UK’s Mirror group investigated over phone hacking

LONDON (AP) — The publisher of Britain’s Sunday Mirror tabloid said Thursday that it is being investigated by police over alleged phone hacking by its journalists.

Trinity Mirror PLC says police informed its newspaper subsidiary, MGN Ltd., “that they are at a very early stage in investigating whether MGN is criminally liable for the alleged unlawful conduct by previous employees in relation to phone hacking on the Sunday Mirror.”

The company said it “does not accept wrongdoing within its business” and “takes these allegations seriously.”

London’s Metropolitan Police would not comment, saying the force did not identify suspects who have not been charged.

Police have been investigating illegal eavesdropping, bribery and other wrongdoing by newspapers since the 2011 revelation that Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World regularly hacked into the cell phone voicemails of celebrities and other public figures.

More than 30 people have been charged, including journalists, police officers and former newspaper executives.

Most of the investigation has focused on Murdoch’s papers, but it has spread to take in other companies, and several former Trinity Mirror staff have been arrested.

CNN interviewer Piers Morgan, a former editor of the Daily Mirror, told an inquiry into media ethics that he was not aware of any such wrongdoing while he led the paper between 1995 and 2004.

The head of the inquiry, Justice Brian Leveson, called that claim “utterly unpersuasive”, and said the practice may well have occurred at the Mirror in the late 1990s.

Trinity Mirror shares fell 3.7 percent on the London Stock Exchange after the announcement.

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