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July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The head of News International, the umbrella group for News Corp’s news operations in the U.K., has vigorously denied that she was aware that a private detective being paid by the News of the World tabloid had hacked into the voicemail of a murdered girl. Rebekah Brooks, who was the editor of the weekly at the time, said in a message to staff that it was “inconceivable that I knew, or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.” Brooks spoke out after the parents of Milly Dowler, who was 13 at the time of her death in 2002, said that police had informed them that evidence collected in the scandal had revealed that private detective Glen Mulcaire, who was working for the tabloid at the time, had hacked into the girl’s cellphone after she went missing. As her voicemail box became overloaded, he allegedly deleted messages to make room for new ones. Dowler’s parents said on Monday that they had been given “false hope” that their daughter was still alive when they learned that her messages were being deleted. The latest development would appear to encourage Scotland Yard to follow the chain of command at News International — and perhaps its parent, News Corp — to discover which senior editors and executives knew what and when. While Brooks promised a full internal investigation, the head of Britain’s Press Complaints Commission accused News of the World editors of lying during its own inquiry into the scandal. PCC Chairman Baroness Buscombe said in a BBC interview, “I am the regulator, but there is only so much we can do when people are lying to us. We know now that I was not, being given the truth by the News of the World.” Asked about the latest developments, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he found them “quite, quite shocking” but indicated that they would play no part in the government’s decision on whether to permit News Corp to acquire all of the shares of satellite operator BSkyB, something that now appears to be a foregone result.