Court to rule on Mulcaire's 'surveillance' notes

Celebrities who suspect their phone messages were intercepted by News of the World journalists are likely to discover today whether their lawyers can be given access to “surveillance” notes seized by police.

Lawyers representing high-profile figures including Labour politician Lord Prescott, actor Jude Law, television presenter Ulrika Jonsson and ex-footballer Lee Chapman last week told a High Court judge that they wanted material gathered by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire made available.

Mr Justice Vos is expected to rule on the application at a hearing in London today, or sanction an agreement between lawyers and police.

Four years ago Mulcaire and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman were given jail terms after the Old Bailey heard how they plotted to hack into royal aides’ telephone messages.

New police inquiries have started since then and earlier this month actress Sienna Miller accepted £100,000 damages as part of a settlement of a civil privacy and harassment claim against the News of the World.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing Lord Prescott, Law, Jonsson, Chapman and others, asked Mr Justice Vos to order the disclosure of the “Mulcaire archive” held by police, during a hearing at the High Court in London on June 20.

Tomlinson said that in 2006 Metropolitan Police officers had seized material gathered by Mulcaire.

People had “effectively been under surveillance”, he said, as he asked for all Mulcaire’s seized notes and notebooks to be disclosed so that the level of damage suffered by his clients could be assessed.

Jason Beer QC, for the Metropolitan Police, said officers had at least nine of Mulcaire’s notebooks, plus other paperwork, and were doing their best to co-operate with litigants as well as complete criminal inquiries.

Justice Vos said he would make a decision on the application if lawyers could not come to an agreement with the police.

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