News Irish News

Saturday 25 November 2017

Former editor held over hacking claims

Greg Harkin

THE former Irish editor of the 'News of the World' was in police custody last night after being arrested by detectives probing allegations of computer hacking.

Alex Marunchak (61) was arrested at his home in Kent at 7am by detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Tuleta unit.

A former private detective, Jonathan Rees, (58), who claimed that his clients included RTE, was also detained at the same time at his home in Surrey.

Mr Marunchak has previously denied claims that he hired Mr Rees to intercept emails for stories which ran in the Irish editions of the paper.

Mr Marunchak, an English journalist of Ukrainian origin, ran the 'News of the World's' Dublin and Belfast operations between 1996 and 2006.

Last year a BBC 'Panorama' programme claimed that he paid private investigators to intercept the emails of former Northern Ireland-based intelligence officer Ian Hurst.

The BBC alleged that Mr Hurst was targeted for information as he had "run" a number of informers inside the Provisional IRA.

Mr Marunchak later described the BBC claim as "pure fantasy".

He is the first Irish-based journalist to become embroiled in the hacking scandal.

It's understood that Mr Rees and Mr Marunchak are being questioned about the BBC allegations as well as other alleged hacking offences relating to stories about celebrities and personalities north and south of the Border.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News