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By Cahal Milmo and Oliver Wright
27 January 2011
Rupert Murdoch's News International yesterday conceded that the
phone-hacking scandal went to the heart of Britain's top-selling
newspaper, announcing that it had sacked a senior editor at the News of
the World and passed to police what investigators described as
"significant new information". The fresh evidence is thought to include
emails which could implicate other executives.
Scotland Yard immediately announced a new investigation into the
damaging allegations, which have seen NOTW journalists accused of
systematically accessing the voicemails of public figures and sparked
criticism of police for their failure to question key staff at the
newspaper, including the former editor Andy Coulson, during four years
of supposed inquiries. Mr Coulson resigned as David Cameron's spokesman
on Friday because of the clamour surrounding the hacking claims. In a
move that will be seen as the start of a new attempt by News
International to draw a line under the affair, the company said it had
dismissed Ian Edmondson, the paper's assistant editor (news) and part of
Mr Coulson's inner circle, who was suspended in December after he was
linked to the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective jailed
for hacking the phones of Prince William's aides.
Sources said a trawl of Mr Edmondson's emails dating back nearly six
years had found a dossier of "highly damaging evidence" which has been
passed to the Yard. The Independent understands that detectives will
scrutinise the information from thousands of messages found on the
machine for any indication that Mr Edmondson or other figures at the
newspaper were responsible for instructing Mr Mulcaire to target the
phones of celebrities and politicians prior to 2006.
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