The revelation yesterday that Britain's former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, alleged that his personal information was obtained illegally by Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times only intensifies the pressure on Les Hinton, Murdoch's longtime confidant and publisher of the Wall Street Journal.
Hinton was already facing scrutiny for the phone hacking scandal because he oversaw Murdoch's News of The World when the tabloid appears to have engaged in rampant phone hacking. Worse, Hinton oversaw an internal investigation into the matter that James Murdoch now acknowledges "wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter."
Now with the Brown allegations come additional woes:
Brown accused the paper of getting his bank details, saying he was "genuinely shocked" by its methods.
The allegations widen the scandal that brought down Britain's best-selling newspaper, the News of the World, to other newspapers also owned by Murdoch's News International media group.
Brown expressed dismay at the allegations Monday night and has given investigators "all relevant evidence" he has about the matter, according to a statement from his office.
"The family has been shocked by the level of criminality and the unethical means by which personal details have been obtained," the statement said. "The matter is in police hands."