LONDON: A senior British counter-terrorism police officer was jailed yesterday after becoming the first person to be convicted following a massive police investigation into alleged phone-hacking centred on Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, was jailed for 15 months for misconduct in a public office after she was found guilty last month of offering to sell details about the phone-hacking inquiry to Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid. “It was ... a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information,” said Justice Adrian Fulford.
Casburn called the News of the World on September 11, 2010, when police were at the early stages of examining claims journalists from the paper had illegally accessed the voicemails of mobile phones in a bid to find stories. Prosecutors said she had phoned asking for money in an attempt to undermine the investigation because of her perception that she had been wronged and sidelined by police colleagues.
She denied asking for payment, and said her intention was to raise the alarm over what she viewed as a waste of counter-terrorism resources on hacking, when they should have been concentrating on preventing attacks in the run-up to the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.