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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:

PHONE HACKING UPDATE
Despite failed prosecutions, police arrest a Mirror hack… and investigations continue into what went on at the News of the World features desk.

HEIL WATCH
Why a youthful Queen had nothing on the Mail or Mirror when it came to hero-worship of Herr Hitler.

COMMERCIAL BREAK
Hacks in the Guardian’s commercial section feel underpaid and overworked compared to editorial colleagues… but that’s all part of a cunning plan!

KEEP OFF THE GRASS…
The Sun rails against the arrest of journalists… while entirely ignoring the way its own publisher grassed up reporters and their sources to the rozzers.

SNOOPING LATEST
Daily Mail slams police ‘paps’ for invading comic Michael McIntyre’s privacy… having done so itself repeatedly since, er, well… 2010.

THE PEOPLE’S POLITICAL EDITOR
Tom Newton Dunn, grand political editor of the Sun, pulls rank on a weary parliamentary waitress… and no one is impressed by his boorish bullying.

private eye issue 1397
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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And also...

- Heil Watch: Hurrah for the Mail & Mirror!
- Budget brief: George’s merciless medicine
- PLUS: Phone hacking latest; how Sun supergrasses are rewriting history; the SNP’s business-friendly New Girl; and Remote Controller on wither (geddit?) the BBC
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Private Eye Issue 1396
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