hacking

THREE senior media executives in Scotland are to be interviewed by police as part of the UK wide phone hacking and corruption probes.

Strathclyde Police, Scotland’s biggest police force, was tasked with re-examining the Tommy Sheridan court case to establish whether witnesses told the truth. Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor and Prime Minister David Cameron’s PR guru, is awaiting interview as part of that investigation.

The Scottish force was also tasked with a scoping exercise to establish if phone hacking or the illegal accessing of personal information had been carried out by newspapers and media groups north of the border.

That “scoping exercise” has identified three prominent individuals in Scotland’s media industry who will be interviewed in the coming weeks. All three worked for the same newspaper group.

Two of the three executives are still employed there and hold senior positions. The third is a former senior editorial executive at the group who left several years ago.

The men targeted are from Stirlingshire, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.

The Major Investigation Unit of Strathclyde Police has begun contacting journalists and former journalists from news groups including Trinity Mirror as part of the inquiry into the Scottish press.

Detectives are requesting statements.

One former journalist contacted by the inquiry team was told there is an on-going inquiry into allegations of corruption and the illegal accessing of personal data by newspapers north of the border.

That inquiry is running alongside the Sheridan perjury probe and will cover all Scottish news groups.

It’s believed the former highly placed executive, who controlled budgets at a paper within the group, is of major interest to the investigation team, given his links to a senior, high profile police officer. The Major Investigation Unit is probing links between this executive and a number of well placed police officers.