Met to probe computer hacking claims

Scotland Yard is widening its probe into phone-hacking with the creation of new unit to investigate claims of computer hacking.

The Metropolitan Police said that Operation Tuleda will consider a number of breach of privacy allegations received since January. The new team, to be formed under deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, will investigate matters not covered by Operation Weeting, the force’s phone-hacking probe.

Operation Tuleta is, in part, looking at allegations made by a BBC Panorama programme in March that a senior News of the World executive obtained emails hacked from a former Northern Ireland intelligence operative’s computer. Alex Marunchak, then the Irish edition editor at the newspaper, denied any wrongdoing.

Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Cressida Dick responded by claiming officers were undertaking a “formal assessment” of the claims to determine whether a criminal investigation would be appropriate.

The investigation is set to examine the use of “Trojan horse” computer viruses which allow hackers to take control of third-party computers.

A spokeswoman said: “Operation Tuleta is currently considering a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy, received by MPs since January 2011, which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting, including computer hacking.

“Some aspects of this operation will move forward to a formal investigation. There will be a new team reporting to DAC Sue Akers. The formation of that team is yet to take place.”

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