Operation Elveden detectives to contact 419 suspected victims of bribery by journalists

Victims believed to include the Duchess of Cambridge, Paul
Gascoigne, and a number of infamous murderers

Operation Elveden detectives will reportedly be contacting the Duchess of Cambridge, Paul Gascoigne and Moors Murderer Ian Brady to tell them they are some of the 419 suspected victims of journalists paying public officials for stories.

Just over half of the victims identified have been informed so far, according to evidence heard by the Home Affairs Committee this week.

The Metropolitan police’s Neil Basu, who is leading the joint inquiry into journalists’ alleged use of phone-hacking, computer-hacking and bribery of officials, said he expected up to 10 more arrests as a result of the work of detectives in the coming weeks and months.

High-profile suspected victims, identified as having suffered as a result of journalists illegally paying for confidential information, include the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, the murderer of James Bulger Jon Venables, and the family of 15-year-old Isobel Reilly who died of a drugs overdose at a party in London, according to reports by the Guardian.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard told the newspaper the force would not comment on the identity of victims. But he added: "We can confirm we are in the process of contacting all the victims identified by Operation Elveden."

Those informed by police could then potentially bring claims for damages against News UK, formerly News Group Newspapers, Rupert Murdoch’s publishers of the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times. There are believed to be between five and 10 compensation disputes currently on-going.

Mr Basu told MPs on Tuesday that the cost of the combined inquiries of Elveden, Weeting and Tuleta were expected to cost nearly £40 million up to their expected conclusion in April 2015.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said that efforts were being made to run the investigations “as cheaply as possible”, but added: “These are things that do soak up quite a lot of public money, but in the end we are talking about public confidence in policing. It is very important that they get to the bottom of it.”

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