MILLY VOICEMAILS 'NOT DELETED BY HACKERS' COPS' SHOCK CLAIM AT PRESS PROBE.
THE News of the World did NOT delete voicemails on tragic Milly Dowler's phone, police confirmed yesterday.
They said they were "most likely" deleted automatically and there was no evidence other journalists could have done it.
The revelation caused Lord Justice Leveson, who is holding a multi-million-pound inquiry into the press, to ask how "to get to the bottom" of what had happened.
The Guardian had accused the newspaper of wiping the messages during the first three days of the hunt for the missing schoolgirl.
The damning allegation, made in July, led to the closure of the News of the World, the loss of more than 200 jobs and a payout of pounds 3million by news chiefs. It also led PM David Cameron to call for the Leveson inquiry.
Milly's mother Sally first discovered messages had been deleted when she rang her daughter's phone at 7pm on March 24, 2002.
ACCUSED Giving evidence to the inquiry last month, Sally told how she was given false hope when she was suddenly able to leave a voicemail after getting recorded messages saying the inbox was full.
It emerged that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire - who was accused of deleting the messages - was not instructed to access her voicemails until after that date. In a statement to the Leveson inquiry, Neil Garnham QC said: "It is unlikely that anything Mr Mulcaire did is responsible for anything Mrs Dowler heard when she called Milly's phone."
He added that it was "conceivable other News International journalists deleted the voicemail" but police had no evidence to support that.
David Sherborne, counsel for the victims of hacking including the Dowlers, questioned the Met's statement, saying Surrey Police had the name of one journalist who had Milly's mobile number and pin.
He said there was evidence someone continued to access and delete voicemails over a number of days leading up to the "false hope" moment. The inquiry continues.
FALSE JHOPE Sally Dowler, Lord Leveson and, far right, Milly
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Dec 13, 2011|
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