Hacking In Brief: 23/07/2011


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The Independent Online

News Corp executive 'leaked Cable story'

Ian Burrell

Kroll, the global corporate investigations company, has named a top News Corp executive as the strong suspect in "orchestrating" the leak of a tape which led to the downfall of Business Secretary Vince Cable, who claimed he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch.

Will Lewis, until recently Group General Manager of News International and an ex-editor of The Daily Telegraph, was named in a Kroll report commissioned by Telegraph Media Group (TMG), after its tape of Cable's remarks was leaked to Robert Peston, the BBC business editor. In its report, obtained by Reuters, Kroll said: "Given their employment with News International, their antipathy toward the Telegraph, and their knowledge of the story, we have a strong suspicion that [another Telegraph employee] and Lewis were involved in... the leak."

The investigators found that in the month before the Cable controversy there were 550 emails between Lewis and two senior figures at his former paper.

The tape was obtained by undercover Telegraph reporters but leaked to the BBC before its contents were published.

Lewis is now working for a "Management & Standards Committee" set up by News Corp to investigate the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.

Probe launched in Scotland

Jonathan Brown

A criminal investigation into phone-hacking and allegations that Andy Coulson, pictured, and other News International executives lied under oath during the perjury trial of socialist politician Tommy Sheridan, has begun in Scotland, it was announced last night.

Sheridan was subsequently found guilty and jailed for three years.

In a statement, the Scottish Crown Office said it would also be examining allegations of police corruption and claims that officers provided information and personal data to journalists and investigators working for the News of the World.

In addition, the inquiry would be looking at claims that the laws on personal data were breached following a two-week investigation by Strathclyde police. A spokesman for the Crown Office said: "The investigation will be progressed expeditiously and in close liaison with the area Procurator Fiscal and Crown Counsel. "Significant resources will be deployed though these will vary with the needs of the investigation."

Yates sues Evening Standard for libel

Chris Green

One of the police chiefs forced to resign over his performance during the phone-hacking scandal has launched a libel action against the London Evening Standard.

Former assistant commissioner John Yates has issued proceedings over coverage of his conduct. In July 2009, when new allegations emerged, he spent only eight hours deciding not to investigate them.

He quit on Monday as the Metropolitan Police Authority suspended him and referred claims of his relationship with hacking suspect Neil Wallis to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.