Two British celebrities who say their mobile-phone voicemail messages were intercepted by an investigator for News Corp.’s News of the World newspaper asked a London judge to order the disclosure of more information.
A lawyer for Steve Coogan, an actor who appeared in the movie Tropic Thunder, and Andy Gray, a sports commentator, said private investigator Glenn Mulcaire should disclose who he was working for when he hacked into their cell phones. Mulcaire and News of the World’s former royal reporter, Clive Goodman were jailed in 2007 for tapping mobile phones of the British royal family’s household.
Today’s case is one of at least four lawsuits filed by celebrities, including actress Sienna Miller, over allegations News of the World hacked into mobile-phone voicemails. U.K. police and prosecutors said last week they would review the claims for a third time.
Jeremy Reed, a lawyer for Coogan and Gray, today said at a hearing in London that he had written to Mulcaire’s lawyers to determine who Mulcaire passed intercepted voicemails to, and if he had taught News of the World journalists how to access voicemails themselves.
Mulcaire’s lawyers refused to provide the information, saying that it could incriminate their client, Reed said. He asked Justice Geoffrey Vos to rule Mulcaire can’t use that defense.
Won’t ‘Tell You’
“Mulcaire is saying ‘we’re not going to tell you what happened,’” Reed said. He said Mulcaire is accusing Coogan and Gray of conducting a “fishing” expedition.
Hayley Barlow, a spokeswoman for News of the World, declined to comment. The paper wasn’t represented by lawyers at the hearing.
Miller is suing the paper over claims the voicemail on her phones were hacked to get personal information. A news editor she claimed approved the hacking was suspended from the paper pending an investigation, News of the World said earlier this month. Soccer agent Skylet Andrew is also suing the newspaper alleging breach of privacy. Last week a London judge said his case should proceed to trial next year.
After re-opening the probe in September following a New York Times report that phone hacking was more widespread at the British newspaper than the prior case showed, prosecutors in December said they didn’t have enough evidence to file further criminal charges.