Phone Hacking: Police Chief Overseeing Investigation Changes

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Scotland Yard's deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers retires in October paving the way for fresh police chief to sniff out wrong-doing at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. division.

LONDON – The phone-hacking investigations engulfing Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.'s publishing division News International is to get a new police chief.

With Scotland Yard's deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers -- her role includes overseeing investigations into phone hacking and other alleged illegal activities by journalists -- retiring in October, senior police officer Stephen Kavanagh is to pick up the files.

Akers told the British government's home affairs select committee that Kavanagh would be tasked with the overseeing the three interlinked investigations.

Those three ongoing invetigations are Operation Weeting (phone hacking), Operation Elveden (illegal payments to public officials) and Operation Tuleta (computer hacking and other breaches of privacy not covered by Weeting).

The outgoing Akers also told the government she has budgeted for three more years of further investigation at the London Metropolitan police, known as Scotland Yard.

Kavanagh will be tasked with continuing the investigations that have already resulted in a string of high-profile arrests of senior News Corp executives including former News of the World newspaper head of legal Tom Crone 

In early August, the British Crown Prosecution Service brought phone hacking charges against several former News of the World journalists, including former editor Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit News International.

Akers told MPs the trio of inquiries were budgeted to cost just less than £9 million ($14.3 million) this year, and in the region of £40 million ($ 63.5 million) over four years.

According to Akers there are currently 185 officers and civilian staff working on the investigations with 96 alone assigned to Operation Weeting.

Kavanagh is expected to add the role to his existing day job in the territorial division, which is responsible for day-to-day, on-the-street policing across London.

The arrest sheet so far reads: 25 related to Operation Weeting, 43 for Operation Elveden and 11 via Operation Tuleta.