PHONE HACKING AT THE SCREWS
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:
DON’T READ ALL ABOUT IT…
Why, while other papers gorged on the David Beckham knighthood story, the Times and Sunday Times had to keep schtum.
Red faces across Fleet Street after it’s revealed how the Henry Jackson Society has been paid by Japan to put anti-China stories in the British media.
Eleanor Mills makes no secret of wanting the top job at the Standard – but Sunday Times colleagues suspect it’s a ruse to get Rupert to promote her.
After the murder of South Yorkshire teenager Leonne Weeks, hacks waste no time contacting her underage schoolfriends for photos and information.
David Cameron failed to persuade Lord Rothermere to sack Paul Dacre, but had more luck at the Telegraph dripping poison about its then editor Tony Gallagher.
Sunday Mirror bosses grow uneasy at columnist John Prescott’s output as his ghost writer, son David, is now Jeremy Corbyn’s adviser and speechwriter.