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Trinity Mirror Loses U.K. Bid to Dismiss Phone-Hacking Lawsuits

Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI) lost a bid to dismiss two lawsuits over allegations reporters hacked the phone of a former soccer player and David Beckham’s one-time nanny.

Justice George Mann threw out the bid to block the voice mail interception claims being made by Garry Flitcroft and Abbie Gibson. Trinity Mirror’s MGN unit lost a motion to throw out parts of suits filed by ex-England soccer coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson, and actress Shobna Gulati.

The phone-hacking scandal which has engulfed News Corp.’s U.K. operations for more than two years, spread to newspapers run by Trinity Mirror, including the Mirror tabloid, in March when police arrested four journalists linked to the newspaper.

“The present cases are capable of falling into the category of cases which require full investigation,” Mann said. “The alleged activities in this case were covert and, of their very nature, would be activities of which the victims would know little or nothing.”

Trinity Mirror, based in London, said in a statement that it “continues to contest the four claims vigorously.”

Eight former News Corp. employees are currently standing trial in London facing a series of charges related to phone hacking, bribery of public officials and obstruction of Justice. The U.K. unit’s former chief executive officer, Rebekah Brooks, and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson are both defendants in the trial, which could last as long as six months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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