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British prosecutors have dropped their investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp’s U.K. newspaper arm and its former employees, including Rebekah Brooks, saying there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges in relation to the phone-hacking scandal that forced the closure of Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid.
Prosectors also dropped an investigation into Mirror Group and its former employees, including Piers Morgan.
The decision ends all criminal investigations of News Corp in U.K. and U.S.
Brooks, a former editor at News of the World and former CEO of its parent company News International, and Morgan, a former editor at Murdoch title the Daily Mirror, were two of the most prominent figures in the scandal.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has looked in great detail at the comprehensive files submitted to us by the police, both in relation to corporate liability at News Group Newspapers and against 10 individuals at Mirror Group Newspapers for alleged phone hacking,” Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, said. “After a thorough analysis, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and therefore no further action will be taken in any of these cases.”
The phone-hacking investigation, which has been running for the last three years, has brought 12 prosecutions and secured nine convictions for hacking and invasion of privacy, including for former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
Morgan, responded to the news with a series of tweets. “As I’ve said since the investigation began four years ago, I’ve never hacked a pone nor have I ever told anyone to hack a phone,” he wrote on Twitter. Before signing off with “I’m now going to get spectacularly drunk. Happy Christmas.”
I’m now going to get spectacularly drunk. Happy Christmas.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 11, 2015
News UK said it welcomed the decision by the CPS. “We now relish the chance to focus fully on what this company does best: world class professional journalism,” a spokeswoman said.
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