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'Officer payments' impact 'limited'
Alleged corrupt payments made to two prison officers by journalists produced "very limited material of genuine public interest", a senior police officer has said.
Giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said that detectives had analysed stories potentially linked to payments to two prison officers at separate high security prisons.
She said: "It's our assessment that there are reasonable grounds to suspect offences have been committed and that the majority of these stories reveal very limited material of genuine public interest."
The first official is accused of receiving payments from Trinity Mirror, News International and Express Newspapers between April 2010 and June 2011, totalling nearly £35,000.
It is alleged that he received additional payments on top of this, with the final payment being made in February this year.
Another prison officer at a different high security prison allegedly received payments from Trinity Mirror between February 2006 and January 2012, totalling more than £14,000, the inquiry heard.
Ms Akers said that to date, 15 current and former journalists have been arrested under Operation Weeting, the Met's probe into alleged phone hacking, of whom 12 are on bail.
Six people, including former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie, have been charged in relation to the inquiry and will appear in court in September.
Forty one people have been arrested under Operation Elveden, the investigation into alleged corrupt payments to officials, including 23 former or current journalists, four police officers, nine current or former public officials and five people who allegedly acted as go-betweens.
Files relating to three police officers and one journalist are with the Crown Prosecution Service, Ms Akers said. She agreed to return to give evidence to the inquiry again in September.