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From the Eye archives
Phone Hacking At The screws
Issue 1245, 15th September 2009
murdoch.jpg
The Dirty Digger, whose executives knew nothing about systematic phone hacking

‘Injunctive proceedings’
Lewis told MPs that News International had now threatened injunctions to stop him acting for other clients who want to sue over voicemail hacking – including PR man Max Clifford, whose phone was hacked by private investigator Glenn “Trigger” Mulcaire. He gave the committee a copy of a letter, dated 11 August, from Julian Pike of Farrer & Co, the Dirty Digger’s solicitors.

“We refute [sic] any suggestion that you are able to act for Mr Clifford either now or in the future or any other would-be claimant in respect of voicemail accessing allegations… You personally were party to confidential information… which you are obliged not to disclose. Were you to act for any other would-be claimant in respect of the voicemail accessing allegations, at the very least there is an undoubted risk that the confidential information would be put to use… It goes without saying that our client will object to your involvement in this or any other related case as against our client for the reasons set out above. We reserve our client’s rights to take injunctive proceedings against you should you choose to disregard the matters contained in this letter.”

Just one rogue reporter…
When Lewis was asked by the committee what he understood this letter to be saying, he replied: "You know too much. Don’t act against us or we will bring the whole weight of the organisation against you.” The chairman asked Lewis on what possible legal basis NI could injunct him. “On the basis that I won,” he said, “and my client got a lot of money.”

All this is very odd in light of the repeated assertions by Murdoch executives that they had nothing to do with systematic phone hacking, which was all the work of just one rogue reporter and an overactive private investigator. Why so jumpy?

More top stories in the latest issue:

HACKING WATCH
A legal ruling now opens the way for more civil claimants to sue over possible voicemail interception at the News of the World.

TELEGRAPH TORMENT
As the rest of Fleet Street howled, the Telegraph sat with its fingers in its ears, hoping the dodgy Google tax deal story might just go away.

UNDER STARTER’S ORDERS
The Press Recognition Panel, set up with public cash after Leveson, finally has something to do as wannabe watchdog Impress asks for recognition.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION
The Spectator’s Rod Liddle bemoans an MP revealing too much about his sex life… having chronicled his own Viagra adventures in gory detail.

HEARING IS BELIEVING…
A Telegraph advertising executive endorses a client in an advertorial for hearing aids… but omits to tell readers of the commercial relationship.

THE RUSBRIDGER LEGACY
Alan Rusbridger, incoming chair of the Scott Trust, must find big savings after the big spending editorship of one, er, A. Rusbridger.

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To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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