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Senior journo arrested for allegedly intercepting mobile phone calls

Written by: Staff

London, Aug 9 (UNI) A senior journalist and Royal Editor of ''The News of the World'', Clive Goodman, along with two other persons, were arrested by the Scotland Yard detectives for allegedly intercepting telephone calls at Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Charles.

Sources said the claims did not relate to the tapping of live telephone calls, but another method of telephone interception or alleged hacking of phones. It is believed the allegations relate to the interception of mobile phone calls, rather than landline calls.

The extraordinary case has reminded once again of the Royal bugging scandals in the past like Camillagate and Squidygate tapping incidents in the 90s.

It is alleged that messages from Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall to senior courtiers were among those that were intercepted. Prince William was also reportedly affected.

Detectives believe there has been concerted and deliberate campaign to eavesdrop on highly confidential messages at Buckingham Palace. The aim was to find out some of the most personal and potentially damaging details about royal life.

The arrests followed weeks of a highly-sensitive probe by the Yard. In fact, detectives believe that public figures beyond the royal household, thought to include an MP, have also been targeted.

Neither Scotland Yard has ruled out the possibility that other royal households, including Buckingham Palace, could have had their phones intercepted, or that the conversations could have involved members of the royal family. Other public figures who could have been affected included cabinet-level ministers, but not Prime Minister Tony Blair, and high-profile celebrities, top footballers and show business stars, reports suggested.

The arrest of Goodman, who is being questioned at Charing Cross police station in central London, was considered highly embarrassing for the weekly's editor. The police have conducted searches of business premises in Sutton, Chelsea and the News International offices in Wapping, where the News of the World is based.

Three employees at Clarence House reported the alleged security breaches within its telephone network to Scotland Yard's Royalty Protection unit in December last year following a series of leaks.

The former royal aide Dickie Arbiter said there was considerable sensitivity within the royal family over phone interceptions stemming from mobile phone tapping in the 1990s.


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