New Inquiries into Murdoch Paper Phone Hacking Case?

Even if the UK police said it would not reopen an inquiry into the phone hacking allegations against some of News Corp's publications, the Guardian newspaper reported Friday that three fresh inquiries would be launched into the matter.

Leading human-rights lawyer and director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer said he would begin an urgent review into the investigation, the paper, who broke the news of the fresh allegations Thursday, said.

A Commons select committee said it would be calling on News International, which is owned by News Corp, senior managers to give evidence and the Press Complaints Commission announced its own enquiry, the Guardian said.

Allegations of phone tapping were raised against one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers by The Guardian newspaper Thursday, leading to media frenzy and calls for a previous investigation to be opened.

According to the Guardian report, journalists at the News of the World, Murdoch's best selling paper, worked with private investigators to intercept celebrities' cell-phone voicemails.

The fresh accusations followed an original probe back in 2005, which led to the jailing of a News of the World reporter and a private investigator. On Thursday, London police said they did not find evidence that a new investigation was necessary.

Pressure to Deliver the Goods

The pressure of chasing breaking news ahead of the competition may be forcing journalists to resort to underhand and illegal tactics such as the phone-tapping allegations, Jonathan Fenby, former editor of the Observer newspaper, told CNBC.

“People working for you, news editors and reporters, can do things which you don’t know about and you as editor will know when they come up with the goods, but you may not know or you may not choose to ask how they got the goods,” Fenby said.

“There is this pressure all the time – come up with the scoop. Scoops do still sell papers and that’s what your jobs about in the end,” Fenby, the director of China research of Trusted Sources, said.

The Metropolitan Police played down the significance of the events, saying that only a limited number of people would have been victimized by the tactics.

“These potential targets may have run into hundreds of people, but our enquiries showed that they only used the tactic against a far smaller number of individuals,” John Yates, a senior Metropolitan Police officer said in a press statement.

Celebrities such as Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson were allegedly targeted by the spying, according to the Guardian.

- Reuters contributed to this report.