An un-named Trinity Mirror journalist was implicated in phone-hacking by evidence from Heather Mills to the Leveson Inquiry today.
Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan also faces new questions following evidencee from the former wife of Paul McCartney.
She revealed that she was called by a Trinity Mirror employee in February 2001, who revealed that he had listened to an apparently illegally accessed mobile phone voicemail message.
She told the Leveson Inquiry: ‘He said I’ve heard that you and Paul have had an argument. I’ve just heard a message of him singing on the phone to you asking for forgiveness.”
Mills said that it was one of 25 messages left by the former Beatle after the pair, who had then yet to get married, had an argument. She said that all the messages were appearing as ‘saved messages’which was unusual.
Mills said she told the reporter: ‘There is no way you could know that without listening to my messages.”
She said that the reporter laughed and she then threatened to take legal action if any story appeared based on this apparently illegally obtained information. No story appeared.
The journalist concerned was not named, so as not to prejudice ongoing criminal inquiries.
But counsel for the inquiry, Robert Jay, said the individual was an employee of Trinity Mirror group at the time – although not under the supervision of then Daily Mirror editor Morgan.
Morgan made reference to being played a phone message from McCartney to Mills in which he sang a song asking for forgiveness in a piece he wrote for the Daily Mail in 2006, the inquiry heard.
Asked whether she had ever authorised Morgan to listen to her voicemail, Mills said: ‘Never”. Asked whether she had ever authorised anyone to listen to recorded voicemail messages, she said: ‘Never.”
Mills revealed that she has been shown by police evidence of hacked PIN numbers and PUK phone numbers which indicate her phone was hacked over a period of five or six years.
Morgan himself was questioned by the Leveson Inquiry in December.
He was asked by Lord Justice Leveson: “Have you listened to recordings of what you knew to be illegally obtained voicemail messages?” to which he replied: “I don’t believe so, no.”
Asked about the incident in which he admitted being played the McCartney messagel, he said he could not reveal any details about of how he heard the tape, claiming it could potentially compromise his source.
“I’m not going to discuss where I heard it or who played it to me,” he said.
Asked if it was from a voicemail recording, he replied: “I believe it was, yes.”
Leveson said to Morgan: “The only person who would lawfully be able to listen to the message is the lady in question or somebody authorised on her behalf to listen to it. Isn’t that right?”
Morgan replied: “Possibly… Sorry, what do you expect me to say?”
He added: “All we know for a fact about Lady Heather Mills McCartney is that in their divorce case Paul McCartney stated as a fact that she had recorded their conversations and given them to the media.”
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