Prosecutors mull corporate charge over phone-hacking at Murdoch papers

Prosecutors said on Friday they had received a file of evidence relating to the police investigation of phone-hacking at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group and would be considering a possible corporate prosecution.

The phone-hacking scandal first began in 2006 when the former royal editor of Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World, Clive Goodman, and his investigator Glenn Mulcaire, admitted they had hacked the phones of royal aides.

As the scale of revelations grew, police launched a wider investigation into hacking under the codename Operation Weeting in 2011 that eventually led to the jailing for 18 months of the paper's ex-editor Andy Coulson and the conviction of five of its journalists.

Several other senior executives at the firm were found not guilty of hacking and other offences.

"We have received a full file of evidence for consideration of corporate liability charges relating to the Operation Weeting phone hacking investigation," said a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in a statement.

A spokeswoman for News UK, which covers Murdoch's British newspaper titles, declined to comment. The parent company News Corp has previously said it has changed the way it operates and has apologised to hacking victims.

The US Department of Justice has already said it would not prosecute News Corp and 21st Century Fox, part of Murdoch’s global media empire, over the British hacking scandal.

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