De Menezes family ‘may have been hacked’

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The De Menezes family taking flowers to Stockwell tube on the anniversary of Jean Charles de Menezes’ death at the hands of police gunmen. They now fear that their phones may well have been hacked into
The De Menezes family taking flowers to Stockwell tube on the anniversary of Jean Charles de Menezes’ death at the hands of police gunmen. They now fear that their phones may well have been hacked into

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday called upon Prime Minister Cameron to extend the remit of the inquiry into the phone hacking scandal.

They demanded it scrutinise whether police officers involved in the Menezes investigation were leaking information to the press, either for financial benefit or in an effort to defend the battered reputation of the Metropolitan Police.

A letter was sent by the family to PM Cameron and copied to Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Home Affairs Committee chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz.

In the letter, the family reveal how the telephone number of a member of the Menezes family has been found on the phone hacking list of the private investigator Glen Mulcaire.

The family’s legal team has now submitted the names and telephone numbers of others who may have been potential targets of illegal phone hacking by Mulcaire on behalf of News of the World, including other relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes, representatives from the Justice4Jean campaign and members of the legal team.

In the letter, the family raise ‘deep concern’ about the relationship between former Met Police Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and News International and how this may relate to the media coverage and investigation into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

They point to the significant number of leaks relating to the de Menezes case that appeared to come from police sources.

A spokesperson for Justice4Jean said: ‘The de 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.’

Meanwhile, another arrest was made yesterday.

Neil Wallis, the former executive editor of the News of the World, was arrested by officers from Operating Weeting yesterday morning and taken for questioning at a police station in west London on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications.

A former member of the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, Wallis is the ninth person to be arrested since the Metropolitan Police launched a fresh investigation in January.

When Coulson was editor he acted as his deputy from 2003-2007, and became executive editor when Coulson resigned.

News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was News of the World editor when Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked, has agreed to appear before the House of Commons Culture and Media Committee next Tuesday. She has said that she may not be prepared to answer all of the questions.

Committee chairman, Tory MP John Whittingdale, told reporters yesterday that News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch and News International chairman James Murdoch had declined to appear and a formal summons had been issued.

Whittingdale said Rupert Murdoch had said he is prepared to attend a hearing in August, but that was far too late, and the House of Commons Deputy Sergeant at Arms had gone to Wapping to serve the formal summons on the pair.

In a statement, the MPs said: ‘The committee has made clear its view that all three should appear to account for the behaviour of News International and for previous statements made to the committee in Parliament, now acknowledged to be false.’

Their statement added that serious questions had arisen about the evidence Brooks and Andy Coulson gave at a previous hearing in 2003.