British phone-hacking whistleblower found dead in London

15:43, July 19, 2011      

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Former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare is seen in this undated handout picture released on July 18, 2011. One of the sources for early newspaper stories on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal was Hoare. British media said he was found dead at his home on Monday, but police did not believe the death was suspicious. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A former News of the World reporter, who blew the whistle on the paper's phone hacking scandal, has been found dead at his home in London, police said.

Sean Hoare, 47-year-old, was found dead early Monday at his flat in Watford, north of London, according to a police statement.

The death was currently being treated as unexplained, but was not thought to be suspicious, said the statement.

Police investigation over the former journalist's death are underway.

Hoare, a former show business reporter at the News International paper, part of News Corp, had alleged that he was asked by former editor Andy Coulson to tap into phones. Coulson had denied being aware of any wrongdoing at the paper.

Hoare had long-term drink and drug problems, reports said.

In another development of the hacking case, Britain's Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner (AC) John Yates resigned on Monday under mounting pressure over his handling of the phone-hacking scandal.

"Assistant Commissioner John Yates has this afternoon indicated his intention to resign to the chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

"This has been accepted. AC Yates will make a statement later this afternoon," the statement added.

Yates has been widely criticized for deciding not to reopen an investigation on the phone hacking of the News of the World in 2009.

His resignation came after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson stepped down on Sunday over the same scandal that has stirred both the British political and medium arenas.

The spreading scandal has also prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to call on Monday for an emergency session of parliament.

Source: Xinhua
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