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Ex-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Reportedly Targeted By Murdoch Newspapers

Staff Reporters |
July 11, 2011 | 3:44 p.m. PDT

The scandal surrounding media mogul Rupert Murdoch has widened Monday after new reports surfaced that three of his newspaper repeatedly targeted former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Journalists from three Murdoch newspapers--the now defunct News of the World, The Sun and The Sunday Times--reportedly attempted to gain access to his voicemail, bank account and legal file, as well as his family's medical records.

According to Nick Davies and David Leigh of The Guardian:

Brown was targeted during a period of more than 10 years, both as chancellor of the exchequer and as prime minister. Some of the activity clearly was illegal. Other incidents breached his privacy but not the law. An investigation by the Guardian has found that:

• Scotland Yard has discovered references to Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World.

• Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account.

• London lawyers Allen & Overy were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times.

• Details from his infant son's medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child's serious illness.

The Guardian also reported that numerous British officials, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, had been targeted by the journalists, but that the "sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual."

"The family has been shocked by the level of criminality and the unethical means by which personal details have been obtained," a statement released from Brown's office said. "The matter is in police hands."

News International, the British newspaper division of Murdoch’s News Corporation, responded to the allegations in a statement, which said: "We note the allegations made today concerning the reporting of matters relating to Gordon Brown. So that we can investigate these matters further, we ask that all information concerning these allegations is provided to us."

The latest allegations come after the closure of News of the World on Sunday after other claims of illegal privacy breaches, including that reporters may have bribed police officers and illegally eavesdropped on phone messages.



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