Letter Claims Phone Hacking Was 'Widely Discussed' at News of the World

World | August 17, 2011, Wednesday // 15:36
Bulgaria: Letter Claims Phone Hacking Was 'Widely Discussed' at News of the World A newly released four-year-old letter has added a nde twist to the NOTW scandal. File photo

A four-year-old letter of journalist Clive Goodman released Tuesday revealed that phone hacking was widely discussed at the now-defunct UK tabloid News of the World.

Goodman, a former NOTW royal correspondent, went to jail in 2007 for intercepting voice-mail messages of members of the royal household, according to a report of CNN.

His letter is dated 2 March 2007, soon after he was released from a four-month prison sentence and is addressed to News International's director of human resources, Daniel Cloke.

In it Goodman protests the decision to fire him for hacking, arguing that "other members of staff were carrying out the same illegal procedures" and that the practice was discussed in meetings until "explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor."

The editor at the time was Andy Coulson, who has denied knowledge of illegal practices while he was at the helm of News of the World. He resigned from that position on the day Goodman was jailed.

Coulson was later appointed Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman but stepped down at the start of this year amid renewed questions over phone hacking. Coulson was arrested and released on bail last month.

The controversial letter was released by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The committee is highly likely to call News Corp. executive James Murdoch to testify before them again as members try to determine whether he misled them last month about the scale of phone hacking at News of the World and who knew about it, member of Parliament Tom Watson said Tuesday.

James Murdoch ordered the closure of News of the World in July amid allegations of illegal eavesdropping and police bribery by its employees.

The scandal has led to the resignation of a number of senior police officers and executives at News International.

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Tags: David Cameron, Rupert Murdoch, hacking, tabloid, news of the world
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