Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed in 2007 for intercepting celebrities’ voice mails while working for News Corp.’s News of the World tabloid, must reveal who told him to hack phones, a U.K. judge ruled.
Mulcaire on July 29 was told he can’t appeal a High Court order that he name who at the paper told him to intercept voice-mail messages for model Elle Macpherson and other public figures, according to the lawyer for Steve Coogan, a comedian who believes his phone was hacked. The names must be revealed by Aug. 26, he said.
Mulcaire “will now have to identify exactly who at the News of the World asked him to access the mobile phones of the named individuals and who he provided the information to,” John Kelly, with the law firm Schillings in London, said today in an interview. The revelation could show hacking took place on an “industrial scale,” he said.
Mulcaire and News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper unit are defendants in dozens of civil lawsuits filed by individuals who claim their voice mails were accessed. London’s Metropolitan Police are examining Mulcaire’s notebooks and contacting possible victims, and have arrested 13 people, including the newspaper’s former editors, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.
A lower court judge rejected in February Mulcaire’s argument that the identities of those who requested the hacking weren’t relevant to the celebrities’ lawsuits since he had already admitted to the breaches. The names will help claimants understand the scope of the alleged conspiracy between Mulcaire and the paper, the judge ruled.
Breach of Contract
Mulcaire’s lawyer, Sarah Webb, declined to comment when reached today by phone.
Mulcaire yesterday sued News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper unit. He claims a breach of contract because the company stopped paying his legal bills, according to a person familiar with the case who wasn’t authorized to speak about it publicly.
The newspaper’s former royal reporter, Clive Goodman, who was also jailed in 2007, was thought to be the only journalist involved at the time. News Corp. was forced to shutter the 168-year-old tabloid last month after revelations that journalists had hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl.
News International, based in London, has apologized to hacking victims and agreed to pay about 100,000 pounds ($165,470) to settle actress Sienna Miller’s claims and another 20,000 pounds to sports commentator Andy Gray. The company faces a “test” trial in January, when a court will decide how much the company should pay in damages to five other victims, including actor Jude Law.
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