UK police put phone-hack victims at around 800

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2011 7:06 AM
UK police put phone-hack victims at around 800

The total number of people whose phones were hacked by journalists at the News of the World tabloid is around 800, British police said Saturday.

Scotland Yard said investigators have spoken with 2,037 people, of whom "in the region of 803 are victims" whose names appeared in notes seized from a private investigator working for Rupert Murdoch's now-shuttered News of the World.

"We are confident that we have personally contacted all the people who have been hacked or who are likely to have been hacked," it said.

Police had identified 5,795 potential phone-hacking victims in material collected from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the center of the scandal who was jailed in 2007.

Scotland Yard said Saturday that while there are still "a raft of people" it needs to speak to who were identified as potential targets, those individuals are unlikely to have been hacked.

What had for several years been a trickle of allegations by people who claimed to have been hacked by the News of the World _ from celebrities like Sienna Miller and Jude Law to politicians including former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott _ exploded this summer with the revelation that the paper had hacked into the phone of a 13-year-old murder victim, Milly Dowler, in hopes of getting material for news stories.

Two top London police officers and several senior Murdoch executives resigned in the scandal, and the investigation into phone-hacking has seen more than a dozen News of the World journalists arrested, including former editor Andy Coulson, who resigned his post as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief as the scandal widened.

It also has prompted multiple investigations and an official inquiry into media ethics, which has heard from the Dowler family and celebrities such as Hugh Grant about the effects of media intrusion on their lives.