News International in £3m settlement with Dowler family

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch will personally donate £1m to charities chosen by the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler as part of a £3m compensation settlement, the company confirmed today.

In a joint statement with the Dowlers, News of the World publisher News International said it would be making a £2m payment to the family to settle their claim.

The Dowler family commented: ‘Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year.

‘The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly’s memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this.’

Murdoch added: ‘When I met with the Dowlers in July, I expressed how deeply sorry I was for the hurt we had caused this family.

“The behaviour that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent and I hope this donation underscores my regret for the company’s role in this awful event.

‘I also hope that through the personal donation something positive can be done in memory of their daughter.’

The Dowlers have selected six charities which they said represented causes close to Milly or provided support to other victims of crime: Shooting Star Chase, Child Victims of Crime, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Hampton Pool Trust, Braintumouruk.org, and Cancer Research.

The family sued News International via phone-hacking lawyer Mark Lewis for breach of privacy after it emerged in July this year that an investigator working for the News of the World had hacked Milly’s mobile phone messages in the weeks after she disappeared in 2002.

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