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Phone hacking: What did the police know?

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A favourite line of the headline writers this morning is that Andy Coulson has edited himself out of a story: his past on The News of the World forcing him to the conclusion that he couldn't carry on as head of communications at Downing Street.

It's the second time he's resigned over the controversy stemming from the convictions of a News of the World journalist and a private investigator for hacking the phones of aides to the royal princes. The story, in newspaper parlance, has "legs", despite the efforts of Rupert Murdoch's media empire to shut it down.

The Metropolitan Police have been obliged by court orders to hand over documents they took from The News of the World and have now had to reopen their own investigation, which had been stopped. Steve Hewlett presents the Media Show on Radio 4 and talked us through the story so far with the main players.

He told the Today programme's James Naughtie "there's an awful lot riding" on what action is taken next.

The News of the World turned down our request for an interview. The Metropolitan Police said the Crown Prosecution Service was re-examining the evidence from the original phone hacking investigation and would not comment further.


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