HACKGATE DAY 44: JUDGE VOS ORDERS NEWSCORP TO HAND OVER CRUCIAL MULCAIRE DOCUMENTS

High Court Judge blasts hole in Newscorp dam of secrecy

Newscorp’s Brooks….grim-faced

Senior NoW staffers braced for new wave of arrests

Continuing silence from Mail & Telegraph

The Guardian having this morning picked up the US story about Fox News payoff allegations (you read it here first), The Independent leads today with the sensational news that Justice Vos has ordered both the Met Police and Newscorp to hand over all the notes made by Glenn Mulcaire about his hacked victims.

Last night, Wapping insiders were admitted privately that any attempt at containment of the illegal phone-hacking scandal would be impossible from here on. It is also thought that the Met will now broaden its enquiries to include other Newscorp titles, especially that of The Sun on Rebekah Wade’s (above, now Brooks) watch some years ago.

Justice Vos expressed the strong view that there were now so many legal claims and hacking charges being brought against the News of the World,  “notes written by the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire allegedly naming those at the NotW commissioning him to listen to private phone messages must be disclosed to his alleged victims”.

Significantly, Newscorp’s legal team  said it was ‘ requesting the information held by police on [Paul] Gascoigne and [Mick] McGuire to see if it offered evidence that Mulcaire was acting without the paper’s knowledge. (My italics). The Slog believes that this prefaces what will now be Murdoch’s next line of defence: that the soon-to-be-accused were acting unofficially and ‘without management permission’.

The success or otherwise of this tack will depend on the definition of ‘management’. An objective view would obviously designate both Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson as management….and given hacking was clearly endemic at the NoW,  it is widely believed in media circles that they will be drawn into the web of nefarious eavesdropping before long.

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This is a disaster for Rupert Murdoch’s ailing BSkyB bid – and one of such proportions that you’d expect his major rivals the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail to be all over it.

But nothing could be further from the truth: today’s Mail does not include the news in either its top 10 stories or top 10 opeds, and it is also nowhere to be found on the Telegraph’s site.

It is as if the scandal didn’t exist on Planet Mail-Telegraph. The Slog has been insisting for weeks that this is decidedly fishy. Also important to remember are the following facts:

1. There has been a wholsesale move of Mail staff to the Telegraph over the last three years.

2. The 2006 hacking inquiry report shows quite clearly that at that time, the Mail was using even more Mulcaire clones than the NoW.

3. Telegraph staff have been heavily criticised in recent months for taping the remarks of Vince Cable without his permission.

Perhaps Deputy Met Commissioner Sue Aker’s next port of call should be the offices of Daily Telegraph management. And perhaps this time, a request made to Aidan Barclay to cooperate will not be met with the rude rebuffs he gave the Parliamentary sub-committee on privacy invasion.