MEDIA RELEASE: Phone hacking latest: Trinity Mirror finally admits liability
Responding to the news that Trinity Mirror has settled six cases of alleged phone hacking, as well as admitting liability in four others, Dr. Evan Harris, the Associate Director of Hacked Off said:
“This is just the tip of a very big iceberg because in the recent hacking trial a former Sunday Mirror journalist, Dan Evans, admitted hacking potentially hundreds of people in his time with the Mirror Group.”
Dr. Harris, who has seen the legal claim forms of many of the claimants [under normal court disclosure rules] added, “It must be noted these hacking claims relate to articles published in not only the Sunday Mirror but also the Sunday People and the Daily Mirror – and under several different editors.”
Trinity Mirror will have to answer some serious questions including the following:
• How was it that they denied so strenuously and for so long allegations of widespread hacking, claiming that such allegations were ‘wholly unsubstantiated’?
• How could they assert repeatedly that their journalists always ‘work within the law and the editor’s code of practice’ when they denied the allegations?
• Given that it cost Rupert Murdoch hundreds of millions of pounds to settle a similar, or possibly smaller, number of claims, are The Trinity Mirror seeking to settle future claims cheaply under the Arbitration Scheme of a Royal Charter recognised regulator?
• What confidence can shareholders have in the Board of a company who have suddenly admitted liability for phone hacking after three years of denial and millions of pounds spent on legal fees?
Dr Harris warned,
“Trinity Mirror simply does not have Rupert Murdoch’s deep pockets, so the actions of executives in dismissing the allegations – and seemingly failing to carry out any proper investigation – may well have put the future of the only left-of-centre tabloid newspaper, and hundreds of jobs, at risk. Hacked Off will be seeking urgent answers to these questions to avoid a situation where victims and working journalists pay the price of historic illegality and recent cover-ups.”