The Independent on Sunday has published a correction after reporting in April that The Sun may have targeted members of the Royal family with phone-hacking.
The story, from April last year, headlined ‘Royals pulled into phone-hacking scandal”, stated: ‘Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice are suspected targets of the media empire’s [News Corp‘s] hacking activities, and their father, the Duke of York, has privately expressed exasperation at the apparent breach of his family’s privacy.
‘Suspicions that the princesses were targets arose after Eugenie was the subject of an attempted mugging while travelling in Cambodia with a friend two years ago.
‘The attack, in Phnom Penh during the girls’ gap year, was thwarted by bodyguards but details of the incident quickly found their way into The Sun newspaper and other News International (NI) publications.”
In a correction published in this week’s Independent on Sunday, the paper said: ‘Our article implied that hacking may have been carried out by The Sun newspaper. The Sun has asked us to point out that there is no evidence whatsoever any such hacking was carried out by the title or on behalf of the title. We are happy to make the position clear.”
A Sun insider told Press Gazette that the story about Princess Eugenie, which made a front page in May 2009, came from a tip-off which was then confirmed by a press officer.
One Sun source expressed concern that the IoS correction appeared on page 46, whereas the original story had appeared on pages 1,4 and 5 as part of a wider piece looking at the unfolding phone-hacking scandal.
An IoS spokesman said that corrections always appear on the letters page and they added that in correspondence with The Sun there had been no request for the correction to be more prominent.