BEYOND THE PANORAMA EXPOSE
[Update at end of post]
As if Rupe and his troops were not in enough trouble, what with the arrests of many senior Sun hacks and executives, and the continuing parade of litigants in the fallout from Phonehackgate, yesterday brought the suggestion from a BBC Panorama investigation that the fall of ITV Digital was not only not an accident, but that a Murdoch company was intimately involved.
Moreover, as is now coming clear, this may be just the tip of another significantly sized iceberg: the Independent has piled in on the affairs of NDS, founded in Israel back in 1988 but acquired by News Corporation in 1992 and subsequently becoming a world leader in satellite TV access technology, with its headquarters moving to Staines in west London.
With Panorama letting the thought enter that the hacking of the – supposedly un-hackable – access keys for ITV Digital, and the subsequent flooding of the black market with pirated copies, could have been done deliberately by NDS in order to hobble the rival in its battle with Murdoch’s Sky, the Indy also suggests that a rival to Rupe’s operations in Italy was also hacked that way.
And the computer hacking allegations don’t stop there: investigators are following up claims that a New Jersey based advertising firm and Murdoch rival had been hacked by News America Marketing. There had already been a civil lawsuit over the claims that had been settled out of court, when the Murdoch subsidiary shelled out almost $30 million to buy out its rival.
All of which is bad enough, but then come yet more questions over the background of at least one of the players in the NDS story. Their security man Ray Adams was formerly a Commander in the Met, and is connected to not only the Stephen Lawrence murder and gangster Clifford Norris, but also the mid 1980s investigation into police corruption.
Just before Adams was due to give evidence to anti-corruption officers, his close associate, DC Alan Holmes, who had already been interviewed twice, shot himself. Holmes was alleged to have been working with private investigator Daniel Morgan to expose that corruption. Morgan, as is well known, was then found in a south London pub car park with an axe in his head.
Jonathan Rees was one of those subsequently charged with the Morgan murder, only for the trial to collapse. His firm, Southern Investigations, worked with the now closed Screws in the surveillance of DCS David Cook and his then wife Jacqui Hames during their investigation of the Morgan case. Does it stink, or does it stink?
[UPDATE 28 March 1150 hours: the allegations of computer hacking involving pay-TV smartcards have now spread to Rupe's native Australia. The transcript of the interview on broadcaster ABC, available online, suggests that the Australian Financial Review has a bundle of emails from "a former commander in Scotland Yard".
That sounds like a reference to Ray Adams (see above), deeply implicated in covering-up for the Norris family after the Stephen Lawrence murder, equally implicated in police corruption in the Met during the 80s, and later head of security for Murdoch subsidiary NDS. Now it stinks even more]