x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Rupert Murdoch's News International settles cases in hacking scandal

All but one of the first wave of phone hacking cases against Rupert Murdoch's News International have been settled, the victims' lawyer tells Britain's High Court.

LONDON // All but one of the first wave of phone hacking cases against Rupert Murdoch's News International have been settled, the victims' lawyer told Britain's High Court yesterday.

The latest settlement brings to more than 60 the number of claims that Mr Murdoch's UK newspaper company has dealt with.

Hugh Tomlinson, the lawyer for the victims, said six more lawsuits had been issued and that 50 other cases are in preparation. Among the cases settled was that of comedian Steve Coogan, who received a settlement of £40,000 (Dh233,000). The Liberal Democrat lawmaker Simon Hughes received £45,000.

News International's lawyer, Michael Silverleaf, said in court the media group accepted responsibility and said it regrets the damage caused.

The only outstanding case left was brought by singer Charlotte Church, who has testified that Mr Murdoch's reporters grossly violated her privacy and that of her family, causing great distress. The judge ordered a short break before more details could be released.

The scandal over phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid boiled over after it emerged that journalists at the paper had routinely hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, sports figures and even crime victims.

The now-defunct tabloid has already settled with several prominent figures, including actress Sienna Miller and the family of the murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was broken into by the paper soon after her disappearance in 2002.