News Corp. Settles More Phone-Hacking Claims, Lawyer Says

News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit has settled more than 89 percent of the 167 phone-hacking claims from a second wave of litigation by victims who said their voice mails were illegally intercepted.

A further 21 claims are still pending with another eight victims seeking to join the litigation Hugh Tomlinson, a lawyer for the victims, said at a London hearing today.

News Corp. has resolved several hundred claims over two sets of litigation by victims through court-approved settlements and an out-of-court process created by the company. Police have said the tabloid had thousands of “potential victims,” though the level of evidence varies.

The company apologized in open court today to former Conservative politician Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine as well as television personality John Leslie and a political aide to Tony Blair, Matthew Doyle, agreeing to pay undisclosed damages to the quartet.

News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World tabloid in July 2011 in response to public anger over revelations it intercepted the mobile-phone messages of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler a decade ago.

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