UK tabloid, Scotland Yard in fresh legal trouble over high profile phone taps

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London, July 10 (ANI): Lawyers representing unidentified individuals from the world of politics, television and sport have said that their clients are considering suing the tabloid News of The World and Scotland Yard for refusing to come clean on a series of phone tapping episodes.

According to The Telegraph, the tabloid is alleged to have already paid over a million pounds in out-of-court settlements following the prosecution of Clive Goodman, the newspaper's former royal editor, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator.

They were jailed for hacking into the phone messages of aides to the Royal family two years ago.

Mulcaire admitted in the trial that he had also tapped the phones of model Elle Macpherson, Member of Parliament Simon Hughes, noted publicist Max Clifford and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

But it has now emerged that hundreds more may have been targeted.

Those alleged to be on the hit list of desired victims included John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister; Tessa Jowell, the Minister for the Cabinet Office; Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London; actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Nigella Lawson, the chef.

Graham Shear, a partner at law firm Teacher Stern, said a number of his clients, who include actors, sports stars and politicians, were now considering legal action. Mark Stevens, another prominent media lawyer, said he had also been contacted by a number of individuals investigating whether they could sue.

The individuals may take a private prosecution over alleged phone hacking, or sue News International, which publishes the newspaper, for a gross invasion of privacy.

Scotland Yard, however, has refused to reinvestigate the phone-hacking allegations, insisting there was no new evidence of wrongdoing.

News International defended its journalists and said it would not "shirk from vigorously defending our right and proper role to expose wrongdoing". (ANI)

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