LONDON, July 28 (UPI) -- The British inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal began with Justice Brian Leveson vowing to work deliberately while trying to complete his probe in a year.
The inquiry was expanded from phone-hacking activities at the defunct News of the World to include broadcast outlets and social media, but Leveson said Thursday he anticipated his initial report "to be delivered ... at 12 months," The Daily Telegraph reported.
"I recognize the vital importance of reaching a number of conclusions within that broad time frame and I will strive to do so, but not at all cost," he said.
The inquiry team must "exercise very considerable discipline and, where appropriate, restraint" to deliver the report on time, Leveson said.
The next hearing will be in September when Leveson outlines how the inquiry will proceed, the Telegraph said.
Leveson said letters requiring witness statements from key players will be mailed "as soon as possible."
He said the focus of his inquiry was "the culture, practices and ethics of the press in the context of the latter's relationship with the public, police and politicians."
Leveson said he would seek advice from Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions, to ensure the inquiry would not prejudice the London Metropolitan Police investigations into phone hacking and payments to police.
Among other things, the phone-hacking scandal forced News of the World -- a property of media mogul Rupert Murdoch -- to cease publication, led to the arrests of at least nine people associated with the weekly tabloid, prompted resignations of two Met Police officials, led Murdoch to withdraw his bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting, and resulted in the resignation of Les Hinton, chief executive officer of Dow Jones, another News Corp. property. In addition, the FBI said it was investigating allegations News Corp. reporters tried to hack into voicemail accounts of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.