Police investigating 600 new phone-hacking incidents at the News of the World 'after suspect turns supergrass'
- It means police investigation is now likely to be extended until 2015
- Former editor Rebekah Brooks is among eight members of staff facing charges
- Details are expected to be revealed at the High Court on Monday
A suspect in the News of the World hacking investigation has turned supergrass, lifting the lid on a staggering 600 further allegations against the now-defunct newspaper, it has been reported.
Operation Weeting, the investigation into the hacking allegations which had been due to finish this year, is now expected to be extended to run well into 2015, following the wealth of new information.
A report in the Guardian newspaper said the information had been obtained from the phone records of an
'insider' who is now being lined up as a prosecution witness.
New Allegations: A suspect in the News of the World hacking investigation has turned supergrass, lifting the lid on a staggering 600 further allegations, it has been claimed
According to an 'insider' quoted in the report any new litigants would fall into three groups:
- New victims
- Those who sued over hacking but signed agreements with NI allowing them to sue the company again
- Those who signed agreements potentially barring them from suing again
Details of the new allegations are expected to be revealed at the High Court on Monday in a hearing over hacking victim's current litigation, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Victims' lawyer Mark Stephens, who represented murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne's mother Sara, said the group was informed of the new developments two weeks ago.
Mr Stephens said he could not confirm reports that an estimated 600 fresh allegations have emerged, or that they have come from a whistleblower being lined up as a crown witness.
Bad timing: Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for a form of self-regulation at a parliamentary vote on how to regulate the press to be held on Monday
Fresh legal actions are now expected to come from new victims and litigants who have already settled with News of the World publisher News International, but signed agreements allowing them to sue again.
Mr Stephens said: 'We have been told a significant amount of information has just come to light which the police have not yet had time to go through.
'They are doing so methodically and
carefully. But until they have finished analysing it, it is very
difficult to say how it will come out."
The news comes at a sensitive time, with a parliamentary vote on how to regulate the press due to be held on Monday.
While Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for a form of self-regulation, the opposition and his Liberal Democrat coalition partners want any new regulatory framework to be backed by new legislation.
News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp media empire, was not immediately available for comment.
Scores of celebrities, politicians, crime victims and others have sued or demanded compensation from News International since hacking revelations emerged two years ago.
Former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, are among eight ex-NoW staff, facing charges over hacking allegations.
The News of the World's owner Rupert Murdoch (left) with former editor Rebekah Brooks one of eight former NoW staff facing charges over the phone hacking scandal
Allegations of phone hacking have
since spread to another newspaper, the Sunday Mirror, and police
arrested four former editors from the tabloid on Thursday, sending
shares in parent company Trinity Mirror tumbling.
The Guardian said the same insider behind new allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World also led to the arrests at the Sunday Mirror.
On Friday, British media reported that Richard Wallace, a former editor of the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror's sister paper, was questioned by police but was not arrested.
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