News Corp.’s U.K. unit and the private investigator it hired to hack voice mail was sued by a professor who was seated next to a suicide bomber in the 2005 terror attacks on London’s trains and buses.
John Tulloch, a former professor of media studies at Brunel University in London, filed the lawsuit May 15 in the U.K. capital. Tulloch was told by police that his details were in the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire, who intercepted mobile-phone messages for the now-defunct News of the World, said Charlotte Harris, Tulloch’s lawyer.
The lawsuit was filed the same day Rebekah Brooks, News International’s former chief executive officer, was charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice in the new police probe into phone hacking. About 50 people have been arrested and the company’s lawyers have said hundreds more civil lawsuits may be filed by the tabloid’s victims.
Tulloch is the author of “One Day in July: Experiencing 7/7,” a book about the attack that killed 52 people in London on July 7, 2005. His bloodied face and outspoken remarks were featured in the press in the aftermath of the bombings. In the book, the Australian-born Tulloch said the terror attack was twisted and exploited by nationalistic, right-wing, Islamophobic sections of the U.K. press.
Daisy Dunlop, a spokeswoman for News Corp. in London, declined to comment.
Sheila Henry, the mother of a victim of the 7/7 bombings, sued in September over claims the News of the World hacked her phone after the attack to get stories about her son. She settled the case before it went to trial.
Mulcaire served six months in prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to phone-hacking violations. He was arrested a second time in December as part of the new probe into the scandal.
News Corp., based in New York, has spent about $258 million dealing with the scandal, including $151.4 million in legal fees and $15.6 million in settlements.
The case is: Tulloch v. News Group Newspapers Ltd, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, HC12F02025.