UK newspaper ‘tasked Mulcaire to hack’

UK private investigator Glenn Mulcaire was “tasked” with work by News of the World journalist Greg Miskiw 407 times during Rebekah Brooks’ editorship of the paper between May 2000 to to January 2003, an Old Bailey jury has been told.

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There were 13 cases which “indicates a hacking or preparation to hack,” according to a police analysis which breaks down data taken from Mulcaire’s notes for the period between September 2001 and January 2003.

There were four published stories which could be linked to the notes of these “taskings” of Mulcaire, the court heard.

A police search of data found that Miskiw had made the contact 407 times during this period and detectives created a breakdown of whether it was possibly for “blagging” to get confidential information, “hacking”, or if it was not clear if it was to try to do either activity.

The police breakdown of the work done is labelled as category one where “it cannot be stated with any firmness if it was hacking or blagging”, category two where “in all probabilities it is a blagging” and, most significantly, category three which “indicates a hacking or preparation to hack,” the court was told.

Of the 407 entries, there were 218 category ones, 176 category twos and 13 category threes.

These category three links included a tale about former Fire Brigades Union general secretary Andy Gilchrist, at the height of the fire-fighters’ dispute, which later appeared in The Sun in January 2003, the court heard.

There was another story in that same month regarding priest Michael Hill which makes reference to him being offered 76,000 euros ($A118,470) by the Catholic Church to vanish after being released from jail.

There was another reference to a story regarding John Leslie allegedly bombarding a woman called Hannah with texts.

The jury was told “there are a further quantity of taskings that show the name ‘Greg’ in the top left hand corner” but they could not be dated because of missing information.

The names of celebrities including Amanda Holden, Charlotte Church and Will Young were found circled in notes taken from Mulcaire, the court was told.

Jonathan Laidlaw, QC for Brooks, noted: ” No single tape of a voicemail message can be established to have taken place between January 2000 and January 2003.”