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UK police to quiz The Times editor over police blogger's email hacking claims

London, Fri, 03 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 3 (ANI): James Harding, the editor of the British newspaper, The Times, has been recalled to the Leveson inquiry into media standards, following disclosures that the paper used email hacking in 2009.

 

Harding will be quizzed about details of what he and other senior staff at Times publisher News International knew about attempts to hack a police blogger's emails three years ago.

 

Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into claims that a Times journalist named as Patrick Foster accessed the email account of Lancashire detective Richard Horton, who blogged under the name of Nightjack, Sky News reports.

 

Last month, James Harding told the Leveson inquiry, set up in the wake of the phone-hacking revelations at sister paper the News Of The World, that one of his reporters, later identified as Foster, was issued with a formal written warning for professional misconduct for gaining unauthorised access to Horton's emails.

 

"When the reporter informed his managers that, in the course of his investigation, he had on his own initiative sought unauthorised access to an email account, he was told that if he wanted to pursue the story he had to use legitimate means to do so," Harding added in a letter to the inquiry.

 

"He did, identifying the person at the heart of the story using his own sources and information publicly available on the Internet," Harding said.

 

"On that basis, we made the case in the High Court that the newspaper should be allowed to publish in the public interest. After the judge ruled that we could publish in the public interest, we did," he added.

 

Harding said that Foster was formally disciplined, and has since left the newspaper.

 

According to the report, the police investigation follows a complaint by Labour MP Tom Watson, who wrote to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers urging Scotland Yard to look into allegations of hacking. (ANI)

 


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