Computer Hacking: Former News Of The World Executive Alex Marunchak Linked To Mail On Sunday

News Of The World

Huffington Post UK   Huffington Post Reporter First Posted: 14/11/11 11:23 Updated: 14/11/11 11:23

A former senior executive at News of the World worked for the Mail on Sunday days before he was linked to computer hacking, it has emerged.

Alex Marunchak, who worked at the now defunct News International title between 1981 and 2006, was paid for a series of stories which were published in the MoS in January and February this year.

His last story - "My Chinese bosses sacked me for being British, says lawyer who is suing firm for racism"  - was published on 26 February.

Two weeks later, on 14 March, he was accused by BBC's Panorama of obtaining emails hacked into by a private detective.

According to the BBC, Marunchak - whose copy was also used by the Mail Online - was sent ex-British intelligence officer Ian Hurst's private emails in 2006.

During last Thursday's media and culture select committee hearing, MP Tom Watson revealed Hurst had himself been hacked by News of the World.

Marunchak, the News of the World's former Irish edition editor, has previously denied these allegations.

"It is absolutely untrue any unlawfully obtained material was ever received by me at the News of the World's offices in Dublin," he told the BBC in March.

This week James Murdoch told the select committee that he was unaware of computer hacking taking place at News of the World.

Neither the Mail Online or the Mail on Sunday would comment on the payment of Marunchak.

But it is understood that he filed stories in the same way as other freelancers and was not commissioned to do work.

"He would have been paid the normal freelance rate and he only filed a handful of stories. This was all before the computer hacking claims were made and he wouldn't be used now," a source told The Huffington Post UK.

Marunchak's location is currently unknown and he was not answering calls to his UK mobile phone.

In July it emerged Marunchak had also moonlighted as an interpreter for the Metropolitan Police between 1980 and 2000 translating for Ukrainian suspects.

At the weekend it was revealed every single member of the parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking was followed for three days by private investigators and staff at News of the World as recently as February.

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