The former head of security for Rebekah Brooks has said he will blow the whistle on Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers, the day after it was confirmed she had been re-hired as chief executive of News UK.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Mark Hanna, who was acquitted last year along with Brooks and her husband, Charlie, of plotting to pervert the course of justice, claims he was “extremely close” and trusted by executives at News International and he now wanted to show how “underhanded” they had been.
Hanna was the director of security at the company, now known as News UK. Unlike Brooks, who received a payout of more than £16m after resigning from News Corp in 2011 and has been reinstated, Hanna was made redundant after the trial and received £30,000 from the company.
Hanna, who is unemployed and living on benefits, said the decision by Murdoch to reinstate Brooks four years after the phone-hacking allegations and the closure of News of the World had infuriated him and many others.
“To me, her previous director of group security, this is Murdoch’s middle finger being shoved right in my face after standing trial with her, and others, in what was classed as the trial of the century during which it was widely accepted that I should never have been involved.”
In June, Hanna said he fully expected to get his job back after the trial but was made redundant. Because of the “stigma” of being involved in the phone-hacking trial he found he could not get work.
“Even though I did nothing wrong, I’ve paid an enormous price. I’ve been told by leading industry figures that the risk to reputational damage is too great, that my standing in the security business is irreparable.”
He claims that during the trial at the Old Bailey he sat with Brooks, Andy Coulson, Ian Edmondson, Clive Goodman, Charlie Brooks, Cheryl Carter and Stuart Kuttner and witnessed what went on behind the scenes.
“I intend to tell you everything that I know which I am sure will shock everybody as well as revealing what it was like working in what was, or is certainly becoming, one of the most hated organisations in the UK, if not the world,” Hanna said in the video.
Hanna challenged his redundancy settlement at an employment tribunal in Croydon in June. “I feel betrayed,” he said in remarks after the tribunal hearing, adding that what has happened was “wrong, immoral and unjust”.
In his video, Hanna said he knew when he joined the company that “things were not right”. But despite repeated attempts to alert management to the problems, he was fobbed off, he claims.
“I aired my concerns to the relevant management but was always told to ignore things. This blasé attitude was never so relevant than today, with the reinstatement of Rebecca Brooks.
“In summary, I feel passionate about the journey I have had … and continue to endure at the hands of the Murdoch empire as well as their continual disregard for the general public’s right to know the truth.”
The Guardian placed calls to representatives of News UK’s parent company in New York but there was no one immediately available for comment.