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Irish Mail on Sunday editor ‘targeted by Mulcaire NotW phone hacking’

Sebastian Hamilton, the editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, is one of two MoS figures who may have been targeted.

Investigator Glenn Mulcaire (pictured) may have hacked into the voicemail of Sebastian Hamilton while he was the Mail on Sunday's News Editor.
Investigator Glenn Mulcaire (pictured) may have hacked into the voicemail of Sebastian Hamilton while he was the Mail on Sunday's News Editor.
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

THE EDITOR OF the Irish Mail on Sunday newspaper has been told he may have been the victim of phone-hacking carried out on behalf of the News of the World.

Sebastian Hamilton, who was the News Editor of the paper’s British edition at the time, is one of two Mail on Sunday journalists to have been contacted by Scotland Yard over the affair, the BBC reports.

Hamilton told Sky’s Jeff Randall that his voicemails may have been accessed by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to glean information about his stories, or to try and access sensitive commercial data that could have been stored in his voicemail.

The British title’s former Investigations Editor, Dennis Rice, is the other figure whose voicemail may have been hacked by Mulcaire.

Mulcaire was jailed in 2007, alongside the News of the World’s former Royal Editor Clive Goodman, after admitting to hacking the voicemail of members of the British Royal family.

Sky News said it had previously been reported that Rice was to sue the NotW over its alleged interception of his voice messages.

The revelations that journalists at rival papers were the victims of phone-hacking gives a new dimension to the ongoing furore over the illegal practices that last week forced News International, the newspaper’s owners, to close the NotW after 168 years.

It had not been thought, before now, that the paper had ever targeted rival publications in a bid to gain details of stories their staff may have been working on.

The connection is not the first indirect Irish connection to the scandal: a BBC documentary has previously claimed that Alex Marunchak, the then-editor of the Irish News of the World, had commissioned a hacker to access emails from an author investigating IRA informers.

Last night, as the ongoing fallout took new turns, Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague was forced to defend David Cameron’s relationship with News International after it emerged that Cameron had met NI’s top executives 26 times in the 15 months since taking power.

It has been confirmed that Andy Coulson – who quit first as NotW editor and then as Cameron’s press advisor over the phone-hacking affair – was invited to Cameron’s country residence at Chequers months after handing in his resignation.

Rebekah Brooks was entertained there twice last year, while James Murdoch was also hosted there last winter, the BBC’s report recounted.

Read: Rupert Murdoch signs public apology public over phone-hacking

More: News of the Unscrews: NotW sign disappears from Wapping

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Gavan Reilly

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