Monday, September 06, 2010

Met Police 'may reopen News of the World hacking case'.

The Metropolitan Police have let it be known that they will reopen their case into illegal phone hacking should new evidence emerge and have let it be known that they have contacted The New York Times and asked them to provide officers with any new material it has relating to the case.

Now, we know that The New York Times has statements from Sean Hoare claiming that he had been personally told by Andy Coulson - who is now David Cameron's director of communications - to hack into telephones.

Cameron's office have issued a statement claiming that he [Coulson] "totally and utterly" rejects claims that he was aware of any wrongdoing.

The Guardian claimed in 2009 that the News of The World were involved in widespread phone hacking of several thousand celebrities, sports stars and politicians, but the Met chose not to prosecute. The New York Times have suggested that the Met did not want to do too much heavy lifting in this case, due to their good relationship with that newspaper.

Several Labour MP's and all the candidates in the leadership election are now calling for further investigations to be made.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates:

"The New York Times contacted the Metropolitan Police Service about their investigation. Our stance remains as before. We have repeatedly asked them for any new material that they have for us to consider.

"We were never made aware of the material from Sean Hoare before the article's publication. We have sought additional information from them and will consider this material, along with Sean Hoare's recent BBC Radio interview, and will consult the Crown Prosecution Service on how best to progress it."

The Tories have immediately started circling the wagons.

Home secretary Theresa May told the BBC on Sunday there were no grounds for a public inquiry.

She told Radio 5 Live: "It was thoroughly looked into at the time when it was raised and what was clear was that it wasn't just politicians looking into it.

"The police looked into it and decided there were no grounds for taking the issue further and I thought that was pretty conclusive at the time."

Fresh evidence is, of course, very good reason to reopen an inquiry. And, if the police haven't heard of Hoare's allegations before then this might be a very good time to look at this again.
Labour leadership contender Ed Balls, former Labour minister Tessa Jowell, who says her phone was hacked 28 times, and former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who also believes he was targeted, have all called for action.

Mr Balls said Mr Coulson's role at the heart of No 10 meant that the government's "integrity" was under question.

Lord Prescott threatened legal action in his bid to gain access to documents relating to his records.

The seriousness of the charges here has already been amply demonstrated by the fact that a News of The World journalist - and the investigator he hired - have already been jailed for their part in this phone hacking scandal.

It is now being claimed that David Cameron's director of communications was the man who gave the orders. That's serious. One can only imagine that, if found guilty, that he would face jail time as well.

The Con-Dem coalition have their first serious PR crisis on their hands.

Click here for full article.

No comments: