New evidence reportedly shows top Murdoch exec approved U.K. phone-hacking

Blog ››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

According to a new Guardian report, "Lawyers have secured explosive new evidence linking one of the News of the World's most senior editorial executives to the hacking of voicemail messages from the phones of Sienna Miller, Jude Law and their friends and employees." Hacking targets also included members of the royal family and politicians.

The new evidence reportedly "explicitly contradicts the account of the News of the World" -- a News Corp. publication -- "and its former editor Andy Coulson, who is now chief media adviser to the prime minister [David Cameron]."

Just last week, British prosecutors had announced that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against Coulson.

News Corp. continues to makes headlines in the U.K., where regulators are currently reviewing Murdoch's bid to take full control of BSkyB, the largest pay-TV broadcaster there.

Here's more from the Guardian on the hacking scandal:

The document, which has been released to the Guardian by the high court, suggests that the hacking of the two actors was part of a wider scheme, hatched early in 2005, when Mulcaire agreed to use "electronic intelligence and eavesdropping" to supply the paper with daily transcripts of the messages of a list of named targets from the worlds of politics, royalty and entertainment

[...]

More than 20 journalists who worked for the NoW have told the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel 4's Dispatches that illegal activity assisted by private investigators was commonplace and well known to executives, including Coulson. Coulson has always denied this.

More than 20 public figures are now in the early stages of suing the News of the World and Mulcaire for breach of privacy. The former deputy prime minister John Prescott and others are seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard's handling of the case, which may lead to a new inquiry.

Tom Watson, a Labour member of the commons culture select committee, said: "This is very significant evidence. It is clear the net is closing in on one of the biggest media scandals in post war history."

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