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Not just Murdoch

· The phone-hacking scandal ·

Not only the Murdoch group: the phone-hacking scandal that is shaking up Great Britain now risks widening to other newspapers as well. Scotland Yard, whose leadership has been upturned by tabloid-gate, now aims to conduct a 360-degree investigation and has requested documents relative to an inquiry of the British Information Commissioner, an independent authority which governs information rights. According to the AGI agency, the investigation, which began in 2006, names newspapers and journalists (some 300 reporters and 31 publications) who made recourse to a private detective to obtain information that is considered, “reserved and illegal.” The number of agents involved in the investigation has been increased from 45 to 60.

Meanwhile, according to press leaks, the new head of Scotland Yard could be Bill Bratton, a 64-year-old police officer already in retirement, born and raised in a poor area of Boston. If this is true, it would break the long-standing tradition of a “pureblood Englishman” at the head of the historical police organization of London. Premier David Cameron suggested that the head of the Met could be, “someone who has already had success on the other side of the ocean.”

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat and Deputy Prime Minister intervened on the issue of phone-hacking, without any direct accusation of Cameron, who distanced himself from the case of Andy Coulson (the ex-director of the “News of the World” who then became the Prime Minister’s spokesman). Clegg claimed that the Liberal Democrats were the first to ask for an investigation into the scandal. New details continue to emerge in the Coulson case: the spokesman, according to British media, was hired at Downing Street without a strict screening of his curriculum vitae, a practice which had occurred for his predecessors.

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