28 Jan 2011

Police probe phone hacking scandal at newspaper

9:11 am on 28 January 2011

Police in Britain have promised to conduct a thorough investigation into a growing scandal surrounding the News of the World newspaper.

The paper, owned by News Corporation, is accused of routinely hacking into the voicemail of celebrities, politicians and members of the Royal Family, even after two people were convicted of the same crime in 2007.

The BBC reports the police re-opened the case because many of those targeted by the hackers felt the initial investigation was not thorough enough.

On Wednesday the Met said it had received "significant new information".

Acting Commissioner Godwin told the Metropolitan Police Authority: "It will be very robust and it will be under scrutiny as it should be.

"It will restore confidence in victims who feel they have not been given a service. It will be with no stone unturned.

"We have some of the most skilled investigators in the country and you will be proud of what they do."

The BBC reports the inquiry will be led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers.

Scotland Yard's decision to reopen the investigation follows an internal inquiry at the News of the World that led to the sacking of the paper's head of news, Ian Edmondson, on Tuesday.

The BBC's business editor says News International has uncovered four e-mails showing that Mr Edmondson had full knowledge of illegal phone hacking. The details were passed to police.


Mr Edmondson was suspended from active duties last month after he was identified in court documents as having instructed private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to access phone messages.

Mulcaire was sentenced to prison for six months in January 2007 along with royal editor Clive Goodman, who was sentenced to four months, for hacking into the mobile phones of royal aides.

Last week Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman Andy Coulson resigned, saying the media storm surrounding ongoing hacking claims had distracted him from his work.

Mr Coulson edited the News of the World from 2003 - 2007 and resigned from that job following the convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire.