Yates: “Then we looked at a system with the phone providers, and the decision was taken in 2006 and I have no reason to doubt them now, where we looked at certain sensitive areas, people in government, people in sensitive public positions, royal, military, police and the like, where there was a suspicion that they had been hacked or otherwise had their privacy breached where we would contact them, which we did. Then the service providers contacted other ones in the same sort of category that we were looking at who, they believed, had been hacked or otherwise had their privacy interfered with.
They contacted them and, if they felt there was a greater degree of interference which merited further police investigation, then they came back to us, and there was one case where that happened which formed part of the indictment. Since July 2009, you will remember that at the end of my statement I said I was concerned as to had anything fallen through the net, and we had been following a very, very tight strategy around analysing whether something could have fallen through the net. There may have been a couple, it is a handful of people potentially, and we have gone back and worked with the phone companies again on that, and one of them of course was Andy Coulson who himself declared that he may have been subject to that type of activity, but it is very few, it is a handful, and we are still going through that process now.”
Mobile phone operators: 16 June 2011, Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Orange give evidence to the Home Affairs Committee.
Here’s the extract from a letter recently received from the Metropolitan Police:
“The information regarding Mr Rees may be outside the Terms of Reference of my investigation but the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] are assessing your allegation along with others we have received to consider a way forward. I have passed your letter on to the officer completing this assessment and I will write back to you when I know more.”
Question and response of David Cameron today in PMQ’s:
Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) (Lab):As the Prime Minister has previously said, the hacking inquiry should go where the evidence takes it. The Metropolitan police are in possession of paperwork detailing the dealings of criminal private investigator Jonathan Rees. It strongly suggests that, on behalf of News International, he was illegally targeting members of the royal family, senior politicians and high-level terrorist informers, yet the head of Operation Weeting has recently written to me to explain that this evidence may be outside the inquiry’s terms of reference. Prime Minister, I believe powerful forces are involved in a cover-up; please tell me what you intend to do to make sure that that does not happen.
The Prime Minister: I know the hon. Gentleman takes a close interest in this subject, and the point I would make to him is that there is a police inquiry, and a police inquiry does not need terms of reference. The police are free to investigate the evidence and take that wherever it leads them, and then mount a prosecution with the Crown Prosecution Service if the evidence supports that. In the case of phone hacking, which is illegal and wrong, there have been prosecutions and imprisonments, and if that is where the evidence takes them, that is what will happen in the future. There are no terms of reference as far as I am concerned; the police are able to look at any evidence and all evidence they can find.