News / Europe

British PM Defends Phone-Hacking Links

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, flanked by Finance Minister George Osborne (R), speaks about phone hacking to parliament, July 20, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, flanked by Finance Minister George Osborne (R), speaks about phone hacking to parliament, July 20, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron is fighting for his political reputation after being linked to an explosive media scandal in Britain.  Cameron addressed parliament on Wednesday.

Cameron was defending himself against criticism that he has been too close to former editors at British tabloid News of the World.

Illegal hacking into voicemail

Allegations have been made that journalists at News of the World illegally hacked into the voicemail of thousands of people.

The prime minister appointed a former editor, Andy Coulson, as his press chief. Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, is said to be a close friend of Cameron. Both Coulson and Brooks have resigned as a result of the hacking scandal and the paper itself has been closed down.

Cameron on Wednesday said when he hired Coulson he had no reason to believe ill of him.

"I have said very clear that, if it turns out that Andy Coulson knew about the hacking at the News of the World, he will not only have lied to me, but he would have lied to the police, to a select committee, to the Press Complaints Commission and of course perjured himself in a court of law," said Prime Minister Cameron.

Coulson left News of the World in 2007 after one of his reporters was jailed for phone hacking. Coulson denied having known about the interceptions. He was hired by Mr. Cameron soon after.

The prime minister said Wednesday that, in hindsight, hiring Coulson was a mistake.

'Catastrophic error of judgment'

Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labor party, said Cameron had made a catastrophic error of judgment.

"So that the country can have the leadership that we need, why doesn't he do more why doesn't he do more than give a half-apology and give a full apology now for hiring Mr. Coulson and bringing him into the heart of Downing Street," said Miliband.

The scandal has also revealed alleged links between the British tabloid and the police force. Two senior police officers have resigned.

David Lea, a Western Europe analyst at the London-based consulting firm Control Risks, says the scandal is far from over and may well spread further.

"There have been a few suggestions that 9/11 victims had had their phones hacked and a few suggestions that British celebrities had had their phones hacked while they were in the United States, in one case even a United States-registered mobile phone," said Lea. "It would not at all surprise me if there is a much bigger story linked to the U.S. to come out of this."

In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been looking into a report by Britain's Daily Mirror.  It said reporters with the rival News of the World offered to pay a New York police officer for private phone records of some victims of the 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks.

In Britain, A criminal investigation into the phone hacking is ongoing. Journalists are alleged to have hacked into the voicemails of a number of celebrities including the British actor Hugh Grant. Victims of crime may also have been hacked, including a teenage girl who was murdered.

Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owned the now defunct News of the World, flew out of Britain on Wednesday. Speaking to MPs on Tuesday, he apologized for the alleged hacking.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More