Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator whose phone hacking work for the News of the World landed him in jail and launched a years-long crisis for News Corp., released a statement on Friday about his role in phone hacking.
The statement, issued by Mulcaire's lawyers, emphasizes that he "acted on the instructions of others." It is a crucial line because it contradicts one of the central claims given by top News Corp. and News International officials for years: that Mulcaire and Clive Goodman, the royal reporter also jailed for phone hacking in 2007, were rogue elements within the News of the World who acted alone. Mulcaire also said he was "effectively employed" by the News of the World from 2002 to 2007.
In recent weeks, Mulcaire's activity for the News of the World has come under renewed scrutiny following the explosion of the phone hacking scandal. On Thursday, he was once again in the news, as allegations surfaced that he helped hack into the phone of Sara Payne, the mother of an 8-year-old murdered by a pedophile.
Mulcaire also represents a potential new threat to the Murdoch empire because, after an outcry, News Corp. stopped paying his legal fees last week--something it had been doing even after he went to jail. If Mulcaire is no longer able to pay his lawyers to represent him, he may speak out about what, exactly, he knows about phone hacking.
The statement in full reads:
Glenn Mulcaire has already expressed his sincere regret to those who have been hurt and affected by his activities and he repeats that apology most sincerely.
He was effectively employed by News of the World from 2002 to carry out his role as a private investigator.
As he accepted when he pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges of phone interception he admits that his role did include phone hacking. As an employee he acted on the instructions of others.
There were also occasions when he understood his instructions were from those who genuinely wished to assist in solving crimes. Any suggestion that he acted in such matters unilaterally is untrue. In the light of the ongoing police investigation, he cannot say any more.