Last month’s civil ruling about Mirror Group phone hacking has revealed valuable new information about the industrial scale of voice mail interception at the newspaper group, and following some forensic leads, Paddy French at the Press Gang has begun to put a picture together of the industrial levels of intrusion into personal records commissioned by the Mirror Group.
The whole account ought to be read in full because it proves phone hacking was the more innocuous tip of a much darker iceberg, and once again explains how central Southern Investigations was to the corruption of Fleet Street: as a senior police officer once told me “without doubt the cradle where the dark arts were born.”
The following extract shows that, like News of the World, the Mirror Group were not only tracking celebrities but also political targets. Continue reading →
It’s not widely realised that the first big investigation into corrupt private investigators, police officers and the press, was Operation Nigeria (which morphed into Operation Two Bridges) in 1999, seven years before the first phone hacking inquiry. That investigation specifically looked at two senior named News of the WorldJournalists.
But as Paddy French, who has indefatigably stood up details from this era in his Press Gang site reports today, it wasn’t just the News of the World which was compromised by the ‘No 1 Corrupt Detectives Agency’. The Mirror Group were involved as well. This partly explains why – as Alastair Morgan was told by a Mirror journalist very recently – the story of his brother’s murder is ‘too political’ for the Mirror Group to cover.
A quick round up of my two colleagues reporting from the Old Bailey, Martin Hickman and James Doleman, from the opening of week 12 of the Hacking Trial, which turned out to be full of revelations as you can see from my twitter compilation for the day.Continue reading →
The jury of the hacking trial in London were told by a prosecution witness of a revealing birthday dinner involving some of the “most powerful people in the media industry in the UK”, including Piers Morgan, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.
Ambi Sitham, now a life coach and writer based in LA, was in January 2003 a solicitor at the top British media law firm, Schillings. She was also in a relationship with Neil Reading, a PR executive, and close friend of Coulson’s.