A former News of the World reporter who had substantial knowledge about the scandalous phone tapping which led to the tabloid's demise and the arrest of key editors was found dead in mysterious circumstances.
Sean Hoare had claimed in a New York Times article that News of the World's former editor Andy Coulson had knowledge of the phone hacking while he was at the helm of affairs at the paper.
Ever since the scandal became public it claimed the heads of high-profile executives and government officials, and has cast a shadow over Prime Minister David Cameron on account of his hiring of Coulson as his media chief.
High profile victims of the scandal included Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, assistant commissioner John Yates and Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the tabloid and the CEO of News International, Rupert Murdoch's media arm in the UK. Brooks was arrested last week while Murdoch and son James are due to testify before the British parliament today.
The death of Hoare, whose whereabouts had become a matter of speculation after the scandal hit high note, will complicate the case. He was found dead at his home in Watford, Hertfordshire. According to the police, the death unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious.
UK's Mirror quoted a neighbor as saying that the ex-journalist was paranoid, worried about being watched and feared that someone would come to get him.
Hoare had made damning revelations about the phone hacking culture at the newspaper last year. He had said hacking was endemic in the tabloid and that the editors knew about this practise. He had given much-discussed interviews to BBC and the New York Times.
He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, simply a lie, Hoare had told about Coulson's knowledge of phone tapping at the newspaper.
After announcing resignation on Sunday, Scotland Yard chief Sir Paul made a spiteful parting shot aimed at Prime Minister David Cameron. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge, been in any way associated with the original phone-hacking investigation, he said, suggesting that the PM's hiring of tainted Coulson was scandalous.
Sir Paul resigned after his position came under the shadow following revelation that he had accepted a 12,000-ppound luxury spa stay free of charge at the behest of former News of the World Deputy Editor Neil Wallis, who was arrested last Thursday in relation to the phone hacking scandal.