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News Of The World Phone-Hacking Scandal May Spell Trouble For More Newspapers

Jessika Walsten |
January 22, 2011 | 3:01 p.m. PST

Deputy Editor

News of the World is at the center of a phone-hacking scandal, dating back to 2005.
News of the World is at the center of a phone-hacking scandal, dating back to 2005.
More allegations of phone hacking at Britain's newspapers surface a day after Andy Coulson resigns from his post as Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications.

Coulson was forced to resign Friday because of his involvement in a phone-hacking scandal when he worked at News of the World where he allegedly allowed reporters to illegally hack into phones, intercepting voicemails and hearing conversations.

Mark Lewis, a lawyer who represented Gordon Taylor from the Professional Footballers' Association in a 2008 case against News of the World, told the Observer that he is representing four people who think their phones were hacked by other newspapers.

Lews said that News Group papers, the company that owns News of the World and the Sun, are not implicated in the allegations from his four clients.

The Guardian reports:

Speculation about further law suits, and the prospect of fresh evidence in the form of emails and audio tapes stretching back over years, has heaped pressure on News Group over the past few weeks. It emerged earlier this month that News of the World executive Ian Edmondson had been suspended as a result of claims in a case brought by actress Sienna Miller.

Police subsequently wrote to the newspaper asking for any new evidence staff had on the case.

Allegations against News of The World date back to 2005 when Prince William began to fear his aides' voicemail messages were being hacked after News of the World published and article about the prince's knee injury. The allegations led to the 2007 jailing of News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and to Coulson's resignation from the paper.

The Guardian reported in 2009 that News of the World had been involved in the hacking of up to 3,000 phones. But the allegations came to nothing after Assistant Met Police Commissioner John Yates said there would be no further investigation.

Last year, the New York Times reignited the controversy when Sean Hoare, a former reporter at News of the World, told the Times that phone hacking was indeed widespread and that Coulson had told him to do it.

Prime Minister Cameron and the Metropolitan Police have taken heat for the scandal. Cameron's judgment has been called into question for his hiring of Coulson, and the police have been criticized for their handling of the case.

Coulson has repeatedly denied knowing anything about the phone hacking.



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