First ‘News of the World’ Arrests Made; More to Come?

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on July 08 2011 12:05 PM
Rebekah Brooks
Rebekah Brooks Reuters

Neither Friday's arrest of Prime Minister David Cameron's former press aide Andy Coulson nor Rupert Murdoch's decision to close the paper for good will curb the calamity that is the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

The English press is saying that Cameron's connection to the paper will tarnish his reputation permanently, but if the Prime Minister delivers on a large-scale government investigation as promised, he could get off the hook. The more seriously he reacts to the scandal the better.

And the more arrests that are made in connection to News of the World, the better it is for Cameron and the people of England.

So far, six people have been arrested for their alleged involvement with News of the World's hacking practices. Police think that Coulson, who was a top Cameron aide until he resigned last week and was the tabloid's editor from 2003-2007, knew about the hacking, as well as police bribes that occurred under his charge.

London police have also said that they arrested a 53-year-old man for corruption charges related to News of the World, but they have not released the suspect's name.

A private investigator named Glenn Mulcaire is largely responsible for the actual phone-hacking itself. He was hired by News of the World, a subsidiary of Murdoch's News International, to track missing British teen Milly Dowler for the scandal sheet. Mulcaire, who already had a criminal record, has been apprehended by the police.

There will be a veritable News of the World reunion in the London slammer. Coulson's royal-editor Clive Goodman was incarcerated for listening to the voice mail messages of royal aides.

The arrests will hopefully not be the last. The NOTW newsroom had allegedly tapped thousands of phones over a number of years, including those of the families of those killed in a 2005 terrorist attack.

NOTW staff has already tried covering up some of the facts. British police fear that the tabloids editors and former editors have deleted millions of e-mails relating to cell phone-hacking. If the editors have so many incriminating messages to hide, it is more than likely that they were at least aware of the practice, if not promoting it.

Although he personally hired Coulson, Prime Minister Cameron is outraged by the hacking controversy.

[This] is not just about journalists on one newspaper, it's not even just about the press -- it's also about the police and about how politics works, and politicians too, Cameron stated.

This is a wake-up call, he said. It's on my watch that the music has stopped and I'm saying loud and clear that the relationship has to change in the future.

Infamous former-editor Rebekah Brooks, who now heads Murdoch's News International, has so far escaped any criminal allegations, although many in England are calling for her resignation. Brooks ran News of the World during the Dowler manhunt, but claims to have been unaware of the hacking at the time.

 

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