UK phone-hacking: Probe widens to The Times

Last Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 21:22

London: UK police has widened its probe into
the phone-hacking scandal to the most prestigious of Rupert
Murdoch`s UK papers, The Times, a top Labour MP said on Thursday.

The Times is facing allegations of email-hacking.

Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been at the forefront of a
campaign against unethical news-gathering practices at
Murdoch`s titles, said the police had confirmed to him that
The Times was also being investigated for allegations of
computer hacking.

Last week, another Murdoch title, The Sun, was also drawn
into the investigations when four former and current
journalists working for the tabloid were arrested under
Operation Elvedon, which is investigating the payment of money
to police officers by journalists, for information to be used
in sensational stories.

The latest development related to The Times comes after
the paper`s editor, James Harding, earlier told the Leveson
Inquiry that one of his reporters, Patrick Foster, was warned
for professional misconduct for gaining unauthorised access to
a private email.

In a letter to the inquiry, Harding said: "When the
reporter informed his managers that, in the course of his
investigation, he had on his own initiative sought
unauthorised access to an email account, he was told that if
he wanted to pursue the story he had to use legitimate means
to do so".

He added: "He did, identifying the person at the heart of
the story using his own sources and information publicly
available on the internet.

"On that basis we made the case in the High Court that
the newspaper should be allowed to publish in the public
interest. After the judge ruled that we could publish in the
public interest, we did."

A police spokesman said: "Officers from Operation Tuleta
are in contact with Mr Watson in relation to specific issues
he wishes to raise. We are not prepared to give a running
commentary on the Operation Tuleta investigation."

Yesterday, lawyers for Murdoch`s News International told
the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that an e-mail
referring to "a nightmare scenario" of legal repercussions
from widespread phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid
was deleted from James Murdoch`s computer less than two weeks
before the police opened investigations.


First Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 21:22
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