The story that Rupert hopes will go away……

THIS week’s Channel 4 Dispatches took the story of phone hacking in Fleet Street further and ratcheted up the pressure on David Cameron’s spin doctor Andy Coulson another small notch. The eloquent and incisive presentation by political columnist Peter Oborne showed just why people should be so concerned about the methods employed by some hacks to bring in the catches from their fishing expeditions.
The documentary succinctly explored the pursuit of celebrities, politicians, police officers and ordinary members of the public among the 5,000 plus victims of the phone hacking affair. It rightly questioned the relationship between some newspapers and Metropolitan Police, though perhaps ventured too far in claiming there was a conspiracy between Rupert Murdoch and the previous Government.
The story of “Sam”, the victim of a horrific sex attack, who has only just discovered that her phone was hacked, is one of the strongest arguments why this case must be properly re-investigated, because I have no doubt that when this story unravels further we will be shocked at just how widespread the illegal accessing of personal information and unjustified snooping has become.
Let’s not forget out of more than 5,000 victims the Metropolitan Police chose to concentrate on just two victims and only the Royal stories being pumped out by former News of the World hack Clive Goodman. The fact that he and private eye Glen Mulcaire were paid off with substantial amounts of money by News International to stay quiet about the frequency of the snooping and who at News International knew about it, should not prevent them from telling the full truth about what was going on inside Wapping. Indeed since they have already been prosecuted and convicted they offer the best hope of getting to the bottom of this story by being interviewed a second time by detectives, this time as witnesses and not under caution. I will also be intrigued to see whether the planned BBC Panorama programme on the phone hacking affair makes it onto the screen next week. As I have written previously, this story is only just beginning to unravel…it is certainly not going to go away

Author: Carl Fellstrom

I am a journalist, author and broadcaster covering crime and justice issues

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