London: The phone-hacking controversy took a new turn on Tuesday with the death of a former News of the World journalist, Sean Hoare, who first alleged that illegal practices were being adopted at the tabloid under the editorship of Andy Coulson.   

Coulson, who was arrested two weeks ago, resigned as editor of the tabloid due to the phone-hacking allegations, but was later hired by David Cameron as his communications director as leader of the opposition and also later as Prime Minister.

Hoare was found dead on Tuesday at his home in Watford, but his death was not being considered suspicious.

The issue continued to rock the corridors of power as two top police officers of the Scotland Yard - Sir Paul Stevenson and John Yats - resigned, even as anticipation built up about Wednesday's hearing before MPs of Rupert and James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons is scheduled to examine the three leading lights of the controversy while Sir Paul Stevenson, former police commissioner, will appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The hearings will be telecast live

and are expected to register a wide audience due to the phone-hacking controversy that has hit Murdoch's media empire in the UK hard.

Hoare first levelled allegations about phone-hacking at the now defunct tabloid in a New York Times investigation into the phone-hacking issue.

He told the newspaper that not only did Coulson know anout the phone hacking, butt he also actively encouraged his staff to intercept the phone calls of celebrities in the pursuit of exclusives.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC he alleged that he was personally asked by his then-editor, Coulson, to tap into phones.

(Agencies)