Letter to Rupert Murdoch regarding burglary

Mr Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and CEO
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of Americas
New York
NY 10036

18 September 2012

Dear Mr Murdoch,

As you know, I have been uncovering criminality at News International for several years. During which time, the company’s management has regularly asked me to provide evidence of its habitual criminality. I have resisted such requests, as I did not believe they were sincere. It was my belief that senior people at the company knew perfectly well about journalists being involved in phone hacking, computer hacking, bribery and blackmail. And that the company had no wish to deal with these problems – did not even see them as such – rather to know what evidence existed in order to destroy it, to muddy the trail, in short, to cover up. For these reasons, I have resisted passing on evidence to you, and have passed it solely to the law enforcement authorities instead.

Nevertheless, I am writing to you today because I believe it may be possible that that era may be drawing to a close. I believe it possible that you and the current executives at the company may have realised that it is now too late to cover up what has gone on at News International. Whether or not you, and your executives, knew about the widespread use within News International of the latest investigative technique to be revealed – burglary – I believe you may now realise that the flat denial and attempt to destroy evidence of previous days will no longer wash with anybody.

I have seen a document from the hard drive of private investigator Sid Fillery, a regular contractor at News International through his company, Southern Investigations. The document, entitled “Alex1.doc” refers to a request for a sortie into the home of a woman living in Ascot. The hard drive was seized by the police in 2002 and is still in their possession. I understand that it was reviewed by the police in 2010 and that an internal document at the Metropolitan Police states quite clearly that they believe the file shows a conspiracy to break and enter into private property. Further details are on the front page of The Independent today.

You might not also be aware that a number of high profile figures who were the victims of phone hacking also reported mysterious break-ins at their homes. The pattern is the same: the homes clinically entered but no valuables taken. My colleague, Chris Bryant was so concerned that his home had been covertly entered that he reported the matter to the police. I understand the Metropolitan Police dispatched Commander Yates to take the statement. I understand the file containing the statement has gone missing.

I have audio testimony from the undercover former police officer with intimate knowledge of Southern investigations who claims that the burglary of the homes of MPs was a regular occurrence.

I am also aware, through the lawyer of a hacking victim, that there is testimony from another former private investigator that he was regularly hired to break into the homes of individuals who were the subject of investigation by News International. At the present time the investigator is not prepared to speak out in public.

This evidence has come to light after the Leveson Inquiry has stopped taking evidence. I think it important that you make a public statement to clarify how you intend to deal with these startling new revelations and how you will assist the police with their investigation.

Shortly, I will also be writing to you confidentially about information I have received from a former employee of the company regarding the conduct of former News of the World journalist and now Sunday Times investigator, Mazher Mahmood.

If there is any integrity at all to your claims to want to clean up the corruption and criminality endemic in your company, perhaps you would act on the evidence I am adducing. Public re-assurance that this matter is being dealt with would be welcome.

I would be grateful for a swift reply to this letter.

Yours sincerely

 

Tom Watson
Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East

6 comments ↓

#1 nigel cole on 09.18.12 at 2:48 pm

well done tom keep up the great work

#2 NigelCH on 09.18.12 at 3:19 pm

Cracking letter, Tom. “Don’t let the bugger get you down” seems apposite here! Thank you for pursuing the truth.

#3 Pol Waters on 09.18.12 at 3:29 pm

I do wonder at what point does tabloid journalism turn to “get a story by any means”. And for that matter, who from management are pushing reporters to get stories by such means?

#4 bob gaffey on 09.18.12 at 6:13 pm

dont rush

#5 HR McKay on 09.19.12 at 6:59 am

Very well put Tom. And thanks for sharing this with us.

Hopefully News Iinternational will now clean up its act before Police intervention and any subsequent criminal Court hearings reveal any further acts of deliberate criminality.

Please keep us updated Tom.

#6 Matt J. on 09.24.12 at 11:38 pm

And has there been a reply?

BTW: this sounds an awful lot like the “White House Plumbers” involved in the Watergate burglaries. Quite frankly, we were hoping that like Watergate, it would push major executives in the news industry to resign. But instead, the news is that James Murdoch is going to head up US operations.

How disappointing!

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