Tuesday 22 May 2018

Tabloid boss faces new grilling on hacking allegations

Andy McSmith in London

Stuart Kuttner, the former managing editor of the 'News of the World', faced more questions from police investigating the phone-hacking scandal last night.

Mr Kuttner (71) who retired in 2009, was arrested earlier this month "on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications". Yesterday, he was called in for more questioning and re-bailed until September.

Mr Kuttner is one of a dozen former executives of Rupert Murdoch's News International under investigation for suspected involvement in phone-hacking. Others include former Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson.

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee wants Mr Kuttner to say whether he would like to reconsider evidence he gave in an earlier session of the committee, in light of a letter sent to him and two other executives by the paper's former royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who received a jail sentence in January 2007 for phone-hacking.


Mr Goodman alleged that others were involved in a practice "widely discussed" in the newsroom, while the company claimed Mr Goodman acted alone. Though Mr Coulson resigned his post as editor in January 2007, he denied knowing that any of its journalists had been breaking the law.

Yesterday, the Electoral Commission threw out a suggestion that Mr Coulson was implicated in secret funding of the Conservative Party. MP Tom Watson had asked the commission to look into the severance package Mr Coulson received from News International, which was still being paid after he started work for the Conservative Party.

Mr Watson suggested it could be interpreted as funding of the Tories by the company. But a commission spokeswoman said: "There is no evidence to suggest that there has been a breach of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act. We won't be opening a case review."

Irish Independent

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