PHONE HACKING victims represented by Bindmans were among 17 claimants who today received public apologies from News Group Newspapers Ltd in London’s High Court as part of their settlement agreements.
Lawyers for the now defunct News of the World apologised to Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry, and Hannah Cleaver, a Berlin-based freelance journalist, for misuse of private information and breach of confidence.
The apologies followed statements read out by Hugh Tomlinson QC of Matrix Chambers and Athalie Matthews of Bindmans setting out the wrongdoing and confirming that the newspapers had paid damages and costs.
In Mr Robinson’s case the newspaper had unlawfully obtained information about telephone numbers that he had dialled and the times of calls.
In the case of Ms Cleaver, the News of the World had intercepted and transcribed a confidential voicemail message containing information about a story she was working on.
Ms Cleaver had left the voicemail for a Mail on Sunday journalist with whom she was working in the run up to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The court heard how the News of the World had intercepted the voicemail during a period of intense competition and rivalry in the tabloid press in the run up to the World Cup when there was heavy competition for stories.
Speaking before Mr Justice Vos, the High Court Judge who is managing the hacking litigation, lawyers for News Group offered “sincere apologies” to the Claimants.
Click here to read the Statement in Open Court of Mr Robinson. Click here to read the Statement in Open Court of Ms Cleaver.
Among the other victims who received public apologies for the newspaper’s actions against them were the actor Hugh Grant, singer-songwriter James Blunt, the actor Christopher Eccleston, Sarah and Duchess of York and Richard Reardon, Charlotte Church’s priest.