UK

Phone-hacking scandal: Police investigate 'new claims'

News of the World sign
Image caption The news claims are said to be related to the News of the World among other titles

Police investigating the phone-hacking scandal are examining fresh claims after new evidence came to light, a lawyer representing victims has said.

Mark Stephens said Scotland Yard contacted victims' lawyers to say the new allegations relate to the now defunct News of the World's feature desk and Trinity Mirror titles.

Mr Stephens said the group was informed of the new developments two weeks ago.

He said he was told a "significant amount" of information had emerged.

The media lawyer said the police had not yet had time to examine all of the information.

"They are doing so methodically and carefully. But until they have finished analysing it, it is very difficult to say how it will come out," said Mr Stephens.

'Suspect turned supergrass'

The Guardian reported detectives were examining 600 fresh allegations of phone hacking at the NoW.

Image caption Mark Stephens specialises in media law

The newspaper reported on its front page the fresh claims came on the back of fresh evidence obtained by the Metropolitan Police from a "suspect turned supergrass".

Scotland Yard would not confirm the figure and said they were still going through the News of the World allegations.

Mr Stephens said he had not been given information that would confirm the report in the Guardian.

Police were originally expected to conclude their Operation Weeting investigation into the phone-hacking scandal by the end of this year.

But Mr Stephens said that they are now looking at a 2015 end date, with a 2016 conclusion "more likely".

The latest development comes after four current and former Trinity Mirror journalists were arrested in early morning raids on Thursday.

People editor James Scott and deputy editor Nick Buckley were held, along with former editor of the Sunday Mirror Tina Weaver and former deputy editor of the newspaper Mark Thomas. They were all released on bail until April.

Former editor of the Daily Mirror, Richard Wallace, was also interviewed by police on Friday.

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