The Independent reports today that News International could still be obliged to pay any damages awarded against private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to alleged victims in civil phone hacking cases.
According to the Independent it has obtained a previously protected High Court document which shows that News International “has not cut its financial ties” with Mulcaire, despite an announcement by the media company that it would stop paying his legal fees.
Mulcaire lodged a lawsuit against News International last month over the company’s decision to stop paying his fees in a number of ongoing cases in which he is a defendant.
The claim document, lodged in the Chancery Division of the High Court, details the close-knit legal relationship that existed between Mr Mulcaire’s legal team and the Murdoch UK media company.
… But it goes on to state that the letter “did not to purport to withdraw the indemnity in respect of damages” – meaning that a previously unacknowledged undertaking by News International to pay any cash settlements against Mr Mulcaire remains in place.
But News International has responded to say there was “no agreement whatsoever”.
News International announced in July that it would stop paying Mulcaire’s fees, after News International chairman James Murdoch told the culture, media and sport select committee he had been “surprised and shocked” to find out “certain legal fees were paid for”.