In the latest bizarre development in the News Corp sideshow, a Guardian journalist has been quizzed by police investigating information leaks about their investigation of phone hacking. Or something like that. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Guardian’s Amelia Hill was taken in for questioning by the police last week, but details of it only emerged on Wednesday. Police claim she published several stories for The Guardian about the police’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal which were based on leaks from a police officer assigned to the case. Guardian execs said the development was “a bleak day for journalism” and noted that “journalists would no doubt be concerned if the police sought to criminalise conversations between off-the-record sources and reporters”.
The reason why the Met is getting edgy about relationships between journalists and police officers is undoubtedly a result of the uncomfortably close relationships between police and the media exposed by the phone-hacking scandal. The police force has launched two internal inquiries to determine whether police officers should be prevented from speaking freely to the media.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday four former News of the World executives received a grilling from the same parliamentary committee that put the Murdochs under the spotlight in July. Former editor Colin Myler, former heads of legal affairs Tom Crone and Jon Chapman, and former head of resources Daniel Cloke were all in the hotseat. The most damaging revelation to emerge from the sitting were the testimonies of Myler and Crone that they had informed James Murdoch three years ago of an email proving that phone hacking was more widespread than merely the actions of one rogue reporter. This is in direct contradiction to Murdoch’s own testimony to the committee, and virtually guarantees his return to sit in front of the group again. He won’t be looking forward to that. DM
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