New evidence has emerged revealing that News International sought to destroy “unhelpful” emails in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
The revelations have come in court documents released to the Daily Telegraph by the High Court. According to the Telegraph, the documents were created by lawyers acting for the phone-hacking victims based on evidence provided by News Corp‘s management and standards committee.
Yesterday, singer Charlotte Church became the latest of around 50 News of the World phone-hacking targets to settle her case with News International for an out of court cash payment
Around five cases are still set to proceed to trial.
According to the Telegraph, from 2008 on the News of the World had a legal obligation to preserve evidence relating to phone-hacking because it had been notified of civil legal claims.
But, in November 2009, it apparently created an “Email Deletion Policy” to “eliminate in a consistent manner across News International (subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements) emails that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation in which an NI company is a defendant”.
The court document also reveals, the Telegraph reports, a statement from News International chief information officer Paul Cheesbrough that all emails up to 31 September 2007 had been deleted by the company.