Phone Hacking Scandal: Complaint over Leveson Testimony, Reported Suicide Attempts by Sun Journos, Claims NOTW Hacked Priest

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(Credit: News Corp., screenshot)

 Could Leveson Testimony Conflict with Prosecutions?

As we wrote earlier this month, UK police official Sue Akers told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards that there was a “culture of illegal payments” at the UK Sun.

However, her remarks have triggered a complaint that they “could prejudice any future trials,” the UK Independent reported.

As the Independent explained, her comments “led to a complaint to the Attorney General’s office which he and his team of lawyers are obliged to investigate.”  The Independent noted that 11 “current or former employees of The Sun have been arrested on suspicion of bribing public officials.”

Leveson Inquiry & WikiLeaks

According to Tech Dirt, the UK Leveson Inquiry asked WikiLeaks for information on “corruption in the British press.”  WikiLeaks complied with this request and provided “over 100 pages,” according to its Twitter.

Suicide Attempts?

Reuters reported that three anonymous “sources close to” News International said that two UK Sun journalists “appeared to have tried to take their own lives.”

Reuters didn’t note when these alleged suicide attempts occurred, but noted that so far “eleven current and former staff of the Sun have been arrested recently after News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee turned over evidence to police.”

According to Reuters, “News International has increased the level of psychiatric help available to employees to help them cope.”

Accusations NOTW Hacked Priest

We’ve written previously about pop singer Charlotte Church’s lawsuit against and recent settlement with News Corp. over articles she said the News of the World got by hacking her phone.

But now, Church’s lawyer David Sherborne said that the UK police told Welsh Catholic priest Father Richard Reardon that his phone was hacked in relation to the newspaper’s Charlotte Church stories, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Father Reardon “had a close relationship with the Church family and exchanged voice-mails and text messages with them.”  His phone number was in former News of the World private investigator – and convicted phone hacker – Glenn Mulcaire’s notes,  Bloomberg Businessweek added.

 News Corp Paid Police Commissioner $ for Articles

Bloomberg reported that former UK police commissioner John Stevens told the UK Leveson Inquiry March 6 that News of the World paid him “as much as 7,000 pounds ($11,000)” to “write articles in 2006 and 2007.” Stevens was commissioner from 2000 to 2005, according to Bloomberg.

“Stevens said he was initially paid 5,000 pounds each for six or seven articles that ran in the News of the World. His contract was renewed for an additional nine articles for 7,000 pounds each the following year,” according to Bloomberg.  Stevens told the Leveson Inquiry he stopped writing for the newspaper in 2007 “shortly after royal reporter Clive Goodman was convicted of hacking into subjects’ phones, he said.”

He said he “wouldn’t have” written for the paper “knowing what I do now” and noted that he “terminiated the contract with five more articles to write,” according to Bloomberg.

News Corp & Russia?

The New York Times reported that News Corp.’s sale of “News Outdoor Russia, a Moscow-based billboard company, .to a Kremlin-controlled bank in July, is the subject of an F.B.I. inquiry into whether the company bribed local officials to approve favorable sign placements. According to the New York Times, News Corp. bought News Outdoor Russia in 2000.

The ‘F.B.I. inquiry” is to learn “whether bribery at News Corporation’s British publishing arm, News International, and at its Russian outdoor advertising subsidiary were isolated events or indicative of a broader corrupt corporate culture.”

An unnamed News Outdoor Russia spokesperson told News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal that it “is not possible” that its employees paid any bribes when News Corp. owned it.


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Phone Hacking Scandal: Complaint over Leveson Testimony, Reported Suicide Attempts by Sun Journos, Claims NOTW Hacked Priest

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