British judge calls for stiff fines for snooping press
London, Nov 29 (IANS) A British judge, asked to probe the press following revelations that the News Of The World hired a detective to hack into the phone of a murdered schoolgirl, has called for numerous changes to press regulation, including fines of up to one million pounds on newspapers if they overstep the mark.
In a 2,000-page report, Lord Justice Leveson called for the Press Complaints Commission to be scrapped and independent regulator Ofcom be given a key role in overseeing a new, independent, self-regulatory body, Sky News reported.
Leveson, in a public address, said the press had ignored its own code of conduct in a way that had "wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people".
There had been a "recklessness in prioritising sensational stories" irrespective of the harm that may be caused, he said.
The judge expects publishers to sign up to the system voluntarily, and said "convincing incentives" should be supplied to encourage them to do so.
The new regulator should be governed by an independent board, under the oversight of media watchdog Ofcom, according to the report on press standards.
The document said the new body should be appointed in a wholly open and transparent way with no influence from industry or government.
The findings came 16 months after Leveson was asked to investigate the press and after months of evidence from celebrities, politicians, media figures and the police.
Prime Minister David Cameron set up the probe following national outrage at revelations that the News Of The World hired a private detective to hack murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone.
The judge said politicians of all parties had developed "too close a relationship with the press in a way which has not been in the public interest".
He also exonerated the Metropolitan Police, which has faced criticism for its original investigation into the phone hacking in 2006.
He said police had made poor decisions that were poorly executed but said the force's integrity was not challenged.
Many key figures took part in the inquiry, due to cost up to six million pounds. They included Bob and Sally Dowler, Kate McCann, actor Hugh Grant, former F1 boss Max Mosley and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.
Read More: Karbari Grant | Jolly Grant | Rampur Grant | Londonpur Grant | Grant No.-11 | Ailanpur Grant | Shitalganj Grant | Bisunpur Grant | Ramapur Grant | Allipur Grant | Keshav Nagar Grant | Kook Nagar Grant | Sitarampur Grant | Daulatpur Grant | Gajpur Grant | Husaina Bad Grant | Dualata Bad Grant | Grant Road Po | T.t.d.press | Nagura Grant
Israeli air strikes kill at least 18 in Gaza after truce collapse
August 21, 2014 at 12:39 AM
Donetsk residents flee the city as shelling intensifies
August 20, 2014 at 11:21 PM
Memories of German WWI atrocities haunt Belgium
August 20, 2014 at 11:06 PM
Lebanese church distributes aid for Iraqi refugees
August 20, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Survivors enlisted in Sierra Leone's Ebola battle
August 20, 2014 at 10:49 PM
"SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PREMIER LAUNCHES DREAM TEAM 15 (NNIS EXCLUSIVE) "
August 20, 2014 at 9:53 PM