The high court judge ruled yesterday that Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed in 2007 for unlawful interception of phone messages along with former Royal editor Clive Goodman, must reveal who hired him.
The grounds that he might incriminate himself are not justified as he has already a spent prior conviction.
Scotland Yard, home of the Metropolitan Police, who have been investigating the phone hacking affair, was told to reveal the names of the victims involved. Speaking yesterday, the judge said that blanked out legal documents held by the police were no longer to be redacted
Lawyers believe that Mulcaire wrote on a regular basis to the person authorising the phone hacking at the British newspaper News of the World, noting the editor on each directive which could reveal the breadth of the phone hacking.
The number of legal challenges brought against the Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper are rising, with prominent figures and celebrities including Sienna Miller, politician George Galloway, and actor Steve Coogan all taking action against the media conglomerate.
The phone hacking started as early as 2005 and 2006, initially targetting members of the Royal family, including Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry. Other high profile victims include the former prime minister, Gordon Brown.
A fortnight ago, Lord Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, was told by Scotland Yard that 'all newspapers' were implicated in the phone hacking scandal.
At this point, it looks likely in the coming days and weeks that a lot more information will be made public. With gagging orders effectively quashed against those who took legal action against News International, it will allow Scotland Yard to remove any blacked out notes to give a fuller, more precise picture of where the investigation is going.
- Royal phone hacking scandal: Timeline of events so far
- Royal phone hacking scandal: 'All newspapers' are implicated