In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Murdoch press role in Menezes affair

Posted by seumasach on July 14, 2011


14th July, 2011

Phone hacking: Glenn Mulcaire had Menezes cousin’s number

Detectives have told a cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes that his number was found among documents belonging to the News of the World private investigator at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal.

Relatives and campaigners in the case of Menezes – a Brazilian shot dead by police marksmen at Stockwell tube station in 2005 – now fear they may also have been targeted by the investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Yasmin Khan, a spokeswoman for the Justice4Jean campaign, told the Guardian they had just discovered that Mulcaire’s list included the phone number of Jean Charles’s cousin Alex Pereira.

“We were told yesterday,” she said. “We approached police last week and they got back to us yesterday with Alex’s number and told us to submit the numbers of family members and members of the campaign.

“The Menezes family are deeply pained to find their phones may have been hacked at a time at which they were at their most vulnerable and bereaved. They are bewildered as to why the police did not approach them with this information earlier, and fear the police may be attempting to cover up their own wrongdoing once more relating to this case”.

The family has written to the prime minister asking him to extend the remit of the phone-hacking inquiry to establish whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press — either for financial benefit or to prop up the reputation of Scotland Yard.

The letter takes particular issue with the relationship between Andy Hayman – the former assistant commissioner who ran the first phone-hacking inquiry – and News International. Since leaving the police Hayman has written for the Times, which is owned by NI.

“In the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s Stockwell 2 investigation the practice of police off-the-record briefings to the media was scrutinised,” the letter notes, “and the IPCC found that Andy Hayman had deliberately ‘misled the public’ over claims the person who had been shot dead by the police on 22 July 2005 was one of the four men who were being sought in connection with the attempted bombings of the previous day.

“Recent coverage of the police’s role in investigating allegations of phone hacking, including Mr Hayman’s evidence to the home affairs select committee, have highlighted his close relationship with News International, including potential financial links. We are conscious that the newspapers owned by News International provided some of the most virulent and often misleading coverage around Jean’s death and its aftermath.”

The letter was also sent to Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee. It concludes: “Considering what is now known about Andy Hayman’s relationship with News International we would like the inquiry into this scandal to extend its remit to scrutinise whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press, either for financial benefit or in a vain effort to deflect criticism from the actions of the Metropolitan police which had led to Jean’s death.

“These issues are of extreme importance to our family, whilst the accountability of the police and how politically sensitive criminal investigations are reported in the media are clearly a matter of public interest. We hope you will take these issues forward on our behalf.”

The sixth anniversary of De Menezes’s death is next week.

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