Byline Investigates looks at the 13 News Group Newspapers power players coming under scrutiny in new allegations of phone hacking and coverup
By Dan Evans, Founding Editor
RUPERT Murdoch’s UK newspaper business has been ordered to trawl the archives of 13 current and former employees for evidence of phone hacking and the destruction of evidence – allegations the company denies.
These are the people under scrutiny:
Rupert Murdoch’s eyes and ears in London and employee for more than 50 years. The former Chief Executive of News Group Newspapers oversaw payoffs to convicted phone hackers Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire.
Scion of the Murdoch empire and Executive Chairman of News International when it agreed to pay vast damages to shut down early phone hacking claims. Victims claim millions of emails were deleted and hundreds of computers, containing material potentially damaging to the family firm, though this yet to be proven.
The woman who’s done almost every job in the business, from secretary to Chief Executive. Having already been acquitted of phone hacking and corrupting public officials at the Old Bailey, she will be seen as a safe pair of hands in the witness box if required to appear in yet another trial this autumn.
The News of the World’s long-serving Ex-Managing Editor – the moneyman who knew his paper had intercepted murdered Milly Dowler’s voicemails before the police did.
The new broom introduced to sweep the paper clean when Stuart Kuttner relinquished the Managing Editor’s role. Oversaw a botched internal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.
The former Managing Editor of The Sun whose name cropped up as a commissioner of convicted data thief ‘Secret’ Steve Whittamore. Signed off invoices for private investigators and data blaggers.
David Cameron’s Director of Communications and former Editor of the News of the World whose false claims of innocence failed to convince an Old Bailey jury not to convict him. Sentenced to 18 months’ prison for conspiring to intercept communications.
The Sun showbiz guru who joked about phone hacking with colleagues but denied any personal knowledge under oath at the Leveson Inquiry. Now alleged by High Court claimants to have known about hacking on the paper’s Bizarre column. Went on to become editor for four years.
Replaced the disgraced Coulson as Editor of the News of the World – later told Rebekah Brooks of its Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck’s confession that Coulson and Deputy Neil Wallis ordered the destruction of phones and a computer used in the hacking of Home Secretary David Blunkett.
The self-styled ‘Wolfman’ former Deputy Editor of the News of the World dodged a silver bullet at the Old Bailey and was acquitted of phone hacking charges after . A Parliamentary Privileges Committee later heard in 2016 that he and Coulson were alleged by former Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck to have not only known of hacking, but allegedly ordered evidence of it to be destroyed.
Ambitious Editor-in-Waiting at The Sun and Deputy Editor at the News of the World when it closed down over phone hacking. Name appears on Spice Girls story said to have been based on hacked information
The Director of Legal Affairs who was a key player in shutting down damaging claims by hacking target Max Clifford, which would have wrecked the company’s false ‘one rogue reporter’ defence to the conviction of former Royal Editor Clive Goodman.
The Legal Manager the journalists loved for keeping bad stories in the paper and away from the courts with the company chequebook. Instrumental in paying off Gordon Taylor and Max Clifford to keep quiet about wider phone hacking at the News of the World.
Transparency statement: The author of this article has given evidence for the Claimants in the Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation in the High Court, and was a ‘Witness of Truth’ for the Crown in criminal prosecutions at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales in the cases of Coulson and Wallis.