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Police find the smoking handset at NOTW headquarters

Gutterwatch Phone implicated in hacking scandal
Wed Oct 26 2011, 17:40

THE INVESTIGATION into hacking at Rupert Murdoch's now shuttered newspaper the News of the World (NOTW) has turned up a smoking gun, or rather, mobile phone that was used for a lot of illegal voicemail snooping.

According to the Independent Metropolitan Police detectives working in the Operation Weeting team found the secret mobile phone lurking in the depths of News International's east London headquarters and started poking around in it.

They discovered that the handset was a fixture in the NOTW newsroom and was used to illegally dial into over 1,000 voicemail accounts between 2004 and 2006. The Independent adds that despite News International holding two internal enquiries about the hacking allegations, the organisation was never able to find the phone itself.

Operation Weeting officers will now spend a great deal of time trying to work out who at NOTW hid the handset, but we think that we can all work out why they did.

According to one former NOTW journalist the phone was regularly used and was passed around by staff working on the newsdesk. Its use was shadowy and tightly controlled, according to the report, but we can think of some other things to call it. µ


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