Phone hacking files to be re-examined

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The Independent Online

Prosecutors are to conduct a "comprehensive assessment" of all material collected by Scotland Yard linked to the phone hacking scandal.

The Director of Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the move will ascertain whether there is any material which could spark a fresh prosecution.



A senior QC will re-examine all material collected as part of the original inquiry and any new evidence that has come to light.



A CPS spokeswoman said: "The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has today agreed that the Crown Prosecution Service will conduct a comprehensive assessment of all material in the possession of the Metropolitan Police Service relating to phone hacking, following developments in the civil courts.



"The exercise will involve an examination of all material considered as part of the original investigation into Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire and any material that has subsequently come to light.



"The assessment will be carried out by the principal legal adviser, Alison Levitt QC.



"The purpose of this assessment is to ascertain whether there is any material which could now form evidence in any future criminal prosecution relating to phone hacking."



Mulcaire and former News of the World reporter Goodman were jailed at the Old Bailey in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting messages.



The latest development came after actress Sienna Miller lodged documents in the High Court linking a third person with the scandal.



Miller is suing the News of the World's parent company and Mulcaire, accusing them of breaching her privacy and of harassment.



It emerged earlier this month that News of the World executive Ian Edmondson has been suspended as a result of her claims.



Scotland Yard detectives subsequently wrote to the Sunday newspaper asking for any new evidence staff had on the case.



Metropolitan Police Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates discussed the decision with Mr Starmer earlier today.



In a letter to the DPP, he said there "remain outstanding public, legal and political concerns" about the scandal.



"As a result, I consider it would be wise to invite you to further re-examine all the material collected in this matter," he said.



"This would also enable you to advise me and assure yourself as to whether there is any existing material which could now form evidence in any future criminal prosecution relating to phone hacking.



"The conclusions should be provided to you in the first instance for you to then advise me as to what, if any, further action may be required.



"We both understand that any future action will always be for the police to consider independently."



A News of the World spokeswoman said: "We will, of course, co-operate fully with any inquiries relating to the assessment by the CPS."