Saturday 24 February 2018

Phone hacking probe ends as prosecutors say there will be no more charges

Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan

Hayden Smith in London

The long-running inquiry into phone hacking has concluded after prosecutors announced no charges would be brought over remaining allegations.

Former 'Daily Mirror' editor Piers Morgan, who was previously interviewed under caution, vowed to get "spectacularly drunk" after being told he will face no further action.

The Crown Prosecution Service concluded there is "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction" in relation to corporate liability at News Group Newspapers, the company that published the now defunct 'News of the World', for alleged phone hacking.

The same decision was reached in relation to 10 journalists who worked at Mirror Group Newspapers.

It signals the end of the CPS's involvement in phone hacking investigations, which were launched in 2011 in the wake of revelations about the practice at the 'NotW'.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed: "Police investigations into phone hacking have concluded."

Morgan (50) said on Twitter: "I've today been informed by CPS that no further action will be taken against me re Met Police phone hacking investigation.

"As I've said since the investigation began four years ago, I've never hacked a phone and nor have I ever told anybody to hack a phone.

"Thanks to all my family & friends, and kind people on here, for all their support. It was greatly appreciated."

He added: "I'm now going to get spectacularly drunk. Happy Christmas."

DPP Alison Saunders said the CPS has "looked in great detail" at "comprehensive" files submitted by the police.

She added: "After a thorough analysis, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and therefore no further action will be taken in any of these cases.

"Over the past three years, we have brought 12 prosecutions and secured nine convictions for these serious offences."

Those convicted included former 'NotW' editor and Downing Street spin doctor Andy Coulson. Three people were acquitted, including Mr Coulson's predecessor at the paper Rebekah Brooks, while several others were arrested before being told they would face no further action.

Irish Independent

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