Newspapers accused of paying prison guards

July 23, 2012 at 5:55 PM
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LONDON, July 23 (UPI) -- Investigators in London say they're looking into allegations two prison officers received tens of thousands of pounds in payments from various newspapers.

In testimony Monday before the Leveson inquiry into media ethics, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said Metropolitan Police were looking into 100 new allegations of phone hacking, as well as claims prison officers at two different high security prisons received payments from various newspapers, including the Trinity Mirror newspaper group, News International and Express Newspapers.

One of the officers allegedly received more than $54,000 and the other allegedly received $21,000. In both cases, the money was allegedly received between April 2010 and June 2011. Akers said it appeared most of the information received by the newspapers was of limited "genuine public interest," The Daily Telegraph reported.

Akers said police also were looking into allegations that journalists attempted to break the security code on stolen cellphones. She said it was unclear whether they were isolated incidents or just the "tip of the iceberg," the newspaper said.

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