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Former PM Gordon Brown: Newspaper hired criminals

by Jorge Hernandez on July 12, 2011

In the ongoing wildfire of controversy that has already torched England's The News of the World, a publication that had been around for more than 150 years, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has come forward to declare that another newspaper hired known criminals in the past. 

"I think that what happened pretty early on in government is that the Sunday Times appear to have got access to my building society account, they got access to my legal files, there is some question mark about what happened to other files – documentation, tax and everything else," he said, according to The New York Times. "I'm genuinely shocked, to find that this happened because of their links with criminals, known criminals."

Not only that, he said that Rebekah Brooks, who is News International's chief executive and a favorite of ruling media mogual Rupert Murdoch, once called him to say that The Sun, another British newspaper, had obtained information about his son's medical condition, which had previously been kept private.

All this comes after The News of the World had already been accused of a multitude of scandals, from hiring private investigators to track down stories to hacking voicemails of murder victims, soldiers who had died in combat and 9/11 victims.

The board of directors of News Corp. released a statement that said that the company was launching a repurchase option to the tune of $5 billion in stock, after losing nearly $7 billion in market capitalization since the scandals first erupted, according to CNNMoney.

While shares in News Corp. rose after the news, there is still hesitation among some traders who are wary of any other controversies coming to light, especially because the company's bid for BSkyB is now looking less certain. 

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