Myler 'did not see' crucial emails in hacking inquiry


Colin Myler, the former editor of the News of the World who conducted the company's internal investigation into the extent of phone hacking at the newspaper, never saw crucial emails suggesting the practice was more widespread, it was claimed last night.

As the blame game in the upper echelons of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group turned vitriolic, an executive close to Mr Myler, who oversaw the closure of NOTW this weekend, said he had relied upon the unequivocal statement of another senior manager that the cache of emails had exonerated all staff beyond the disgraced royal editor Clive Goodman.

The Independent understands that Myler, who was appointed in 2007 following the resignation of Andy Coulson in the wake of Goodman's conviction for hacking the phones of members of the royal household, is suspicious that he is being "hung out to dry" by the current management of News International (NI). The 59-year-old former editor led his staff from the NOTW's building on Saturday night after supervising the publication of its final edition and publicly stated that his staff did not deserve what had happened to them.

The opening of a sharp divide between Myler and his former employer follows the revelation that NI produced an internal report in 2007 which allegedly found evidence that phone hacking by the private detective Glenn Mulcaire was more widespread at the NOTW than it had admitted. The report was based on a trawl of 2,500 company emails, conducted with the help of an external law firm.

Myler, who was placed in charge of the NOTW's internal inquiry into phone hacking, was named this week as one of five NI executives who had access to the report. In testimony to MPs in 2009, Myler said no evidence had been obtained to suggest that voicemail interception had spread beyond a single "rogue" reporter in the shape of Goodman.

Yesterday, an NI executive close to Myler told The Independent: "Colin was told by a senior News International executive after the trawl had been done: 'Good news, there is no smoking gun'. He took their word for it and that is why he gave the evidence which he did to the House of Commons select committee."

The first signs of a civil war between senior Murdoch executives comes after the disclosure last week that NI has passed to police a tranche of 300 of the 2,500 emails which appeared to show that journalists at the NOTW were paying police officers for information. Mr Coulson was arrested last week on suspicion of authorising corrupt payments.

It is understood that Myler believes he has been targeted by NI management following briefings to journalists that he was responsible for failing to report evidence alleged to implicate Mr Coulson. The executive said: "There is now a deliberate attempt in News International to make Colin the fall guy from all this. But it won't work. He never saw the emails. The question has to be asked who did and who knew what they contained."

The Independent understands that Tom Crone, the NOTW's senior lawyer, also did not see the email cache, whose analysis was overseen by NI's director of legal affairs, Jon Chapman. Mr Chapman has since left the company.

The dispute threatens once more to drag Les Hinton, one of Mr Murdoch's longest-serving and most trusted lieutenants, into the phone hacking scandal. The current chief executive of Dow Jones, one of most glittering jewels in the Murdoch crown, was the chairman of NI at the time of the 2007 internal report and gave an assurance to MPs later that year that a "full, rigorous internal inquiry" had been conducted which had left him convinced that hacking was restricted to Goodman. Mr Hinton went out of his way to point out that the investigation would continue under Myler.

The testimony to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee was the start of what became NI's "rogue reporter" defence that phone hacking was restricted entirely to Goodman and Mulcaire – a stance which was finally abandoned this January only when emails implicating another NOTW journalist were surrendered to Scotland Yard.

In further evidence to MPs in 2009, Mr Hinton said he remained happy that the NOTW had gone to "extraordinary lengths" to uncover any additional evidence and nothing had been found. He said the "efforts made to discover any other wrongdoing had been conscientious and thorough".

It is likely that the Dow Jones boss, whose role includes oversight of The Wall Street Journal, will be asked to explain those remarks to the judge-led public inquiry into hacking announced last week by David Cameron. Yesterday, Mr Hinton did not respond to requests for comment but James Murdoch, who succeeded him as chairman of NI, conceded last week that statements had been made to Parliament by unnamed company executives which were wrong.

Asked about Mr Hinton, Mark Lewis, the lawyer acting for several hacking victims including the family of Milly Dowler, said: "He's got lots of questions to answer. There is none so blind as those that will not see."

footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone