The admirable Nick Davies, who has been at the forefront of uncovering this story, reveals:
the newspaper employed a freelance private investigator even though he had been accused of corrupting police officers and had just been released from a seven-year prison sentence for blackmail.
The private eye was well known to the News of the World, having worked for the paper for several years before he was jailed, when Coulson was deputy editor. He was rehired when he was freed.
And, he adds, this means we now know of four 'private investigators' who worked for the News of the World who:
have since received or had criminal convictions. All four are known to have used illegal methods to gather information.
As for the News of the World's 'collective amnesia' - as it was described in the MPs' report yesterday - the Guardian has gone through Coulson's testimony to the Select Committee and found that he didn't know or couldn't remember much about anything.
'Nothing to do with me guv, I was only the Editor'.