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
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital