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UK: PM’s ex-aide charged in hacking scandal
The saga has also tarnished the reputation of many whom, like British Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt, were sympathetic to News Corp.’s far-flung interests.
The details of Tuesday’s charges read like a Who’s Who of British newspapers’ gossip pages.
Edmondson and Weatherup are accused of spying on former Beatle Paul McCartney, his ex-wife Heather Mills, and politicians including former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Thurlbeck and Weatherup, meanwhile, are alleged to have eavesdropped on associates of Jolie and Pitt, one of Hollywood’s most famous couples.
Brooks said she was “distressed and angry” and called the allegation that she conspired to spy on Milly “particularly upsetting.” Coulson insisted he would never have done anything to harm the investigation into Milly’s disappearance.
Thurlbeck, meanwhile, said he would make it clear that he always acted “under the strict guidance and advice of News International’s lawyers and under the instructions of the newspaper’s editors.”
The phone hacking fallout is far from finished. As the charges were revealed, Justice Brian Leveson announced the end of his long-running inquiry into the culture and practices of Britain’s press, which was set up in the wake of the hacking scandal. He said he would release his recommendations as soon as possible.
Police also continue chasing leads.
On Monday, Scotland Yard’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told Leveson that detectives are seeking evidence from two newspaper companies that are rivals of Murdochs’ and looking into more than 100 claims of computer hacking, improper access to medical records and other misconduct stemming from the scandal.
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