CNN host Piers Morgan confirms he was questioned by police over British phone hacking scandal

Talk show host and former Daily Mirror editor confirms he was questioned, but not arrested

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 February, 2014, 1:55am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 February, 2014, 1:55am


Talk show host Piers Morgan confirmed yesterday that he was interviewed by British police investigating phone hacking.

Morgan, a formerly a tabloid newspaper editor, was not arrested, but was "interviewed under caution" on December 6.

"This was further to a full witness statement I had already freely provided," Morgan said in a statement. "I attended that interview as requested." He has consistently denied wrongdoing.

[The interview] was further to a full witness statement I had freely provided

The Metropolitan Police said a 48-year-old journalist was questioned on that date, meaning the interview was recorded and may be used in prosecutions.

A police statement said the questioning is linked to a specific inquiry into phone hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers, one of the UK's biggest media groups.

"He was interviewed by appointment at a south London police station," the police said. "He was not arrested."

Morgan, who stepped into the CNN talk show host role long held by Larry King in early 2011, edited the Daily Mirror newspaper between 1995 and 2004.

He has told a British inquiry he was not aware of any phone hacking while he was at the newspaper. Judge Brian Leveson, who led the inquiry, called his denial "utterly unpersuasive."

One issue that has not been resolved deals with Morgan's confirmation that he heard a voicemail left by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney on the phone of his now ex-wife, Heather Mills.

Morgan's description of the message in a 2006 article for Britain's Daily Mail led some to wonder whether he got it through phone hacking. Mills has said there was no way Morgan could have obtained it honestly. Morgan has not publicly explained how he heard the message.

Morgan was sacked as editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 for publishing fake photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqis in Basra.

Britain's phone hacking scandal has led to numerous arrests and the closure of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid. Former Murdoch executives Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are on trial for their alleged role in phone hacking.

News Corp was the initial focus of wide-ranging police investigations over the past three years that uncovered allegations of phone hacking and bribery.

Trinity Mirror tabloids were pulled into the scandal in March when police arrested four journalists linked to the Mirror.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg