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February 10, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The mounting Hackergate scandal in Britain took a new turn today (Thursday) when Scotland Yard, which has reopened the case, signaled that it is alerting thousands of celebrities and politicians that their voicemails were hacked by a private investigator working under the aegis of Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid News of the World. The Met, as London’s Metropolitan Police Force is also called, has also agreed to inform some of the targets that they were misled when they had called police to ask whether their phones had been hacked. Attorney Charlotte Harris who is representing several figures who are suing News International, which oversees Murdoch’s British newspapers and Sky News, his television news service, told the Guardian newspaper, “It is a breath-taking about-turn by the Met. The confession that individuals were misled is alarming. People have claims and the Met told them that they did not.” Also today, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, now Lord Prescott, who resigned amid a scandal involving his relationship with his diary secretary in 2006, said that he had been informed by Sue Akers, Scotland Yard’s deputy assistant commissioner who has taken over the investigation, that the Yard has evidence indicating that his phone had been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective used by the News of the World. “Since it was a criminal act committed, why didn’t the police take criminal action?” Prescott asked during a BBC television interview today. “There are a lot of questions now being asked as to why they didn’t do that and that is to do with the relationship, frankly, between Murdoch press and the Met police.” Prescott’s comments underscores those of others who have complained that police helped keep a lid on the scandal in order to remain on good terms with News of the World reporters, who frequently uncover information valuable to police investigators.