Simon Hughes, a Liberal Dem MP, is planning to file a civil law suit against News International over allegations that the company’s News Of The World tabloid hacked into his phone.
“It is important now that all those who were clearly the subject of criminal activity help to get to the bottom of what happened during this dark period in British journalism,” Hughes told the Evening Standard of his suit, which he announced Thursday.
Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator convicted of hacking cell phones on behalf of News Of The World, said during his criminal case that one of the phones he hacked in 2006 was that of Hughes. This means that Hughes could get a court order for Mulcaire to reveal who enlisted him to do the phone hacking, other than former NOTW reporter Clive Goodman, who is so far the only other person convicted in connection with the phone hackings.
Thursday was also the deadline for submitting supplementary evidence to Parliament, related to Rupert and James Murdoch’s testimony on July 19. Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee requested the additional evidence from James Murdoch, as well as several former News Of The World employees who claimed Murdoch misled them when he testified that he was not aware of the extent of the hacking at a crucial moment in the scandal’s timeline.
MP Tom Watson says that they have received the evidence, and though he can’t talk about it, Bloomberg News reports that he called the new documents “dynamite.”
“And no point in journos asking for them,” he added. “Parliament’s rules prohibit me from doing so until my committee considers them next Tuesday. We can decide to publish then. I’m voting yes!”
Trinity Mirror announced Friday that after an internal investigation of its own newspapers, which include the tabloid the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, it has determined that no illegal phone hacking had taken place. Sly Bailey, the head of Trinity Mirror, said in statement:
The company has sought and received formal written confirmation from senior editorial executives across both the nationals and regionals [newspapers], that since the commencement of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in October 2000 and whilst an employee of the group they have not nor, to their knowledge, have any of their staff or anyone on their behalf, intercepted any telephone messages, made payments to serving police officers or accessed the police national computer.
The Mirror Group was dragged into the hacking scandal by model Heather Mills, among others. Mills claims that a reporter working for a Trinity Mirror paper called her in 2001 with quotes from an apology voice message left for her by her then-boyfriend Paul McCartney while she was in India. When pressed, the reporter admitted the details of the message had been obtained through phone hacking.
CNN host Piers Morgan, who was editor of the Daily Mirror at the time, was reportedly not the reporter who called Mills, but he did write an article later that included specific knowledge of the message.