Phone hacking scandal returns to haunt press regulation debate

Phone hacking scandal returns to haunt press regulation debate

By staff writers
17 Mar 2013

While the the attention of the media and the political world is on political manoeuvring over press self-regulation, sensational new twists in the story that got the whole controversy started are being overshadowed, says campaign group Hacked Off.

Phone hacking is back, with a vengeance, the group declared over the weekend.

"Once upon a time there was supposedly a single rogue reporter at the News of the World. Then the alleged Glenn Mulcaire conspiracy at the same paper was revealed, with its 1,000 or more victims and dozens of arrests. Now the police are investigating not one but two more alleged conspiracies, and by the looks of it they are big," an article on the campaign's website declared.

One of the new investigations concerns the features desk of the News of the World (as opposed to the newsdesk, which had previously been implicated).

According to the Guardian newspaper, this new operation may lead to ‘some hundreds of new legal actions’ against Rupert Murdoch’s News International. That is equivalent in scale to the litigation associated with the Mulcaire investigation.

The other new police operation involves alleged mobile phone hacking at papers in the Mirror group, and it has so far led to the arrests of two former editors, one serving editor, a deputy editor and a former deputy editor.

More information about these new alleged conspiracies is likely to emerge tomorrow morning (18 March 2013) in a hearing before Mr Justice Geoffrey Vos, the High Court judge who has presided over civil cases in relation to hacking for three years.

And on Monday evening MPs and peers will vote on whether to implement Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations on press co-regulation, with the three main Westminster parties still looking to do a deal after a split last week.

* Hacked Off: http://hackinginquiry.org/

* More on Leveson from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/leveson

[Ekk/3]

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