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From the Eye archives
Phone Hacking At The screws
Issue 1245, 15th September 2009
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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:

SLOW STARTER
IPSO, the shiny new post-Leveson press regulator, is taking even longer to sort out complaints than its much-derided predecessor, the PCC.

SEX, LIES & REVERSE FERRETS
The spirit of the News of the Screws lives on at the Sun with a kiss ’n’ tell stitch-up involving blowjobs, blackmail and a bloke who plays football.

TELEGRAPH’S PSYCHO ANALYSIS
So. Farewell then Jason ‘Psycho’ Seiken, sacked after 17 months as editor-in-chief and chief content editor of the even-worse-than-before Telegraph.

FOSSIL RECORD
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger opposes investment in fossil fuel mining – but what of his paper’s partnership with global coal giant Anglo American?

IT’S FLIRTY DES!
Express proprietor Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond, with one eye on a seat in the Lords, hedges his bets about whether to back Nigel or Dave.

private eye issue 1390
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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Private Eye Issue 1389
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