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Murdoch Papers Pay Big Money To Silence Victims Of Illegal Phone Hacking

Reported by Ellen - July 9, 2009 -

Rupert Murdoch’s News Group newspapers have paid out more than a million British Pounds to settle lawsuits that could have revealed its journalists’ repeated involvement in illegal hacking into celebrities’ phones. Although Murdoch’s papers have paid to settle three cases so far, The Guardian says it has information that “thousands” of mobile phones were hacked into by private investigators, working for News Group staff, in order to obtain private information for stories.

The Guardian reports, “The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public­figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.

"…The Guardian reveals details of the suppressed evidence, which may open the door to hundreds more legal actions by victims of News Group, the Murdoch company that publishes the News of the World and the Sun, as well as provoking police inquiries into reporters who were involved and the senior executives responsible for them.”

(H/T reader Paul H)