News of the World admits to phone hacking

News International has apologised for phone hacking by journalists at the News of the World and has set up a fund to compensate the victims.

Sienna Miller: a phone hacking victim

The admittal of liability came three days after its chief reporter and former news editor were arrested on suspicion of illegally accessing voicemail messages.

Celebrities including actress Sienna Miller, former Sky Sports commentator Andy Gray and MP Tessa Jowell are all understood to have had their voicemails intercepted by News of the World journalists. It is understood that eight people will receive payouts from the tabloid.

The group says in a statement: “Following an extensive internal investigation and disclosures through civil legal cases, News International has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability in cases meeting specific criteria.”

News International added that it expressed “genuine regret” over the scandal and said its compensation scheme will bring the matter to a fair resolution.

The police started its first investigation into phone hacking at the Sunday newspaper in 2007. It led to the imprisonment of the News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

The investigation reopened earlier this year and prompted the tabloid’s former editor Andy Coulson to step down as head of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron.

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