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Published: July 16, 2011 / nytimes.com.
Interviews with current and former officials show that instead of examining all the evidence, investigators primarily limited their inquiry to 36 names that the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, mentioned in one list.
As a result, Scotland Yard notified only a small number of the people whose phones were hacked by The News of the World. Other people who suspected foul play had to approach the police to see if their names were in Mr. Mulcaire’s files.
“It’s one thing to decide not to investigate,” said Jeremy Reed, one of the lawyers who represents numerous phone-hacking victims. “But it’s quite another thing not to tell the victims. That’s just mind-blowing.”
Among the possible victims was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who asked the police last year to look into suspicions that his phones were hacked. In response, Scotland Yard sent him a form letter saying it was unclear whether the tabloid had eavesdropped on his conversations, people with knowledge of the request said.
The police assigned a new team to the hacking allegations in September after The New York Times published amagazine article that showed that the practice was far more widespread and which raised questions about Scotland Yard’s handling of the case.
Shortly after, the police finally reopened those “bin bags.” Now, the police are enduring the painstaking and humiliating exercise of notifying nearly 4,000 angry people listed in the documents that they may have been targets of what now appears to be industrial-strength hacking by The News of the World. The chore is likely to take years.A Series of Inquiries
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