No charges for journalist Amelia Hill over 'leaks'


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The Independent Online

A journalist questioned under caution by police investigating leaks from inside Scotland Yard's phone-hacking investigation will not face criminal charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service says there is insufficient evidence to bring Amelia Hill, a reporter for The Guardian who has written extensively on the News of the World's phone hacking, and an unnamed Metropolitan Police detective to trial over claims that information about the identities of people arrested on suspicion of voicemail interception was leaked.

The decision to formally question Ms Hill, 37, raised concerns that contact between reporters and police sources was being criminalised. There was no suggestion that money was passed between them.

Alison Levitt, QC, principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "The information disclosed by the police officer, although confidential, was not highly sensitive. It did not expose anyone to a risk of injury or death. It did not compromise the investigation."

The CPS said that between April and August last year, Ms Hill wrote 10 articles containing confidential information provided by the 51-year-old detective while he was working on Operation Weeting, the Met's inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

Ms Levitt said there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the pair relating to misconduct in a public office. She said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute them for a data protection offence, but that it was not in the public interest to do so.