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Murdoch insider turns police informant

March 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM

LONDON, March 16 (UPI) -- A News of the World insider has turned police informant, reporting hundreds of instances of phone hacking, Britain's The Guardian reported.

Citing London police sources, the newspaper reported Friday that Metropolitan Police are checking into 600 new phone-hacking incidents, some of them new claims involving victims who have already been identified as targets of the widespread hacking operation that led to prosecutions and the newspaper's demise.

The information allegedly comes from a former employee of the Sunday tabloid.

Rupert Murdoch closed the venerable newspaper in 2011 after the phone-hacking scandal exploded.

The tabloid had been dealing for years with charges it had hacked into the phones of celebrities and members of the royal family, but public anger erupted after the Guardian reported a detective working for News of the World had read the cellphone messages of a missing schoolgirl who was later found slain.

The new allegations mean the police investigation could continue into 2015, the Guardian said. News International, Murdoch's company, could face hundreds more civil lawsuits.

A hearing is scheduled Monday on proposed settlements for some civil suits, including one brought by Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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