RUPERT MURDOCH'S The News of the World will not be charged for hacking into the phones of high profile people after a prosecutor said that there was not enough evidence.
The News of the Screws was treated to a dose of dirt flying in its direction when it was accused of hacking into the mobile phone accounts of a number of people, including some royals and an MP. That was corroborated by an ex-employee in an interview with the New York Times and was discussed at length - with some apparent evidence mentioned- in the Guardian newspaper.
So far there has been enough evidence dug up for the Grauniad to publish a list of hacked names, to put two members of the News of The World staff in prison, and to lead Coulson to retire as editor, but apparently not enough for the prosecutors to take things any further.
Having left our legal minds at home for the day we can only assume that any incriminating information about this scandal was simply mislaid during the many months of investigation.
Andy Coulson, who was editor of the tabloid at the time and now is communications chief at the Conservative Party, has always denied any knowledge of the hacks, despite a House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee producing a report that said that the rag had done so on an ‘industrial scale'. Not to mention the fact that he served as the editor at the time, a role that comes with obvious oversight responsibilities to be aware of activities.
Today the BBC reported that the director of public prosecutions has declined to press any charges against the newspaper, having found that "there was no admissible evidence to bring a case in relation to claims public figures' phones had been hacked". We repeat the fact that at least two members of the newspapers' editorial team have been banged into the slammer for their roles in hacking the mobile phone accounts belonging to the royals.
Keir Starmer, the Director of Publc Prosecutions, said that one witness who had started the whole investigation by mentioning the hacks in the first place refused to cooperate with the police, and in doing so, apparently started a 'no comment' trend amongst other witnesses.
"A number of other witnesses were interviewed and either refused to co-operate with the police investigation, provided short statements which did not advance matters, or denied any knowledge of wrongdoing", explained Starmer.
For his part Coulson admitted that mistakes were made, but added that his staff had avoided the 'dark arts' of journalism and "worked within the law and the Press Complaints Commission code". Whatever the hell that is.
Mr Starmer said that it was now the Police's responsibility to investigate the matter further, but the BBC reports that it has no intention to do so.
Mind you, doing so would be tricky now, since the policeman who led the investigation at Scotland Yard is now a columnist at Murdoch's News International publication, the Times. µ
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