- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
UK phone hacking scandal damages police reputation
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - The focus of the British phone hacking scandal that led to the shutdown of the News of the World tabloid has shifted to serious allegations of police corruption, with authorities calling Thursday for an independent review of reported payoffs by journalists to police.
The review announced by the Independent Press Complaints Commission reflects the seriousness of the corruption charges, which are apparently based on information provided by the Sunday newspaper to police in recent days.
The information deals with journalists making secret payments to police in exchange for information and tips, a practice that is illegal in England.
Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson said Thursday he is “determined” to see any officers who took illegal payments face criminal prosecution.
“I am more than ashamed _ I am determined to see them in a criminal court,” Stephenson said.
The involvement of the independent commission means police will have impartial outside help in determining whether its officers should face corruption charges because of the new information about possible payoffs from tabloid operatives.
Deborah Glass, deputy commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said she will personally supervise the investigation into the possible News of the World payoffs. She said she wants to assure the public that the police have done everything possible to identify offenders.
Many have long assumed that some police receive payment from British journalists. The practice was admitted in 2003 by Rebekah Brooks, then the editor of The Sun _ another Rupert Murdoch tabloid _ and now chief or Murdoch’s U.K. newspaper operations, in testimony before Parliament. But details about suspected corruption are starting to emerge because of the increased focus on shoddy journalistic practices at Britain’s highly competitive tabloids.
Brian Paddick, formerly a senior police commander, told the BBC that journalists make clandestine cash payoffs to police in envelopes, which are handed over at a drive-thru fast food restaurant near the News International headquarters.
Sometimes the reporters get information about celebrities in trouble _ he cited a car crash involving singer George Michael, who was using marijuana and alcohol at the time _ and sometimes it deals with ongoing investigations.
He said there are cases when payoffs are “jeopardizing serious criminal investigations by giving out confidential information that could be useful to criminals.”
Police officials have said only a handful of police are suspected of receiving payments, but declined to say how many.
Paddick, a former London mayoral candidate who may run again in 2012, said one journalist said he had paid 30,000 pounds (about $50,000) for information.
“All of this is done in a very clandestine way,” said Paddick, who said he had never personally seen money being exchanged.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq