06/09/2011

Kate’s bank accounts hacked, says MP

Kate Middleton’s name has been drawn into the widening phone-hacking scandal in Britain.

A British member of Parliament is charging that the Duchess of Cambridge had her bank account hacked by a private detective who once worked for the News of the World tabloid.

Labour MP Tom Watson alleges to the Telegraph that Middleton's phone was hacked in 2005, when she was Prince William’s girlfriend.

Under the code name Operation Weeting -- the word is a variation of the Middle English 'wit' -- Scotland Yard has been investigating phone-hacking charges related to a number high-profile individuals, including former prime minister Tony Blair, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, Mick Jagger and the governor of the Bank of England.

At the centre of the inquiry is Jonathan Rees, who is accused of stealing confidential data and hacking computers.

Rees, a private investigator, worked as a freelancer for News of the World and the Mirror Group in the 1990s. In 1999, he was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiring to plant cocaine on a woman. Earlier this year, he was acquitted in the axe murder of a man in 1987.

After he was released from jail in 2004, Rees continued to work freelance for the News of the World, whose editor was Andy Coulson. Coulson later became an advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron but resigned in January 2011 as the phone-hacking investigation spread.

The Telegraph reports that the Duchess has been told by Scotland Yard that her account had been hacked.

Builder of Princess Diana totem poles charged with murder

A bizarre case of murder and infidelity is unfolding in Minnesota involving a man who created totem poles for London’s Princess Diana Memorial Garden.

Carl-Linda Muggli Seven months after his wife was tragically killed by being crushed under a 2,900-pound pole, Carl Muggli has been charged with murder. Police were tipped to his alleged involvement when they were told of intimate Facebook messages between him and another woman.

When Linda Muggli, 61, was killed on Nov. 26, her husband of 24 years told police it had been an accident. He said they had been working on a 17-foot totem pole when it fell out of its cradle and fell on her. She was still alive when authorities arrived but died later in hospital.

However, the police complaint says authorities were later told of correspondence between Muggli and an Alabama woman that was “very intimate in nature.”

“I love you with all my being. ... I want us together to live our lives as we seek,” Muggli wrote on Nov. 25, 2010, to the woman he called Eveningstar. “For I am with you. I am yours. We are one!"

A few days after his wife’s death, Muggli sent another message: "I love you Eveningstar, we'll get through this, I love you, house just got full again, will call soon."

Muggli allegedly sent the woman links to real estate companies in Texas, where he hoped to relocate with the woman.

In December, police visited Muggli’s studio in an attempt to re-create the story that he had told them regarding his wife’s death. According to the complaint, sheriff’s deputies tried to make a totem pole fall out of its cradle. All attempts failed.

Princessdianatotem Last month, the woman in Alabama told police that during a phone call with Muggli, she heard him arguing with his wife about getting a divorce.

According to the Star Tribune in Minnapolis, the Mugglis married in 1986 and lived in a log cabin about 32 kilometres south of International Falls. As Muggli’s website shows, the couple built an impressive list of clients, including Six Flags Theme Park and the children’s park in the Princess Diana Memorial Garden (right).

The couple had carved three totem poles for the Garden, which opened in 2000.

 

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