Jul. 8th, 2011

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According to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior [News International] executive is believed to have deleted 'massive quantities' of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a small fraction to be disclosed. One of the alleged deletions is said to have been made at the end of January this year, just as Scotland Yard was launching Operation Weeting, its new inquiry into the affair.

The allegation directly contradicts repeated claims from News International that it is co-operating fully with police in order to expose its history of illegal news-gathering. It is likely to be seen as evidence that the company could not pass a 'fit and proper person' test for its proposed purchase of BSkyB.


Elsehwhere on the Rialto:

Investors piled out of BSkyB shares on Friday after the prime minister promised an independent inquiry into what went wrong at the newspaper.

Sam Hart, media analyst at broker Charles Stanley said: "Murdoch's plan to bid for the satellite operator has been kicked into touch.

"Shareholders are discounting the possibility that this bid won't happen for the foreseeable future. Some people wonder if it will happen at all. It could take years before the various inquiries have wound up, so the deal has been pushed much further back than anyone would have guessed a week ago."


Former Downing Street spokesman/NotW exec busted as his former boss, the British PM, calls for the resignation of News International's flame-haired editrix

According to a person familiar with the possible charges against Mr. Coulson, e-mails recently turned over to the police from The News of the World linked him and half a dozen other people, including high-ranking editors, to payments to the police “in the six figures.”

The payments were said to be not just for news tips, a standard tabloid practice despite its illegality, but also for substantial information, including confidential documents held by the police. Not only would any arrests be a blow to News International, but the company also faces the awkward prospect that any current or former News of the World employee facing prison might be tempted to argue, with specific examples, that wrongdoing was widespread at the paper.


The NYT has Bigfoot its former Baghdad war reporter on the story. And he reports the flame-haired editrix is goin' down:

...[News International exec Rebekah Brooks] spoke to staff members of the paper Friday afternoon, telling them she was “angry at the people who did this and feel bitterly betrayed,” according to Twitter accounts of the meeting, and said she had no plans to resign. She said that Thursday’s decision to shut the paper down was based on the conviction that it faced another two years of trouble, and that the brand had become “toxic” to advertisers. She said she did not expect to be arrested, participants said, but that there was worse to come in the police investigation into the hacking.

However, News International announced after the meeting that Ms. Brooks had been removed from an internal committee dealing with the scandal, and that her lieutenants on the committee would report directly to Joel I. Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor who is overseeing the cleanup effort for News Corporation, the parent of News International.



In this amazing 2003 clip, courtesy of The Guardian, the flame-haired editrix tells a parliamentary investigatory committee that she has paid police for information in the past and will in the future.

Rebekah Brooks departs the NotW premises Thursday after axing the staff.


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January 2012


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