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March 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Dominic Grieve

Britain’s attorney general, Dominic Grieve, who serves as the chief legal adviser to the government, is examining the damning testimony by the head of Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged telephone hacking and bribery by News International journalists after receiving “at least one complaint” that her remarks were potentially in contempt of court. Sue Akers, the deputy assistant commissioner who took over the investigation after it had lain dormant for years until it was revived in 2010 by the New York Times in the U.S. and the Guardian in the U.K., had told the Leveson inquiry into press ethics last month that the investigation had revealed a “culture of illegal payments” by Sun journalists to police and other public officials for “salacious” information. Today’s (Wednesday) Guardian reported that the attorney general is seeking to determine whether Akers’s remarks could prejudice the case against the 11 Sun reporters who have been arrested in connection with the police investigation. Meanwhile, published reports said today that two Sun journalists have recently attempted suicide, although it was not clear whether either was among those arrested. In addition, Neville Thurlbeck, a former senior reporter for the now-defunct News of the World who was arrested following charges that he received transcripts of intercepted voicemail messages, tweeted on Tuesday that “a very serious suicide attempt” was made by a NoW staffer before Christmas “thanks to the MSC” — a reference to the independent management standards committee set up within News Corp to investigate possible wrongdoing by staffers and turn over evidence to police. Reuters reported on Tuesday that there is a growing feeling among News International staffers that they are being betrayed by the company to which they had devoted their lives.