News International yesterday published a statement on page 2 of News of the World and the paper’s website, regarding its admission over phone-hacking. Here’s the statement in full:
On Friday our parent company News International issued an important statement regarding voicemail interception at the News of the World between 2004 to 2006.
It said that following an extensive internal investigation, it had decided to make an unreserved apology and admission of liability in certain civil cases that meet specific criteria. That apology is set out below. The company will also be establishing a compensation scheme to deal with justifiable claims fairly and efficiently.
“This will begin the process of bringing these cases to a fair resolution with damages appropriate to the extent of the intrusion,” the statement said.
“We will, however, continue to contest cases that we believe are without merit or where we are not responsible. That said, past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions were not sufficiently robust.”
News International pointed out that it was our discovery and voluntary disclosure of new evidence in January that led to the reopening of an investigation by the Metropolitan Police.
The News of the World is also cooperating fully with a review being conducted by the Press Complaints Commission.
The statement concluded: “News International’s commitment to our readers and our pride in our award-winning journalism remains undiminished.”
Voicemail interception: An apology
In 2007, a News of the World journalist and a private investigator working for the paper were jailed for accessing voicemail messages between 2004 and 2006.
Since then, a number of individuals have brought breach of privacy claims against the News of the World over wrongful voicemail interception during that period, and others are threatening claims.
Evidence has recently come to light which supports some of these claims. We have written to relevant individuals to admit liability in these civil cases and to apologise unreservedly, and will do the same to any other individuals where evidence shows their claims to be justifiable.
We hope to be able to pay appropriate compensation to all these individuals, and have asked our lawyers to set up a compensation scheme to deal with genuine claims fairly and efficiently.
Here today, we publicly and unreservedly apologise to all such individuals. What happened to them should not have happened. It was and remains unacceptable.
(Source: News of the World)