UK gov't asks for special status in media probe

LONDON - The British government will on Friday request it be allowed to see evidence at a high profile judicial inquiry into press standards before it is made public, recognition of how seriously the hearings have damaged the reputation of leading politicians.
In a sign that the government is seeking to achieve a greater degree of influence over the proceedings, it will ask to become "a core participant" in the Leveson inquiry, whose colorful question and answer sessions have already embarrassed at least one government minister and put News Corp proprietor Rupert Murdoch on the defensive.
Core participants have the right to see evidence before it is presented in court, can ask for evidence to be redacted and can pose questions to witnesses via the judge's senior counsel.
The government's intervention comes ahead of what is expected to be a lively week at the inquiry, with two former News of the World editors appearing to discuss their close friendships with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
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