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`Hacking whistleblower`s death not shocking`

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 12:01

London: The death of Sean Hoare, a former News of the World journalist and whistleblower on the escalating phone-hacking scandal, was "not suspicious" and involved no third party, police said a post-mortem showed Tuesday.

The post-mortem carried out on 47-year-old Hoare, who
was found dead at his home on Monday, revealed there was "no
evidence" that anyone else was involved in the death.

A toxicology report is expected within weeks.

Hoare`s body was discovered at his home in Watford, a
suburb north of the British capital, less than a year after he
became the first named journalist to allege that one-time
editor Andy Coulson knew about hacking at the tabloid.

Hoare was reportedly battling drink and drug
addiction from his years as a high-rolling show business
reporter searching for scoops on the London party circuit.

He first alleged in interviews with The New York
Times and the BBC last year that Coulson, who edited the News
of the World from 2003 to 2007 and went on to become Prime
Minister David Cameron`s communications chief, knew about
voicemail hacking.

"It was endemic. It happened," Hoare said of
phone-hacking, in an interview with the BBC in March.

"People were scared. If you`ve got to get a story, you`ve got to get it, and you have to get that by whatever means. That is the culture at News International," he said.

News International is the British newspaper
publishing arm of Rupert Murdoch`s News Corporation global
media empire, which owned the News of the World but shut it
down earlier this month.

Hoare`s claims were passed to Scotland Yard last
year but they said he declined to give evidence. Coulson has
since been arrested and bailed over allegations of phone-hacking and bribing police.

Just a week ago, Hoare made new allegations in The
New York Times about journalists making payments to the
police, and about the use of "pinging", the illegal use of
mobile phone signals to locate people.

Hoare`s drink and drug problems led to his dismissal from the News of the World in 2005, British media
reported.

"The man`s next of kin have been informed and the
family are being supported by police at this sad time," a
police statement said.

Britain`s Daily Mirror newspaper quoted an unnamed
friend as saying Hoare "thought that someone was going to come
and get him, but I didn`t know whether to believe half the
stuff he was saying."

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 12:01
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