IoS exclusive:

Exclusive: Was 'Sun on Sunday' brought forward to beat revelations?

'Jaw-dropping' testimonies expected as focus turns to police and public officials

Dramatic new evidence to the Leveson inquiry this week is expected to unleash a "bloodbath" of bitter recriminations between police and prosecution officials arguing over failings in a series of investigations into allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery by journalists.

News International (NI) insiders say that the launch of The Sun on Sunday, which appears today, only nine days after Rupert Murdoch's announcement it was to go ahead, was brought forward because to launch a new paper in the wake of fresh revelations would be virtually impossible. But last week a new bout of allegations undermined NI's attempt to seize the PR initiative. It was reported that emails were being deleted until 2010, and yesterday it was reported that the Independent Police Complaints Commission was looking into a claim that a senior NI figure was given a report from inside the Metropolitan Police on the progress of the original police investigation. The day before, court documents emerged showing the systematic deletion of emails relating to phone hacking.

The Leveson inquiry will this week begin to examine police-press relations, hearing evidence from the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, former deputy assistant Met commissioner Brian Paddick, former assistant commissioner John Yates, Andy Hayman – who led the original inquiry – former Metropolitan Police commissioners Sir Ian Blair and Sir Paul Stephenson and others.

They are expected to reopen old wounds and make a series of startling new allegations relating to widespread bribery of officials for stories. "It is jaw-dropping stuff," said one legal source familiar with the evidence. "We will see the most sensational developments yet." A second source claimed the allegations and counterallegations would result in a "bloodbath".

Revelations will include allegations that a web existed of corrupt public officials who received money from national newspapers, along with details of journalists who, over a period, have paid officials – in one case well into six figures – for stories.

Such allegations are certain to stoke fury at the failure of the original police inquiry in 2005/06 to unearth the full extent of unlawful behaviour. After the home of Glenn Mulcaire was raided, police collected several bin bags of evidence which revealed he had been repeatedly commissioned by many reporters. Despite this, NI persisted in its claims it was the work of just one "rogue reporter".

This failure to broaden the inquiry has given rise to accusations of an unhealthily close relationship between the police and NI. Two of those who have faced questions over the relationship with NI are John Yates and Andy Hayman. Mr Yates, who resigned last summer over the affair, is believed to be anxious to clear his name in the face of expected attempts to pin the blame on him. He has admitted shortcomings in the police investigation, but vehemently denies any personal impropriety, saying that the Director of Public Prosecutions set the bar impracticably high for securing a conviction for phone hacking, that counsel's advice gave him no reason to believe there was widespread wrongdoing and that terrorism had a more pressing claim on police resources.

Last year, friends revealed he was "incandescent" at the cursory nature of the search carried out by some of his colleagues which, friends said, resulted in him making inaccurate public statements.

It is believed that Mr Hayman, who led the original inquiry and went on to write a column for NI, will be scrutinised over the circumstances of his departure from the Met. His expenses have been the subject of much speculation, as have allegations of an affair. He, too, has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Sources at the Met have privately expressed fury at the failure of NI to collaborate fully with the investigation, or to unearth anything in its own inquiries. "They pretended they were co-operating and they weren't," said one source. By seemingly helping the police, NI made it difficult for the police to ask a judge for a warrant for a more exhaustive search. Other serving officers in the Met have pointed fingers privately at the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Yesterday, it was alleged that there were American phone numbers on the files of Glenn Mulcaire, which would be a significant development in terms of News Corps' attempt to move on from the scandal. Bloomberg website said that the numbers of the singer Charlotte Church's Los Angeles agent and New York publicist were found in Mulcaire's files. According to the report, the evidence is in the hands of the police in London.

Opponents of the Murdoch organisation have said that if evidence emerged of phone hacking in the US, the damage to News Corps would dwarf the UK-based damage. Insiders at the Leveson inquiry are also expecting more evidence to emerge about how much Mulcaire was paid and who exactly commissioned him, while previously unknown phone-hacking targets are expected to be identified.

The inquiry will hear from a number of victims of phone hacking, including the former deputy PM John Prescott and Lib-Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes. They are expected to relate how detectives mishandled their cases. Mr Prescott will reiterate his anger at the Metropolitan Police's failure to inform him his name and phone details had been found in Mulcaire's files. The police knew in 2006, for example, there was evidence that Tessa Jowell had had her phone hacked, yet she was not informed until years later.

"Leveson knows the victims were kept in the dark for far too long: he is absolutely determined to make sure they aren't kept in the dark a moment longer," one source told The Independent on Sunday last night.

The week ahead: Names due to appear before the inquiry

Monday Sue Akers, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) who is leading the inquiry into phone and email hacking and claims of bribery of public officials.

Brian Paddick, former deputy assistant commissioner, MPS, who claims his voicemail was hacked.

Lord Prescott, the former Labour Party deputy leader who also claimed his voicemail was hacked.

Tuesday Nick Davies, The Guardian journalist. Jacqui Hames, former MPS officer, and Crimewatch presenter.

MP Simon Hughes.

Chris Jeffries, the Bristol landlord, who falsely implicated in the murder of Jo Yeates.

Jane Winter, director of British Irish Rights Watch (to be confirmed)

Magnus Boyd, solicitor (to be read)

Wednesday Detective Inspector (MPS) Mark Maberley

Detective Chief Superintendent (MPS) Keith Surtees

Detective Sergeant Phillip Williams

Thursday Peter Clarke, former deputy assistant commissioner with specialist operations, MPS

Andy Hayman, former assistant commissioner, MPS

Sir Paul Stephenson, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner

John Yates, former assistant commissioner, MPS

Suggested Topics
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker