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Monday
Jul182011

Scotland Yard Chief Resigns as UK Phone Hacking Scandal Grows

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The growing phone hacking scandal in the U.K. has prompted the head of the famed Scotland Yard to resign.   

Sir Paul Stephenson, chief of London’s Metropolitan Police, announced his resignation Sunday amid speculation some of his officers accepted bribes from tabloid reporters in exchange for news tips, as well as because of his admitted links to a former News of the World editor he had hired for a public relations job.  That former editor, Neil Wallis, was arrested last week in connection with the phone hacking scandal.  Stephenson has denied any wrongdoing.

Earlier Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the 43-year-old executive who ran media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids, was arrested at a London police station in connection with the scandal after voluntarily arriving to answer questions about it.  Brooks, who herself resigned Friday as head of Murdoch's News International, was later released on bail.

The scandal broke almost two weeks ago when it was revealed that reporters working for Murdoch allegedly hacked the voicemail account of Milly Dowler, a British teen who was murdered in 2002.  The reporters allegedly deleted messages, leading the victim’s family to believe their child was still alive.

Brooks has denied knowing anything about reporters hacking phone accounts.

On Saturday, Murdoch took out an ad in every London newspaper to apologize for the scandal.  The ad, which Murdoch signed, read, “The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.  It failed when it came to itself.  We are sorry.”

Murdoch shut down the profitable tabloid last Sunday in the wake of the scandal.  On Friday, Murdoch personally apologized to Milly Dowler's family.

Murdoch is scheduled to testify before Britain’s Parliament Tuesday and answer questions from lawmakers about the scandal.

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