Phone-hacking: Zardari's private data also targeted

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
London, Jul 21: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was among individuals whose personal data was clandestinely obtained by private investigators at the behest of a newspaper owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch.

Nick Davies, a journalist writing for The Guardian who has doggedly exposed the dubious news-gathering practices in the British press, mentions that Zardari's credit-card statement was obtained by a private investigator for The Sunday Times.

Davies, an award-winning journalist whose revelations led to the current phone-hacking imbroglio, details several instances of unethical and illegal practices on Fleet Street in his book, ''Flat Earth News''.

In a revealing chapter titled ''The Dark Arts'', Davies writes: "One investigator described being hired by the Sunday Times to target Asif Zardari, the husband of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, whose credit-card statement he supplied so that Sunday Times reporters could find out where he had been staying and what he had been spending his money on."

Davies does not mention the year when Zardari was targeted, but Zardari is known to visit Britain often. He reportedly owns a neo-Tudor mansion in Surrey.


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