Is the News of The World inquiry in reliable hands?

Lord Leveson’s Wikipedia entry describes both he and his wife as “devout Jews”.

And while this does not in any way guarantee that his findings will be skewed in favour of Israeli interests, it definitely gives cause for concern to those of us who are aware of such things.

I will be keeping an eye on this issue, and will be watching for the final report of “the Lord Leveson inquiry”.

Jeff Goodall.

News of the World journalists’ computers were destroyed by ‘putting them through a grinder and smashing them up’

Daily Mail
November 19th, 2011

The phone hacking scandal has taken a new twist after it was revealed computers used by News of the World journalists were destroyed by putting them ‘through a grinder’.

They were ‘taken out and smashed up’ last autumn at a time when News International was being sued over the illegal activity at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

The computers were destroyed during a move from the paper’s headquarters in east London to an office at the nearby Thomas More Square, a court has heard.

Only the terminal belonging to show business reporter Dan Evans still exists, according to Jeremy Reed, the barrister representing a number of phone hacking victims.

Mr Reed was speaking at a pre-trial hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice into civil damages test cases to be heard in January.

News International decided to grind down the hard drives as part of a routine upgrading of its technical hardware, it is understood.

Vital internal emails are believed to have been copied and kept on servers outside the building.

Mr Evans and NI subsidiary News group Newspapers, were sued by designer Kelly Hoppen over interception of messages left on her mobile phone between 2004 and 2006.

The destruction of computers would have happened long after senior executives at the paper were made aware that phone hacking was not the work of just one ‘rogue’ reporter.

A legal opinion from Michael Silverleaf QC in 2008 warned there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that senior journalists at the paper had made ‘illegal enquiries.’

Meanwhile, it was revealed police have raided the home of a retired Special Branch detective who acted as a whistleblower on the failure of authorities to investigate media dirty tricks.

The raid came just days before he is to give evidence as a witness to Lord Leveson’s inquiry.

Former Merseyside policeman Alec Owens was the lead investigator for the Information Commissioner’s ‘Operation Motorman’ inquiry, into the use of private investigators by journalists.

The probe exposed the vast scale of private information obtained including criminal records and vehicle registrations.

But he is a critic of the commissioner’s decision not to interview any of the hundreds of journalists named in the 17,000 transactions listed in files seized from Hampshire private detective Steve Whittamore in 2003.

No journalist was charged in Operation Motorman.

Mr Owens is due to give evidence to the public inquiry on media standards on November 30.

At 7.25am yesterday, two officers from Wilmslow, Cheshire, arrived at his home with a search warrant, demanding documents and electronic files and asked him to come to a police station to be questioned under caution.

Mr Owens, who has notified Lord Leveson’s office of the swoop, believed the raid was connected to his inquiry evidence.

‘They have come on a fishing expedition to find out what I’m going to say,’ he told the Independent.

‘But I have told them that statement is for Lord Leveson’s eyes only at this stage.’

See original here.