Police told News Corp’s Brooks of malpractice

- Brown

LONDON, (Reuters) – News International chief  executive Rebekah Brooks was warned by police in 2002 about  serious malpractice and possible illegal activities by reporters  at a newspaper she edited, former British Prime Minister Gordon  Brown said yesterday.

His allegations could increase pressure on Brooks, one of  media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s closest confidantes and who has so  far insisted she knew nothing of alleged illegal practices at  the paper, to resign.

Brooks has so far survived a scandal at News Inter-national  that last week prompted the closure of the 168-year-old News of  the World paper she once edited and on Wednesday forced Murdoch  to abandon his multi-billion dollar deal for pay-TV broadcaster  BSkyB.

Last week, Brooks insisted she had no idea an investigator  working for News of the World hacked into the voicemail of a  missing 13-year-old girl, later found murdered. She was editor  of the paper at the time.

Commentators have expressed disbelief that she could have  known nothing about corrupt practices at the paper and called  repeatedly for her resignation but News Corp head  Murdoch has stood defiantly by Brooks.

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