The Guardian newspaper reports that Scotland Yard ignored evidence that the News of the World newspaper hacked the voicemail of numerous public figures. While NotW was prosecuted for a handful of voicemail hacks, the police suppressed evidence that the paper had also invaded the privacy of members of the royal family and other prominent people. The editor of the paper at the time of the mass-scale bugging was Andy Coulson, now serving as media advisor to David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservative party.
In a further blow to the official version of events, the Guardian has discovered that although police and prosecutors named only eight victims in court, material seized by police from Mulcaire and the paper's royal reporter, Clive Goodman, contained 4,332 names or partial names of people in whom the two men had an interest, 2,978 numbers or partial numbers for mobile phones and 30 audio tapes which appear to contain an unspecified number of recordings of voicemail messages.
The revelations increase the prospect of the government ordering a new inquiry into the affair. While Scotland Yard's public position remains that it did all that its resources and the law permitted, some police sources admit privately that they failed to fully investigate the case, that decisions may have been distorted by a fear of upsetting Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, and that it was "unfortunate" that the officer in charge of the inquiry, assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, subsequently left the police to work for News International as a columnist.
(Image: Slug from Atmosphere eavesdrops on Lucy?, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from joehowell's photostream)