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British paper may have hacked into murdered teen’s voicemail

by Jorge Hernandez on July 5, 2011

The publication News of the World is no stranger to controversy. Some of the newspaper's journalists have previously been arrested for trying to access voicemail systems on phones, be it the messages of celebrities, athletes or politicians. Most famously, perhaps, was when it entered the private messages of actress Sienna Miller and was forced to make a financial settlement for damages.

Now, however, News of the World has made headlines by allegedly hacking into the voicemail of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, a teen who went missing 2002 and was later found to have been murdered by a nightclub doorman, according to USA Today.

Authorities claim that the publication entered Dowler's phone's voicemail and deleted several messages, which had made her parents more hopeful about the prospects of her being alive. The family's lawyer, Mark Lewis, is planning to sue for interference with the investigation.

"It is distress heaped upon tragedy to learn that the News of the World had no humanity at such a terrible time," Lewis said, the news source reports. "The fact that they were prepared to act in such a heinous way that could have jeopardized the police investigation and give them false hope is despicable."

Chief executive of Rekekah Brooks of News International, the company that publishes the tabloid, said that she would look into the charges and make sure that anyone who had hacked the voicemail would be brought to justice. Some critics claim that the case will leave a "stain" on British journalism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has come out to decry the possible allegations as well.

"If they are true, this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation," he said. 

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