 6, 2011. The claim demands that documents be preserved.
But an email from a News International IT employee three days later states: “There is a senior NI management requirement to delete this data as quickly as possible.”
The court document also cites a statement from Paul Cheesbrough, News International’s chief information officer, in which he admits that, in January last year, all emails on News International’s archive system up to September 31 2007 were deleted.
Mr Cheesbrough previously worked at The Daily Telegraph.
One journalist, described as Mulcaire’s “primary point of contact” until July 2005, instructed him to intercept voicemail messages on “at least” 1,453 occasions.
Despite settling more than 50 claims from hacking victims over the past two months, NGN could still face up to five High Court trials over phone-hacking, it emerged yesterday.