News Int settles seven phone-hacking cases

News of the World publisher News International revealed it has settled seven more phone-hacking cases today – and is close to reaching an agreement with former England footballer Paul Gascoigne.

A spokeswoman for News International said: “News International can confirm that seven claims against News Group Newspapers (NGN) and Glenn Mulcaire have been settled following discussions with News Corporation‘s management and standards committee, acting on behalf of NGN.

“The claims are Mark Oaten, Ulrika Jonsson, Abi Titmuss, Michelle Milburn, Paul Dadge, James Hewitt and Calum Best. NGN has agreed to pay appropriate sums by way of compensation and costs, and have expressed regret for the distress caused.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer told Mr Justice Vos, sitting in London at the High Court this morning, that Gascoigne’s case “is settling”.

The announcement was made by counsel Jeremy Reed, who represents various claimants in the News of the World phone-hacking claims.

Outside court, lawyers declined to give further details on Gascoigne’s action, which was one of the “lead” cases for a trial which is being held early next year.

The announcement came during a brief hearing before the judge this morning.

He was also due to hear various applications in the phone-hacking cases, believed to cover aspects of the disclosure of information and the trial date.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, for various claimants, told the judge that six cases had been “resolved”.

He added that there were a “number of others which are likely to be resolved”.

Former Lib Dem MP Mr Oaten said in a statement: “I am pleased that News International have expressed their regret for the distress caused to me over phone hacking and have agreed substantial compensation.

“I’m glad, after a long period, this issue is finally resolved and I’m able to understand better the actions taken against me by the media.

“I’m grateful to the current team at News International for trying to put wrongs right and settle this honourably.

“Thanks also to Charlotte Harris, my lawyer, for bringing this to my attention in the first place. I will, of course, continue to assist the police and Leveson inquiry with their investigations.”

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