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Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 08:20 UK

'Ring of truth' about Goodman letter


A letter sent to News of the World executives in 2007 by Clive Goodman, the former royal editor who was jailed for phone hacking, has been released to the public and suggests that hacking was "widely discussed" at the paper.

In the letter, Mr Goodman he suggests he was promised his job back, if he kept quiet about what he knew about phone hacking at the paper.

The media commentator Steve Hewlett, presenter of Radio 4's Media Show, told Today presenter James Naughtie that the letter presents more questions for the paper's proprietors, Rupert and James Murdoch.

"The really toxic bit of this is his assertion that there was a deal in place. That he [Clive Goodman] was offered a deal where he kept his trap shut, they keep the job open for him.

"If you were to sum this up, I think you could now say with some certainty that -- long as it's been suspected -- there has been a cover-up. The question is, and this is really still not known, by whom? My suspicion is, that the Murdochs think there's been a cover-up, but not by them."

And he added: "The letter has the ring of truth about it... but you couldn't pick a worse witness than Clive Goodman."

In a statement, News International, which owns the now-defunct News of the World, said: "We recognise the seriousness of materials disclosed to the police and parliament and are committed to working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities."

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