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Please begin with an informative title:

From The Independent:

Detectives have evidence which suggests that a notorious private detective agency carried out a burglary while working for the News of the World.

In the latest twist to the phone-hacking scandal, a police intelligence report indicates that Southern Investigations, based in south London, targeted the home of a newsworthy individual in an attempt to dig up salacious information.

The Independent has established that the material – the first suggested link between the News of the World and burglary – is being held by Operation Tuleta, the police inquiry into illegal newsgathering techniques other than phone hacking and corruption. It refers to a "sortie" carried out into a woman's home in Ascot, Berkshire, and mentions the name of Alex Marunchak – a long-serving executive on the News of the World.

(bolding by diarist)



You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Many of the people whose phones were hacked also reported break-ins in which nothing was stolen. This includes the actor Hugh Grant and several UK Soccer celebrities.

And, from The Socialist Worker:

Labour MP Tom Watson’s garage was broken into in 2009, and paperwork was rifled through. He says that during the phone hacking case he has “met many victims who had also suffered mysterious break-ins”.

So it appears we can add burglary to the list of crimes likely committed by News International. Phone hacking, Computer Hacking, Bribery, Extortion, Perversion of the Course of Justice (cover-up), Harassment, Burglary.

Much more on this developing angle from our ceebs, here:


Update 1:

Our guy Brit has a Daily Beast article up about the burglary allegations. An excerpt:

Much of what Watson offers supports The Independent’s front-page article from this morning, written by Martin Hickman—who coauthored with Watson an account of the hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch, published this spring. Watson claims to be in possession of a document from a private investigator at Southern Investigations, who regularly employed by the News of the World, requesting “a sortie into the home of a woman living in Ascot.” Watson also claims to have an internal police document stating the file “shows a conspiracy to break and enter into private property.”

On Monday, The Daily Beast reported how high-profile members of the Labour Party were disproportionately represented in the civil phone-hacking claims, and the allegations of burglary also seem to predominantly concern Labour politicians. Apart from Watson’s own account (in Dial M for Murdoch) of an alleged attempt to break into a garage where he kept his personal papers, the other leading Labour MP campaigning on the phone hacking issue, Chris Bryant, reported to the police his concerns that his house had been broken into and nothing stolen.

Earlier in the year, during the Leveson Inquiry into Media Ethics, the former business minister and key strategist for New Labour, Lord Peter Mandelson, also claimed in a sworn witness statement that a series of invoices indicated Southern Investigations had been trying to access his private bank account details and conducted a surveillance operation on his elderly mother.


Update 2:

More from Brit regarding the higher numbers of Labour party hacking victims:

While the allegations of connections between Rees, Southern Investigations, and News of the World rumble on, among the new civil claims announced today are prominent Labour politicians, including Cherie Blair; the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock and his wife; the mother of the child of Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London; and a former business minister, Stephen Byers.

Combined with the cases settled in February—which included former deputy prime minister John Prescott, the Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, and Labour’s former press supremo Alistair Campbell—there are now over a dozen senior Labour Party figures allegedly targeted by phone hacking. But only one active Tory politician, David Davis, M.P., has filed a suit so far. Davis was Cameron’s main rival for leadership of the Conservative Party in 2005. (Davis’s office told The Daily Beast that Davis was not available for comment due to his travel schedule.)

One reason for the disproportionate focus on Labour politicians could be that they were in power during the period covered by Mulcaire’s notebooks. However, three Liberal Democrat M.P.s— deputy leader Simon Hughes, Mark Oaten, and mayoral candidate Brian Paddick—have joined the civil litigation based on the files. Does the bias toward the left and center politics reflect a political campaign by News of the World, perhaps reflecting its proprietor’s well-known conservative politics?


Update 3:

I asked Brit if the bias charge is more damaging than the burglary charge, and he responded,

"No, but the fact the skulduggery has a political bent shows you it follows Murdoch's agenda."
Ahh so it implicates the Dirty Digger himself! Thanks, Brit! :) :) :)
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