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Saturday 10 April 2010

Murdoch Is Served (16)

The previously received wisdom about Phonehackgate was that this was something that had happened in the past: that the whole business ended, more or less, when former News Of The World royal reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire got guilty. Indeed, the House of Commons media committee had been assured thus back in February.

However, Guardian journalist Nick Davies, of Flat Earth News fame, has revealed in today’s paper that the office of the Information Commissioner (IC) has launched an enquiry into suspected interception of voicemail messages following a raft of lurid tabloid stories around the alleged extra marital behaviour of former England football captain John Terry. Worse, there has been an allegation of intercepting a live telephone call – a more serious offence.

The thought that there may have been phone intercepts came after Vanessa Perroncel, former partner of player Wayne Bridge (she has given the Guardian an extensive interview, also in today’s paper), found that forms of words she was using in private calls were appearing in tabloid stories about her. The IC’s office has confirmed that it is in discussion with Vodafone.

After declining to speak to the tabs, and subsequently finding that they talked about her anyway, Perroncel has taken legal action against the usual suspects: the Sun, Screws, Mail, Mail On Sunday, Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People. The only names missing are those of the Desmond papers – perhaps they were too full of advertorial at the time.

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