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Coulson used News of the World cop bribes to impress mother-in-law

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Graham JohnsonLondon
Coulson used News of the World cop bribes to impress mother-in-law
Fresh allegations from Greg Miskiw claim Andy Coulson signed off payments for confidential records while editor of News of the World, not for publication but for neighbour row.

Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson allegedly signed-off an illegal bribe to a member of Britain’ most elite police unit.

The dodgy bung was reportedly made to a public official at the National Crime Squad.

The shock claims have been made by Coulson’s ex-right hand man, Assistant Editor Greg Miskiw.

The alleged £500 payment was used to illegally access a criminal record and confidential medical files, Miskiw recalls.

Astonishingly, the secret intelligence wasn’t used for a big tabloid exclusive - but to impress his mother-in-law on a private matter.

Coulson, 47, later went onto be Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications’ director.

According to Miskiw, the target of the unlawful data smear was a man prone to mental illness involved in a dispute with the mother of Coulson’s wife.

Astonishingly, the secret intelligence wasn’t used for a big tabloid exclusive - but to impress his mother-in-law on a private matter.

There is no evidence that his wife Eloise or her family knew that Coulson was using illegal methods to help them.

Though Miskiw claims that he boasted that he was trying to aid his in-laws, Coulson was betraying his wife at the same time.

Since 1998, the Essex council estate boy was carrying on an affair with News UK chief Rebekah Brooks, a clandestine romance that lasted for nine years.

The Editor Calls: A Troublesome Neighbour

Miskiw, a convicted phone hacker turned whistleblower, said: ‘I got the email requesting me to pop into his (Coulson’s) office.

Miskiw was head of the News of the World’s secretive Covert Investigations Unit (CIU), a shadowy ‘ghost’ department that officially didn’t exist.

‘He explained it was a private matter involving his family.

‘His mother-in-law, who lived in The West Country, was having problems with a troublesome neighbour. The police had been called and there was an arrest. An (police) investigation was launched but nothing had come of it as yet. ‘Could I use my contacts to find out the background of the suspect?’

Miskiw was head of the News of the World’s secretive Covert Investigations Unit (CIU), a shadowy ‘ghost’ department that officially didn’t exist.

The CIU was tasked with long-term investi-gations into crimes such as paedophilia and gangsters. The unit’s biggest overhead was private detective Glenn Mulcaire, who roped in £120,000-a-year.

In recent weeks, byline.com have exclusively revealed how Mulcaire used highly-illegal industrial scale identity theft of government of-ficials to get stories for the News of the World’s CIU.

The shadowy practice, known as clone hacking, was used to tee-up victims for mobile phone interceptions that happened later.

Miskiw’s latest revelations are just one several exclusive story lines in an article written by him which will be published shortly on by-line.com .

Source on the National Crime Squad

Our ‘Tabloid Terrorism Exposed’ campaign has also revealed how Rebekah Brooks was allegedly told about phone hacking as far back as 2002, a claim that she denies.

However, for the project to help Coulson’s mother-in-law, Miskiw did not commission phone hacking or use Glenn Mulcaire to do background checks on the neighbour.

Instead, he turned to his top police contact to dig the dirt, an employee at Britain’s version of the FBI.

"Within two days my contact came back with details of the troublesome neighbour’s previous convictions, his psychiatric report which indicated he had mental problems.

Though there is no evidence that Coulson knew the £500 was going to an NCS worker, Miskiw says that he knew the £500 was for a criminal record.

Miskiw, 65, from Leeds, added: ‘I made it clear to (Andy Coulson that) my contact, who was not super hacker Glenn Mulcaire, would need to be paid.

‘My source was a member of the National Crime Squad, now renamed The National Crime Agency.

‘The call went in (to the NCS employee) and within two days my contact came back with details of the troublesome neighbour’s previous convictions, his psychiatric report which indicated he had mental problems.

‘It indicated he had a history of harassing villagers.

‘Coulson was delighted and happily signed off the £500 for the information. He had his weapon!

‘The source was never discovered.

‘My source went on to join the Serious Organised Crime Agency, when it was formed in 2006.  At the time of the Coulson inquiry he was in the National Crime Squad which went on to become SOCA.’

The National Crime Squad (NCS),which re-ported directly to the Home Office, dealt with national and international organised crime between 1998 and 2006. Miskiw claims that the incident happened during the first year of Coulson’s editorship around 2003.

Miskiw and Coulson in Prison

Four years later, Coulson’s resigned from the News of the World after Royal Editor Clive Goodman was jailed for phone hacking along with Glenn Mulcaire. The former Bizarre editor was was quickly hired by David Cameron as his official spokesman after being vetted by the security services.

In January 2011, Coulson resigned from Number 10 after mounting media coverage over phone hacking triggered by the Guardian’s Nick Davies.Four months later, he was charged with corruption and phone hacking. In June 2014, Coulson was found guilty after an eight month long trial of conspiracy to intercept voicemails and sentenced one month later to 18-months in prison.

The jury were unable to reach a verdict over two counts of conspiring to cause misconduct in public office in relation to the alleged payment to a police officer for a royal phone directory. He was later cleared of separate perjury charges in relation to the Tommy Sheridan libel case in Scotland.

To celebrate his release from prison, Coulson was presented with a cake at party. The surprise inside was a vibrating phone.

Miskiw avoided trial by pleading guilty at an early stage to phone hacking and was jailed for six months. Ironically, they were sent to the same jail at Belmarsh in Thamesmead, South East London.

Miskiw was allocated a different cell because he is a smoker.

Coulson’s cell mate was Neville Thurlbeck, a former News of the World News Editor also jailed for phone hacking. Though Coulson and Miskiw spoke almost everyday whilst inside prison, they cannot communicate directly now until Coulson comes off licence.

To celebrate his release from prison, Coulson was presented with a cake at party.The surprise inside was a vibrating phone.

Sources say that Coulson is unlikely to be investigated by the police for claims that he helped pay off an NCA employee because of the controversy surrounding Operation Elveden.

Operation Elveden

Operation Elveden is the ongoing Metropolitan Police’s investigation into illegal pay-ments to public officials. The Metropolitan police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been criticised for losing cases against journalists.

Despite spending £13 million, of 34 journalists arrested/and or charged only two convictions stand against journalists. However, 27 public officials have been convicted. 

In the recent trial of  Sun journalists Chris Pharo and Jamie Pyatt the senior police officer formerly in charge of Operation Elveden confirmed that the Metropolitan Police had no interest in the Sun newspaper until News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee handed over hundreds of emails and invoices detailing payments to public officials.

The National Crime Squad was merged with HM Customs National Investigation Service and the National Criminal Intelligence Service on 1 April 2006 to become the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

#Andy Coulson, #Greg Miskiw, #News of the World, #NCS, #SOCA

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