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2011-07-19

Whistleblower in Murdoch Phone-Hacking Scandal Found Dead

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On Monday, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Murdoch-owned News of the World, was found dead in his home. Hoare had been the source for a New York Times story tying phone hacking to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who would later become director of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested as the scandal broke open earlier this month. Police say Hoare appears to have died of natural causes, but the determination had not lessened suspicion of foul play. Hoare not only talked about phone hacking, but phone tracking as well, or as he said they called in the newsroom "pinging," where he said News of the World would pay police, he believed, to track individuals’ locations. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Rupert Murdoch and his son and chosen successor, James Murdoch, appear before the British Parliament today as the phone-hacking scandal engulfing their media empire continues to grow. On Monday, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Murdoch-owned News of the World, was found dead in his home in Britain. Hoare had been the source for a New York Times story tying the phone hacking to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who would later become chief of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested as the scandal broke open earlier this month.

Sean Hoare discussed his allegations against Coulson in an interview last September.

SEAN HOARE: I have stood by Andy and been requested to tap phones, OK? Or hack into them and so on. He was well aware that the practice exists. To deny it is a lie, is simply a lie.

AMY GOODMAN: Police say Sean Hoare appears to have died of natural causes, but that hasn’t lessened suspicion of foul play. Hoare not only talked about phone hacking, but phone tracking, as well—or as he said, they called it in the newsroom "pinging," where he said News of the World would pay, he believed, police to track individuals’ locations. These revelations have made the link between the phone-hacking scandal and police, with allegations of illegal payments for news tips and disclosures of close ties between top police officials and News International executives.

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