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article imageSenior police officer is first UK phone-hacking conviction

By Eileen Kersey     Jan 10, 2013 in Crime
London - A female senior police officer, in the UK, has become the first person convicted as a result of the £40m, phone-hacking investigation.
53-year-old Detective Chief Inspector, April Casburn, was in court today in the UK, accused of trying to sell confidential information from the phone-hacking inquiry, set up in 2010, to the News of the World.
Appearing at Southwark crown court she was found guilty of misconduct in public office, when the jury returned a verdict of guilty, reported the Guardian.
Casburn was left reeling at the prospect of a possible 5-year jail term, which could be given, to make her an example. Mr Justice Fulford warned her that she was looking at an immediate custodial sentence. Casburn is a mother of three and is in the process of adopting a child. Her Counsel asked that this was taken into account when sentencing.
Operations Weeting, Elvedon and Tuleta were launched in the UK, when it was realised that phone hacking and the corruption of public officials was widespread, and not just carried out by one or two 'rogue' individuals.
At a cost of £40m, this costly investigation has led to a series of arrests. These have included Andy Coulson, former communications chief, or spin doctor, to David Cameron, and Rebekah Brookes a former editor and journalist. Coulson and Brookes will face trial in September.
The trial began Monday and today, in just a few hours, Casburn was found guilty by the jury. Casburn is one of the UK's highest ranking, female police officers. She works for Scotland Yard's counter terrorism unit. Currently she is suspended from work.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Casburn acknowledged contacting the News of the World in September 2010 to pass on information about the phone-hacking investigation, including the names of two people under suspicion.
But she denied asking for money. Instead, Casburn testified that she was motivated by anger that her superiors were diverting some of the counter terrorism unit’s resources to the phone-hacking investigation, which seemed to her a misplacement of priorities. She said many of her male colleagues saw the investigation as a lark that would allow them to meet celebrities such as actress Sienna Miller, one of the most prominent hacking victims.
Casburn will be sentenced at a later date. Her legal team will push for a suspended sentence.
More about Police officer, News of the world, phone hacking scandal, leveson, Leveson Enquiry
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