Kate Middleton’s bank account 'hacked' by tabloid newspaper claim
The Duchess of Cambridge had her bank details hacked by a private detective working for a tabloid newspaper, it was claimed.
Her account was accessed in 2005, when she was the girlfriend of Prince William, by Jonathan Rees, a private investigator who once worked for the News of the World, it was alleged.
Other high-profile individuals said to have been targets for Mr Rees, who was cleared of murder earlier this year, include Tony Blair, Jack Straw, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and John Yates, the Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner who once headed the phone hacking inquiry.
The allegations were made after Mr Rees was named by Tom Watson MP. He told the House of Commons yesterday that Scotland Yard had evidence against the investigator but have said it falls outside the scope of their investigation.
Detectives at Scotland Yard are understood to have been in touch with the Duchess of Cambridge to warn her that her bank details may have been accessed.
On Wednesday night the Met confirmed it had received “a number of allegations” and the force was considering investigating.
It is understood that the reason the allegations fall outside the scope of the investigation, codenamed Operation Weeting, is because they do not relate to phone hacking, but other forms of illegal intrusion.
A St James’s Palace spokesman said they were unable to comment.
In March this year, Mr Rees was cleared of the murder of Daniel Morgan, who was found with an axe in his head in a pub car park on March 10, 1987.
After his acquittal, it was disclosed that Mr Rees, who was a private investigator for Southern Investigations — the company established by Mr Morgan, had worked for a number of media outlets.
In 1999, Mr Rees was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiring to plant cocaine on a woman.
After his release in May 2004, the News of the World hired him under the editorship of Andy Coulson, who went on to become David Cameron’s media adviser.
It is in the following year that Mr Rees is alleged to have accessed the Duchess of Cambridge’s bank account details.
Last night, Mr Rees’s solicitor did not respond to enquiries from The Daily Telegraph.
A Met spokesman added: “Since January 2011 the Metropolitan Police has received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting.
“These allegations are currently being considered.”
A spokesman for News International, the News of the World’s parent company, said: “It is well documented that Jonathan Rees and Southern Investigations worked for a whole variety of newspaper groups.
“With regards to Tom Watson’s specific allegations, we believe these are wholly inaccurate. The Met Police, with whom we are co-operating fully in Operation Weeting, have not asked us for any information regarding Jonathan Rees.
“Tom Watson MP made these allegations under parliamentary privilege.”