Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'MURDOCH STAFF PAY MET [Pounds sterling]100K IN BRIBES'; ARRESTS IMMINENT OVER ILLEGAL PAYMENTS 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes' ?BRITISH LEGION DITCHES PAPER OVER WAR WIDOW 'HACKING' 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes' ?BACKLASH FROM ADVERTISERS GROWS AS SHARE PRICE FALLS 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'MURDOCH STAFF PAY MET [Pounds sterling]100K IN BRIBES'; ARRESTS IMMINENT OVER ILLEGAL PAYMENTS 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes' ?BRITISH LEGION DITCHES PAPER OVER WAR WIDOW 'HACKING' 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes' ?BACKLASH FROM ADVERTISERS GROWS AS SHARE PRICE FALLS 'Deep Shock at Met as Officers Realised Scale of the Bribes'

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

CORRUPT Met police received more than [pounds sterling]100,000 in unlawful payments from senior journalists and executives at the News of the World, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The bribes were made to officers in "sensitive" positions in return for confidential information. Sources say several "high-profile" NoW staff and the officers concerned are likely to be arrested within days and that "serious crimes" have been committed.

The new revelations about the scale of corruption inside Scotland Yard came amid other dramatic developments in the phone hacking controversy today. The Royal British Legion severed its links with the newspaper after claims that even war widows' phones have been hacked.

David Cameron faced calls to appoint a judge to head the public inquiry and start the investigation now.

The commercial backlash against NoW owner Rupert Murdoch also grew as Sainsbury's and npower became the latest companies to withdraw their advertising.

But the extent of corruption involving Scotland Yard and the paper is among the most damaging revelations so far. The Standard has been told that unlawful payments to police have been made over several years. "They were very large sums, coming to more than six figures," said the source.

"They were running a criminal enterprise at the News of the World. Serious crimes have been found. The question now is about the scalps. There will be high-profile arrests at the paper."

The corrupt payments were discovered after News International began a trawl of internal emails this year in a bid to discover the full extent of the paper's involvement in hacking.

All the emails are believed to relate to the period after Andy Coulson became editor in January 2003 and not to the preceding years when the current News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks ran the paper.

The firm is believed to have uncovered a significant number of emails indicating payments were made to police for tip-offs about criminal investigations and other confidential information.

The newspaper's accounts were also checked and it was confirmed that payments involving "large amounts" had been made. …

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