Former Tabloid Exec Says Editor Listened To Illegal Phone Hacks
Britain's hackergate scandal took a new twist today with the Revelation that former editor Andy Coulson not only was aware that his News of the World reporters were listening to the voice mail of politicians and celebrities when he was editing the tabloid, but that he himself monitored them as well. According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, the accusation against Coulson, now the prime minister's communications chief, is being made by a former executive of the tabloid, whose identity has not been revealed, in an interview with the TV network Channel 4. In an unusual format, the executive's words are repeated by an actor in order to protect the source's identity. In the most potentially damaging statements in the interview, the executive says, "Sometimes [the NoW reporters] would say, "We've got a recording,' and Andy would say "OK, bring it into my office and play it to me.'" On other occasions he allegedly would ask to have transcripts of the intercepted conversations emailed to him. Coulson has consistently denied that he was ever aware of the phone hacking. Two years ago, the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper said that the hacking had been carried out by one rogue reporter working with a private detective. But, said the Channel 4 source, at the time, rumors at the newspaper were "swirling every day of who they were coming for next and who was going to come and cart away this person, that person and the other. And then I think The Feeling in the newsroom turned to surprise that nobody else was affected."