London: Shami Chakrabarti, a prominent Indian-origin human rights activist was on Wednesday named by British Prime Minister David Cameron among six independent experts who will form a panel to examine British media practices in the wake of the raging phone-hacking scandal.


Cameron offers regret in hacking scandal

Chakrabarti, 42, is a barrister and director of the London-based human rights group Liberty.

The panel of independent experts will help Lord Justice Leveson examine media practices in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and is expected to report within 12 months.

Cameron told lawmakers that the newspaper inquiry will be widened to take in different types of information-related crimes and other media such as broadcasters and social media
and will also investigate crimes such as phone hacking and hacking into e-mail accounts.

Other panel members are former Daily Telegraph and Press Association journalist George Jones; former political editor for Channel 4 News Elinor Goodman; former chairman of the Financial Times Sir David Bell; Lord David Currie, former chairman of Ofcom; and former chief constable of West Midlands police Sir Paul Scott-Lee.

"My acceptance is a vote of confidence in the vital role of independent judicial process in times of national difficulty," Chakrabati said.

"It comes from optimism in the ability of a great democracy to look itself in the mirror in the spirit of re- building public trust," she said.

"It reflects Liberty's belief in an appropriate balance between personal privacy and media freedom and above all in the Rule of Law," she was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

The inquiry will look at the phone hacking scandal specifically but also at broader issues involving politics, the media and the police.