Wednesday, December 21, 2011


News International IT contractor questioned over deleted emails

Keith Vaz orders Indian-based firm to reveal knowledge of emails that may reveal scale of phone hacking

reddit this

Patrick Wintour
The Guardian, Thursday 28 July 2011
Article history

Keith Vaz
Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, has written to Indian-based IT firm HCL Technologies. Photograph: PA

One of News International's main technology contractors has been ordered by the home affairs select committee to answer questions by tomorrow about its knowledge of the deletion of emails seen as vital to discovering the scale of phone hacking at the newspaper company.

The letter has been sent to HCL Technologies, based in India, by Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, after what was regarded by some committee members as narrow, to the point of partial, answers by the firm to a previous inquiry by the committee.

There have been allegations, denied by the company, that it has knowledge of the destruction of emails vital to the inquiry into phone hacking .

The exchanges about deletion of emails is a test case of whether News International is now encouraging co-operation with the authorities, including the police and parliament, or whether elements are trying to conceal an earlier cover-up that may have occured at the newspaper group.

Vaz yesterday sent a fresh letter to the Indian firm after initial correspondence prompted the company to insist it had deleted no stored emails. HCL has confirmed to the committee it still has a five year contract with News International signed in 2009.

Labour MP Tom Watson had previously claimed there had been an attempt to destroy News International data at the HCL storage facility in Chennai, India.

However, HCL Technologies said: "We categorically confirm that HCL Technologies does not and has not stored any data either in the UK or anywhere else in the world."

HCL Technologies chief executive Vineet Nayar said at press conference in India: "We have not stored any email data in India or anywhere else in the world. That responsibility is with some other vendor that News International has a contract with."

Vaz has written a fresh letter to HCL asking:

• When the police first contacted HCL Technologies regarding News International?

• Whether HCL Technologies holds or has held any other types of information for News International?

• Whether News International has ever asked HCL Technologies to instruct them on how to delete any kind of information?

• If this was the case, when did this occur?"

It is likely the committee will also be asking HCL whether it knows the identity of the other vendor to which the HCL chief executive referred.


Post a Comment