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March 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Britain’s Metropolitan Police — better known as Scotland Yard — has asked an appeals court in London for permission to withhold evidence from celebrities and politicians who are suing the tabloid News of the World over alleged telephone hacking. The evidence is being sought by attorneys for British comedian Steve Coogan, football agent Sky Andrew, and TV sports commentator Andy Gray. However, according to today’s (Wednesday) London Independent, police have argued that releasing any evidence in their case risks “prejudicing” their new investigation. The new investigation began in January after Rupert Murdoch’s News International — the umbrella name for Murdoch’s TV and newspaper operations in the U.K. — turned over to police “significant new evidence” about alleged hacking by the tabloid and simultaneously suspended Ian Edmondson, the assistant editor for news. Scotland Yard has been accused of dragging its feet in the investigation in order to court favor with News of the World, which has frequently provided useful leads in cases the Yard has been investigating. On Tuesday, Jeremy Reed, the attorney for Andrew, called the Yard’s latest move “ludicrous” given the amount of publicity the case has already received in the U.K. “It is laughable to suggest that civil disclosure in these proceedings will prejudice the police investigation,” he told the Independent.