Scotland Yard Launches, Ends Probe of News Corp. Hacking

Unsourced report broke no new ground: cops

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2009 2:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Scotland Yard, smarting from a report that it failed to inform victims of a British tabloid's rampant phone hacking, today opened and quickly closed an investigation into the potentially explosive matter, reports the New York Times. Cops reportedly had evidence of thousands of incidences of illegal activity by private investigators working for at least 31 journalists from News Corp.'s News of the World and Sun—but prosecutors brought no charges, and a Guardian exposé contained nothing new, investigators said.

Meanwhile, a British parliamentary committee has announced its own "urgent" investigation of several media figures, including Les Hinton, the former chairman of News Corp's UK subsidiary and current CEO of Dow Jones. In 2007, when the News of the World's royal editor was jailed for obtaining information illegally, Hinton told MPs: "I believe that he was the only person who knew what was going on."

Rupert Murdoch, right, stands with Les Hinton after attending a service at St Bride's Church on Fleet Street, London in 2005.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)
Rupert Murdoch gestures while speaking during a media conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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For such a criminal act not to be reported to me, and for action not to be taken against the people who have done it, reflects very badly on the police, and I want to know their answer. - John Prescott, former British deputy PM, whose phone was reportedly hacked

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