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NoTW hired ex-UK policeman to spy on hundreds of celebrities, politicians

November 9, 2011 - London

The defunct British tabloid News of The World hired an ex-policeman to carry out surveillance on more than 100 targets.

The investigator, who has been named by the BBC as Derek Webb, was paid by the media firm to follow Prince William, Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, former attorney general Lord Goldsmith and football manager Jose Mourinho.

Other celebrities targeted included football pundit Gary Lineker, relatives of stars, such as the parents of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, the report said.

The revelations comes a day after it was reveled Webb carried out surveillance on two prominent lawyers Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris.

Lewis represented the family of Milly Dowler, whose mobile phone was hacked by the paper when she went missing in 2002.

Harris is a high-profile media lawyer, acting for several people who have complained of their phones being hacked, including football agent Sky Andrew

Webb, a former police officer who worked for many years in covert surveillance and received additional training from MI5, has said he was contacted by the NoTW in 2003 and continued to work for the newspaper until it was shut down in July in the wake of phone hacking scandal.

He said he felt the paper should have given him "loyalty money" for his eight years of service when it closed, as it had done for other freelancers, but it refused.

The private detective revealed that 90 percent of his targets were celebrities or politicians, including Boris Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Simon Cowell, Sir Paul McCartney, Charles Kennedy, David Miliband, Elle Macpherson and Heather Mills.

Webb also defended his work for the newspaper, pointing out that what he had done was legal.

"I don't feel ashamed. I know to a certain extent people's lives have been ruined with front page stories but, if I wasn't doing it, somebody else would have been," he said.


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