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[英伦广角] 【整理】2011-04-17 手机窃听门

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They have said sorry and offered compensation to some, but for News International, the phone hacking scandal isn't going away. Today, many want to know why the apology didn't come sooner as police investigation continued to delve into the sogger.

In this statement, they said News International has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of livability in cases meeting specific criteria. It's now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence that we acknowledge our actions then were not sufficiently robust.

Lawyers for News International are now dealing with the compensation scheme to settle justifiable claims. But there are caveat that only cover cases from 2004 to 2006, and the paper says they will fight any claim it believes lacks merit.

It's understood that at least eight people are now in line for a payment. Included in those eight, are Tessa Jowell, Sienna Miller, Andy Gray and an assistant who worked for John Prescott and Max Clifford.

News International's annoucement yesterday has now opened up the flood gates. They put their hands on. So apart from the eight people named to be looking to get vast amount of money in compensation, those of others will now come out. Because so many people I spoke to believe that phones have been hacked, not by News International, many of them are by the newspapers.

Only this week, Ian Edmondson, the paper's former news editor and Neville Thurlbeck, his chief reporter, were arrested. They've now been released on police bail. As the team of Scotland Yard continues to sift again through thousands of documents, this latest admission raises question about how far criminal charges could stretch.

I think what it is important is for individuals who broke the law to be held to account, if the police can prove that people have committed criminal offences, then we should be seeing more people go to prison.

John Prescott is among those calling for the take over of BSkyB by News International's parent group News Co to be halted until police have concluded their investigation. There's about to be a split reaction to yesterday's apology. A cynical will question the timing and motive, other victims may be slowly mellowed. Either way, it's not the end of the story.
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