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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
News
Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
peopleBut who comes top of the wish list?
News
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, right, with Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds in Newtown, Powys, as part of her tour in support of the party’s female candidates
general electionNick Clegg's wife has impressed during the campaign
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living