Friday, October 23, 2020

HACKERGATE SCANDAL ESCALATES; MURDOCH FLIES TO U.K.

January 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Stung by charges that it failed to fully investigate charges of widespread eavesdropping on the voicemail of celebrities and politicians by reporters for Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid News of the World, Scotland Yard announced today (Thursday) that it had launched a new investigation of the charges. Reports of the new investigation came as News International, which operates Murdoch’s London newspapers and its TV news service Sky News, said that it had handed over to police copies of email messages that it had discovered following the suspension last month of Ian Edmondson, the assistant editor of News of the World, whose name had turned up on documents prepared by a private detective who had previously been convicted of hacking voicemails for the tabloid. News International said today that it had fired Edmondson and has “handed over the material it has found [to police] and will give its full cooperation going forward.” The London Independent, citing an unnamed source, described the material as a dossier containing “highly damaging evidence.” Until today, News International had maintained that the voicemail hacking had been the work of the private detective and one “rogue” reporter working for the tabloid. “Well, that story has been completely blown out of the water,” Chris Bryant, a Labor MP who has demanded that police reopen the investigation, said today. Also today, the Guardian newspaper reported that lawyers for Kelly Hoppen, the stepmother of actress Sienna Miller, had uncovered evidence suggesting that NoW reporter Dan Evans had hacked into her voicemail. Miller is among those suing the tabloid. The London Financial Times said that Murdoch was in London and “is said to be enforcing a zero-tolerance attitude to those found to have transgressed.” In an editorial today the Guardian observed that the scandal, which has barely been reported in the U.S., “has the potential to dent Murdoch’s reputation in his most important territory. So far Rupert Murdoch has been kept remote from the unfolding saga. Now he has put himself at the center of it. Whether he can control it is an open question.”