News Corp. (NWSA)’s Times newspaper in London, which escaped the phone-hacking and bribery scandals at Rupert Murdoch’s other U.K. titles, was sued by a former police blogger for hacking into his e-mail account in 2009.
The lawsuit by detective Richard Horton, who wrote an unauthorized, anonymous blog about police work, was filed yesterday in London against News Corp.’s Times Newspapers Ltd. unit. The paper in January admitted the hacking, which allowed it to reveal Horton’s identity three years ago.
Horton, of the Lancashire Constabulary in Northwest England, seeks “substantial” damages in the case, his lawyer Patrick Daulby of Taylor Hampton Solicitors Ltd., said in a phone interview today. The suit was filed after the Times failed to respond to a letter describing the claims, Daulby said.
The Times, Britain’s oldest daily newspaper, is the third News Corp. title in London to come under suspicion of wrongdoing after police probes of phone hacking and bribery at its best- selling U.K. tabloids. Murdoch, chairman of the New York-based company, shuttered the News of the World in July to help contain public anger after revelations it hacked the mobile-phone voice mail of a murdered schoolgirl in 2002.
Mary Kearney, a spokeswoman for London-based News International, which publishes the Times, confirmed the lawsuit had been filed and declined to comment further.
The Times’ editor, James Harding, told an inquiry into media ethics in February that the paper misled a judge who oversaw Horton’s failed lawsuit to block publication of his name. The publisher won by claiming it deduced the author of the “NightJack” blog through legitimate means, even though it was aware of the hacking, Harding said.
Reporter Patrick Foster hacked Horton’s e-mail in May 2009 to expose him as the writer of the blog, arguing that his identity was in the public interest. Horton, in his earlier lawsuit, had raised the possibility that his e-mail had been illegally accessed.
Ah, yes - illegally accessing someone's email, claiming it was in the public interest to do so when caught, then misleading a judge in a lawsuit brought against the paper to keep it from publicizing what was learned from criminal means.
That sure does sound like Rupert Murdoch's company.
This comes after the news that Mark Lewis, the lawyer who has represented hacking victims including the family of Milly Dowler in hacking cases in Britain, is filing at least three lawsuits in the United States against News Corporation for phone hacking on U.S. soil.
Which comes on the heels of the news that another Murdoch-owned subsidiary hired hackers to steal security codes of Murdoch's TV satellite rivals and spread those all over the Internet in order to wreck their businesses.
Which comes on the heels of the news that a TV news channel partially owned by Murdoch has admitted to two instances of illegal computer hacking.
Which comes on the heels of all those arrests of current and former Murdoch employees at The Sun and the now shuttered News of the World
Which comes on the heels of the news that former News International chief Rebekah Brooks and former News International director of group security Mark Hannah have been arrested for trying to cover up the hacking scandal.
Joel Klein, the man Murdoch hired to "fix" the scandal fall-out must be a very busy man, what with all these pending lawsuits and new allegations of computer hacking, TV piracy and criminal conspiracy to cover up crimes.
I wonder where he's going to get time to promote his new StudentsFirstNY education reform group?
I mean, he's got his work cut out for him, doesn't he?