Phone hacking settlement: NoW publisher accused of cover-up | Media | guardian.co.uk
About 60 civil cases have been steadily fought through the courts throughout last year. The disclosure battles have taken place largely behind the scenes. The Leveson inquiry public hearings may have attracted more limelight, with their lurid tales of tabloid malpractice, but the lawsuits, brought by three firms of solicitors working in a co-ordinated project, have been the driving force behind the unfolding of the entire hacking scandal.
The series of disclosure orders forced the abandonment of the News of the World’s “rogue reporter” defence, the revival of a major police inquiry, which is still continuing, the departure of the prime minister’s press secretary, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, and the setting up of the Leveson inquiry itself.
Leveson is likely to want to be supplied with the confidential papers detailing the reasons behind any settlements announced this morning.
This week, James Harding, the editor of the Murdoch-controlled Times, published a confessional editorial saying: “It appears that the News of the World routinely used illegal means to unearth stories of questionable, if any, public interest. As the evidence of wrongdoing came to light, News International, Rupert Murdoch’s company that also owns The Times, was unable or unwilling to police itself. This was a disgrace.”
Thursday’s statement from Bindmans, which represented a number of the claimants, credited “the work of investigative journalists at the Guardian” in helping the victims by revealing the cover-up at the News of the World.