Phone hacking: Mulcaire denies protecting News International

Phone hacking: Mulcaire denies protecting News International

The disgraced private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was jailed after it was revealed that he had hacked the telephone messages coming out of Clarence House, has told the Supreme Court that it is ‘completely wrong’ to suggest that he is in any way protecting his former employer.

Mr Mulcaire is fighting an order stating he must reveal who at the News of the World instructed him to intercept voicemails on behalf of the paper.

He denied that his action to defend the order was motivated in any way by a desire to defend his former employers or to protect former colleagues at the paper.

The case in question concerns a court order demanding that he reveal who at the News of the World ordered him to intercept the voicemails of Nicola Phillips, the former PR consultant to Max Clifford.

Mr Mulcaire is claiming privilege against self-incrimination.

In a statement before the case, Mr Mulcaire said: “This appeal is being heard because I have been advised by my legal team from the outset that I should not have to give potentially incriminating answers to questions asked of me in the phone-hacking cases in the high court. I bring it for no other reason.”

“All the steps taken by my legal team in respect of the civil claims against me are to protect my legitimate legal interests,” he added.

Mr Mulcaire’s counsel in the case is Gavin Millar QC. Mr Millar told five Supreme Court justices that the motivation for the action was self-preservation and nothing more.

“The decision to pursue this appeal is Mr Mulcaire’s and his alone,” Mr Millar said.

He added that Mr Mulcaire would comply with any court order if it is determined that he cannot rely on the defence of legal privilege.

The early part of the hearing has so far heard complex arguments over the content of the voicemails, which could be considered intellectual property under the terms of the Senior Courts Act 1981. If this is found to be the case then Mr Mulcaire would lose his privilege defence.

Mr Mulcaire is challenging three previous rulings, two from the High Court and one from the Court of Appeal who all agreed that the contents of the voicemails are covered by the Senior Courts Act and affirmed the order to reveal who gave him the instruction to intercept them.

The hearing continues.

Related links:

Read more on the story (The Guardian)

Phone hacking and the law (FindLaw)

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