Lawyers want to gain access to emails

Lawyers acting for public figures suing The News of the World over alleged phone hacking said yesterday that a trove of "lost" emails between senior executives could prove vital in securing damages and prompt new actions against the paper.

Detectives leading a new Scotland Yard inquiry which has promised to leave "no stone unturned" to discover the extent of unlawful voicemail hacking are expected to ask to see the messages between key figures at Rupert Murdoch's News International in the coming days in an evidence-gathering exercise.

The vast bank of data, which covers the 2005 and 2006 period when the NOTW was illegally listening to the messages of members of the royal household, was revealed after a senior executive at the Sunday tabloid told the trial of Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan that "lots of emails" had gone missing in a data transfer to India.

Enquiries by The Independent have established that far from being lost, the email bank is intact in the UK and contains a record of conversations between managers, reporters and others at News International, Mr Murdoch's British newspaper group.

The archive, believed to be held in the City of London, will be accessible to lawyers demanding disclosure of internal company documents relating to claims from alleged victims of phone hacking. Among the solicitors preparing requests to search the archive last night was Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Mr Sheridan.

Mark Lewis, the solicitor who won a £700,000 settlement for Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, indicated other litigants would be very interested in its contents. "It might be the ticking bomb," he said.

Mr Lewis added that the existence of the archive posed fresh questions about the seriousness and competence of the original police investigation: "If these documents existed from 2005-06 at the time of the police inquiry, what were the police looking at?"

Farooq Bajwa, the solicitor representing former MP George Galloway, said: "This unfortunately typifies the whole case. Information has had to be dragged out of News Corp which has pretended all this time that it was down to a rogue reporter. Every bit of information and every bit of progress on this case has had to be brought kicking and screaming from News Corp."

Mr Anwar said he expected any disclosures from the data to form part of an appeal against his client's conviction last week.

He said: "The revelation that apparently all those emails were stored in London rather than in Mumbai opens a whole can of worms."

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album