- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006

LONDON (AP) — An editor at a large British tabloid newspaper and another man were charged yesterday with conspiring to intercept phone messages, as police investigated accusations of eavesdropping on officials working for Prince Charles.

Clive Goodman, 48, editor of the royalty section for the News of the World tabloid, and Glen Mulcaire, 35, are suspected of conspiring to intercept the messages on eight occasions from January to May, London’s Metropolitan Police said.

Both were released on bail and ordered to attend a court hearing Wednesday. The two were arrested Tuesday, along with an unidentified 50-year-old man who was later released.

Police said their seven-month investigation began with complaints from the prince’s Clarence House office about intercepted messages. Authorities say the investigation has gone beyond Clarence House to include other public figures, though police have not provided specifics.

They say the phone intercepts may have compromised security around some public figures. Charles’ office has declined to comment on the case.

Counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation, and police say they are working with phone companies in an effort to identify all those whose conversations were intercepted.

In 1989, the prince and his current wife, Camilla, were recorded having an explicit phone conversation while he was married to Princess Diana.

Police said they did not think the phones of any members of the royal family had been targeted.

The News of the World, the country’s biggest circulation paper, has been at the center of several embarrassing legal battles in recent months related to its aggressive pursuit of journalistic firsts.

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