The Independent has managed to examine documents seized as a result of Operation Motorman in 2003 and learned from the chief investigators of this case that his team was not permitted to interview journalists who hired private detectives.
Over 17,000 searches were performed by private detectives, many of them violating data protection laws.
The British tabloid press hired private detectives to investigate the Duchess of Cambridge while she was a student in Scotland, as well as Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former U.S. president and other celebrities.
According to the newspaper, the same private detective agency was hired to spy on Kate’s sister Pippa when she was a teenager, and to gather information about the bachelor party and bachelorette party that preceded Prince Edward’s marriage to the Countess of Wessex.
In addition, one of the ‘subjects’ of the private detectives was author JK Rowling, creator of the series Harry Potter, who was followed by Steve Whittamore in the summer of 2000. He was paid £ 655 for unspecified services.
In a signed statement given to The Independent, the former police detective inspector who led Operation Motorman accused British authorities of committing serious crimes.
“We weren’t allowed to talk to journalists,” the investigator said. “It was fear – they were frightened.”