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

With the boss Rupert Murdoch fawning over the SNP’s Alex Salmond, the Sun publishes different editorials for its English and Scottish readers.

How the Daily Telegraph’s Scotland editor was offered a big cash bonus by chief exec Murdoch MacLennan… if he could help deliver a hefty No vote.

Red faces at the Indy on Sunday, where columnist Joan Smith, of anti-IPSO Hacked Off fame, upsets Ashya King’s family with her unregulated journalism.

Guardian asks readers to join its new private members’ club (from £135 to £540 a year) though the ‘hub’ is just a building site near King’s Cross.

The sports agent who convinced the Guardian, Mail and Telegraph to give copy approval of interviews with her biggest-earning clients.

MPs’ grilling of new BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead – late of the FT Group – attracts widespread coverage… but not a word in the FT’s print edition.

The paper marks editor-in-chief Jason Seiken’s first year at the helm with, er… two adverse rulings from the PCC and an 8 percent fall in sales.

News that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a second child provokes a wave of sympathetic pregnancies, and drivel, across the Street of Shame.

Sports impresario Barry Hearn lands a column in the Sun – and lots of space to plug events run by a company that he happens to own.

private eye issue 1375
To read more from issue 1245 you can order a copy from our archive of back issues here.
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