Greg Miskiw apologises for not halting Milly Dowler hack
• Former News of the World’s Master of the Dark Arts says he will regret Milly Dowler story for the rest of his life.
• He was away on holiday but could have stopped News Editor Neville Thurlbeck from using hacker Glenn Mulcaire.
• Miskiw says Milly story was a ‘low point’for the defunct tabloid.
• But blows lid on the high-point - hacking David Beckham’s phones during two affairs.
• Investigative reporter Graham Johnson and byline.com link up with Alex Thomson at Channel 4 News to deliver first TV interview with notoriously silent Greg Miskiw.
By Graham Johnson
An Ex-News Of the World executive has apologised for not stopping the hacking of murdered Milly Dowler’s phone.
Though Former Assistant Editor Greg Miskiw, 65, did not commission the dead school girl’s phone messages to be intercepted, he says that he feels responsible for not halting the intrusion.
The revelation that Milly Dowler’s voicemails were hacked sparked public outrage and directly led to the closure of the News of the World.
Miskiw was on holiday when the Milly Dowler story broke - but his deputy on the news desk took up the story.
News Editor Neville Thurlbeck took over responsibility for handling Glenn Mulcaire, the paper’s number one phone hacker.
When Miskiw returned from holiday, he says he could have stopped the investigation during the second week but says his decision not to will haunt him for the rest of his life.
A disgusting and shameful act
Miskiw, from Leeds, said: ‘The lowest point, for both the paper and me, was the hacking of Milly Dowler's mobile. A disgusting and shameful act.
‘Master hacker Glenn Mulcaire, who worked exclusively for the NoW, communicated with the news desk direct and spoke to my deputy Neville Thurlbeck.
‘By then Glenn Mulcaire had developed a direct relationship with Neville.
‘It is a matter of record and accepted by the court that I was on holiday that week.
‘But the true story is not as clear cut as it has been presented in the media and in court.
‘The Milly Dowler story ran into the following week, and on my return, I was briefed about it.
‘As Neville had kicked off the investigation I allowed him to continue running it.
‘I could have stopped the Milly then investigation but did not - and I will regret that for the rest of my life and am truly sorry for any distress caused to the Dowler family.
‘A few paragraphs were run at the back of the paper, and then dropped in later editions.
‘Those few paragraphs would make the News of the World extinct!
‘The News of the World would also still be publishing and wrong doers would be trembling.
‘Somebody once said of News of the World journalists: "you live in a bubble where normal rules do not apply." It was true.
‘It was the Guardian newspaper’s revelation that the News of the World hacked Milly's mobile that rang the death knell of Britain's biggest newspaper.
‘The public were outraged and rightly so.’
Miskiw has made controversial new claims in connection with the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone which at the time of going to press Byline is investigating.
In a joint hook up with Channel 4 news, Miskiw’s first television interview will be broadcast tonight at 7 pm.
In an TV exclusive interview with reporter Alex Thomson, Miskiw talks about talks about the ‘low point’ of the Milly Dowler story.
He also talks and the ‘high point’ - the two News of the World’s sex exclusives on David Beckham.
The News of the World ran two big stories that rocked the image of his perfect marriage to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.
The first story in 2004 involved Rebecca Loos, a front page splash that won Scoop of the Year.
The follow-up involved Malaysian-borm model Sarah Marbeck. Beckham has never admitted the alleged infidelity.
Some of the intelligence that helped stand the stories up was derived from Glenn Mulcaire who hacked the legendary footy player’s multiple phones.
Miskiw said: ‘He (David Beckham) scored with Rebecca Loos.
‘Only it was an own goal - because the ever watchful News of the World - referee of the nation’s morals, blew the whistle on foul behaviour.
‘It's reporters caught Beckham off side, and handling Loos lewdly in the box. But how did the guardian of truth and justice obtain the world exclusive?
‘They - more precisely I, using Glenn Mulcaire - hacked Beckham's mobile phones so many times it was like the scene of a bloody massacre.'