December 11 2013 Latest news:
Joe Watts, Political editor
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Norwich City joint majority shareholder Delia Smith and former city MP Charles Clarke have been formally named as alleged victims of phone hacking.
The pair’s names were among more than 600 phone-hacking victims targeted by people working directly for, or on behalf of, the News of the World.
The details emerged yesterday as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced eight people are facing a total of 19 charges relating to phone-hacking.
They include David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson, and ex-editor of the now defunct News of the World, who will face five charges, including the alleged hacking of phones belonging to associates of former Labour home secretary Mr Clarke.
It is alleged the offence relating to Mr Clarke took place between April 6, 2005, and June 22, 2005.
Others charged in connection to the same offence are former journalists from the paper Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.
Mr Clarke, Norwich South MP until 2010, said: “The Metropolitan Police informed me last year that efforts had been made to hack my phone.
“I have given the Metropolitan Police a statement and I told them I would be prepared to give evidence if charges were brought.”
The CPS also announced it would bring charges against Mr Miskiw and Mr Mulcaire in relation to the hacking of a phone belonging to celebrity chef Ms Smith.
It is said this offence took place between February 28, 2005, and March 12, 2005, and included unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages of Ms Smith and two associates, including her husband Michael Wynn-Jones.
The Evening News contacted Ms Smith yesterday, but she was unwilling to make a statement on the matter.
The accused facing CPS charges also include former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and former News Of The World managing editor Stuart Cutter.
Mr Coulson, who was Downing Street communications chief up until January 2011, said outside his London home yesterday that he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision to prosecute.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch closed the News Of The World in July last year after it emerged it had hacked the mobile phone of the murdered school girl Milly Dowler - an incident that some of the other charges brought yesterday related to.
They are the first charges for phone-hacking brought since 2006, when the News Of The World’s royal editor Clive Goodman was charged with illegally accessing messages on phones belonging to royal aides.
Ms Brooks said: “The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime. I will vigorously defend these allegations.”
Anger over the phone-hacking scandal, which saw Mr Murdoch’s bid to take over broadcaster BSkyB scuppered, led to the Prime Minister establishing the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, which is now in its final stages.