Sky News, part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, has admitted hacking into emails on two occasions, but said it authorised journalists to take such actions in the public interest.
On one occasion, the news channel of British broadcaster BSkyB authorised a journalist to access the emails of John Darwin who was accused of faking his own death, so that his wife Annie could claim insurance money.
Sky News claims that the action had helped the police successfully prosecute the case.
Former Sky News managing editor Simon Cole agreed that North of England correspondent Gerard Tubb had been authorised to hack into Darwin's Yahoo email account.
Tubb is said to have uncovered messages, which cast doubt on Annie Darwin's claim during her criminal trial that her 'domineering' husband forced her to go through with the fraud plan.
Sky News, however, didn not identify the story that followed the hacking.