Despite News International’s efforts to draw a line under phone-hacking claims by offering generous settlements – phone-hack claimant lawyer Charlotte Lewis insists there will be a trial “showdown”.
Lewis, who represents football agent Sky Andrew and others, tells The Independent: “The information will come out. We’ll have witness statements, we’ll have cross-examination, we will be examining them on the disclosure. When we get to the trial that is going to be the big showdown, that’s when when we’re going to find out what’s happened. There will be no more hiding.”
She insists that phone-hacking did have real victims – people who lost their jobs because they were wrongly thought to be “snitches”, victims of crime who were eavesdropped on and politicians discussing “state secrets”.
She said: “We are living in this crazy world where the Murdoch newspapers have got such enormous power and influence we can’t just be accepting of criminality or covering that up.“
On Friday Mr Justice Vos said he was going to press-on with dealing with the many civil claims filed against the News of the World over phone-hacking, regardless of the parallel criminal investigation which has seen three journalists from the paper arrested.
He said that four test claims will be heard to give the other claimants a guide to the level of damages they will be entitled to.
For record, here’s the News of the World’s statement following Friday’s hearing:
“We made clear last week that our intention was to apologise and to deal with these cases in the most fair and efficient way possible. We believe the Judge’s recommendations support that.”
For phone-hacking at-a-glance, check out Press Gazette’s interactive timeline about the affair.