18 Jul 2011

NoW journalist worked as interpreter for Met

Exclusive: Channel 4 News has learned that a former senior journalist at the News of the World worked as a translator for the Met Police, whilst he was employed by the newspaper.

The Metropolitan Police force has confirmed to Channel 4 News that former News of the World journalist Alex Marunchak was on its list of interpreters.

He was one of a team which provided translation services for victims, witnesses and suspects of crime who do not speak English.

A spokesperson for the Met told Channel 4 News: “Since the records system became electronic in 1996 we know that he undertook work as an Ukrainian language interpreter on one occasion in 1997 and six in 1999 as well as two translation assignments, totalling around 27 hours of work.

“It is likely he undertook work prior to 1996 as well.

“Interpreters are vetted by the MPS and all sign the Official Secrets Act. They are employed on a freelance, self-employed basis. We recognise that this may cause concern and that some professions may be incompatible with the role of an interpreter.”

The Met says it is now investigating the matter. Ukrainian Alex Marunchak spent most of his career at NoW.