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Used Cell Phone Hacking Scandal Deepens

The scandal over the hacking of used cell phones by journalists involved with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is refusing to lie down and go away – and sources are speculating that the media magnate himself could end up in the firing line.  News International, the United Kingdom subsidiary of Murdoch’s empire, handed 2007 emails to police last week, with speculation running rampant as to the nature of the messages.

In particular, attention is focused on whether or not Les Hinton, who has been a close colleague of Murdoch’s for more than five decades, is implicated in the scandal because if it emerges that he was aware of the criminal actions being undertaken in the name of journalism, as many in the media suspect, then it would seem extremely unlikely that Murdoch himself was unaware of it.

The scandal just keeps on getting larger in other areas too, with revelations emerging yesterday that reporters paid for details about the Royal family’s personal details from a police officer who was actually assigned to protect them, essentially compromising their safety.  In the United Kingdom, this is a crime punishable by imprisonment and anyone who was aware of the incident and did nothing to stop or report it could also be liable to face criminal charges and potentially end up behind bars.

The News of the World, the paper initially implicated in the scandal, published its last ever edition on Sunday, but if Murdoch was hoping that would be the end of the matter, it would appear that he is in for a bitter disappointment.