The hacking scandal is still not over for News Corp’s UK branch. Former intelligence officer Ian Hurst won damages and an apology from News Group Newspapers after it admitted to hacking his e-mail and computer.
Hurst worked in Northern Ireland for the British Army in the 1980s and early 1990s, and his “main role was to recruit and work with agents within Republican terror groups in order to gain intelligence,” the BBC explained.
Hurst sued over the Irish edition of the News of the World, Hurst’s solicitor James Heath told iMediaEthics by e-mail. He also provided iMediaEthics the following statement,
“This is a long running dispute, having lasted for almost 7 years. It has taken my client, his wife and daughter a very long time to achieve justice. I am pleased for them that News Group Newspapers have now settled this action and apologised to them in open court. The hacking of their computers, interception of their e-mails and surveillance of them was a gross invasion of their privacy. As News Group Newspapers have finally accepted, this should never have happened.
News Group Newspapers, which publishes the Sun and formerly published the defunct News of the World, apologized in court, according to the Guardian. Hurst’s lawyer, Jeremy Reed, said Hurst “genuinely feared for the safety of many of the people with whom he had been in contact” because of the hacking.
News Group Newspapers’ lawyer admitted “vicarious liability” and that the hacking occurred, and promised “it will never happen again,” Reuters noted. iMediaEthics has contacted News UK to ask about the settlement,
In 2011, Hurst accused News of the World of hacking his computer and using a Trojan program to access his e-mails, as iMediaEthics reported.
News of the World closed down in July 2011 after more phone hacking victims emerged. Meanwhile, a different UK newspaper publisher, Trinity Mirror, settled several hacking lawsuits this past week, including those of actor Steve Coogan and actress Sienna Miller.
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