The Sun says today that a private eye accused by Panorama of illegal news gathering for the News of the World has claimed he also worked for the BBC programme.
Jonathan Rees was said by last night's BBC1 programme to have introduced a NoW executive to a computer hacker who then obtained sensitive emails from an Army intelligence officer.
But the Sun quotes Rees saying of the BBC: "I think the old adage pot, kettle, black is at play here." His lawyer said: "Mr Rees has worked as an inquiry agent for Panorama."
It is claimed by the Sun, part of the same News International group as the News of the World, that Rees worked for Panorama on at least two programmes in the early 1990s.
The BBC told the Sun said it was "not aware" Rees worked for Panorama, but said the programme had used private eyes.
The BBC has issued a statement: "Jonathan Rees claims to have worked on a Panorama film in the early 1990s but does not claim to have deployed then the sort of illegal practices exposed by last night’s programme.
"The BBC has searched archives dating back 25 years and can find no record of the programme he describes ever being broadcast. We have not been presented with any evidence by Mr Rees to back his claim and have also been unable to find any record of payments to Mr Rees or his company."
- The Sun's story is similar to one in today's Times, also a News International title, which is tagged "Exclusive: 'BBC hired accused detective'." The Times' story is behind a paywall.
- See also, The Observer: 'Why we used a private investigator.'