Ex-cop: UK tabloid spied on murder investigators

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch delivers a keynote address at the National Summit on Education Reform Oct. 14, 2011, in San Francisco. AP Photo

(AP) LONDON - A retired police officer says the News of the World endangered a murder investigation by hiring ex-special forces soldiers to follow a police surveillance team.

Dave Harrison, a former officer with the Serious Organized Crime Agency, told Britain's media ethics inquiry Monday that the tabloid had spied on detectives tailing a suspect in the serial killing of five women in 2006.

Harrison said the paper's actions jeopardized the police surveillance operation.

Justice Brian Leveson is leading an inquiry into practices of the British press, concentrating on phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World.

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Owner Rupert Murdoch and News Corp (NWSA) chairman and CEO closed the paper in July after evidence emerged that it had illegally eavesdropped on dozens of prominent people in its quest for scoops.

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