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LONDON – Prince William, Prince Harry and Daniel Radcliffe were among scores of individuals who were the subject of covert investigation by the News of The World, a private investigator has told the BBC.
Former policeman and surveillance expert Derek Webb has shown the BBC’s Newsnight program a dossier of 90 targets that he was hired to follow.
Among them are the parents of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, the footballer Gary Lineker, Prince Harry’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith and many others.
Webb, who has told the BBC that he worked for the News of The World for eight years, has come forward because he believes he is owed bonus and loyalty payments by the paper, which was closed in July.
“II got calls from numerous journalists on the news desk,” Webb told BBC reporter Richard Watson. “I was working for them extensively on many jobs throughout that time. I never knew when I was going to be required.”
Yesterday Webb told Newsnighthow he had been hired to conduct covert surveillance on two lawyers who were acting for phone-hacking victims. He said he had followed Mark Lewis, the lawyer representing the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, and had followed his ex-wife and daughter.
He also said that he had followed Mishcon de Reya lawyer Charlotte Harris, who won a seven-figure payout for hacking victim and celebrity agent Max Clifford.
News International has yet to respond to the latest allegations, but yesterday confirmed that both Lewis and Harris had been targets of surveillance ordered by the News of The World.
“While surveillance is not illegal, it was clearly deeply inappropriate in these circumstances. This action is not condoned by any current executive at the company,” a spokesman for News International said.
The revelations will make for yet more uncomfortable questioning for James Murdoch, the BSkyB chairman and News Corp. deputy COO, who will answer more questions on phone-hacking and the culture of apparently widespread illegal behavior at The News of The World.
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