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FORMER U.K. DEFENSE MINISTER CALLS FOR HACKERGATE PROBE

January 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Tom Watson

Former British Defense Minister Tom Watson has called for an independent outside investigation into charges that Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday tabloid News of the World settled invastion-of-privacy claims by celebrities and politicians “for sums in the order of 100 times greater than any likely award of damages by a court” in order to cover up the full extent of alleged telephone voicemail hacking by reporters working for the newspaper. Watson also suggested that Metropolitan Police may have contributed to the cover up. “On the face of it,” he said, it appears that certain officers in the MPS have not only failed properly to follow evidence, but have taken active measures to conceal it … The possibility that these officers are guilty of perverting the course of justice and/or misfeasance in public office and/or conspiracy now requires urgent investigation by an independent police force.” Watson’s comments came as Alastair Campbell, the onetime spokesman for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that he believes his phone was hacked shortly after he resigned in 2003, when he noticed a News of the World photographer waiting outside his house when a member of the British cabinet arrived for a meeting that had been set up via mobile phone calls and messages.