Explosive evidence on first day of Leveson

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

News of the World continued phone hacking until 2009, say police

Time frame

New evidence uncovered by the Metropolitan Police indicates that reporters at News International continued hacking phones for three years after two of their colleagues were caught and jailed for the offence.

The 2006 arrest of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator contracted to the tabloid, and Clive Goodman, its royal editor, and their subsequent jailing, was supposed to have been when the NOTW stopped its reporters from hacking the phones of celebrities, politicians and victims of crime. But the specialist Scotland Yard team investigating hacking, Operation Weeting, has found evidence which it believes shows hacking continued until 2009.

Details taken from notebooks seized from Mulcaire's home when he was arrested have generally been regarded as the core evidence which set the time-frame of the criminal activity. But the new evidence shows it went beyond that.

Counsel for the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, said: "According to the Met police, NI's hacking operation had certainly begun by 2002, Milly Dowler being the first known victim. The police believe it continued till at least 2009. The police belief is not derived from an analysis of the Mulcaire notebooks, which we know were seized in 2006."

The Independent had been told by a number of the hacked victims that they believed the police timetable was wrong and that the illegal activities of the NOTW must have gone on past Mulcaire and Goodman.

Mr Jay also said the illegal interception of messages may have begun as early as May 2001.

The Sun: Second Murdoch tabloid in frame for intercepting voice messages

The practice of listening in to private voicemail messages had spread beyond the News of the World to Britain's two other biggest red-top tabloids, The Sun and The Mirror, it was suggested at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday.

In an indication of the legal and reputational problems that the investigation into the practices of the press is set to cause for titles beyond Rupert Murdoch's News International, Robert Jay QC, the barrister acting for the inquiry, said it was possible that a name written on the notes of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire linked him to The Mirror.

It is the first time a non-Murdoch title has been linked to Mulcaire, who wrote the names of those who had commissioned him to intercept voicemails at the corner of his notes.

Explaining that evidence was emerging to suggest that hacking "was not limited" to NI, Mr Jay said: "It has been drawn to the Inquiry's attention there may be another corner name relating to The Mirror, but this is under investigation."

The hearing was told that the name of The Sun also appeared in the same way in Mulcaire's notes and had been cited by the actor Jude Law as part of a hacking damages claim against the NOTW's daily stablemate. NI has previously strongly denied Mr Law's allegations against The Sun and vowed to fight his claim.

Trinity Mirror, the publisher of The Mirror, said that its journalists operate within the law and the industry code, adding that the company had "no knowledge of ever using Glenn Mulcaire".

Glenn Mulcaire: 'At least 28' employees commissioned jailed investigator

News International's longstanding excuse that phone hacking was confined to one "rogue reporter" has been shattered by the revelation that evidence identifies "at least 27 other NI employees" commissioning the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

It has sometimes been assumed that hacking originated through a small number of key executives at the News of the World who were close to Mulcaire, and that detailed knowledge of what Mulcaire was up to was confined to a tight clique, including the paper's former royal editor, Clive Goodman – jailed with him in 2007.

But the new figure of 27 other Wapping employees destroys any notion that hacking was a secret limited to only a few journalists there.

Robert Jay, QC, counsel for the inquiry, said that based on material provided by police, it would not be unfair to describe the NI journalists' use of the illegal practice as "a thriving cottage industry".

In evidence which relates to Goodman and Mulcaire's trial in 2007, it was established that Mulcaire generally wrote the names of those who commissioned hacking from him in the top corner of his notebooks, which were seized by police in 2006 when they raided his home. Despite the discovery of 11,000 pages of evidence, though, only a limited prosecution was mounted.

Mr Jay described the illegal behaviour as "grubby" and as "underhand as it was high-handed", adding that "questions might be asked as to how high up in NI the metaphorical buck stops".

It was "clear that Goodman was not a rogue reporter", Mr Jay said, adding that aside from the new number of those involved, there was also "evidence of a significant quantity of illegal activity over a lengthy time period".

Mr Jay offered only codenames for those he described as "prolific users of Mulcaire's services". The codes, however, point to senior NOTW staff who have already been arrested.

Computer attack: Lawyers warn of 'Trojan Horse' virus

Computer engineers at the Royal Courts of Justice were last night examining the software and hard drives of computers belonging to two senior counsel after the sudden appearance of a "Trojan Horse" warning on their screens.

The warning of the virus – which can indicate that data from the infected machine can be seen by an outside party – came just after the lunch break. David Sherborne, counsel for victims who are core participants in the Leveson Inquiry, interrupted proceedings to claim the alert had suddenly appeared on one of his two desk screens.

The warning notice appeared in a red box marked with the words "Trojan Horse" notifying the threat, and the options to delete or ignore.

A counsel for The Guardian newspaper said she also had received the warning but had chosen to ignore it.

If the supposedly secure RCJ system has been hacked into, even for a hoax message, it will prove an embarrassment to an inquiry into the illegal access of personal data.

The potentially infected machine belonging to Mr Sherborne contains inquiry management files and documents connected to clients.

Lord Leveson said he wanted it "dealt with" and admitted he had been "thrown" by the sudden warning.

'Fake Sheikh': Mahmood set to reveal his methods

The News of the World's former star investigations reporter, the "Fake Sheikh" Mazher Mahmood, is to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. The entrapment specialist, who lured many of his victims dressed as a wealthy Arab businessman, has already given a full witness statement to the inquiry team.

Robert Jay, counsel to the inquiry, said "agent provocateur" techniques in which "the ends did not justify the means" would be explored when Mr Mahmood – who is now with The Sunday Times, gave evidence.

Source of the evidence: Mulcaire's notebook

When police arrived at Glenn Mulcaire's south London home in August 2006, much of the most devastating evidence that would help close the News of the World and taint the Murdoch dynasty was lying in a binbag in the private detective's garden shed.

Crucially, Mulcaire, who was contracted to the NOTW, was in the habit of writing the first name of the journalist to have commissioned him in the top corner of his documents. A fraction of this material, which runs to some 11,000 pages, was used to convict Mulcaire and NOTW royal editor Clive Goodman of eavesdropping on the messages of royal aides. But only now – six years after Scotland Yard first became aware of the phone-hacking scandal – is the full extent of Mulcaire's archive becoming clear.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home