When the former News of the World reporter Sean Hoare was found dead Monday at his home in Watford, north of London, the immediate response of the Hertfordshire police was to issue a public statement declaring his death to be “unexplained but not thought to be suspicious.”
The statement is at the very least extraordinary, and at worst sinister in its implications. Hoare is the man who broke silence on the corrupt practices at the News of the World and, most specifically, alleged that former editor Andy Coulson, who later became Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communications, was fully aware of phone hacking that took place on an “industrial scale.”
Under these circumstances, before either a post-mortem or any investigation had been mounted, how could such a claim be made by the police?
The death of Hoare means that his testimony will never be heard by any such inquiry or, more importantly, by any criminal investigation that may arise.