News International Asked Outsourcer To Delete Emails

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Details of further requests from News International to delete emails have been submitted to MPs

News International requested that its Indian outsourced email provider delete more emails than previously thought, MPs investigating phone hacking were told yesterday.

Nine deletion requests were originally believed to have been made but lawyers for HCL Technologies say a further four were made, one as recent as June this year.

A request in 2009 related to emails from the inbox of an account that had been dormant for eight years and was made a few months after the hacking scandal reappeared in the news.

The deletions were detailed in a letter from law firm Stuart Benson and Company to the home affairs select committee on Delhi-based HCL’s behalf.

Committee chairman and Labour MP Keith Vaz said: “The request for deletion of folders and emails by News International is concerning. The Committee will continue to investigate the issue of phone hacking and the removal of any information that could possibly point to the prevalence of phone hacking by those working in the organisation.”

Details

The letter says that on 9 December 2009, Rupert Murdoch’s News International requested emails be deleted from the inbox of a user who had not accessed his email account for eight years.

On 24 February 2010, the company requested the deletion of personal folders under the name “Gabriel/uploaded” before another personal folder was also removed on 28 September.

The most recent request came on 29 June this year, when the company asked for deletion of “certain bad or corrupted files”.

Weeks later, an email was sent round to all News International staff saying that the company’s automatic deletion of files had been suspended and also warning them to stop deleting emails and documents.

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