Publicist Max Clifford is on his way to the High Court to force the Information Commissioner to release documents about possibly illegal newsgathering methods employed by the News of the World.
Clifford was one of those bugged by jailed former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2007.
In 2002 the Information Commissioner carried out Operation Motorman, which revealed that 305 journalists representing nearly every national newspaper had been involved in buying information from private investigator Steve Whittamore, much of which may have been illegally obtained by Whittamore.
In 2006, the Information Commissioner revealed that the NoW was one of the most prolific users of this private invesgator – with 19 journalists buying 182 pieces of information from him.
Now Clifford is seeking to obtain the paperwork which was seized by the Information Commissioner in the Whittamore case – and which as yet to be released, the Guardian reports. It says that the NoW is opposing the release of the documents and that the case has been adjourned until next month.
The NoW said in a statement: “This legal issue is coming up for hearing shortly. We are therefore unwilling to comment in any detail, other than to say that the relevant report from the Information Commissioner was published in 2006 and it referred to matters arising in 2002 – 2003.
“Incidentally, it also revealed that The Guardian’s sister newspaper, The Observer, was accused of the very same ‘illegal methods’ – as were most national and many local newspapers.
“For the record, the Information Commissioner’s report has nothing to do with voicemail accessing.”