PRIVATE investigator Glenn Mulcaire has been ordered by the UK Supreme Court to identify the journalists who instructed him to hack into mobile phone messages. Mulcaire, who was jailed for unlawfully intercepting voicemails in January 2007, had appealed to Britain's highest court in an attempt to avoid answering questions in civil proceedings that could incriminate him. However the Supreme Court's five judges unanimously rejected his plea for privilege against self-incrimination. The ruling means that Mulcaire must now reveal previously secret details about who at the News of the World allegedly instructed him to hack into phone messages, how he supposedly passed on the messages and how the victims were targeted.
According to The Guardian, this information must now be passed to Nicola Phillips, the assistant to Max Clifford, whose own phone was hacked and whose case triggered Mulcaire's original appeal. The Supreme Court's judgement was announced a year to the day since The Guardian first revealed that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked. Also today, a policeman and two other people were arrested as part of Operation Elveden, the investigation looking into illegal payments to public officials by journalists.
All this comes as a former News of the World reporter recounts what life was like at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid in an interview with Vice magazine. Graham Johnson, who worked for the red top in the 1990s and has written a tell-all biography called Hack: Sex, Drugs and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle, claimed he regularly used intimidation get stories. In one account, Johnson describes being sent to the house of a famous soap star's brother who was allegedly dealing drugs. "The only problem was we hadn't proved it," Johnson explains. "So my job was to go round and literally kick in his door... and put him under so much pressure that he would kinda fold under questioning and admit it." Johnson claimed there was a "culture of fear" at the paper. "I remember some girl trying to commit suicide at the News of the World Christmas party." Johnson also said he was ordered to blackmail footballer Steve McManaman into talking about his mother's cancer. "Listen, we know that your mum's got cancer," he recalls telling the Liverpool and England winger. "You don't want to speak about it. We don't care about that, you tell us or we're gonna put it in the paper, anyway." Johnson eventually left News of the World after admitting to fabricating a story about the 'Beast of Bodmin Moor', bringing his two years with the paper to a close. He went on to join the Sunday Mirror. ·