2 CHARGED IN BRITISH EAVESDROPPING CASE
By DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press Writer August 9, 2006
LONDON - An editor at a large British newspaper and another man were charged with conspiring
to intercept phone messages Wednesday, as police investigate allegations of eavesdropping on officials working for Prince Charles.
Clive Goodman, 48, editor
of the royalty section for the News of the World tabloid, and Glenn Mulcaire, 35, are suspected of conspiring to intercept
the messages on eight occasions between January and May, London's
Metropolitan Police said.
Both were released on bail
and ordered to attend an Aug. 16 court hearing.
The two were arrested Tuesday,
along with an unidentified 50-year-old man who was later released.
Police said their seven-month
investigation began with complaints from the prince's Clarence House office about intercepted messages. Authorities say the
investigation has gone beyond Clarence House to include other public figures — though police have not provided specifics.
They say the phone intercepts
may have compromised security around some public figures.
are leading the investigation, and police say they are working with phone companies in an effort to identify all those whose
conversations were intercepted.
Charles' office and Hayley
Barlow, a News of the World spokeswoman, both declined to comment.
Tom Bradby, political editor
for ITV news, said the alleged eavesdropping came to light when the News of the World printed details of a planned private
meeting between himself and Prince William.
The two realized someone
might have listened to their phone messages and William's chief of staff contacted police, Bradby said.
Eavesdropping is a sensitive
issue for the royal family, as Charles was the victim of an embarrassing incident in 1989. The prince and his current wife,
Camilla, were recorded having an explicit phone conversation while he was still married to Princess Diana.
The Sun tabloid later published
the transcripts, and ran excerpts of a conversation between Diana and a man who affectionately called her "Squidgy."
Police said they did not
believe the phones of any members of the royal family had been targeted.
The News of the World, the
country's biggest circulation paper, has been at the center of several embarrassing legal battles in recent months related
to its aggressive pursuit of journalistic firsts.
A jury ruled earlier this
month that the newspaper libeled a Scottish politician by claiming he took drugs and visited sex clubs, and awarded him $380,000.
In another case, prosecutors dropped an investigation linked to the newspaper's star investigative reporter when a witness
testified he was paid for his story.
The royals have also been
at the center of a series of security lapses in recent years, one of which also involved a tabloid newspaper.
Daily Mirror reporter Ryan
Parry got hired at Buckingham Palace
as a royal footman in 2003, just before U.S. President George
W. Bush stayed at the palace.
In 2004, protesters dressed
as Batman and Robin climbed onto a palace balcony.