herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Dowler family may sue Murdoch in US as scandal deepens

THE solicitor representing the family of Milly Dowler as well as other alleged victims of phone hacking is taking his battle against Rupert Murdoch to America.

Mark Lewis, one of several lawyers representing clients pursuing claims against the News Of The World for phone hacking, is expected to travel to the US within the next few weeks to meet American lawyers about legal action there.

Mr Lewis was in the "advanced stages" of bringing at least one case against Mr Murdoch's company in the US.

The revelation comes after five senior journalists from The Sun were among eight people arrested over allegations of payments to police and public officials. A serving officer in Surrey Police, a Ministry of Defence employee and a serving officer in the Armed Forces were also detained by officers from Operation Elveden.

Mr Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, parent company of News International, which runs The Sun and The Times newspapers, is expected to fly to London to visit staff later this week.

News International chief executive Tom Mockridge emailed employees saying Mr Murdoch had personally reassured him of his "total commitment" to continue to own and publish The Sun.

Operation Elveden was launched as the phone-hacking scandal erupted last July with allegations about the now-defunct News Of The World targeting Milly's mobile phone. It has now widened to include suspected corruption involving public officials.

The arrests of deputy editor Geoff Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, and John Sturgis, who is a news editor, sparked speculation that the red top would go the same way as the News Of The World.

They followed the arrests two weeks ago of four current and former Sun employees, as well as a police officer.

Michelle Stanistreet, of the National Union of Journalists said: "Journalists are reeling at seeing five more of their colleagues thrown to the wolves in what many sense to be a witch-hunt."

hnews@herald.ie

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