Newspaper article International New York Times

Britain Ends Investigation into Phone-Hacking Cases

Newspaper article International New York Times

Britain Ends Investigation into Phone-Hacking Cases

Article excerpt

Prosecutors said there was not enough evidence for further charges in the four-year investigation into excesses in the tabloid news media.

British prosecutors said on Friday that they would take no further action in their phone-hacking investigation, ending a four- year inquiry that shook Britain and shed light on the freewheeling tabloid news media, its sometimes unsavory methods and its proximity to the highest echelons of power.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that there was insufficient evidence to bring corporate charges against News UK, Rupert Murdoch's newspaper holding company in Britain, and that 10 people under investigation at the rival Mirror Group Newspapers would not be charged. The service said it had brought 12 prosecutions and secured nine convictions for serious offenses during the investigation in the past three years, actions that had addressed considerable public concern about phone hacking and the invasion of privacy.

"After a thorough analysis, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and therefore no further action will be taken in any of these cases," Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, said in a statement. "These decisions bring the C.P.S.'s involvement in current investigations into phone hacking to a close."

The investigation convulsed the news establishment and political elite, and prompted a reckoning within the close-knit world of the British news media: Journalists were found to have illegally listened to voice mail messages and bribed police officers, and were said to have hired private investigators for illegal surveillance and information gathering.

Piers Morgan, former editor of The Daily Mirror, wrote on Twitter that he had been informed by prosecutors that no further action would be taken against him as part of the phone-hacking investigation.

"As I've said since the investigation began four years ago, I've never hacked a phone and nor have I ever told anybody to hack a phone," Mr. Morgan, who hosted a talk show on CNN for four years, wrote on Twitter. "Thanks to all my family and friends, and kind people on here, for all their support. …

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