News Corp. may just have gotten its 18 minutes of missing tape moment. The Guardian is reporting that police in the U.K. are looking in to the possibility that a "senior executive" with News International, the News Corp. subsidiary that controls the soon-to-be-defunct News of the World tabloid that is at the center of the phone-hacking scandal, deleted millions of emails in an attempt to obstruct the hacking investigation.
According to the Guardian, police believe this executive deleted parts of the archive on two separate occasions, one of them just this past January as a new investigation began.
This trove of emails has been disputed before. News International has previously claimed that it did not exist, that emails were lost on their way to being stored in India, and that emails older than six months were not accessible. But that was proven false in March, when a company executive admitted to a British court that emails from as far back as 2005 could be found and that they had not been lost on their way to storage.
Separately, Reuters' Alison Frankel, after speaking with British media lawyer Mark Stephens, suggested that one possible reason to shut down News of the World was to make it legal to destroy the tabloid's records.