Lord Justice Brian Leveson said there was cause for concern about bribery by journalists in his report on the U.K. press, but carefully sidestepped making any conclusions on the matter, citing an ongoing police investigation.
The report notes, based on testimony from the investigation’s leader, that as of Oct. 31 there had been 52 arrests in Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police probe into bribery by journalists of public officials for information.
More than half of those arrested were journalists. Sue Akers, the detective leading Operation Elveden, testified that she expects more arrests to come.
“Given the present state of the criminal investigation, it is not possible to reach any conclusions of a generic nature, although the extent of the criminal investigation and the large number of arrests made is undeniably a cause for concern,” the report said.
It added that the evidence seen thus far is “inconclusive or insufficient” to find bribery as a cultural problem within the press, but there is enough to “merit concern.”
Nevertheless, the nearly 2,000-page report has many references to bribery by reporters spread across its four volumes.
In the first volume, Leveson looks at the history of anti-bribery policies at News Corp., which publishes this blog and whose scandals led to the commissioning of the report, as well as other major newspapers.