David Cameron
Photo: Reuters

UK: Cameron announces News of the World inquiry

British premier announces official probe into phone hacking scandal which brought 168-year-old publication to its knees

British Prime Minister David Cameron held a press conference Friday in wake of the phone hacking scandal which brought about the closure of veteran London tabloid News of the World.


Thursday saw Rupert Murdoch's News Corp announce it was shutting down the 168-year-old weekly embroiled in Britain's phone hacking scandal, which includes allegations suggesting its reporters hacked into by mobile phones belonging to celebrities, royals and even victims of violent crimes; and bribed police officers.



Cameron announced Friday that he has set up a public commission of inquiry, led by a judge, into the matter.


Cameron said a second inquiry would be held to examine the regulation of the press.


"I believe we need a new system entirely, it will be for the enquiry to recommend what the system should be like but my starting presumption is that it should be truly independent, independent from the press, so that the public will know that newspapers will never again be solely responsible for policing themselves but vitally independent from government, so that the public will know that politicians are not trying to control or muzzle the press that must be free to hold politicians to account."


This new system of regulation will strike the balance between individuals' right to privacy and what is in the public interest, he said.


Meanwhile, News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been arrested over allegations that he knew about phone hacking and bribing police officers by newspaper staffers.


The somewhat abrupt decision to shut the News of the World down followed three days in which multiple revelations about intrusive phone hacking cost the paper its advertising base and reader support.


The tabloid was found to have hacked into the phone message of a teenage murder victim and was suspected of possibly targeting the relatives of slain soldiers in its quest to produce attention-grabbing headlines.


AP, Reuters and AFP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.08.11, 12:36
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