CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

More British papers dragged into hacking row

07-25-2011 08:41 BJT

LONDON - Phone-hacking allegations spread beyond the fallen News of the World to other British tabloids on Saturday, though the claims were strongly denounced by their proprietors.

Former journalists at the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror - the main tabloid competitors to Rupert Murdoch's British stable - reportedly said the illegal hacking of voicemails was widespread at their papers too.

The scandal has also rocked the British police and even given Prime Minister David Cameron a rough ride, but has so far largely been limited to the News of the World, which Murdoch shut on July 7 amid public outrage.

James Hipwell, a former Daily Mirror financial journalist jailed in 2005 for buying shares before tipping them in the paper, said he was aware of hacking because he worked next to the showbusiness desk where it was rife.

"You know what people around you are doing," the 45-year-old told The Independent newspaper.

"They would call a celebrity with one phone and when it was answered they would then hang up. By that stage the other phone would be into their (the celebrity's) voicemail and they would key in the code."

"There was a great hilarity about it."

Hipwell worked at the Mirror for two years until 2000 when it was under the editorship of Piers Morgan, himself a former News of the World editor. Hipwell was sacked by the Mirror over the so-called "City Slickers" scandal.

Morgan, who is now a presenter for US television news network CNN, has denied having any knowledge that phone hacking went on under his editorship and came out fighting on Saturday.

He made a fresh demand for an apology from Louise Mensch, a British lawmaker on a parliamentary committee which quizzed Rupert and James Murdoch on Tuesday, who claimed during the hearing that Morgan had admitted to phone hacking.

"Now then Louise Mensch - will you be making (a) public apology for your lies in parliament about me, or do I have to write to (committee chairman) John Whittingdale?" Morgan said on Twitter.

"You could just have the guts to accuse me of phone hacking outside of parliamentary privilege, and see how you get on."

Separately the BBC quoted an unidentified former Sunday Mirror journalist who worked on the paper in the past decade and claimed to have witnessed routine phone hacking in the newsroom.

Trinity Mirror, the group which publishes both papers, said its journalists work within the law and the code of conduct of Britain's self-regulatory Press Complaints Commission.

It said Hipwell's allegations were "totally unsubstantiated".

On Thursday it emerged that police had requested files from a British data protection regulator which published a report showing the non-Murdoch Daily Mail, the Mirror and the Trinity Mirror-published The People were the biggest users of private investigators to seek confidential information.

Meanwhile police are to investigate claims of phone hacking in Scotland, which has its own legal system, and whether witnesses lied during a perjury trial last year.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson - who went on to become Cameron's media chief before resigning and being arrested this year - was among those who gave evidence.

On Saturday, The Daily Telegraph newspaper said that George Osborne, Britain's finance minister, dined with Rupert Murdoch in New York in December, two weeks before Britain's media regulator was originally due to decide on whether to approve Murdoch's bid for full control of pay-TV giant BSkyB.

Murdoch's US-based News Corp was forced to abandon a bid for full control of the lucrative pay-TV satellite broadcaster earlier this month because of the scandal.

The Treasury refused to discuss who attended, but insisted that BSkyB was not discussed.

The Daily Telegraph also said that Lord Brian Leveson, the judge in charge of the phone-hacking inquiry, went to two parties in the last year at the home of Matthew Freud, a public relations executive married to Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: China Daily

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program