UK phone-hacking whistleblower found dead-reports

LONDON,  (Reuters) – A former journalist who told the  New York Times that phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s now  defunct News of the World was more extensive than the paper had  acknowledged at the time, has been found dead, media reported today.
Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.
Sean Hoare, a former show business reporter at the News  International paper, part of News Corp, had also told the BBC he  was asked by former editor Andy Coulson to tap into phones.
Coulson has denied being aware of any wrongdoing at the  paper.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but  not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this  incident are ongoing,” Hertfordshire police said in a statement.  They would not confirm the identity.
British media reported that Hoare, who was dismissed for  drink and drugs problems, had been found at his home in Watford,  north of London.
Coulson was taken on by David Cameron as his communications  chief in 2007, before he became prime minister.
Coulson quit the paper in 2007 after one of its reporters  was jailed for secretly listening to phone messages of royal  household staff to get scoops on the Queen’s family.
Coulson quit his job with Cameron in January this year.
A story in the New York Times last September said the  practice of phone hacking was widespread, and Hoare told the BBC  the former editor had asked him to snoop on phone messages.

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