Denmark’s immigration minister has accused the country’s press of adopting the same dirty tactics as British tabloid News of the World, which closed two weeks ago amid an intense phone hacking scandal.
Soren Pind raised his concerns on his Facebook page last week; the move came just days after the NoW printed its final edition amid revelations that the voicemails of murder victims, as well as high profile celebrities, politicians and the UK royal family, were allegedly hacked.
“I have a nagging suspicion that at least one Danish media organisation has used answering machine hacking,” Pind wrote on his Facebook profile. “I came across the information in a personal conversation. It’s disgusting,” he added.
But Pind has been criticised by fellow politicians for making such inflammatory remarks but failing to contact the police. “He should either refrain from revealing information like that, or he should reveal what he knows. There’s no point in spreading rumours without saying more. It’s wrong,” Soren Espersen from the Danish People’s Party told Berlingske newspaper.
Holger K Nielsen of the Socialists People’s Party called such practices “disgusting”, but agreed that Pind should have found a better medium to voice his unease. “Instead of just saying something interesting in the media, he ought to go to the police,” Nielsen said in the Berlingske report.
The NoW scandal escalated to its highest pinnacle two weeks ago when it was revealed that the voicemail of 13 year-old murder victim Milly Dowler was allegedly hacked, with some messages even deleted. Last week, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the paper’s parent company News Corporation, pulled out of a controversial bid to buy the remaining shares of BSkyB satellite broadcaster, which would have given his company unprecedented control over the UK media industry.
Senior members of staff at the newspaper have been arrested, and the UK’s top policeman has resigned over the scandal.