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March 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Amid growing accusations that Britain’s Scotland Yard deliberately refrained from investigating evidence that reporters at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World were hacking into the voicemails of British politicians and celebrities, the assistant commissioner of the Yard has agreed to appear before a committee of Parliament next week to answer questions about his handling of the scandal. In an appearance before a Parliamentary committee last September, the commissioner, John Yates, said that police essentially had their hands tied by advice from the Crown Prosecution Service — equivalent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office — that it could secure convictions only if police were able to produce evidence that the voicemails had been hacked before they had been listened to by their intended recipient. However, in an extraordinary letter to Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Monday, Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions, reproached Yates for taking one sentence from his letter to him out of context. “My position is clear: a robust attitude needs to be taken to any unauthorized interception,” Starmer wrote. Critics contend that police turned a blind eye to the alleged hacking in order to court favor with News of the World reporters. Earlier in the week, a BBC exposé used hidden cameras to capture an alleged hacker telling his target, a former British intelligence officer that he had intercepted his email on behalf of a News of the World editor by using so-called Trojan Horse software. “It weren’t that hard,” the hacker says in the footage. “I sent you an email that you opened, and that was it.”