Reuters reports on a phone-hacking scandal concerning the News of the World newspaper (owned by Rupert Murdoch) in the United Kingdom.
Rupert Murdoch’s British news arm faces a rush of fresh compensation claims and could be exposed to criminal prosecution after admitting its role in a long-running phone hacking scandal, lawyers said on Saturday. “There will be a massive flood of people contacting lawyers,” said lawyer Charlotte Harris of law firm Mishcon de Reya.
News International, parent company of Britain’s top-selling News of the World tabloid, said on Friday it would admit liability and pay compensation in eight cases — although many more people believe they were targeted.
The admission was an about-turn from the media group’s previous denial that it knew journalists were hacking the phones of the royal family, politicians, celebrities and sports stars, blaming a handful of “rogue reporters” for the scandal. […]
Analysts said the media group’s move was an attempt to draw a line under the affair and limit financial costs as News Corp tries to push ahead with its planned $14 billion purchase of British satellite pay-TV operator BSkyB. […]
Settling all the cases could cost the group as much as 40 million pounds ($66 million), said media lawyer Rod Dadak, a partner of law firm Lewis Silkin which represents a number of potential phone hacking litigants. […]
Dadak said News International was now itself at risk of a corporate criminal prosecution, including for potential offences under Britain’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers act, which covers illegal phone interception.