Fri, July 15, 2011
World > Europe > News Corp. in hacking scandal

British PM announces inquiry into phone hacking scandal

2011-07-08 14:43:55 GMT2011-07-08 22:43:55(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, during a press conference at 10 Downing Street, London, Friday, July 8, 2011. (Reuters Photo)

LONDON, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A public inquiry into the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World, a best selling Sunday newspaper to be closed after this Sunday, would be staged, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday.

Cameron said a judge would be appointed to run an independent inquiry into how the scandal was allowed to happen, looking at the ethics and culture of the press in the meantime.

"Of course the bulk of this inquiry can only happen when the police investigation has finished," he added. "that is what the law requires."

James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp's deputy chief operating officer, announced on Thursday the 168-year-old News of the World, the first Fleet Street title acquired by Pupert Murdoch in 1969, would print its last issue this sunday.

Cameron admitted politicians were to blame for "turning a blind eye" to bad practices in journalism, but emphasizing "as a party leader you are bound to want a relationship with the media because you want to get your message over."

Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World and former Downing Street communications chief, was arrested on Friday morning in connection with the phone hacking scandal, the sixth since the disclosure of the hacking scandal.

"The Metropolitan Police Service has this morning arrested a member of the public in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking," said Scotland Yard in a statement. "The man, aged 43, was arrrested by appointment at a south London police station. He is currently in custody."

It was disclosed News of the World journalists intercepted and deleted the voicemail messages of the missing girl Milly Dowler in March 2002, interfereing with police inquiries into her disappearance.

The police estimated that around 4,000 people, including celebrities, servicemen and servicewomen and even the families of the victims of 7/7 London bomb terrorist attack, became the targets of the paper's hacking.

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