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City Slickers face charges as Morgan cleared in probe

LONDON – A Department of Trade and Industry probe into the City Slickers share-dealing scandal that rocked the Daily Mirror four years ago has cleared the paper's former editor Piers Morgan, but is set to lead to charges against two journalists involved.

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The DTI has confirmed that Morgan will not face charges as a result of the four-year investigation into claims that he bought shares in UK-listed firm Viglen just before its stock was recommended in the paper's City Slickers column.

In a statement, Morgan said: "I have been notified by the DTI that I have been completely cleared of any wrongdoing in respect of the City Slickers shares affair.

"I cooperated fully with the DTI during their painstaking four-year investigation and always believed that my name would eventually be cleared."

However, the results of the investigation were not such good news for former City Slickers section editors James Hipwell, who is now editor of Dennis Publishing's gambling magazine Inside Edge, and Anil Bhoyrul. Both are set to face prosecution for share ramping after being accused of creating a misleading impression surrounding the value of Viglen shares.

Bhoyrul became a contributor to the Sunday Express, writing under the pseudonym Frank Bailey in a now defunct media section, following his sacking by the Daily Mirror after the scandal. In 2001, he agreed an out-of-court settlement with the Daily Mirror and shelved unfair dismissal proceedings.

Despite escaping censure by the DTI, Morgan, who was sacked by the Daily Mirror last month following the debacle surrounding the use of fake photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse, was criticised shortly after the share-tipping scandal broke by the Press Complaints Commission.

The PCC slammed the "cavalier" culture within the Mirror that had allowed the scandal to take place.

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