News of World in Derry man hacking claim

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A former Derry Journal Managing Director has been warned by police that his computer may have been hacked by the News of the World.

Greg Harkin’s solicitor was contacted by the Metropolitan Police this week to alert him to the alleged hacking, which may have happened in 2004 after he wrote a book on IRA informer code named ‘Stakeknife’.

The Derry-born journalist said he was told that the alleged hacking related to e-mail contact between himself and a former colleague. Mr Harkin said that his colleague met police in London last week to discuss the allegations. “They were able to show him copies of these e-mails and was told they were then sent to the News of the World offices in Dublin.”

Mr Harkin said if the allegations were true, he would feel “cheated”.

“I worked hard over many years on various investigations relating to the Troubles and your hard work can be stolen in a millisecond by somebody putting a virus on your computer. Looking back now through old newspaper cuttings it makes me think about how other papers got the information. At the time we just assumed that when the material appeared in other newspapers that perhaps the stuff was being passed on by other sources. But in hindsight now, I am thinking maybe that was actually taken from an e-mail. My solicitor is now looking at telephones I had at that time, what numbers I had. Police have taken those details and and they are going to cross-check that with whatever details they have.”

In a dramatic twist yesterday, the News of the World is to shut with its last edition to be published this Sunday.