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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

800 had phones hacked in U.K. media scandal

Police now believe 803 people from a list of those interviewed by investigators in a media ethics scandal had their phones hacked by the News of the World tabloid.


The scandal that has outraged the public began several years ago as a trickle of allegations from celebrities and politicians who said they believed their cell phone messages had been intercepted. It exploded over the summer when news broke that the now-defunct paper owned by Rupert Murdoch had hacked into the phone of murdered British school girl Milly Dowler.


The scandal has led to the closure of the 168-year-old newspaper, the resignation of two top London police officers and several senior Murdoch executives, and the arrest of more than a dozen newspaper editors, including the former editor of the newspaper, who then had to resign from his post as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief.


The main source of information for the police investigation were the notes of a private investigator working for the News of the World.


In these notes, police had originally identified 5,800 potential phone hacking victims. From that figure, Scotland Yard says it spoke to 2,037 people. Investigators say they believe around 800 were actual victims.


"We are confident that we have personally contacted all the people who have been hacked or who are likely to have been hacked," Scotland Yard said Saturday.


As the scandal widened it also prompted multiple investigations and an official inquiry into media ethics, which has heard from the Dowler family and celebrities such as Hugh Grant about the effects of media intrusion on their lives.

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