Tabloid suspends 'voicemail scam' journalist

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The Independent Online

The News Of The World has suspended royal editor Clive Goodman following allegations of mobile phone hacking.

The journalist is due to appear in court next week charged with one count of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and eight counts of intercepting voicemail messages.

The newspaper issued a statement announcing that it had suspended Goodman, 48, from Putney, south London, pending the outcome of the investigation.

It said: "The News Of The World has suspended Clive Goodman, Royal Editor, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of unlawfully intercepting communications."

Scotland Yard launched an investigation after members of the Prince of Wales' household reported alleged security breaches within its phone network.

The police inquiry, led by the Anti-Terrorist Branch, is now said to have now widened and is examining whether public figures - including senior politicians, high-profile celebrities and footballers, or members of another royal household - had their mobiles hacked.

Goodman was held under Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, under which the potential penalties are a maximum of two years in jail, a fine or both.

Glenn Mulcaire, 35, from Sutton, has also been charged in connection with the allegations.

Both men, who were released on police bail following the arrests, will appear at Horseferry Road magistrates' court next Wednesday.

A number of addresses were searched by police in connection with the allegations, including the offices of News International in Wapping, east London, as well as in Sutton and Chelsea.

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