As if hacking into the voicemails of a missing 13-year-old-girl and wrongly accused murder suspect weren’t already bad enough, another revelation has come to light in the News of the World hacking scandal: The Guardian is reporting that the ethically challenged tabloid also “targeted” the families of victims of the July 7, 2005 terrorist bombings in London.
Police officers leading “Operation Weeting”—the official hacking investigation—have been contacting the relatives of the victims to tell them that they may have had their private messages tapped by Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective who worked for the tabloid.
Graham Foulkes, whose son David was killed in the attack, confirmed that he had heard from the police, who told him that his mobile phone number, ex-directory landline number, and address had all been found in records made by Mulcaire that were recovered from his office in south London.
Police also told the parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, two girls murdered in 2002, that their mobile phones had been hacked as well. Documents seized by the Metropolitan Police in a 2006 raid on Mulcaire's home show he targeted Leslie Chapman, the father of Jessica Chapman, The Guardian says.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports, Prime Minister David Cameron bowed to public pressure to launch an inquiry into the hackings—although not immediately. “Clearly, we can't start all that sort of inquiry immediately because you must not jeopardise the police investigation, but it may be possible to start some of that work earlier,” he said.
Cameron also said that the News Corp.’s takeover of British Sky Broadcasting would be able to go ahead as planned, claiming that it would be “illegal” to refer the bid to the competition commission. However, if any arrests of top employees at News Corp. or News International are made, U.K. media regulator Ofcom is said to be prepared to examine whether the companies’ directors are “fit and proper persons” to take control of BSkyB.