The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

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News of the World Hacking Scandal*

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News of the World: Final edition, front page, 10 July 2011

Police officers investigating phone hacking by the News of the World turn their attention to examine every high-profile case involving the murder, abduction or attack on any child since 2001 in response to the revelation that journalists from the tabloid newspaper hacked into the voicemail messages of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

News of the World phone hacking: Police review all child abduction cases, 05 July 2011
News of the World phone hacking: Police review all child abduction cases The Guardian

Detectives to examine every case involving attacks on children since 2001 in response to Milly Dowler phone hacking

Madeleine McCann, which is expected to be the first case to be re-examined in the wake of Milly Dowler phone hacking allegations.

Amelia Hill, James Robinson, Sam Jones, Nick Davies and Dan Sabbagh
Tuesday 5 July 2011 22.04 BST

Police officers investigating phone hacking by the News of the World are turning their attention to examine every high-profile case involving the murder, abduction or attack on any child since 2001 in response to the revelation that journalists from the tabloid newspaper hacked into the voicemail messages of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The move is a direct response to the Guardian's exclusive story on Monday that a private investigator working for the News International tabloid, Glenn Mulcaire, caused her parents to wrongly believe she was still alive – and interfered with police inquiries into her disappearance – by hacking into the teenager's mobile phone and deleting messages.

The case of Madeleine McCann is expected to be one of the first to be re-examined by detectives from Scotland Yard's new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting. Other cases likely to be re-examined include 15-year-old Danielle Jones, who was abducted and murdered in East Tilbury, Essex, in 2001 by her uncle, Stuart Campbell.

Officers from Operation Weeting have already told the parents of the girls killed in Soham in 2002 by Ian Huntley that their mobiles had been hacked. Documents seized by the Metropolitan police in a 2006 raid on Mulcaire's home show he targeted Leslie Chapman, the father of Jessica Chapman.

It is understood the name "Greg" appeared in the corner of notes taken by Mulcaire – believed to be a reference to the News of the World's former assistant editor (news) Greg Miskiw. It is thought that parents of the other murdered girl, Holly Wells, were also targeted.

Police officers will trawl through their collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Mulcaire, and seized from him in 2006, when he and the News of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, were jailed for hacking into mobile phones belonging to aides to Prince William and Harry and other members of the royal household.

Mulcaire issued a public apology on Tuesday to all those hurt or upset by his activities, saying that after the developments of the past 24 hours he had to "break his silence". He said: "I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done. I've been to court. I've pleaded guilty. And I've gone to prison and been punished. I still face the possibility of further criminal prosecution.

"Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure. There was a constant demand for results. I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically. But, at the time, I didn't understand that I had broken the law at all."

News of the impending police action capped a dramatic day of developments in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Throughout the day pressure intensified on the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper and, in particular, its former editor and now News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks – who insisted she knew nothing of the Dowler hacking allegations. She was the editor of the News of the World at the time the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone messages took place.

The media regulator, Ofcom, is understood to be ready to examine whether News Corporation directors would be "fit and proper persons" to own BSkyB – if any senior employees at News Corporation or its UK arm, News International, were charged with hacking-related offences.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is closing in on winning regulatory approval for its proposed £8bn-plus takeover of the 61% of BSkyB it does not own. Sources close to the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who will decide on the issue, insisted he could not take phone hacking into account in a decision that is focused on "media plurality".

Meanwhile a string of high-profile companies – including Ford, npower, Halifax, T-Mobile and Orange – said they would be reviewing or withdrawing their advertising in the News of the World.

These five brands are estimated to account for more than £2m worth of advertising in the tabloid in the past year. T-Mobile and Orange are thought to have spent an estimated £1.5m between them.

Ford said it would be using "alternative media within and outside News International Group instead of placing Ford advertising in the News of the World" while it awaited the outcome of an internal investigation.

The company added: "Ford is a company which cares about the standards of behaviour of its own people and those it deals with externally."

Halifax said it was "considering our options" about advertising in the News of the World, adding: "We are sensitive to the views of our customers and will take them into account."

Calls for boycotts of the News of the World appeared on Twitter and Facebook, and companies came under sustained pressure to pull their advertising from it.

Those wishing to direct their fury at the firms who advertise through the News of the World were provided with a one-stop page where they could automatically tweet their concerns to companies such as the Co-operative, easyJet, Butlins and Renault. Others went further, calling for direct boycotts of the firms unless they took their advertising money elsewhere.

John Bercow, the speaker of Commons, granted a rare emergency debate – which will happen on Wednesday – into calls for a public inquiry into phone hacking by News International journalists, and whether there was a potential cover-up by its senior executives.

Ministers in the Commons opposed the emergency debate but, in what will be seen as another show of force by Bercow, he accepted arguments in favour put by the Labour MP Chris Bryant.

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said Brooks needed to "examine her conscience" and that he was sure that she would because "this happened on her watch".

Although his words were Labour's strongest intervention so far on the phone-hacking crisis, the party is still undecided about whether to put forward a substantive motion calling for a public inquiry that could be subject to a vote or amendment.

In the first sign of potential coalition tension of the Conservative Hunt's planned approval of the Murdoch BSkyB deal, Tim Farron, the president of the Liberal Democrats, told BBC Radio 4's World at Oneon Tuesday: "I ask myself, is Rupert Murdoch a fit and proper person to own any more of the media market? Well, certainly not." The Milly Dowler revelations were the "tip of the iceberg", he added.

Channel 4 News reported that Brooks was confronted by the Met in 2002 about the fact a senior detective investigating the murder of a private investigator, Daniel Morgan, was targeted by Mulcaire on behalf of the News of the World. The main suspect in the case, which was being led by Detective Superintendent David Cook, was a man with close links to the News of the World.

Cook and his wife, Jackie Haines, were told by Scotland Yard in April this year their mobile phone numbers and payroll details had been found in Mulcaire's notebook. News International said it could not confirm or deny whether Brooks had ever attended such a meeting.

Lady Buscombe, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, said she was lied to by the News of the World over phone hacking.

"There's only so much we can do when people are lying to us. We know now that I was not being given the truth by the News of the World," she told the BBC's Daily Politics.

Brooks emailed employees at News International to insist she knew nothing about phone hacking: "It is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position.

"Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues."

---------

Phone-hacking police meet murdered Soham girls' parents BBC News

5 July 2011 Last updated at 19:20

- Extract -

BBC Newsnight has learned that police investigating press phone-hacking have also spoken to Jacqui Hames, a former Met officer and presenter on BBC's Crimewatch, and Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the family of missing child Madeleine McCann.

Mr Mitchell told the BBC that someone had tried to persuade his mobile phone network operator to reveal confidential information about his account.

-----------------------

Phone hackers 'snooped on Soham families' The Telegraph

By Mark Hughes, John Bingham, Victoria Ward and Duncan Gardham
10:00PM BST 05 Jul 2011

- Extract -

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, said there was evidence to suggest that someone had attempted to access the mobile phones of people close to the couple after their daughter, Madeleine, disappeared in Portugal in 2007.

-------------------------

Rebekah Brooks facing axe Daily Star

By Tom Hutchison and Steve Hughes
6th July 2011

- Extract -

And last night media mogul Max Clifford, 68, said he would not be surprised to see missing Madeleine McCann's family dragged into the investigation.

(...)

Mr Clifford said: "I believe there are going to be other names, possibly Sarah Payne, possibly the McCanns, that the police will be calling as well."

-------------------------

Phone hacking scandal: 'parents of murdered Soham schoolgirls were targeted' Daily Mirror

by Andrew Gregory
6/07/2011

- Extract -

Last night Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman confirmed he had spoken to officers investigating phone hacking.

Clarence Mitchell has previously spoken of his fear that he became a victim during the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

He said: "It appears that a person or persons unknown attempted to seek information about my number in relation to the McCann case."

---------------------

News of the World phone hacking: Police review all child abduction cases The Guardian (updated)

Amelia Hill, James Robinson, Sam Jones, Nick Davies and Dan Sabbagh
01.42 BST on Wednesday 6 July 2011

- Extract -

The case of Madeleine McCann is expected to be one of the first to be re-examined by detectives from Scotland Yard's new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting.

Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman, said he has been interviewed by officers from the hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, and is due to be interviewed a second time in the near future.

Clarence Mitchell on phone hacking, 06 July 2011
Clarence Mitchell on phone hacking BBC Radio Leicester

Ben Jackson - Radio Leicester header

Last broadcast on Wednesday, 06:00 on BBC Leicester.

Spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, Clarence Mitchell, tells Ben Jackson he has spoken to detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking. He believes his phone may have been hacked in 2008.

(from 1:23:08 on the BBC Radio Leicester link above)

--------------------

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Ben Jackson: Now, this morning, errr... we've been hearing about further developments in the News of the World phone hacking scandal. The father of one of the victims of the July the 7th London bombings says he's been told by police that his phone may well have been hacked. Questions are also being raised by Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman of Madeleine McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry, of course, from Rothley. Clarence is on the phone. Clarence, good morning.

Clarence Mitchell: Good morning, Ben.

Ben Jackson: Just run us through, first of all, why you think your phone may have been hacked.

Clarence Mitchell: Well, in a nutshell, errr... we were told, errr... late last year that there was growing concern that, errm... phones, either Kate or Gerry's phones, or... or my phones, people around them, may well have been the subject of hacking interest, errr... if you think about it, we were at the centre of a major tabloid storm, errr... in 2007 and 2008, errr... and frankly it wouldn't have surprised us if that was the case but we had no proof. However, errm... we asked our phone operators to check our records, errr... what records were left, errm... and, errm... in my case, Vodafone came back a few weeks later with concrete proof that there had been at least two attempts to gain access, via the customer services, errm... people, to my number and to gain information about it, complete with spurious claims about being involved in the McCann case or, errr... bogus text messages being sent to my phone saying third parties had been trying to access my voicemail, so I have some demonstrable proof of something odd happening on my number, errr... I immediately contacted the police and, errr... they too took it seriously enough to send two officers, from Operation Weeting, the current police inquiry into the whole saga, errr... and the police now have a full statement and all the information from me and are currently investigating. So, that's what this is based on. I can't say who it was, I don't know if it was a particular paper or a particular individual but I have to assume, given what was happening at the time, that it was most likely journalistic in its intent but I am not pointing the finger at any particular paper this morning; I simply don't know yet.

Ben Jackson: Well, I was going to say, I mean, obviously the... the... it would not be an unreasonable assumption to draw to say that Kate and... if your phone was... was hacked in, or attempted to be hacked into, then... then presumably attempts were made on Kate and Gerry's phones?

Clarence Mitchell: Well, one would assume that and, as I say, we asked the phone operators for their records as well, errm... and, so far, from what we've been told, there appears to be no untoward activity on their accounts, errr... this, of course, is only the records of calls made to customer service people; for instance, if you have a handset, or pay a bill, or whatever, the operator makes a note of your enquiry and that's... those... those are the records we've seen because they exist for many years. Errr... what we haven't seen are full records for all of our ingoing and outcoming... outgoing phone calls; the phone companies only keep those a year. Now, because it was... we were only alerted to the possibility last year, of course, that was three years after the height of the story and, errm... I'm afraid we were told that much of the... the early records, errm... simply don't exist anymore, errr... but, as I say, we felt it was important to let the police know about the information that we did have and, errr... they are now acting upon it but, so far, there is nothing to suggest that Kate and Gerry's phones have been subjected to any, errr... illegal attention, at this stage,

Ben Jackson: Now, you've been... you've been a journalist; you were a BBC journalist for a long time, you've worked within the media, you know, for ever. Have you ever come across a situation where there's a... a media storm about the media, like this? I mean, the hacking, errr... scandal's been going on since, what, 2007. Errr... have we reached a tipping point?

Clarence Mitchell: Errm... In a way, it feels like it, you're right. I mean, the media loves, in many respects, to talk about nothing else but the media itself; there's a lot of navel gazing goes on; a lot of this is a debate that is of interest to journalists and politicians but precious little interest to people outside of that... that immediate world. Errr... in this case, though, you're right, this has been going on, there is a corrosive effect for, errm... public trust, if you like, in... in the veracity of journalism as a whole, errr... it damages faith in newspapers and some British journalism is... is absolutely the finest in the world, equally some of it is... is amongst the low... the worst in the world, I'm afraid. Errm... this particular revelation concerning Milly Dowler's, errm... phone's messages being deleted to make space for more is utterly appalling, errr... and I say that as a BBC reporter. I covered Milly, errr... from the off, for the whole six months before her body was found, errr... and I knew the pain that the family were going through myself, having... having met the Dowler's on several occasions and for... for that to be compounded by simply what was essentially, it seems, a journalistic fishing exercise is truly appalling and it's absolutely right that from the most senior executive down to the most junior reporter, people are... are disgusted by this, errr... and I'm afraid that... that those responsible of crossing the line completely, not only of legality but morality as well, errr... really should face, errm... all the punishment they deserve.

Ben Jackson: Clarence, thank you for coming onto the Breakfast Show this morning, thank you. That's Clarence Mitchell, errm... Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesperson joining us here on BBC Radio Leicester. We put a call into him, errr... just earlier this morning and you've heard what he's had to say on this. He suspects that, errr... his phone was hacked into. Who by, errr... is not clear, of course, and he wouldn't like to say which particular paper, if indeed it was a paper but, errm... he certainly has been contacted by the police, errm... and seems to have evidence that his phone... at least there was an attempt, several attempts made, to hack into his phone, errm... we'll bring you more details on that, of course, through the day here on BBC Radio Leicester and as more details ev... emerge on what's... errr... I mean there are more revelations coming out almost on an hourly basis, errr... you'll hear them here first, of course, on BBC Radio Leicester. It's 7:32.

McCann's spokesman talks to police in phone hacking probe, 06 July 2011
McCann's spokesman talks to police in phone hacking probe Leicester Mercury

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The spokesman for Rothley couple Kate and Gerry McCann has confirmed he has talked to officers investigating phone hacking by journalists.

Clarence Mitchell has previously spoken of his fear that he may have been a victim of hacking attempts during the height of the case involving their missing daughter Madeleine McCann.

Clarence Mitchell, right, with Kate and Gerry McCann.
Clarence Mitchell, right, with Kate and Gerry McCann.

He said he has been interviewed by officers from the hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, and is due to be interviewed a second time in the near future.

Mr Mitchell discovered "suspicious" activity on his account from February and July 2008 after asking Vodafone to examine his records late last year.

"It appears that a person or persons unknown attempted to seek information about my number in relation to the McCann case," he said.

He said another call was made to Vodafone in July 2008 from someone claiming to have received a text message warning that a third party had been trying to access their voicemail.

"When I was made aware of these circumstances late last year I informed the Metropolitan Police and detectives from Operation Weeting swiftly interviewed me."

Metropolitan police officers are investigating Mr Mitchell's phone situation and he said he is due to speak to them again in the near future.

He said the McCanns' records were also probed, but there was no evidence of suspicious activity.

Mr Mitchell has not pointed the finger at any organisation, but said he would be "naive" not to think attempts to get information from his phone were linked to journalists.

Madeleine McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell has spoken to police officers investigating phone hacking, 06 July 2011
Madeleine McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell has spoken to police officers investigating phone hacking Liverpool Echo

Madeleine McCann

by Staff Reporter, Liverpool Echo
Jul 6 2011

MADELEINE McCann's parents Kate and Gerry's spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed he has spoken to officers investigating phone hacking.

Clarence Mitchell has previously spoken of his fear that he may have been a victim of hacking attempts during the height of the case involving missing Madeleine McCann.

Last night he said he has been interviewed by officers from the hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, and is due to be interviewed a second time in the near future.

Mr Mitchell discovered "suspicious" activity on his account from February and July 2008 after asking Vodafone to examine his records late last year.

He said: "It appears that a person or persons unknown attempted to seek information about my number in relation to the McCann case."

"In one instance they claimed that I had been phoning them regularly and that they were something to do with 'the McCann CID trial'.

"This is clearly untrue as no such thing exists, nor did I ever make such calls to any number every night."

He said another call was made to Vodafone in July 2008 from someone claiming to have received a text message warning that a third party had been trying to access their voicemail.

"When I was made aware of these circumstances late last year I informed the Metropolitan police and detectives from Operation Weeting swiftly interviewed me.

"I gave full phone records as supplied to me by Vodafone and I underlined how these suspicious calls were of great concern to me.

"As a result Metropolitan police officers are currently investigating my phone situation and I understand I am due to speak to them again at some point in the near future."

He said the McCanns' records were also probed, but there was no evidence of suspicious activity.

Mr Mitchell has not pointed the finger at any organisation, but said he would be "naive" not to think attempts to get information from his phone were linked to journalists.

"I would be naive if I didn't think the suspicious activity was not journalistic in its intent, simply because of the situation at the time.

"Suspicious activity would be entirely consistent with the level of interest there was at that time.

"But I cannot prove who was behind this or what the motivation was, but I can only assume it was journalistic in its intent."

McCann spokesman confirms talks with phone hacking officers, 06 July 2011
McCann spokesman confirms talks with phone hacking officers The Telegraph

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, confirms he has met with police officers investigating phone hacking after attempts were made to access his account.

1:56PM BST 06 Jul 2011

Mr Mitchell has previously discussed his suspicions that he may have been a victim of phone hacking attempts when the case involving the Rothley couple's missing daughter Madeleine McCann was at it's height.

He said he has been interviewed by police officers from Operation Weeting - the current inquiry into alleged hacking by the News of the World - and is due to meet with them a second time in the near future.

Mr Mitchell discovered "suspicious" activity on his account from February and July 2008 after asking his phone company to examine his records late last year.

"As soon as I had incontravertible proof from Vodafone that something odd had happened on my account, " Mr Mitchell said, "I went to the police."

The former BBC journalist, who became spokesman for the McCann family back in 2007, confirmed that the phone records of both Gerry and Kate McCann were also checked for any dubious activity.

Mr Mitchell confirmed: "The results came back to say that in both their cases there were no obvious signs of suspicious activity on their accounts."

Phone Hacking: Was Maddie's family targeted?, 07 July 2011
Phone Hacking: Was Maddie's family targeted? Daily Express

Daily Express, 07 July 2011

by John Twomey
Thursday July 7 2011

THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann may have been targeted by the News of the World, an MP said yesterday.

Chris Bryant told the emergency Commons debate that Scotland Yard is investigating allegations that the voicemails of Kate and Gerry McCann were hacked by the paper.

The McCanns, whose four-year-old daughter vanished in Portugal in 2007, join a growing "list of shame" of alleged victims of the hackers.

They include murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family along with the parents of Soham murder victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah, eight, was killed by paedophile Roy Whiting, and relatives of murder victim Danielle Jones, 15, as well as victims of the 7/7 bombings may also have been hacking victims.

Mr Bryant, whose phone was hacked by the paper, said the scandal revealed the NoW had "completely lost sight of any idea of decency". He said: "I am told that police are looking at not just Milly Dowler's phone and those of the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, but the case of Madeleine McCann and 15-year-old Danielle Jones who was abducted and murdered in Essex in 2001 by her uncle Stuart Campbell."

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed officers investigating the hacking case had contacted him.

He discovered "suspicious" activity on his account from February and July 2008 after asking his phone firm to examine his records late last year. The ex-BBC journalist, who became the McCann family spokesman in 2007, confirmed the phone records of Gerry and Kate McCann were also checked.

He said: "The results came back to say that in both their cases there were no obvious signs of suspicious activity on their accounts."

Since their daughter vanished, Kate and Gerry McCann have complained their phones were tampered with. It is understood three supporters of the couple were also told their voicemails may have been accessed.

McCann spokesman to discuss phone hacking, 07 July 2011
McCann spokesman to discuss phone hacking Leicester Mercury

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell is to be interviewed a second time by police investigating alleged phone hacking by journalists.

Mr Mitchell says it is possible he was a victim of illegal attempts to access his mobile phone messages during the height of the case involving the McCanns' missing daughter, Madeleine.

He has already spoken once to detectives before allegations that reporters from the News of the World hacked into several phone accounts, including that of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler, emerged this week.

Mr Mitchell discovered suspicious activity on his account in February and July, 2008, after asking Vodafone to examine his records late last year.

He said there was no indication that the phone accounts of the McCanns, from Rothley, had been hacked.

He said: "There has been no suspicion that they have been affected though something may emerge in the future.

"I have already spoken to officers in relation to my account to this and expect to do so in the near future.

"I am not pointing the finger at anyone, but at the time the story was front page fodder so it is possible journalists were involved.

"We were not naive. At that time, we knew it was a possibility that this was going on so we were always careful about what we said in messages.

"If, and it is an if, my phone was hacked, then it is a breach of my privacy and potentially something that could have had a harmful affect on the search for Madeleine.

"It that proves to be the case I will look at taking this down legal channels as other victims have."

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a public inquiry into the affair once the police inquiry is complete.

News of the World phone hacking: email evidence 'deleted', 08 July 2011
News of the World phone hacking: email evidence 'deleted' The Telegraph

Senior executives and staff at the News of the World attempted to obstruct the police investigation into telephone hacking by deleting millions of emails and hiding evidence from detectives, it was claimed last night.

The list of possible victims also features Miss McGuinnesss Lib Dem colleagues, Mr Clegg and Sir Menzies, and Jane Tanner, who was on holiday with the McCanns in Praia da Luz, Portugal, and is convinced she saw Madeleine being carried off by a man Photo: PA

By Victoria Ward, and Mark Hughes
9:32PM BST 08 Jul 2011

An executive from News International, the tabloid's parent company, allegedly deleted potentially incriminating emails from an internal archive shortly after Scotland Yard began its second investigation in January.

It is also alleged that the contents of a reporter's desk were removed following his arrest before police had an opportunity to conduct a search.

The allegations came as The Daily Telegraph learnt that detectives have been handed a list of potential telephone hacking victims linked to the Madeleine McCann case.

The list of 67 names and numbers includes Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of the missing child, and politicians including Nick Clegg and Sir Menzies Campbell. It was handed to officers working on Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into telephone hacking at the News of the World last year.

The alleged mass deletion of emails, reported by The Guardian newspaper last night, has exacerbated tensions between News International and Scotland Yard.

Last month, News International handed over evidence of journalists' alleged involvement in bribing police officers, but was warned by Scotland Yard not to make a public announcement. When the existence of the emails became public this week detectives concluded that the agreement had been breached.

It is also claimed that after the arrest of James Weatherup, a senior journalist at the newspaper, in April, his desk was cleared and its contents lodged with a firm of solicitors. The Metropolitan Police is said to have consulted the Crown Prosecution Service over whether charges could be brought.

Meanwhile, the list containing details of people linked to the Madeleine investigation suggests the victims of telephone hacking are not confined to names seized from Glenn Mulcaire following his arrest in 2006. Although the three year-old went missing in May 2007, after Mulcaire, the private investigator at the heart of the scandal, had been jailed, some connected to the investigation into her disappearance have raised concerns that their telephones may have been hacked.

One is understood to be Justine McGuinness, a Liberal Democrat adviser who was a spokesman for the McCanns. The list of possible victims also features Miss McGuinness's Lib Dem colleagues, Mr Clegg and Sir Menzies, and Jane Tanner, who was on holiday with the McCanns in Praia da Luz, Portugal, and is convinced she saw Madeleine being carried off by a man.

Detectives were said to have interviewed Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, about the list, although he was unaware how it came into fruition. Mr Mitchell has confirmed that he met officers after attempts were made to access his Vodafone account.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said of the list: "If anyone is concerned about telephone hacking we are duty bound to take it seriously."

News of the World final edition, 10 July 2011
News of the World final edition News of the World

News of the World: Final edition, front page, 10 July 2011

News of the World: Final edition, review page, 10 July 2011

News of the World: Final edition, detail of review page, 10 July 2011

July 10,  2011

2007

THREE-YEAR-OLD Madeleine McCann is reported missing in Portugal by her parents Kate and Gerry.

Rebekah Brooks's arrest came as a surprise despite fortnight of bad press, 17 July 2011
Minutes after Brooks was taken into custody at midday, David Wilson, the chairman of the public relations agency Bell Pottinger, had been asked by her lawyers to handle press inquiries.

"Over the coming weeks she will continue to press her innocence," said Wilson, who was on the PR team aiding Madeleine McCann's parents during the first weeks after her abduction. "She intends to clear her name."

Rebekah Brooks's arrest came as a surprise despite fortnight of bad press The Guardian

• Murdoch's former chief executive has crack team of legal and PR advisers
• Unclear whether Brooks will still give evidence to MPs

Juliette Garside
Sunday 17 July 2011 22.07 BST

Rebekah Brooks: arrest was a surprise after whe met officers at a London police station on Sunday. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

Rebekah Brooks did not know she was going to become the 10th person arrested in the phone-hacking investigation when her resignation as News International's chief executive was announced on Friday.

It is understood that the appointment to be interviewed by police was not in her diary until Friday evening, hours after she left the company after 22 years.

It was not until she met officers at a London police station that she learned she was being arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption.

"It was quite a surprise," her spokesman said.

Minutes after Brooks was taken into custody at midday, David Wilson, the chairman of the public relations agency Bell Pottinger, had been asked by her lawyers to handle press inquiries.

"Over the coming weeks she will continue to press her innocence," said Wilson, who was on the PR team aiding Madeleine McCann's parents during the first weeks after her abduction. "She intends to clear her name."

It was unclear on Sunday night whether Brooks will give evidence as planned to MPs on the culture, media and sport's select committee. Members were taking legal advice. James and Rupert Murdoch are scheduled to attend.

Wilson said Brooks had been "offering since January to assist in any way that she could, and only last week the police were saying she wasn't on their radar".

He added: "Her resignation and her agreement to attend the select committee hearing on Tuesday seem to have prompted a change of tack."

Brooks – who had resigned after huge pressure, with calls from across the political spectrum for her to go – is beginning to assemble a crack team of advisers. Her legal representative is Stephen Parkinson of Kingsley Napley solicitors, whose website describes him as frequently representing "high-profile individuals caught up in criminal or regulatory investigations".

Parkinson advised Tony Blair and his cabinet on the Hutton inquiry, and Sir Ian Blair and other officers during investigations arising out of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell.

Wilson and his colleagues at the agency founded by Lord Tim Bell, Margaret Thatcher's favourite spin doctor, are veteran crisis management experts, having handled everything from Eurostar trains stuck in tunnels to allegations of information theft in Formula 1.

Brooks was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, and on suspicion of corruption, according to a statement from the Metropolitan police. She was interviewed with regard to both Operation Weeting, which is looking into phone hacking, and Operation Elveden, which is looking at allegations of payments to police officers.

The last two weeks have seen Brooks, the former News International chief executive, transformed from the Murdoch empire's closest link to Britain's political elite to an outsider facing criminal charges and fighting to salvage her reputation.

On Saturday 2 July, she was a guest at an all-night party hosted by PR boss Matthew Freud and his wife, Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, at their Cotswolds mansion, Burford Priory. The event was nothing less than a gathering of the country's political and media masters.

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, and his star reporter Robert Peston rubbed shoulders with Peter Mandelson, Labour leader Ed Miliband's brother, David, and the education secretary, Michael Gove.

According to reports, Brooks was not as gregarious as usual, spending much of the evening locked in conversation with her boss, James Murdoch, and other News International executives.

The following Monday, the Guardian broke the news that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail messages had not only allegedly been hacked, but that they may have been deleted to make room for new messages, giving her parents the false hope that she was still alive.

On Thursday 7 July, the decision was taken to close the News of the World.

Announcing his decision, James Murdoch stood by his key lieutenant, saying: "Fundamentally, I am satisfied that Rebekah, her leadership in this business and her standard of ethics and her standard of conduct throughout her career are very good."

When Rupert Murdoch flew in to London last week to take charge of the crisis, one of his first acts was to signal his full support for Brooks by taking her to dinner in Mayfair. Asked what his priority was, he replied, indicating Brooks: "This one."

Calls for her resignation swiftly followed – from Dowler's parents, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, and Ed Miliband. By Friday morning, following further revelations and the withdrawal of News Corp's bid for its satellite TV subsidiary Sky, had fallen on her sword.

Brooks, 43, got her first job in Fleet Street while still a teenager, joining Eddie Shah's short-lived tabloid, the Post, as features secretary. After the Post closed she arrived at the News of the World's magazine, where she was quickly promoted by the then editor, Piers Morgan.

By the age of 29, she was deputy editor of the Sun. At 32, she became the youngest national newspaper editor in the company when Rupert Murdoch gave her the top job at the News of the World. Three years later she was editing the Sun.

During her six years at the helm of the paper, she made her name exposing Angus Deayton and Prince Harry's drug taking, and initiated the notorious campaign for "Sarah's law", naming and shaming sex offenders in the wake of the murder of another schoolgirl, Sarah Payne.

Her one previous arrest, in 2005, was under very different circumstances. She was picked up by police after allegedly assaulting her then husband, the EastEnders actor Ross Kemp. The TV hardman sustained a cut to the mouth but no charges were brought.

Back then, Brooks was editor of the Sun. Rupert Murdoch is said to have sent a designer suit to the police station so she would look her best when she left the cells. With typical bravado, she went straight to the office. After uttering the words: "Much happening today?" she took control of the news conference and ordered a carefully worded frontpage story on the incident. While the team of advisers Brooks has assembled will help to fight her corner, she can no longer command a national newspaper to back her.

Phone-hacking scandal: reporter linked to the 'for Neville' email arrested, 02 September 2011
Phone-hacking scandal: reporter linked to the 'for Neville' email arrested The Guardian

News of the World journalist believed to be the man who transcribed key email sent to private investigator Glen Mulcaire

Police have arrested a former News of the World journalist in connection with the phone-hacking scandal investigation. Photograph: Richard Saker

James Robinson
Friday 2 September 2011 20.58 BST

A 30-year-old man who has been arrested by police investigating the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World is believed to be Ross Hall, a former journalist at the paper who now works for a financial PR firm.

Hall, who worked under the name Ross Hindley until September 2006, is believed to be the man who transcribed the "for Neville" email that was sent to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. It has become a pivotal piece of evidence in the phone-hacking affair.

That email contained a transcript of messages left on a mobile phone belonging to Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association. The "Neville" referred to in the email is believed to be Neville Thurlbeck, the paper's chief reporter.

There is a dispute among senior executives at News International, which owned the paper until it was closed in July, over who knew about the "Neville" email.

The paper's former editor Colin Myler and its lawyer Tom Crone insist they told News International chairman James Murdoch about the existence of the email in 2008, before the company decided to settle a legal action which Taylor had brought against the paper. But Murdoch denies that he knew about the email.

Taylor received an out-of-court settlement of £700,000, and agreed not to discuss the case.

Hall is the nephew of Phil Hall, who edited the News of the World from 1995 to 2000 and is now a PR consultant.

The Metropolitan police said a 30-year-old man was arrested by appointment on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages and perverting the course of justice at a north London police station on Friday. He was later released on bail until January next year.

Some background reports on Ross Hall and his connection to Lori Campbell (the journalist who reported Robert Murat to the police), Phil Hall and the McCanns: 

Street Of Shame: Phoney Evidence (Geddit?), ? July 2009

Private Eye: Street Of Shame

Phoney Evidence (Geddit?) Private Eye

Unknown date - likely to be July 2009, or shortly afterwards

Screws you: Colin Myler, editor of the News of the World, who was highly misleading over the phone-hacking scandal

Names have been changed to protect the… guilty?

Apart from sidestepping the fact that everyone conveniently "forgetting" the transcript does not explain its existence or contents, Myler's evidence in this respect was wrong.

Ten minutes in the cuttings database of News of the World stories reveals that Ross Hindley, the office junior who in June 2005, according to Myler, had a week earlier been a messenger boy, had had his first "additional research" credit in the paper five years earlier, on 30 April 2000, on a story about the first anniversary of the Admiral Duncan pub bombing in Soho.

Since 2000 he had had regular bylines of his own, on such stories as "Harman silent on 'dope' son" (1 February 2004), and had been part of the Screws reporting team, working with Clive Goodman, on Charles and Camilla's wedding in April 2005. In 2004, while a reporter for the Romford Recorder, he had been highly commended in the Essex Young Journalist of the Year awards.

Don't forget to write!

When Myler told the PCC that Hindley was "a junior reporter who has since left the newspaper", he was again being misleading, to say the very least. After April 2005 Hindley had more than 50 bylines in the paper until 17 September 2006 – two weeks after Clive Goodman was charged – when they stopped. In the following issue, 24 September 2006, a new byline appeared – that of "Ross Hall", who then had more than 100 credits in the paper up to April 2009, including on big stories such as the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

Hall and Hindley are of course one and the same person – currently on a round-the-world trip with his/their fiancée. Let's hope they remember to send Colin Myler a postcard from New Zealand!

----------------

The 'round-the-world trip' was actually between Jan 2009 and the early part of 2010 [the Commons culture select committee met in July 2009]:

Key witness will testify on News of the World phone hacking The Guardian

David Leigh and Vikram Dodd
Tuesday 7 September 2010 21.17 BST

- Extract -

Following his return from a round the world trip which made it impossible for him to be summoned to answer the committee's questions, Hall in June found a job with a London PR firm.

---------------------

And Ross Hindley/Hall's partner? Lori Campbell.

Four continents & 22 countries in a year.. Sunday Mirror

By Lori Campbell 16/05/2010

- Extract -

With the credit crunch taking hold and the country heading for recession, many thought I was mad to give up my job. But I felt it was the perfect time.

First, though, I had to convince my partner Ross, a reporter on another paper, that it was a good thing to do. When I finally got home on that rainy night, I tested the water by casually mentioning to him how great it would be to pack our bags, jump on a plane and travel the world.

He shocked me by calling my bluff, saying: "There's no point in just talking about it, let's do it!" So over a few glasses of wine we started to add up what savings we had... and it dawned on us that it wasn't an unrealistic dream.

We wondered if we were brave enough to give up our home, the security of our jobs and leave our friends and families for a year.

(...)

In January last year we'd saved most of what we needed so we took the plunge and booked our round-the-world tickets through STA Travel.

A few weeks later we both handed in our notice. My colleagues were thrilled for me but also shocked. A few told me how "brave" they thought I was, but it was obvious from their faces they really meant "mad".

------------------

CMS Report: Committee condemns 'collective amnesia' at News International over phone hacking journalism.co.uk

By: Judith Townend
Posted: 24 February 2010

- Extract -

Key inconsistencies in News International evidence, as reported by the committee:

  • The 'junior' reporter who transcribed voicemail messages "for Neville" [Thurlbeck, chief reporter, who only gave evidence to the committee in private]
Ross Hindley is not 20 and was not being trained as a junior reporter, as legal manager Tom Crone first told the committee. He is in fact 28 and nephew of the former News of the World editor Phil Hall. He joined the paper in 2005 having worked on local newspapers. He had been contributing to the paper for five years previously. From 2006, he used his mother's maiden name as his byline.

--------------------

News of the World execs guilty...of nepotism Press Gazette

Posted by Dominic Ponsford on 8 September 2010 at 09:09

News of the World executives were guilty…of nepotism at least it seems.

The Guardian has tracked down the author of the "for Neville" email of typed-up hacked phone conversations, which journalist Nick Davies presented to the Commons culture select committee.

It turns out that he is Ross Hall, a nephew of former News of the World editor Phil Hall.

He was out of the country at the time of the select committee hearings last year so couldn't testify but now he's working in PR and told The Guardian that he would talk to the new Commons Home Affairs Committee phone-hack inquiry.

"If asked, I will tell them what I know," he said.

Back in July last year, Guardian journalist Davies produced the email transcript of a hacked phone conversation during his testimony to the Commons culture and media committee.

It appeared to suggest that at least two further journalists at the News of the World had knowledge of phone-hacking: the individual who wrote up the June 2005 transcript, after listening to hacked phoned calls, and the person named at top the of the email, which was headed up: "This is a transcript for Neville".

You can view a redacted version of the email in question here.

MPs quizzed NoW execs about the email the following week.

News International head lawyer Tom Crone, told MPs that Ross Hall ( who was not named at the time) did not remember the particular job. Hall was also described as a former messenger who was being trained as a junior reporter at the time.

On the question of whether chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck had seen the email, Crone said: "His position is that he's never seen that email and never had any knowledge of it."

Hall's LinkedIn profile (now deleted but here's a Google cached version) suggests he was rather more senior than the impression previously given.

It claims he joined the NoW as a reporter/features researcher/editorial assistant in August 1995 and that between 2004 and March this year he was a senior news reporter.

Hall's profile says he was: "An investigative news reporter covering high-profile stories including the London and US terror attacks and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann."

He currently works as "associate vice president" of a PR company and says he is: "A specialist in dealing with attacks on reputation and issues and crisis communications."

--------------------------

The McCanns connection to Phil Hall...

McCanns' PR steps down The Guardian

Ben Dowell
Thursday 13 September 2007 15.51 BST

Gerry and Kate McCann: have been speaking regularly to former News of the World editor Phil Hall. Photograph: Armando Franca/AP

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann, are looking for a new full-time public relations adviser after their current PR, Justine McGuinness, decided to step down.

Ms McGuinness has told journalists she is planning to cease acting as the McCann's PR on Saturday, September 15.

However, she is believed to have assured the McCanns that she will stay in place if a replacement cannot be found.

A spokeswoman for the McCanns' solicitors, Kingsley Napley, confirmed that Ms McGuinness was stepping down from her role as the couple's PR.

One reason Ms McGuinness has given to journalists for her departure is that the McCanns have been ordered to remain silent because of the changing nature of the investigation and she feels she cannot help them further.

Another is Ms McGuinness's workload - she has been "working 18 hours days for a number of weeks now" according to a source familiar with the situation.

The couple are thought to be looking for a "big hitter", according to one source familiar with the situation, to work as their full-time PR representative as the investigation into their daughter's disappearance enters a new phase.

Ms McGuinness, a 37-year-old former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, was selected through a headhunter to oversee the PR campaign to aid the search for the couple's daughter.

But it is now thought that the McCanns are looking for a different kind of PR advice after they became suspects in the inquiry into their daughter's disappearance and media coverage has become more negative.

The couple are understood to be consulting a number of senior industry figures about their media strategy, with the leading candidate thought to be former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall.

Mr Hall today admitted to MediaGuardian.co.uk that he had been "speaking regularly" to the couple since their daughter disappeared on May 3 in the Algarve in Portugal.

The newspaperman turned PR executive said: "I have spoken to them a number of times and offered advice and [help] assessing the situation and what they are doing going forward and whether they need someone full time or part time."

Asked if he was being lined up to be their full time PR representative, Mr Hall said: "We are discussing the way forward. I have not been hired ... and I gather they are talking to other people."

Asked if he was being paid by the McCanns for his advice he insisted that he was not, adding: "What, when they call up, do I ask them, 'how much?' Of course not. They are very nice people."

Before Ms McGuinness's arrival in Portugal, the McCanns' media relations were handled by a team from the British government led by Sheree Dodd, a former tabloid journalist.

Then Clarence Mitchell, an ex-BBC news presenter, became the voice of the McCanns before Ms McGuinness took over.

Friends and family have also been quoted in newspapers, including Mr McCann's sister Philomela, who is quoted in today's Sun newspaper describing moves by the Portuguese authorities to examine Kate McCann's private diary as "just another way to stick the knife in".

If Mr Hall or a figure like him is hired, it will mark a new phase of the couple's campaign to prove their innocence.

It will also be the second of two high-profile so-called PR "fire-fighting" signings for Mr Hall.

He was taken on by Sir Paul McCartney's estranged wife Heather when newspaper interest in her separation from the former Beatle reached fever pitch in the summer of 2006 and she was targeted for a number of negative stories.

Mr Hall moved into PR in 2005 when he quit his job as Trinity Mirror's editorial director, after losing out to Richard Wallace in the race for the Daily Mirror editor's chair.

He joined Trinity Mirror in 2003 from the Press Association, where he headed the news agency's contract publishing arm.

He quit his job at PA in January 2003 to join Trinity Mirror as the editorial director.

Mr Hall edited the News of the World for five years before leaving in 2000 to make way for Rebekah Wade. He became the editor of Hello! in January 2001 and helped land a number of scoops, including the rights to Victoria Beckham's official autobiography, Learning to Fly.

The McCanns' legal firm, Kingsley Napley, declined to comment on Mr Hall's professional involvement with its clients.

-------------------

McCanns in PR talks with Phil Hall PR Week

Staff Brand Republic, PR Week UK
14 September 2007, 10:47am

LONDON - The embattled parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann are talking to Phil Hall, former News of the World editor turned PR man, about handling their media relations.

The news comes as Gerry and Kate McCann face intense media pressure following their return form Portugal after being officially named as suspects by the Portuguese police in the disappearance of their daughter.

Phil Hall Associates is thought to be one of a number of big-name PR firms being considered by the McCanns, who have been in the spotlight now since their daughter disappeared on May 3.

Hall would replace Justine McGuinness, a former Liberal Democrat candidate, who has worked with the McCanns since June.

Since returning from Portugal at the weekend, the storm surrounding the couple has intensified along with speculation about the fate of Madeleine.

Hall is the former editor of the News of the World and Hello! magazine, who made the switch to PR and has represented a sting of high-profile clients including Heather Mills during the break-up of her marriage to Sir Paul McCartney. He has also represented Millwall and West Ham football clubs.

Hall was editor of the News of the World for five years until 2000, when he was replaced by the current editor Rebekah Wade. He then moved to Hello!, before a stint at the Press Association's contract publishing division and then, in 2003, he joined Trinity Mirror in an editorial development role.

Whoever takes on the McCanns case will have to deal with global media interest. The story has sparked unprecedented media attention, which has turned increasingly negative in recent days.

In the last week they have been under siege at their home in Rothley in Leicestershire, with reporters tracking their every move.

Hall said yesterday that he had been talking to the McCanns, but said he had not been hired.

Prior to McGuinness working with the McCanns, the family had help from the British government, which was headed by former tabloid journalist Sheree Dodd, who was followed by a former BBC news journalist Clarence Mitchell.

Ross Hall, 04 September 2011
Ross Hall WDR Consultancy

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 15th person to be arrested in the News of The World phone-hacking investigation is the youngest. A 30-year-old man went to a North London police station by appointment on Friday, and was questioned about phone-hacking and perverting the course of justice, before being released on bail until at least January. He's reported to be Ross Hall aka Ross Hindley.

Ross is the nephew of former News of the World editor, Phil Hall. Uncle Phil took the big chair in 1995, and Ross followed a year later, working in school and college holidays, and quite often on Saturdays. He worked as a messenger, and sometimes on Saturdays, he covered the Editor's PA's phones when the PA had gone home. Phil moved on in 2000, making way for Rebekah Wade. Ross undertook some more formal training with the Archant group of newspapers in Essex - I was on a judging panel with Richard Kay and Antony Clavane that gave him a commendation in the Essex Young Journalist of the Year award in 2004 for stories in the Romford Recoder. He returned to the News of the World as a reporter in 2005.

He used the byline Ross Hindley until September 2006, reverting to his mother's maiden name when his parents divorced. Thenceforward he's won over 100 bylines until 2009, when he went travelling around the world with partner and Sunday Mirror reporter Lori Campbell. Lori's previous claim to fame was going to Portuguese police with concerns about the behaviour of ex-pat Robert Murat, after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - eventually 11 British newspapers paid over £500k in damages to Murat. Ross and Lori both achieved a substantial number of bylines from the McCann story in Portugal. Lori is currently part of the team working for (Uncle) Phil Hall's pr company, PHA Media.

In June 2010, Ross got a job with Financial Dynamics, a PR firm based in Holborn, working on "special projects". At one stage, his website described his skills thus "Ross currently helps clients facing scrutiny. Using his deep understanding of tabloid investigative techniques, he advises on how to neutralise media attacks."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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