London: New revelations by the police on Monday
pointed to a "culture of illegal payments" at media baron
Rupert Murdoch`s Sun tabloid for information to be used in
Appearing before the Leveson Inquiry into the
culture, practices and ethics of the British press, Sue Akers,
deputy assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard, said there was
"a culture at The Sun of illegal payments".
Akers, who is heading three police inquiries related to
the phone-hacking controversy, said the payments had been made
not only to corrupt police officials for information but also
to officials holding office in various departments.
In a day that saw more out-of court settlements with
Murdoch`s company, Akers said payments had been made to a
"network of corrupted officials", who were not in contact with
each other, but whom journalists contacted for information.
Akers added that the vast majority of the payments
to public officials led to "salacious gossip" and breaches of
trust and privacy rather than stories in the public interest.
She said the police hoped to arrest the concerned
public officials in future.
She said one public official received more than 80,000
pounds over several years, while one journalist received more
than 150,000 pounds in cash to pay sources, a number of whom
were public officials.
There was also the "trade craft" involving hiding
payment to sources by making them to a friend or relative of
It was authorised at "very senior level" within the
newspaper, she added.