* CNN host quizzed over phone-hacking probe
* Denies any involvement in hacking
* Interview part of wider police investigation
By Kate Holton and Michael Holden
LONDON, Feb 14 Piers Morgan, one of the biggest
names in British media and a CNN television host, has been
questioned by London police in connection with allegations of
phone-hacking at the Daily Mirror tabloid he used to edit.
Morgan, a former judge on "America's Got Talent" show who
replaced Larry King on CNN in 2011, said in a statement on
Thursday he had been interviewed by officers after voluntarily
attending a police station in December.
The 48-year-old, who has always denied any involvement in
phone hacking, was quizzed as part of wider investigations into
illegal practices by journalists at Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct
News of the World newspaper.
Trinity Mirror, which publishes the Mirror tabloid, declined
to respond and CNN, which released the statement, declined to
make any further comment.
Britain's newspaper industry was rocked in 2011 by the
closure of Murdoch's best-selling 168-year-old Sunday tabloid
after revelations some staff had regularly hacked into phones to
generate front page scoops.
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two former News of the
World editors who are both close associates of Prime Minister
David Cameron, are currently on trial in London accused of
conspiracy to hack phones between 2000 and 2006.
Morgan edited the rival Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. He
had also edited the News of the World from 1994 to 1995.
"A 48-year-old man, a journalist, was interviewed under
caution on December 6, 2013 by officers from Operation Golding
in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone
voicemails," a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police said.
"He was interviewed by appointment at a south London police
station. He was not arrested."
Operation Golding is the inquiry into phone-hacking at the
Mirror newspaper and was a spin-off from the long-running News
of the World investigation.
Morgan had written in his published diaries about a "little
trick" for eavesdropping on voicemails that he heard of as early
as 2001, and in an interview with the Press Gazette industry
magazine in 2007 he described phone-hacking as "an investigative
practice that everyone know was going on at almost every paper
in Fleet Street for years".
In a newspaper column in 2006 he also wrote about listening
to a personal voicemail former Beatle Paul McCartney had left
for his ex-wife.
Giving evidence to a public inquiry in December 2011, which
was ordered by Cameron in the wake of the News of the World
closure, Morgan refused to say who had played him the recorded
message of the call, saying he was protecting a source.
In his report, Brian Leveson, the senior judge who oversaw
the major inquiry into press ethics, said he was not impressed
by evidence Morgan gave to him.
"Overall, Mr Morgan's attempt to push back from his own
bullish statement to the Press Gazette was utterly
Leveson added: "I have concluded that Mr Morgan was aware of
the use of the technique of phone-hacking in the industry and
that articles were likely to have been published on the basis of
the material obtained by that technique."