Sep 102010
 
 September 10, 2010  Non-U.S., Workplace

If you’re following the Deutsche Telekom case in which the company is accused of illegally snooping on some of its own people, you may like this one…

The Daily Telegraph has disclosed that [Justice Minister Jonathan] Djanogly hired a firm of private detectives to conduct an undercover investigation into his aides and colleagues.

Derek Holley, former Conservative leader of Huntingdon council, said he was angry to learn that he was among those investigated

[…]

The firm hired by the minister previously came under scrutiny in court over links to potentially criminal activities to elicit private information.

The disclosure will lead to serious questions over Mr Djanogly’s judgment and ongoing tenure as a minister in the Justice Department. He was appointed by David Cameron in May.

The Information Commissioner, which is overseen by Mr Djanogly’s department, has raised concerns over the activities of firms similar to that employed by the minister.

The Daily Telegraph has seen a copy of the report compiled by Morris Chase International for Mr Djanogly. It discloses that it was “instructed” by Mr Djanogly, who was the shadow solicitor general at the time, to conduct “discreet inquiries under the pretext of writing a newspaper article”.

Read more in the Telegraph.

According to the web site Milton Keynes Citizen, the Minister defended his actions:

In a statement, Mr Djanogly said: “Following a series of malicious allegations made against me in newspapers last year, I felt I had to act to find out who was spreading these untrue stories. I instructed a firm of private investigators to try to find out the source of these stories because I was extremely upset that my private family life had been invaded. A report of their investigation was prepared and sent to me on a confidential basis and I am very disappointed to see the report released publicly without my consent.

“I would never have contemplated condoning anything unlawful or dishonest in the investigations, and the investigators have assured me that their inquiries were carried out in an entirely lawful manner. I am sorry if some people judge that I made a mistake. With hindsight I can see that I may have over-reacted, but I was being subjected to very malicious, anonymous attacks on my family. I paid for the cost of the investigation myself and did not claim it back on parliamentary expenses.”

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