Prosecutors won't reopen case against reporter

LONDON (Reuters) - Prosecutors said on Thursday they would not launch a fresh inquiry into a reporter from a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid jailed for phone hacking after claims the practice was rife in the industry.

The decision follows a review of material supplied to prosecutors in the case of News of the World journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glen Mulcaire, jailed in 2007 after intercepting voice messages to members of the royal household.

“It would not be appropriate to re-open the cases against Goodman or Mulcaire, or to revisit the decisions taken in the course of investigating and prosecuting them,” Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said in a statement.

“If and insofar as there may now be further information relating to other possible victims and suspects, that should be reported to the police who have responsibility for deciding whether or not to conduct a criminal investigation,” he added.

The Guardian reported last week that Murdoch journalists had tapped the cellphone messages of thousands of celebrities and obtained other secret personal information by deception.

The allegations, particularly over phone-tapping, have grabbed headlines in Britain, where the tabloids compete for scoops on sex and showbiz scandals.

News International, the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and owner of the Sun and News of the World as well as The Times and Sunday Times, denies the reports.

It said last Friday that after a full examination and apart from two already acknowledged cases, the Guardian’s allegations were not true.

Police have said they will not reopen their investigation into the case of Mulcaire and Goodman and the public prosecutor said he was satisfied the police had provided it with all relevant information in that instance.

However, a parliamentary committee has taken up the wider issue and is expected to hear evidence from industry figures next week.