Evidence In Sun Probe Reveals "Network Of Corrupted Officials"
One day after Rupert Murdoch inaugurated a Sunday edition of his daily tabloid The Sun , with a reported circulation of 3 million, a Scotland Yard investigator has presented sensational evidence that the newspaper has routinely engaged in bribing police and public officials to obtain gossipy information about celebrities and other public officials. In testimony prepared for the Leveson hearing into the ethics of British news media, Sue Akers, the Metropolitan Police's deputy assistant commissioner, gave an overview of the investigation into allegedly corrupt practices by employees of Britain's most popular daily newspaper. "The current assessment of the evidence is that it reveals a network of corrupted officials," she said. "There appears to have been a culture at The Sun of illegal payments and systems created to facilitate those payments." And while one columnist for the newspaper has accused police of launching a witch hunt to nab reporters seeking to uncover information in the public interest, Akers pointed out that one (unnamed) official was paid around $120,000 and that a Sun reporter received $225,000 to pay sources for stories that amounted to "salacious gossip." Sun journalists doling out the money -- always in cash, it would appear -- were "well aware that what they were doing was unlawful," she said.