Royal hacking cops at Leveson

Three police officers involved in the original investigation into the hacking of royal aides' phones in 2006, which led to the jailing of the News of the World's royal editor and a private investigator have given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

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Williams: hacking investigation could be seen as a distraction

Det Sup Philip Williams says he told the Met in 2006 that there was a clear case to investigate phone-hacking further. But he said he was also aware there may be a public perception that it was wrong to divert resources away from anti-terrorism operations.

Sometimes we are [portrayed as] using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Why are we using anti-terrorism officers to investigate this offence that has nothing to do with terrorism? Equally there were valid arguments for why we should retain it.

Met tried to avoid a 'public furore' over hacking

Robert Jay QC, counsel to the Leveson Inquiry, said on Monday that the police accepted they did not follow their own strategy for informing potential hacking victims. He suggested why this might have been the case:

It might be argued that the police deliberately failed to notify people in order to avoid a public furore, which might have called their whole strategy, including their relationship with News International, into question.

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Police believed phone hacking was 'widespread' in 2006

Detective Superintendent Philip Williams, who was in charge of the original police probe into phone hacking, allegedly knew the extent of the crimes that had been committed. He wrote in in a log dated 30th January 2008:

If this [phone hacking] is possible it is likely to be far more widespread than CG [Clive Goodman], hence serious implications for security confidence in Vodaphone voicemail and perhaps the same for other service providers.

The Leveson Inquiry will also be interested to hear why the Metropolitan Police didn't act on a list of names of potential hacking victims in private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's notebook.

Leveson turns to orginal police probe into phone hacking

Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked for News of the World, was convicted as a result of the investigation
Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked for News of the World, was convicted as a result of the investigation Credit: ITV News

Detective Superintendent Philip Williams, who led the 2006 police inquiry into phone hacking, will appear before the Leveson Inquiry along with Detective Inspector Mark Maberly and Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Surtees.

They will be asked why their investigation was brought to an early end after it emerged that there could be hundreds of victims of phone hacking.