Quantcast
Connect with us

Brown accuses Murdoch papers of hiring criminals

Published

on

Former prime minister Gordon Brown accused Rupert Murdoch’s media empire on Tuesday of using criminals to obtain his private documents, as MPs prepared to quiz police over phone hacking.

In a major new twist in the row that led to the closure of the Murdoch-owned News of the World, Brown accused its stablemate the Sunday Times of using con tricks to obtain bank details and legal documents relating to a flat he bought.

ADVERTISEMENT

He also said he did not understand how The Sun, another Murdoch paper, obtained information that his son had cystic fibrosis, adding that when the tabloid splashed the news on its front page in 2006 he was left “in tears”.

“I think what happened pretty early on in government was that the Sunday Times appear to have got access to my building society account, they got access to my legal files,” Brown told the BBC in an interview.

“But I’m shocked, I’m genuinely shocked to find that this happened because of their links with criminals, known criminals who were undertaking this activity, hired by investigators who were working with the Sunday Times.”

His claims are the first to explicitly drag in other Murdoch newspapers into the long-running scandal over phone hacking at the News of the World, and threaten to further damage Murdoch’s media interests.

They come as MPs prepare to question senior police officers about why their original investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World in 2006 failed to unearth the hoard of allegations that have emerged in recent months.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the latest twist, it was reported that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla had their voicemails hacked.

Media reports also suggested that police officers charged with protecting members of the royal family had sold their details to the News of the World, and the tabloid’s owners knew about this as early as 2007 but kept quiet.

The scandal prompted Murdoch to abruptly close down the 168-year-old tabloid last week, and sparked intense political pressure on his News Corp.’s controversial bid for control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

ADVERTISEMENT

News Corp. on Monday announced it was withdrawing concessions which it had offered to assuage competition concerns over the bid, prompting the government to refer the bid to the Competition Commission.

Murdoch flew to London on Sunday to try to contain the crisis, and also to offer his full support to Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of his British media interests, News International.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brooks was editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, and then moved to The Sun, but has always denied any knowledge of phone hacking.

Brown said it was Brooks who called him to tell him in 2006 that the tabloid was breaking the story about the illness of his son, who was then four months old.

“I’ve never talked publicly about Fraser’s condition. And obviously we wanted that to be kept private for all the obvious reasons,” said Brown, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007 and then Labour prime minister until 2010.

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked how it felt to see the news splashed over the media, he replied: “In tears. Your son is being broadcast across the media. Sarah (his wife) and I are incredibly upset about it.”

Although he did not directly accuse The Sun of wrongdoing, he said he “can’t think” how they would have got the medical records legitimately.

News International has asked to see the information on which Brown is basing his allegations, but a source at the group told AFP: “We are satisfied that the story about his son came from legitimate sources.”

Scotland Yard launched a new investigation into phone hacking in January, and on Monday it warned that leaks to the media — including about alleged payments to royal protection officers — threatened to undermine its efforts.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it is under pressure itself, and several officers were to appear before parliament’s home affairs committee on Tuesday.

These included Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the police officer who decided in 2009 that the original probe into phone hacking did not need to be reopened despite new revelations.

The original 2006 police investigation led to the News of the World’s then royal editor and a private investigator being jailed. Many of the recent revelations stem from the files seized from the investigator during that time.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘extortion’

Published

on

An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

Published

on

A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

Local news station KFOR reports that the announcer made the remarks during a game between Crooked Oak and rival Newkirk High School on Friday.

In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Money hungry mannequin’ Ivanka Trump buried for her taxpayer-funded ‘field trip’ to India with her dad

Published

on

Ivanka Trump was hammered on Twitter for posting pictures of her trip to India where she praised the "grandeur" of the Taj Mahal -- with herself featured front and center before it.

Donald Trump's daughter, a senior White House adviser, has taken to using her Twitter feed to promote herself (usually via photos or video clips) as she travels the world, presumably representing the United States. Monday morning's tweet was no exception, with the two pictures accompanied by, "The grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal is awe inspiring!" followed by emojis of the American flag and India's flag.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image