U.K. Parliament releases letter alleging coverup of News of the World phone hacking

Guardian

A U.K. parliamentary committee has released a four-year-old letter from a former News of the World reporter stating that eavesdropping on voice mails was “widely discussed” at editorial meetings until former editor Andy Coulson banned such references.

Clive Goodman, the “rogue reporter” whom News International once said was solely involved in the eavesdropping, wrote the letter to News International to appeal his firing. He stated that he had been told he could return to the paper if he didn’t implicate the newspaper and named other journalists who knew and supported the eavesdropping. The Guardian writes that Goodman’s claims “raise serious questions” about ex-Wall Street Journal Publisher Les Hinton, “who was sent a copy of the letter but failed to pass it to police and who then led a cast of senior Murdoch personnel in telling parliament that they believed Coulson knew nothing about the interception of the voicemail of public figures and that Goodman was the only journalist involved.”

The committee also released a letter from a law firm contradicting some of Rupert and James Murdoch’s testimony.

The Guardian notes that the committee received two versions of Goodman’s letter, one from the law firm Harbottle & Lewis, the other from News International. The names of journalists were redacted from both. The one from News International, however, also redacted “all references to hacking being discussed in Coulson’s editorial meetings and to Coulson’s offer to keep Goodman on staff if he agreed not to implicate the paper.” ProPublica has posted News International’s version of the letter to show exactly what it redacted.

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