Phone Hacking: ‘7/7 Family Targeted’

The family of a 7/7 London terror attack victim allegedly had their phones hacked by the News of the World as they waited for news after the bombing, it has emerged. The latest revelation in the widening scandal comes as MPs prepare for an emergency debate on the issue in Parliament.More hacking allegations against the tabloid have emerged in recent days, with claims the parents of murdered Soham girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were targeted, as well as Milly Dowler and her parents.Graham Foulkes, father of 7/7 victim David, told Sky News he had been contacted by the Metropolitan Police who said they had discovered a file containing his phone number and address during the course of their investigations.”In the last six years I have spent all my efforts focusing on the response of the emergency services, the police and MI5 so to realise that possibly without doubt the darkest point of anybody;s life, the thought that the press was listening in to those conversations is beyond description,” he said.”I would like to see News International hung, drawn and quartered.”

Solicitor Clifford Tibber, who represents some of the 7/7 victims’ families, told Sky News: “One of the families who I represent have been told by the team investigating that their phone numbers had turned up during the course of the investigation.”My thoughts are first of all with the family. It has caused a huge amount of distress to know that the sort of calls they were having to make shortly after the London bombings had been listened to by a journalist.”It has been a very, very distressing time for them.”It really is the worst possible invasion of their privacy at a time of the worst possible distress any family could possibly suffer.”

The claims fall on the day before the sixth anniversary of the attacks.As the scandal spread, the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who hacked into phones for the News of the World, apologised “to anybody who was hurt or upset” by his activities.In a statement given to The Guardian, he said: “I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done.”Phone Hacking: ‘7/7 Family Targeted’Mulcaire, who was convicted previously over earlier hacking activities for the paper, said he is now suffering “vilification” as a result of widespread condemnation.”Much has been published in the media about me. Up to now, I have not responded publicly in any way to all the stories but in the light of the publicity over the last 24 hours, I feel I must break my silence,” his statement said.

“I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done. I’ve been to court. I’ve pleaded guilty. And I’ve gone to prison and been punished. I still face the possibility of further criminal prosecution.”Mulcaire and ex-News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman were given jail terms in January 2007 after the Old Bailey heard they plotted to hack into royal aides’ telephone messages.Mulcaire sought to mitigate his actions by blaming demanding work schedules.”Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure,” his Guardian statement said.”There was a constant demand for results. I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically. But, at the time, I didn’t understand that I had broken the law at all.”

“A lot of information I obtained was simply tittle-tattle, of no great importance to anyone, but sometimes what I did was for what I thought was the greater good, to carry out investigative journalism.”The scandal engulfing the newspaper has stepped up in recent days, engulfing the families of murder victims Milly Dowler and Soham girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.Messages on the mobile phone of Milly, who was then missing, were allegedly listened to and some were deleted.Cambridgeshire police also confirmed that the families of 10-year-olds Jessica and Holly, who were murdered in 2002 by school caretaker Ian Huntley in Soham, were contacted by the Metropolitan Police.Simon Greenberg, head of corporate affairs for NotW parent company News International, told Sky’s Jeff Randall that his company had uncovered new details relating to voicemail interception.

“I think we have found significant new information that certainly helps us get closer to establishing the facts of the case about who was involved,” Mr Greenberg said.Mr Greenberg was asked by Randall if the phone belonging to the parents of Sarah Payne, an eight-year-old girl murdered in 2000, was also hacked, but he replied it was something he was “not aware of”.Later, News International released a statement about passing new evidence important to the police inquiry.”As a result of media enquiries, it is correct to state that new information has recently been provided to the police,” the News International statement said.The tabloid’s former editor Rebekah Brooks, who is now News International chief executive, said she was “appalled and shocked” by the claims but she has refused to resign, and denied any knowledge of impropriety.

According to Sky News chief political correspondent Jon Craig, Ms Brooks’ deputy Andy Coulson, who went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron’s communication director in Downing Street, is also now embroiled in the controversy.”This time it is not about phone hacking, it is about payments to police,” Craig said.”Vanity Fair magazine says Mr Coulson ‘condoned’ payments by his members of staff at the News of the World to Scotland Yard officers, according to emails the company has handed over to police.””Suddenly we are not just talking about phone hacking, we are also talking about payments to police.”For those critics out for blood in the Commons emergency debate, this shows evidence of collusion between the paper and police.”Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is among those pursuing litigation in the High Court over alleged hacking, has been granted the emergency debate on hacking in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

He told Sky News that a judicial inquiry was the only way to bring the whole truth to light.”We need to get to the bottom of two things: what was the scale of the criminality at the News of the World, and secondly, and equally importantly, why did the police do nothing about it in 2006?” Mr Bryant said.”What I would do is set up the inquiry and adjourn it immediately, so it would be a sword of Damocles hanging over the police investigation because there is a danger as time goes on people will leave the scene, leave the country and shred the evidence and we need to make sure there isn’t a cover-up of the cover-up.” – Skynews