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News Corp. S*** May Be About To Hit The Fan

Reported by Ellen - March 21, 2011 -

A few months ago, I posted about a widespread hacking scheme perpetrated by one of News Corporation's British tabloid papers, News of the World. I noted, via Wired, that Scotland Yard was "accused of violating the rights of victims by failing to inform them earlier that they were targeted and of purposely narrowing the investigation to a single reporter and private investigator in order to preserve a special information-sharing relationship law enforcement agents had with the tabloid." Now a judge has ordered Scotland Yard to turn over all documents seized from News Corp. private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to one of 14 public figures suing the paper. That means, as the Guardian reports, that massive amounts of unredacted material full of details about News Corp's hackings are about to be released, probably to all of the public figures suing the paper.

The Guardian notes:

The ruling by Justice Geoffrey Vos, who was appointed this week to handle the 14 phone-hacking cases currently going through the courts, means the Metropolitan police will be forced to pass reams of documents seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who worked for the News of the World, to lawyers acting for the politicians, celebrities and football figures who are suing the paper. They include Sienna Miller, Paul Gascoigne, Steve Coogan and the former culture secretary Tessa Jowell.

Vos ruled on Friday that the Met must give unredacted documents – including Mulcaire's emails, address and contacts books, and phone bills – to another hacking victim, the football agent Sky Andrew. The decision sets a precedent for the other hacking cases and has far-reaching implications for the NoW, police and other litigants. It will lead to a flood of hacking documents being released to other claimants, all of whom are seeking copies of papers seized by police in a 2006 raid on Mulcaire's home.

That could lead to more NoW journalists being named in connection with phone hacking. So far six reporters and executives have been publicly linked to the practice. One, former royal editor Clive Goodman, was convicted and jailed. A second, assistant editor (news) Ian Edmondson, has been sacked by the paper.

In an email, our own Aunty Em opined that this is a huge story that will only get bigger. I agree.

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