Rebekah Brooks was on a list of journalists believed to have requested information from a private detective who was later convicted of illegally “blagging” private information, it has emerged.
The list of 115 journalists was drawn up by the Information Commissioner’s Office from information seized in 2003 from a raid on the home of private detective Steve Whittamore.
The journalists on the lists are not necessarily believed to have done anything wrong or illegal.
The raid was part of Operation Motorman, an investigation by the ICO into allegations of offences under the Data Protection Act by journalists.
The investigation found that Whittamore had been illegally “blagging” personal information. He later pleaded guilty to “conspiring to commit misconduct in public office”.
Ms Brooks, was recently appointed as executive of News UK, is listed under her maiden name Rebekah Wade among the ICO’s published names of 115 journalists, taken from a wider list that includes 305 individuals.
Others on the list, which also names the publication journalists worked for during the time-frame of the Motorman investigation, include the former features editor of the News of the World, Jules Stenson. He received a suspended sentence earlier this year after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to illegally access voicemails.
The Observer’s Martin Bright, who later became the political editor of the New Statesman, and Ian Bain, now at the Guardian, are both named. Tom Newton Dunn, a former Mirror journalist, now the Sun’s political editor, is also listed.
A tribunal ordered the list to be disclosed by the ICO in August, which argued against its release. It has since been posted on the Information Rights and Wrongs blog.
Mr Whittamore helped some journalists obtain information such as car registration and phone numbers from both private and public sources.
In 2010 the former private investigator told the BBC in an interview that he had been used as a “fall guy” by journalists, describing himself as “Oliver to the press’s Fagin”.
Hacking trial: The verdicts in full
Hacking trial: The verdicts in full
1/7 Rebekah Brooks
The former News of the World editor and News International chief executive has been cleared of conspiracy to hack phones; misconduct in public office for allegedly signing off payments to a Sun journalist's 'number one military contact' between 2004 and 2012; conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after seven boxes were allegedly removed from the NI archive just days before 2011 arrests
2/7 Andy Coulson
Former News of the World editor and Downing Street spin doctor guilty of conspiracy to hack phones from 2000 to 2006. The jury failed to reach a majority verdict on charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office by allegedly paying police officers for two royal directories. He could face a retrial.
3/7 Stuart Kuttner
Retired managing editor cleared of involvement in phone-hacking conspiracy spanning six years
4/7 Cheryl Carter
Brooks' former personal assistant, cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by removing seven boxes from the News International company archive just days before she was arrested in 2011
5/7 Charlie Brooks
Racehorse trainer and Rebekah Brooks' husband, cleared of perverting the course of justice around the time of police searches in July 2011
6/7 Mark Hanna
Former News International director of security, cleared of perverting the course of justice
7/7 Clive Goodman
The former News of the World royal editor, could face a retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict on charges of committing misconduct in public office for allegedly paying police officers for two royal directories
Ms Brooks has always denied knowledge of phone hacking that went on while she was a newspaper editor.
A News UK spokesman said: “All the issues around Operation Motorman have been thoroughly investigated by the police, the Information Commissioner’s Office, parliament and the Leveson inquiry.
“The information commissioner himself stated in a 2010 decision notice that ‘not all the journalists whose names are held were necessarily involved in unlawful activity’. At News UK, the use of search agents or private investigators is tightly monitored and regulated.”Reuse content