Senior U.K. cop investigated over hacking

Signs of News International's publications are seen at a plant July 7, 2011, in London.
Getty Images

LONDON - A senior London police officer is being investigated as part of the corruption inquiry spawned by the British phone hacking scandal, Scotland Yard said Friday.

Police said the officer, whose name has not been released, is accused of making an "inappropriate disclosure of information" during the initial inquiry into phone hacking in 2006. The investigation, now discredited, found little evidence to support claims that journalists at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid illegally intercepted voicemails.

Complete coverage: U.K. phone hacking
News Corp. says new tabloid to launch next week
Rupert Murdoch: Won't protect tabloid wrongdoers

A police statement said the officer is not accused of accepting bribes and has not been suspended from duty or had his role restricted in any way.

"There is no evidence to suggest that any inappropriate payment of any sort was made to this officer," the statement said.

Police said the officer works in specialist operations. Britain's police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, described the officer as holding a senior position in the force.

The IPCC said it is investigating whether the officer improperly disclosed information to an executive at News International, the British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire and publisher of the News of the World.

The watchdog said the investigation started Feb. 7 when the commission received documents from Operation Elveden, a wide-ranging investigation into possibly corrupt links between the police and the press.

Deputy Chair Deborah Glass said the allegation raises important issues of public confidence in the police and must be independently investigated.