Lord Justice Leveson to lead phonehacking inquiry

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2011
The final News of the World

The final News of the World

Lord Justice Leveson has been named as the judge in charge of the inquiry into the phonehacking scandal.

The Jewish barrister Sir Brian Leveson, known for leading the case against serial killer Rose West in the 1990s, will be able to demand relevant documents in his probe into the tactics of journalists at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.

He will be able to call witnesses to be questioned under oath, including reporters and managerial staff at News International, policeman and politicians, and those who lie to him could be jailed.

He will report within the next 12 months to Home Secretary Theresa May and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and be assisted in the investigation by an independent panel of experts. The areas the probe will cover will include the culture and ethics of the press and the relationship between journalists and police, as well as the current system of print media regulation.

Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement about the inquiry and described the situation as a "firestorm" that threatened to engulf parts of the media, police and the political system.

Mr Cameron also said that those who were found culpable for the scandal should never work in journalism again.

"No one should be in any doubt we will get to the bottom of the truth and learn the lessons for the future," he said.

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Last updated: 2:56pm, July 13 2011