News Corp. Editor Says Dowler Phone Message Was ‘Obtained’

The former managing editor of News Corp.’s News of the World said that information he gave to police in 2002 about a murdered schoolgirl must have been “obtained” from her phone.

Stuart Kuttner told a London criminal court today that he phoned the police to help them with their inquiry by giving them information the paper had obtained from 13-year-old Milly Dowler’s voice mail. He denied that he knew that it had been hacked.

“You knew that it was a tape recording of a series of messages left on Amanda’s phone?” said Andrew Edis, the lead prosecutor. “How did you think that it had come by this?”

The discovery in 2011 that Dowler’s phone had been hacked sparked a nationwide scandal that led News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch to close the tabloid. Kuttner is one of seven people on trial over wrongdoing at the newspaper.

“I have no recollection,” Kuttner replied. “I would have known where the information came from.”

Kuttner contacted police following Dowler’s disappearance, promising “significant information” that included a voice mail from the teenager’s phone appearing to offer her a job, which turned out to be a wrong number.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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