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8 September 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:14am

Why at least one former NoW editor is likely to know about phone tapping

The intriguing case of Ross Hall.

By James Macintyre

The Guardian has a genuine scoop in the phone-tapping saga today, with the news that a former News of the World employee, Ross Hall, will testify about being asked to transcribe hacked phone messages.

Defenders of the Murdoch-owned paper say he was junior, in line with the Andy Coulson claim that the tapping was going on below him as he sat in blissful ignorance in the editor’s chair.

But there is an intriguing line buried deep in the Guardian story: that Hall is the nephew of another former editor at the NoW, Phil Hall. Now, this may or may not be the “former editor” who the New York Times says is among its sources, and anyway there is a question over whether the NYT means “editor” in the American sense — a news editor — or in the British one, meaning the boss.

What is likely, however, is that at least one former editor knew about the hacking even if Coulson, as he maintains, did not.

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