Friday, June 11, 2021

Simon Hughes wins phone-hacking damages from The Sun

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From the Guardian:

The publisher of the Sun has paid a substantial sum to settle a phone-hacking claim brought by the former Liberal Democrat MP Sir Simon Hughes, who claimed he was illegally targeted by reporters wanting to out his sexuality.

Speaking to Byline Investigates, Simon said:

‘This was to do with unlawful obtaining of phone bills by The Sun.

‘This explains what happened 15 years ago when The Sun came to me and said they had information about my relationships.

‘In this case, we know that it wasn’t just private investigators – it went right to the top. The people at the top were quite clearly involved.’

Byline Investigates also explains exactly what went on between Simon and The Sun.

In 2006 the paper had found out the numbers that he called frequently, as well as call times and durations:

The sensitive data was bought from a notoriously illegal private investigator firm called ELI.

At the beginning of the case, Hughes was shown this disclosure and was ‘deeply troubled and shocked.’

ELI (Express Locate International) was a private detective company, which has been linked in other litigation to phone hacking, and which sold illegally-acquired private and personal information to newspapers across Fleet Street.

In the middle of a leadership contest in January 2006, Trevor Kavanagh told Mr Hughes that they had obtained private and sensitive data, but did not reveal how.

Based on this, the journalist said the paper was going to publish a story that Hughes had engaged in homosexual activities.

Hughes ‘believed that with or without his agreement,’ The Sun would publish the story anyway, according to a statement read in open court.

He felt that ‘he had no choice but to cooperate and this resulted in a front page article on January 26 2006.’

The story ended-up misrepresenting Hughes’ sexual orientation.

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