4 Aug 2011

Another British news group accused of hacking

3:07 pm on 4 August 2011

Another British tabloid newspaper group has been accused of phone-hacking.

Heather Mills, a former wife of Sir Paul McCartney, says a senior journalist from the Mirror Group admitted to hacking into her phone and listening to her voicemail in 2001.

Before Ms Mills and Sir Paul were married they had a fight and he left apologetic messages on her phone, the ABC reports.

She says a senior journalist at the Mirror Group contacted her and quoted parts of a private voicemail verbatim.

The new allegation throws high-profile CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan into the spotlight. He was the editor of the Daily Mirror at the time and has denied knowing of, or authorising, phone hacking.

But a former journalist says it was endemic, so it was inconceviable that the editor did not know about it.

Sir Paul and Ms Mills married in 2002 but divorced in 2008.

Most of the revelations surrounding phone hacking have centred on the News of the World, published by News Group Newspapers until the paper's closure in July, the BBC reports.

News Group is part of News International, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Earlier this year, the best-selling tabloid admitted it had intercepted voicemails, amid intense pressure from those who believed they had been victims. Among them were celebrities, politicians and victims of crime.

In the following months, the paper was shut down, a number of its former journalists and editors were arrested and News International executives were asked by MPs to explain themselves.

Prime Minister David Cameron also launched a judicial inquiry into phone hacking and the ethics of the press.