Police find 'secret' hacking phone at News Int

Mobile nicknamed 'the hub' was kept on the newsdesk of the News of the World

LAST UPDATED AT 13:24 ON Wed 26 Oct 2011

POLICE investigating phone hacking at News International have discovered the existence of a "secret mobile phone" hidden in the offices of the News of the World, which has been linked to more than 1,000 incidents of hacking.

According to The Independent the phone was registered to News International and was kept at the News of the World newsdesk. It even had a nickname, 'The Hub'.

The paper claims that although the phone's existence was known about when News International carried out two internal investigations into the allegations of hacking, they did not examine the mobile.

However, it has now become central to Operation Weeting, the Met Police's hacking investigation. The Independent says officers are now trying to establish who was in charge of the phone and sanctioned its use.

Hacking victim, journalist Tom Rowland said police had told him about a "NotW hub" while a former reporter on the now defunct red-top confirmed to the Independent that it was used by editors working on the newsdesk.

He said reporters used to operate "like IRA cells who were assigned stories, given precise information, but never told where this information actually came from".

The report comes after some investors in parent company News Corporation described James Murdoch as a "dead man walking" because of the phone hacking scandal, even though he was voted back onto the board this week by shareholders. · 

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