On Tuesday the publication of a letter by NOTW’s former royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, left very little doubt that the practice of phone-hacking was known and accepted at the tabloid. Desborough’s arrest follows on this revelation, and is the 13th arrest so far in what the police are calling “Operation Weeting”.
Inevitably, his detention adds fuel to the speculation over whether NOTW was hacking phones on American soil as well as in Britain. In particular, the FBI is investigating whether NOTW hacked the phones of victims of 9/11 or their families.
The police haven’t given any further details as to why Desborough has been taken in, but it seems unlikely he would have been involved in any schemes to do with 9/11, as his beat was predominantly entertainment. In this area he continued NOTW’s run of suspiciously exclusive scoops. For instance, he broke the news that UK TV star Fern Britton’s TV weight-loss was the result of a gastric band operation rather than simply dieting, as she had claimed. As a result of this kind of success, he was awarded the title of Showbiz Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.
All of the previous 12 people arrested in the investigation have been released, but there is little doubt that the net is tightening around the tabloid. There must be a fraught atmosphere in the Murdoch household these days. DM
Photo: A man reads a copy of the final edition of the News of the World in a newsagent in London, July 10, 2011. REUTERS/Luke Macgregor
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.
So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.
The originator of the Big Bang Theory was a Catholic priest.