(francais servi) British police leaked victim details to tabloid: reports

24th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police faced new allegations Sunday that officers leaked information about terror attack victims and a murdered schoolgirl to journalists at Rupert Murdoch's felled News of the World tabloid.

The claims deepen the scandal into phone-hacking at the now defunct newspaper, which has already claimed the jobs of two of Britain's top police officers and dragged in Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Observer newspaper reported that survivors of the July 7, 2005 London bombings had asked lawyers to probe their belief that Scotland Yard had sold or passed on a confidential contact list of victims to the News of the World.

Beverli Rhodes, chair of the Survivors Foundation Coalition, told the Observer that journalists from the paper approached survivors with false stories about how they got their details.

"Scotland Yard had the full list of survivor contact details. I am pretty sure that is how the News of the World got my home address," she said.

Four suicide bombers blew themselves up on three underground trains and a bus in the worst terror attacks on British soil, killing 52 people.

Separately the BBC reported that police removed an officer from the inquiry into the murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002 after information was allegedly linked to the News of the World.

It quoted police in Surrey, a county southwest of London, as confirming that a detective constable was accused by a colleague of inappropriately disclosing information about the case to a "retired police officer friend."

The officer "received words of advice and was removed permanently from the inquiry."

The News of the World has already been accused of hacking Dowler's voicemails and those of families of 7/7 victims, but this is the first time that police have directly been linked to the paper's activities on the two events.

Murdoch closed the paper on July 7 and personally apologised to Dowler's parents.

Revlations that police employed a former senior News of the World executive who has since been arrested over hacking claimed the jobs of Scotland Yard chief Paul Stephenson and the force's anti-terror boss John Yates a week ago.

© 2011 AFP

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