The Times newspaper 'probed for hacking emails' in UK

2nd February 2012, Comments 0 comments

The Times newspaper is being investigated by British police over claims of hacking emails, reports said Thursday.

The investigation comes after the editor of the broadsheet admitted to an inquiry into the ethics of the British press that one of his journalists had hacked the email account of a police blogger.

Tom Watson, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour party, said he had received confirmation from London's Metropolitan Police that the Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, was being investigated.

Watson said on Twitter: "The Met police have confirmed to me they are investigating Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The Times over email hacking."

He had written to the police last month asking them to investigate the matter.

A spokeswoman for News International said she had no comment.

News International was forced to close down its News of the World tabloid in July following a public outcry over claims it had hacked the voicemail of a missing girl who was later found murdered.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Thursday: "We can confirm that a letter was received on Monday 23 January, from MP Tom Watson."

It added that it was not prepared to give "a running commentary" on the investigation.

The Times editor James Harding told the Leveson Inquiry, which was set up in the wake of the News of the World scandal, that a reporter -- named as Patrick Foster -- had been disciplined after hacking the email account.

"There was an incident where the newsroom was concerned that a reporter had gained unauthorised access to an email account," he said.

"When it was brought to my attention, the journalist faced disciplinary action.

"The reporter believed he was seeking to gain information in the public interest but we took the view he had fallen short of what was expected of a Times journalist.

"He was issued with a formal written warning for professional misconduct."

© 2012 AFP

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