Why Did Police Ignore Levi Bellfield’s Phone But ‘Let’ Murdoch Watch Milly Dowler’s Dad?
RUPERT Murdoch has apologised to the parents of Milly Dowler. No. Not for failing to hack Levi Bellfield’s phone – he murdered the child – but for employing a man who allegedly hacked into the then missing girl’s mobile phone and deleted messages to make room for new ones – a move that encouraged thoughts of her being alive.
You may recall that when Milly Dowler went missing, police focused some of their energies of her father, the innocent Bob Dowler.
At Bellfield’s trial, we learnt that Surrey Police told him he was a suspect “whether he liked it or not”. They interviewed him three times.
In the weeks after Milly’s disappearance, officers knocked on Bellfield’s door 11 times. He was never in. When they were told he had moved, they failed to seek a forwarding address.
Mr Dowler told the court:
“I was very concerned because I knew they needed to be focused on someone else.”
And at some time the News of The World was listening to his missing daughter’s phone. Why? We can only guess. But the paper has links with the police, having allegedly bought stories off serving officers. Were police getting the paper to do their dirty work?
UK Assistant Police Commissioner John Yates says his 2009 decision not to reopen an investigation into News International was “a pretty crap one” He says he “failed” the victims.
The former Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson employed Neil Wallis, News of the World’s former deputy editor, as a consultant at Scotland Yard.
We may never know why Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked. We do know that Rupert Murdoch has made a “full and sincere apology” to Bob Dowler and his wife Sally.
Murdoch is contrite. Rebekah Brooks has resigned from her top job in his outfit. She was investigating the scandal. The person who was at the top of the heap was going to get to the bottom of it. It was ridiculous. Also gone is Les Hinton, former CEO of News International who became the head of News Corp-owned Dow Jones.
Says the Dowlers’ family lawyer Mark Lewis:
“It was a private meeting that had been called for by Rupert Murdoch. He was humbled to give a full and sincere apology to the Dowler family… He apologised many times. I don’t think anybody could have held their head in their hands so many times.”
Murdoch will soon say sorry to everyone. A letter entitled “We are Sorry” will run as a full-page advertisement in a number of national newspapers.
In it, Murdoch says:
“We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.”
Sure. But it is getting worse for Murdoch. He has shelved his bid to own BSkyB in full. Why? Well, Ofcom have teeth and they would have investigated the bid. If the official media regulator ruled Murdoch unfit, would other foreign regulators use the ruling to prevent his buying up media channels in other countries like China, say.
The New York Times tells us:
Television channels affiliated with Mr. Murdoch beam more programming into China than any other foreign media group.
Murdoch’s wife Wendi is mainland Chinese born. Is the UK important to Murdoch? Yes. Is it the be all and end all? No.
Over in the US, the FBI has launched an investigation into Murdoch’s News Corp. after a report that his staff may have hacked or tried to hack into voice mails of September 11 survivors, victims and their families.
Did they? Dunno. But we find it easy to believe that they did. But what we really need to know is who let them and trained the hackers to do it..?