Sunday Mirror Phone-Hacking Probe Launched
The publisher of the Sunday Mirror is being investigated over alleged phone-hacking by former employees at the newspaper.
Trinity Mirror said Scotland Yard had informed its national newspaper publishing subsidiary, MGN Limited, that a probe is under way to establish whether it is criminally liable for alleged unlawful conduct by former employees at the weekly tabloid.
A spokesman said: "Trinity Mirror plc notes that its subsidiary, MGN Limited, publisher of the group's national newspapers, has been notified by the Metropolitan Police that they are at a very early stage in investigating whether MGN is criminally liable for the alleged unlawful conduct by previous employees in relation to phone-hacking on the Sunday Mirror.
"The group does not accept wrongdoing within its business and takes these allegations seriously.
"It is too soon to know how these matters will progress and further updates will be made if there are any significant developments."
The development is thought to be the first formal confirmation that a newspaper group is being investigated as a corporate suspect for alleged phone-hacking by its journalists.
It was reported last month that Rupert Murdoch's News International had been placed under investigation, but the Metropolitan Police has yet to officially confirm that claim.
Several former Trinity Mirror employees have been arrested since the phone-hacking scandal began.
Former Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver, who worked at the paper between 2001 and 2012, was arrested in a dawn raid as part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Weeting inquiry into phone-hacking in March.
At that time, lawyers representing victims of phone-hacking said they had been contacted by police to say they were looking into new claims relating to the now defunct News Of The World's feature desk and Trinity Mirror titles.
During his inquiry into press standards, Lord Justice Leveson described former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan's claim that he had no knowledge of alleged phone hacking at the newspaper as "utterly unpersuasive", and said the practice may well have occurred at the title in the late 1990s.
Trinity Mirror's announcement comes after former Sunday Mirror and News Of The World journalist Dan Evans was last week charged with phone-hacking offences.
A Met Police spokesman said he could not confirm Trinity Mirror's statement or whether News International, which has recently been rebranded as News UK, is under investigation as a corporate suspect.
He said: "As with any investigation we carry out, we do not identify suspects or anybody arrested or anybody we may we wish to speak to.
"That goes for corporations the same as it does for individuals."