Socialist Worker

Hacking - did James Murdoch know about police corruption?

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2278

The Leveson inquiry into the News International (NI) scandal opened with claims that phone hacking had been widespread.

The names of 28 NI employees appear in notebooks belonging to Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who worked for the News of the World (NotW).

As the public inquiry opened on Monday, Robert Jay, counsel for the inquiry, said the investigation was “beginning to receive evidence to indicate that phone hacking was not limited” to NI. Mulcaire had also written the words “Daily Mirror” in his notebook.

Jay said, “Either management knew what was going on at the time and therefore, at the very least, condoned this illegal activity,” or there was “a failure of supervision and oversight”.

Last week NI boss James Murdoch made his second appearance before the House of Commons committee on hacking. He again contradicted his employees by saying he knew nothing of the hacking.

Leveson will spend months investigating journalistic ethics. It will be a year before he gets to the hacking allegations and police bribery.

The revolving door that saw cops and investigators go from working for NI to the Metropolitan Police and back will be ignored.

The inquiry will not look at the killing of private investigator Daniel Morgan in 1987. He was taking allegations of police corruption to NotW.

The Met have admitted corruption and a cover-up in their ranks over the case.

Morgan’s business partner Jonathan Rees was a suspect in his killing. Rees was acquitted when his trial collapsed earlier this year.

Andy Coulson, then editor of NotW, rehired Rees. Coulson went on to become chief spin doctor for prime minister David Cameron.

Are James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson lying? Or are they just incompetent? Why did Cameron employ Coulson?

What did all of them know of police corruption? Leveson is unlikely to provide the answers.

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Tue 15 Nov 2011, 19:02 GMT
Issue No. 2278
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