Sorry day for Murdoch as High Court hears hacking apology – Crime – UK – The Independent
Lawyers acting for News International will shock the High Court today when they offer a humiliating apology to victims of phone hacking and announce that Rupert Murdoch’s media group has settled dozens of outstanding claims linked to criminal activities at the News Of The World.
There have been months of legal manoeuvring by lawyers acting for the company, which is still aiming to halt a civil trial scheduled for next month and limit the continuing damage to the Murdoch brand. The reputational cost of offering an unqualified apology to dozens of public figures and at least one victim of the worst terrorist atrocity on the British mainland will be balanced by a degree of relief that the company is on the threshold of an endgame for civil claims from the hacking scandal.
News International’s senior counsel, Michael Silverleaf, QC, will get to his feet in Court 16 of the newly-opened Rolls Building at the High Court this morning to tell Mr Justice Vos that 40 of a remaining 50 hacking victims have recently accepted offers to end their legal actions against the Murdoch empire.
Among the most high-profile victims who have accepted NI’s cash are the Labour MP Chris Bryant and the former footballer Paul Gascoigne.
Others who have settled or are close to settling include: Tony Blair’s former communications chief, Alastair Campbell; the disgraced former Labour MP Elliot Morley; Phil Hughes, the agent who represented football legend George Best; and Sheila Henry, whose son Christian Small was killed in the 7/7 bomb attacks on London’s transport network.