New facts uncovered in UK hacking probe

The phone-hacking controversy seriously dented Murdoch`s media empire in Britain earlier this year.

London: Three separate investigations by
British Scotland Yard into the phone-hacking controversy have
revealed new facts as Rupert Murdoch`s News International
on Friday launched a compensation plan for victims of
phone-hacking at the defunct News of the World.

Scotland Yard said the number of identified phone-hacking
victims so far was 5,795, including many celebrities, with the
number likely to increase further as investigations continue
under Operation Weeting.

Under Operation Elvedon, which is investigating alleged
payments of nearly 130,000 pounds over several years from the
News of the World to police officers for information, one
48-year-old unnamed journalist employed with a News
International title was arrested today.

The media group, meanwhile, said it had launched the
compensation scheme as "a speedy, cost effective alternative
to litigation."

It urged anyone contacted by the police or who believed
they were a victim to consider applying for compensation under
the scheme.

The third Scotland Yard investigation, Operation Tuleta,
is investigating hacking into computers for information.

The phone-hacking controversy seriously dented Murdoch`s
media empire in Britain earlier this year, including leading
to his company`s withdrawal of the BSkyB takeover bid.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said it is not possible to
give a precise figure about the number of people whose phones
have actually been hacked "but we can confirm that as of
today`s date, 3 November 2011, the current number of
potentially identifiable persons who appear in the material,
and who may therefore be victims, where names are noted, is

"This figure is very likely to be revised in the future
as a result of further analysis," the spokesman said.

The Guardian daily`s original story in 2009 suggested
that between 2,000 and 3,000 individuals may have been victims
of phone hacking, but new figures lend credence to claims by
victims and their solicitors that the practice was on an
"industrial scale" at the tabloid.

Announcing the arrest, Scotland Yard said he was was
"arrested at outside London on suspicion of corruption
allegations in contravention of section 1 of the Prevention of
Corruption Act 1906, and is being brought to a south-west
London police station."

So far 16 people have been arrested and bailed on
allegations of phone hacking.

Glenn Mulcaire, who hacked the phone at the behest of
News of the World, kept meticulous records.

He was jailed in 2007 and is currently fighting over 40
legal cases brought by celebrities such as Hugh Grant and
Jemima Khan.


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