Monday, July 18, 2011

UK phone-hack whistleblower found dead

Sean Hoare, the reporter who blew the whistle on widespread hacking at the News of the World

Source: Press TV

The reporter who blew the whistle on widespread phone hacking by the British daily the News of the World has been found dead at his home in England.

Sean Hoare was found on Monday at his home in Watford, north of London, Reuters reported.

"At 10:40 a.m. today, police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street," the Hertfordshire Police said.

The police stated that his death is not considered suspicious, saying, “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

Hoare said in interviews last year with The New York Times and the state-run BBC that phone-hacking was widely used and even encouraged at the News of the World and former editor Andy Coulson knew about voicemail hacking and had asked him to snoop on phone messages.

David Cameron hired Coulson as his communications chief in 2007, before he became the British prime minister. He quit the paper in 2007 after one of its reporters was jailed for secretly listening to phone messages of royal household staff to get scoops on the Queen's family.

The death report came as the scandal compelled Cameron to cut short a trip to Africa to fly home and call for an emergency session of parliament.

In addition, London's top police officers, Sir Paul Stephenson and his assistant commissioner, John Yates, resigned over the past two days over links to Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World.

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