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Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Introduction

After over a year of the Leveson Inquiry looking at "the culture, practices and ethics of the British press" you might think that the UK Phone Hacking scandal is winding up, but of course, you'd be very very wrong.

Unfortunately for News Corp a far greater scandal has been brewing (yes, greater than hacking the phones of murdered children), which at the very least points to the News of the World and it's private investigator, Southern Investigations, targeting senior public figures, including billionaires, politicans, ministers, etc, for burglaries, with the items stolen being used for stories, blackmail, and manipulation. It's one of those rare occasions were the suffix -gate actually seems quite fitting.

Here's some handy resources to get you all started:

Previous threads

I - Grandpappy Murdoch vs. Jonnie Pie Faces - July 15th - July 19th
II - Murdoch vs. The World - The Inappropriate TV IV thread for July 20th - July 20th
III - Murdoch vs. The World II - James Murdoch vs Early Onset Alzheimer's - July 20th - November 11th
IV - Murdoch vs. The World III - Burgling MPs, Blackmailing Senior Police Officers = November 12th 2011 - September 18th 2012

Recommended reading

Hackgate for Beginners - A guide to all the different aspects of the hacking scandal so far, really worth a read if you need to catch up.
Alex Marunchak - Presumed Innocent - About a key figure at the News of the World who worked closely with Southern Investigations and has mysteriously avoided arrest (at the time of writing).
Operation Tuleta - A Second Look - Examining the police operation that will likely be at the centre of charges relating to Hackgate 2.

I'd also recommend you follow me on Twitter for the latest Hackgate 2 news, assuming you can put up with all the Syria Tweets I make.

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Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


And so to begin here's the Independent's article that links the News of the World (and Alex Marunchak) directly to the ordering of burglaries

quote:

Exclusive: News of the World 'ordered burglary'

Detectives have evidence which suggests that a notorious private detective agency carried out a burglary while working for the News of the World.

In the latest twist to the phone-hacking scandal, a police intelligence report indicates that Southern Investigations, based in south London, targeted the home of a newsworthy individual in an attempt to dig up salacious information.

The Independent has established that the material – the first suggested link between the News of the World and burglary – is being held by Operation Tuleta, the police inquiry into illegal newsgathering techniques other than phone hacking and corruption. It refers to a "sortie" carried out into a woman's home in Ascot, Berkshire, and mentions the name of Alex Marunchak – a long-serving executive on the News of the World.

A police assessment indicated that Southern Investigations or an associate had "gained unauthorised access into a private domestic premises with a view to gaining information on the resident".

Separately, a former undercover policeman who infiltrated Southern Investigations said that it burgled MPs' homes in an attempt to obtain embarrassing information for the newspaper. All those involved in Southern Investigations, and Mr Marunchak, deny any involvement in break-ins or knowledge of any illegal acts.

Tom Watson, the Labour politician who campaigned against phone hacking, said that, if proven to be evidence of burglary, the material showed further serious wrongdoing at the News of the World.

There have long been concerns that, as well as phone hacking and police corruption, burglaries took place in an attempt to land stories.

Several public figures whose voicemail messages were hacked by the newspaper, including the actor Hugh Grant, the Football Association executive David Davies, and Paul Stretford, Wayne Rooney's former agent, fell victim to break-ins where nothing was stolen. The Labour frontbencher Chris Bryant and other MPs are thought to have been similarly targeted.

The Independent does not know of evidence to connect break-ins at their homes to the News of the World. But the new evidence provides an apparent link between at least one burglary and the newspaper. Police obtained the material in 2002 during an investigation into one of Southern Investigations' two partners, Sid Fillery.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the agency, based in Thornton Heath, used corrupt police officers to supply information to newspaper groups, notably News International and Trinity Mirror. At the News of the World, its contact was Mr Marunchak.

In a statement to The Independent, Mr Marunchak denied he had any involvement in any illegal acts. He said: "I have never commissioned Southern Investigations or any other third party to carry out any burglaries or any illegal acts whatsoever. I have no knowledge of any alleged burglaries being committed by Southern Investigations."

When contacted. Mr Fillery, who now runs a pub in Norfolk, also issued a denial, saying: "It's most definitely not correct. Let me tell you about the News of the World – despite their reputation, they behaved very correctly. The only reason they employed us was to stand stories up. We committed no criminal offences."

The London Evening Standard quoted a former Metropolitan Police undercover officer, Derek Haslam, yesterday as saying that Southern Investigations burgled MPs' homes. Jonathan Rees, Mr Fillery's partner at Southern Investigations, told the newspaper: "He [Haslam] alleges that [Southern Investigations] burgled an MP's garage to remove a briefcase, photographed the contents of the briefcase and put that back. That's a lie."

A spokesman for Scotland Yard declined to discuss the progress of Operation Tuleta. A spokesman said: "We are not prepared to discuss any specific operational matters."

News International, Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group, said it would be "inappropriate" to comment while the police investigation was continuing.

Mr Watson, whose garage at his constituency home in West Bromwich was broken into and paperwork rifled through in 2009, said: "News Corporation in the UK stands accused of phone hacking, computer hacking, bribery, conspiring to pervert the course of justice, inappropriate covert surveillance, lies and cover-up. Now added to the list is the allegation of burglary.

"During the course of investigating phone hacking, I met many victims who had also suffered mysterious break-ins – burglaries where easily stolen valuables were left. I will be raising this in Parliament at the earliest opportunity."

The Press Reform blog has also been putting together the latest news, which is well worth a read.

Brown Moses fucked around with this message at Sep 18, 2012 around 08:10

The Supreme Court
Feb 25, 2010

Pirate World: Nearly done!

Everyone seems to be saying this second part is going to be an even greater scandal than hacking a murdered schoolgirl's phone. Burglary of ministers for blackmail is a pretty big deal, can't wait to see what else they were upto if they thought that was fair game.

Antinumeric
Nov 27, 2010

BoxGiraffe


Isn't this Treason or something. I mean I expect people to go away for the rest of their lives for this poo poo.

kingturnip
Apr 18, 2008


Someone in the last thread suggested it would be sedition, but it won't be because England, Wales & Scotland abolished the common law offence of sedition for UK nationals a couple of years ago. (Although Rupert Murdoch could still be charged as an alien).

Personally, I'm keen to see when this hits the BBC News website. They're obviously playing it safe for now, while nothing official is happening with the allegations, but they've been so utterly spineless in their reporting for the last year or so, I'm interested to see the timing and content of how they report this.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Last week it was the last chance for people to take civil action against the News of the World

quote:

Neil Kinnock takes legal action as new phone-hacking claims reach 174

News International is now facing almost 200 fresh phone-hacking claims with legal action now confirmed from individuals including the former Labour party leader Neil Kinnock, former cabinet minister Stephen Byers and Louise Woodward, the former nanny jailed in the US for killing a baby.

According to papers lodged with the high court in London ahead of Friday's deadline for new lawsuits, the publisher of the now defunct News of the World is facing another 53 civil actions for invasion of privacy, on top of more than 50 filed earlier last week – bringing the total expected to go to trial next year to 174.

The late flood of new phone-hacking claims includes lawsuits from former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall, EastEnders actor Jessie Wallace, Russell Brand, Katie Price and her ex-husband Peter Andre, former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston, and ex-Cold Feet actor John Thompson.

The list features former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine, former This Morning presenter John Leslie and film and documentary maker Christopher Terrill, who was going out with Heather Mills before she married Sir Paul McCartney.

Tommy Sheridan, the former Scottish Socialist party leader, is also suing News International over alleged phone hacking. Sheridan was convicted of perjury in 2010 over his evidence in his successful libel action against the News of the World in 2006, but released in January after serving 12 months of his three-year sentence.

Kinnock, who was a regular target of tabloid vitriol and dubbed "the Welsh windbag", is claiming damages with his wife Glenys. Woodward, the au pair convicted of manslaughter of a baby in the US in 1997, is making a joint claim with three other individuals including her mother and father, Sue and Gary.

Byers, who served as trade secretary and transport secretary under Tony Blair, is taking action in a joint claim with another individual.

The new claims include one from a former News of the World show business reporter, Lee Harpin, who left the paper in 2003, and went on to be news editor at the Sunday Mirror.

Celebrity agent Sue Ayton is also suing. She has acted for a string of top news presenters, including Peter Sissons, Michael Buerk, Moira Stewart, Jon Snow and the BBC's former royal correspondent Jennie Bond.

The 53 claims were made public on Monday and were submitted in time for the 14 September deadline set by Mr Justice Vos, who is managing the second tranche of legal cases being taken against News International over phone hacking.

They bring the total number of claims that may go to trial next year to 174 – the remainder of claims had already been submitted and made public, including legal action being taken by Cherie Blair, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham's father Ted.

Last week, more than 50 other claims were submitted, including cases being launched by Sarah Ferguson, Joanne Leese, the woman whose boyfriend was murdered in the Australian outback, and Uri Geller.

Earlier this year, 58 individuals won payouts from News International, including former culture secretary Tessa Jowell who won £200,000, and the singer Charlotte Church who won £300,000 for her family and a further £300,000 in costs.

It transpired last week that her parish priest was also allegedly hacked along with her former boyfriend, Steve Johnson, both of whom are suing News International.

The publisher is also dealing with 124 other claims submitted to its own phone-hacking compensation scheme.

Of course, this was all before it was public knowledge that there was much worse stuff going on.

Hong XiuQuan
Feb 19, 2008

"Without justice for the Palestinians there will be no peace in the Middle East."

Antinumeric posted:

Isn't this Treason or something. I mean I expect people to go away for the rest of their lives for this poo poo.

It violates God knows how many laws... these people probably could go away for the rest of their lives.

Aside - in the last few pages of the last thread, hacks proclaiming exclusive about NotW using investigative company linked to murder... pretty sure Tom Watson talks about this at length in his book and that he's been banging on about this for some time. I'm embarrassed for the remaining embers of our press.

Dyatlov Bass
Apr 16, 2012

by Fistgrrl


Murdoch vs. The World IV: We Don't Even Know Anymore

Let the airing of grievancesdirty laundry never end! I like how Murdoch has been elevated to the status of literal cartoon villian; I expect next we'll hear about how he tied women to train tracks for information and called it "enhanced interveiwing".

Joking aside, I'm more interested in the political backlash for the targets of his blackmail. Will there be a list? Will we see people showing up at trials testifying, or being convicted of something so bad they let Rupert Murdoch blackmail them. I expect more than a few heads will roll before this is all said and done, and some of them will not be NotW or their pet PI's men.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Hong XiuQuan posted:

It violates God knows how many laws... these people probably could go away for the rest of their lives.

Aside - in the last few pages of the last thread, hacks proclaiming exclusive about NotW using investigative company linked to murder... pretty sure Tom Watson talks about this at length in his book and that he's been banging on about this for some time. I'm embarrassed for the remaining embers of our press.

In that regard it's probably a REALLY good time to read up on the murder of Daniel Morgan, former partner at Southern Investigations who was about to reveal details of massive police corruption to a journalist but ended up with an axe in his face in a car park. The alleged journalist in question? Alex Marunchak, who went on to have a close working relationship with Southern Investigations.

There's actually a lot of Freemasonary links involved, but most people are avoiding it because it makes you sound loopy even bringing the subject up.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Could this be the Milly Dowler moment?

quote:

Did News International order burglary of Hillsborough campaigner’s home?

Hillsborough campaigner Sheila Coleman’s home was broken into more than once—and her address book and papers about the case stolen. The question is: who did it?

She told Socialist Worker about the burglaries as evidence emerged that a private detective agency carried out a burglary while working for the now-closed News of the World.

A police intelligence report indicates that Southern Investigations “gained unauthorised access” to the home of a newsworthy person “with a view to gaining information”.

Sheila told Socialist Worker that the burglaries of her home fit this pattern—as the thieves did not take items of monetary value. “On one occasion only my address book was stolen,” she said.

“I know private investigators were paid by News International to break into people’s houses and take their address books.”

On another occasion, after the inquest ended, Sheila got home to find her flat had been broken into. “There was nothing taken of any value on the streets”, she said. “But in the park nearby was my briefcase with all my Hillsborough papers strewn all over.”

Several public figures who were victims of News of the World phone hacking have similar stories of burglaries where no valuables were stolen.

Labour MP Tom Watson’s garage was broken into in 2009, and paperwork was rifled through. He says that during the phone hacking case he has “met many victims who had also suffered mysterious break-ins”.

Former private investigators and News of the World executives have denied any involvement in burglary.

Sheila Coleman also raised suspicions that Hillsborough campaigners’ and families phones may have been tapped during the 1990s.

“I assumed it was the police and that it was because of the work I was doing,” she says. “I would pick up the phone and listen to two Hillsborough families in different houses having a conversation.

“Lots of families would say similar things about picking the phone up and hearing other people talking. Anyone ringing me would say my phone would be picked up before I picked it up.”

She added that there were other curious occurrences that made her think someone was tampering with her phone.

“One Saturday a colleague from work rang me and couldn’t get through,” she says. “Anyone who knew my movements would know I’d be out at that time. My colleague rang British Telecom to say I want to report my friend’s phone, there’s something wrong with it. She was told: ‘That phone’s been temporarily disconnected on the instructions of the manager.’ My phone was working normally by the evening.”

It seems there are still more cover-ups yet to be revealed over Hillsborough.

thehustler
Apr 17, 2004

I am very curious about this little crescendo


You know what's annoying? People like Nick Cohen talking about how this is all sour grapes and we need to leave the press alone etc. (I think he's done that in the past). And I like Cohen.

I would have thought people like him would LIKE the poo poo cutting out of their profession, but everyone seems to think it's a big cleaning of house where everyone is a suspect.

It's not hard to figure out who is a dick, and who isn't. What have these other "good" journos got to worry about?

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


It would be interesting to see if there's any old news reports of public figures being mysteriously burgled, or having their phones and laptops stolen.

notaspy
Mar 22, 2009



Brown Moses posted:

Could this be the Milly Dowler moment?

Come on mate, have you seen the source? You know that those loony lefties are just making poo poo up to make the fine Captains of Industry looks bad.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004



Brown Moses posted:

In that regard it's probably a REALLY good time to read up on the murder of Daniel Morgan, former partner at Southern Investigations who was about to reveal details of massive police corruption to a journalist but ended up with an axe in his face in a car park. The alleged journalist in question? Alex Marunchak, who went on to have a close working relationship with Southern Investigations.

What I found interesting in the Evening Standard article was Jonathan Rees claiming that the reason why Derek Haslam infiltrated them is because the Met was concerned about the investigations into Police corruption and into CIB3 in particular:

Evening Standard posted:

Rees — who admits he was once “very close” to Haslam — described his allegations as “nonsense”. He claims Scotland Yard asked Haslam to infiltrate SI to invent “blatant lies” and smear them at a time when the firm was uncovering police corruption on behalf of the press.

He said: “Haslam was tasked by senior officers to ... come in there and mix with us again and ... to find out ... what we were doing against CIB3 ... they knew we were investigating CIB3 ... it was a force within a force, they were given total autonomy to do whatever they liked, their own accounts, their own finances. History tells us that when you allow policemen to do that it goes wrong ... if you let these squads run themselves it leads into trouble.”

Rees claims to have seen Met applications for audio probes inside SI’s offices and said the Yard justified the intrusive surveillance because the firm might “undermine the structure and the moral wellbeing of the Metropolitan Police ... or even bring it down”.

He added: “We’ve got this poxy little firm of private investigators, half a dozen men, suddenly they are alleging that we were going to bring down the Met police. Good arguments to get your surveillance.

“They were abusing and using the process to see what we’re doing against them. So a battle started ... things got very dirty indeed.”

Of course that the stuff people claim Morgan was killed for. With the additional claim that Rees was also in on it as mentioned above...

notaspy
Mar 22, 2009



Brown Moses posted:

It would be interesting to see if there's any old news reports of public figures being mysteriously burgled, or having their phones and laptops stolen.

Wasn't there a spate of burglaries against footballers while they were playing away (in Europe, not shagging someone who isn't their misses)? These were blamed on a sophisticated gang and from what I understand never solved.

Total Meatlove
Jan 28, 2007


Rangers died, shoujo Hitler cried ;_;


Brown Moses posted:

It would be interesting to see if there's any old news reports of public figures being mysteriously burgled, or having their phones and laptops stolen.

Sarah Wollaston MP

Liam Fox MP

David Davies MP

and that's 30 seconds of googling, there'll be loads more

Total Meatlove
Jan 28, 2007


Rangers died, shoujo Hitler cried ;_;


notaspy posted:

Wasn't there a spate of burglaries against footballers while they were playing away (in Europe, not shagging someone who isn't their misses)? These were blamed on a sophisticated gang and from what I understand never solved.

The Away Day Robberies

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


I might blog about these past burglaries if I can clear my schedule, so keep em coming.

notaspy
Mar 22, 2009




Ah, ok then.

Total Meatlove
Jan 28, 2007


Rangers died, shoujo Hitler cried ;_;


Brown Moses posted:

I might blog about these past burglaries if I can clear my schedule, so keep em coming.

Helen Liddell MP

quote:

BURGLARS HAVE struck at the home of Helen Liddell, the Deputy Secretary of State for Scotland. A handbag containing two mobile phones and confidential contact books is believed to have been stolen.

George Galloway MP



notaspy posted:

Ah, ok then.

Even if 8/10 were organised gangs, and the other 1/10 a lucky chancer, then there's still that doubt there, especially with how big the reward for a scoop on a footballer like Gerrard/Rooney would be for a tabloid.

Zephro
Nov 23, 2000

I suppose I could part with one and still be feared...


If NOTW was ordering people to break in to buildings, then maybe we can for once justify appending the suffix -gate to this particular scandal!

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


The question you should all be asking is who was actually doing the burglaries?

goddamnedtwisto
Dec 31, 2004

"goddamnedtwisto" (not his real name) is banned from the isle of wight for trying to overthrow the democratically elected mps there to set up bradley from s club 7 (now s club 3) as the island's new communist dictator. think about that when reading his posts



Fun Shoe

Brown Moses posted:

The question you should all be asking is who was actually doing the burglaries?

Was it SI who were using serving police officers for burglaries in the 80s and 90s or have I got my sleazy fuckers mixed up?

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


goddamnedtwisto posted:

Was it SI who were using serving police officers for burglaries in the 80s and 90s or have I got my sleazy fuckers mixed up?

Ding!

Zephro
Nov 23, 2000

I suppose I could part with one and still be feared...


Brown Moses posted:

The question you should all be asking is who was actually doing the burglaries?
I'll take "The police" for $500.

Gambrinus
Mar 1, 2005


goddamnedtwisto posted:

Was it SI who were using serving police officers for burglaries in the 80s and 90s or have I got my sleazy fuckers mixed up?

What's the source for this?

skaboomizzy
Nov 12, 2003

Prepare to be emancipated from your own inferior genes!


Grimey Drawer

My hometown actually got nationwide press 25-30 years ago because the local police would get told "Hey, we're going on vacation for a couple weeks, please watch our house" and they would then rob it blind. One of the people involved was later a long-time school-board member, elected multiple times.

I really, really despise my roots, if you can't tell.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


It's possible David Cameron hired Andy Coulson after he was responsible for ordering burglaries that targeted members of the Labour party. If that's the case was Cameron, or other members of his government, aware of the News of the World's activities?

PiCroft
Jun 10, 2010

I'm sorry, did I break all your shit? I didn't know it was yours

Brown Moses posted:

It's possible David Cameron hired Andy Coulson after he was responsible for ordering burglaries that targeted members of the Labour party. If that's the case was Cameron, or other members of his government, aware of the News of the World's activities?

Oh god, considering Hunt has dragged before Leveson for his cosy relationship with NI, could he get dragged back into this again? Please, please say yes.

Jamsque
May 31, 2009


Why is this barely in the news today?

Space Skeleton
Sep 28, 2004



This is insane. Also I'm not surprised that I had to hear about this on SA and not from the news.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Couple more stolen laptop stories
Hazel Blears
More than 1,000 government laptops lost or stolen, new figures show

Lizard Combatant
Sep 29, 2010



Truly, it never stops giving.

goddamnedtwisto
Dec 31, 2004

"goddamnedtwisto" (not his real name) is banned from the isle of wight for trying to overthrow the democratically elected mps there to set up bradley from s club 7 (now s club 3) as the island's new communist dictator. think about that when reading his posts



Fun Shoe

Gambrinus posted:

What's the source for this?

Private Eye's stories about the murder of Daniel Morgan is where I heard it although I think it's come up in the coverage of this as well.

-neutrino-
Nov 4, 2008


Wow, stopped paying attention to this a while ago, but ordering break ins to get scoops...

Munin
Nov 14, 2004



As an aside, there apparently isn't a single article on the BBC website about this. Not a peep. The last story about Southern Investigations is from May this year when the Daniel Morgan murder trial collapsed:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18144543
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18154695

No peep of it in the Newspaper Review either:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19632499


Rather striking considering part of it was front page on the Evening Standard last night and was front page of the Independent today and also had some coverage in the Telegraph etc. Makes you curious why the seem to have killed all coverage of it. Libel concerns?

Munin fucked around with this message at Sep 18, 2012 around 11:36

Zephro
Nov 23, 2000

I suppose I could part with one and still be feared...


I would bet heavily on an unconsciously self-serving assumption that people are bored of the whole thing and it's not a story.

Automatic Slim
Jul 1, 2007

At the Union Hall since 1990.



Okay, I remember reading about that awhile ago and wondering, "drat what is up with the Brits loosing all that stuff?" At first I thought it was really lax attitude or incompetence coupled with a strong dose of espionage.

So now the insinuation is that the press paid off law enforcement to steal documents so they could spy on government institutions, who would then turn around and bully government officials into submission over policy. Wow.

Moses, is Levenson at a definite end, or could this start a WHOLE other round of hearings?

Also, your work in these threads has been outstanding.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004



Zephro posted:

I would bet heavily on an unconsciously self-serving assumption that people are bored of the whole thing and it's not a story.

Perhaps but even if it news of less interest they generally have a small note or mention, especially if it has a niche audience which would like to know. If anyone has mates at the BBC I'd be curious about the reasoning.

This is all aside from the fact that these are big allegations.

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Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


Automatic Slim posted:

Moses, is Levenson at a definite end, or could this start a WHOLE other round of hearings?

I was asking that same question myself, I think it's something Tom Watson or Chris Bryant might bring up, it's obviously under the remit of the Leveson Inquiry, and will probably undermine his conclusions if he doesn't consider these new revelations.

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