Fresh legal rows have hit News International, with new allegations of phone hacking and claims of more victims. It has been revealed that former News Of The World (NOTW) editor Andy Coulson is suing News Group Newspapers, the publishing arm of the media giant.Papers were served at the High Court on Friday “regarding the termination of the payment for his legal action”.A spokesman for law firm DLA Piper, which represents Mr Coulson, said: “We can confirm that proceedings have been issued.”News International (NI) declined to comment.It had been reported earlier this month that NI was paying DLA Piper for their legal advice to Mr Coulson following his arrest.
Mr Coulson resigned from his position as Prime Minister David Cameron’s spin chief in January and was later arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking. He is on police bail.It has also emerged that the family of Jade Goody fear the late celebrity could have had her phone hacked and are reportedly set to contact Scotland Yard.The police force has said it will not comment on individual cases.Publicist Max Clifford told The Guardian that Ms Goody’s mother Jackiey Budden also believes she was targeted.He said: “She will be going to the police.
She believes her phone was hacked by the News Of The World, and Jade’s.”Jade told me, ‘I’m convinced my phone is being hacked’.”News International also declined to comment on the allegations.In addition, it has been alleged that Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the NOTW was paid more than £25,000 by NI while working at Scotland Yard as a police consultant.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said Mr Wallis’s contract with the police force included confidentiality, data protection and conflict of interest clauses, all of which would have prohibited him from selling on any information while employed by them.He added: “Neil Wallis was not provided access to the Metropolitan Police Service’s IT systems.”Phil Smith of Tuckers Solicitors, who represent Mr Wallis, told the Daily Telegraph they had complained formally to the Met about leaking information about the case.The Scotland Yard spokesman added: “On Friday, the Met received a letter of complaint from solicitors acting for Neil Wallis. This is being considered.”Earlier, it was disclosed that action is also set to be launched against News Corporation by American lawyers over phone hacking at the NOTW.
Proceedings will be lodged in New York next week in a bid to seek statements from the media giant, according to Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.Mr Lewis, who negotiated a multimillion-pound payout for the Dowler family from NI over hacking claims, said its parent company could also be held responsible for activities at the paper.”Potentially it has very serious ramifications for News Corporation because the American damages for civil claims are far higher than anything in an English court,” Mr Lewis said.Mr Lewis is understood to have instructed a New York-based lawyer representing about 20 families of 9/11 victims.
The action will be looking at News Corp’s liability for action as far as its subsidiaries,” Mr Lewis added. “It will raise issues of corporate governance.”The announcement comes days after NI confirmed it is in advanced settlement talks with the parents of Milly Dowler over police claims that the 13-year-old’s mobile phone was hacked after she went missing.So far 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking at the axed tabloid. – Skynews