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News Corp. Will ‘Vigorously Contest’ Thurlbeck Termination Suit

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit, which ran the News of the World tabloid at the center of a phone-hacking scandal in Britain, plans to fight termination claims by a former employee.

Neville Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter of the tabloid, has said he was unfairly dismissed from News International in a case brought to an employment tribunal, the Guardian newspaper reported today, without saying how it got the information.

The company will “vigorously contest this case” a News International spokeswoman said. The tribunal will have a preliminary hearing in London on Friday. Police arrested Thurlbeck in April.

The former chief reporter of the News of the World, which was shut down in July, has played a key role in the controversy about what management at News Corp. knew about the scope of phone hacking in the newsroom. His name appeared in an e-mail labeled “for Neville” that contained the transcripts of hacked voicemails and was shown to managers as evidence that reporters illegally accessed voicemails of celebrities and politicians.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

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

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